Should You Use a U-Box When Moving to College?

According to, the average yearly cost for colleges and universities in the US exceeds $35,000.

Needless to say, pinching pennies wherever possible is imperative.

In the past, most families moved kids off to college using pickup trucks and station wagons, but U-Haul’s U-Box and Collegeboxes programs are convenient and cost-effective alternatives for moving and storage.

In this post, we’ll break down how they work, how much they cost, and their pros and cons.

But first, check out these helpful articles.

  • Best Interstate Movers – The moving industry is full of shady players. With so much at stake, it’s worth hiring a top-rated long-distance mover with verified customer reviews.
  • How much will your move cost? – Our moving cost calculator is a great resource. Just enter your move dates, origin and destination cities, and the estimated size of your long-distance move, and the magic algorithms will do the rest.
  • Consider moving containers – It’s simple. You load and unload, they drive, and you save big bucks. These are the best moving container companies.

Collegeboxes program at a glance

Collegeboxes utilizes U-Haul’s trucks, U-Box containers, and storage facilities to provide seamless moving and storage options for college students.

It’s an especially good fit for students who are shipping or storing things like bikes, dressers, and moderate amounts of household goods that can be packed into boxes.

Small shipments like these typically only fill a portion of a U-Box container, but to maximize efficiency and keep costs low they can be picked up from campus without being containerized.

In fact, one truck can often accommodate 40 or more student’s items.

Once packed and labeled, student’s boxes and loose items are collected and stored in climate-controlled storage units close to campus.

As part of the program, Collegeboxes provide boxes and other moving supplies like tape and packing paper to make the process as convenient as possible.

For students shipping or storing more than just a few items, renting a U-Box container exclusively may be the way to go.

Convenient Collegeboxes services

1. Ship your items from the home to school

With this option, students can ship household goods from their residence (or their parents’ house) before moving to college for the first time or after a summer break.

Transit time and price depend on the distance and other factors, but U-Box can receive and hold items and deliver them when students arrive on campus.

2. Summer moving and storage

This is a great choice for students who need to vacate their apartment or dorm during the summer.

Students can have their items picked up on campus and –

  • Stored locally if they’ll be moving back for the new semester
  • Moved back home

3. U-Box for students studying abroad

Studying abroad can be an unforgettable experience for wanderlusty students interested in immersing themselves in another culture.

On the downside, standard international shipping rates can be prohibitively expensive.

With U-Box however, students moving abroad have the following options –

  • Storing their items while out of the country
  • Shipping their items to their parent’s home in the US
  • Shipping their possessions to their new college dorm or apartment in another country

4. Direct domestic shipping via U-Box container

With U-Box, students can have boxes and furniture moved domestically in a container any time of the year.

In this respect, U-Box’s service is similar to other moving container companies like PODS, 1-800-PACK-RAT, and U-Pack.

Collegeboxes local storage, pick up, and delivery pricing

  • Initial delivery fee – $99 to $250 depending on date and school
  • Monthly storage charges – $79.95 to $119.95 depending on the school (minimum 3-month rental)
  • Local return delivery fee – $99 to $250 depending on date and school
  • Non-local delivery fee – on a per-case basis

In addition, long-term storage rates per academic term are typically between $45 and $60 per piece for boxes, luggage, trunks, and plastic bins, and between $35 and $100 for larger items like appliances, furniture, and bicycles.

Collegeboxes supply kits come in handy

Collegeboxes’ supply kits come with everything students need to get started for under $40.

Each contains –

  • 5 double-walled boxes (24”x16”x18”)
  • A roll of tape and marker
  • 5 plastic zip ties
  • 10 label pouches

Collegeboxes insurance options

Monthly Rate Coverage level
$12 $1,000
$18 $5,000
$25 $10,000
$32 $15,000
$40 $20,000

Before making a decision, make sure to ask exactly what this additional insurance does and doesn’t cover.

U-Box portable moving containers for larger college moves

U-Box containers can be reserved online in just a few minutes after creating an account and entering important information like –

  • Number of containers you need
  • Pick up and drop off addresses
  • Desired insurance

Initial container drop-off is made at the residence you’re vacating, after which you’ll have three days to load it.

Each U-Box comes with a free lock, and if the container gets loaded in one or two days instead of three, you can let the company know that it’s ready using your Collegeboxes account.

After your container has been picked up, U-Box will store it at a climate-controlled facility for storage or deliver it to a safe area near your dorm.

Once you’ve unloaded it, let them know it’s empty and they’ll schedule it to be picked up.

U-Box moving and storage container size

U-Box containers measure 95” long, 56” wide, and 83.5” high for an interior volume of about 257 cubic feet.

Each can generally hold between 1 and 1 ½ moderately furnished rooms including furniture and boxes.

What we like about U-Box and Collegeboxes (pros)

What we don’t like (cons)

  • The website isn’t particularly easy to navigate
  • Lots of confusing (and sometimes contradictory) information on the website
  • Pre-move packing kits are expensive for what you get

The verdict

All in all, U-Box and Collegeboxes offer a number of services that may be a good fit for many college students.

In fact, each is definitely worth considering for students who are storing items or having them delivered locally.

For residence-to-residence long-distance container moves, however, we suggest getting quotes from some of the other best moving container companies as well.

In addition, since some of the information on the website isn’t particularly easy to understand, it’s a good idea to check out their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or to contact them directly at –


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