Beginning with the start of the fall 2008 semester, the Mont Alto campus implemented a print billing system designed to curtail the abuse of public student printers. Each student will receive a maximum of 250 free pages and will have the ability to purchase additional pages online via their LionCash+ account.
All pages are billed per sheet of paper. Duplexing, printing on both sides of a sheet of paper, counts as a single page. The following page costs are in effect for the current academic year:
Charge per Page
Counts as # of B&W Pages
Black & White Laser Printers
8 ½" x 11"
Color Laser Printers
8 ½" x 11"
By default, all Mont Alto computer lab printers are set to duplex printing, meaning the printer will automatically print on both sides of the paper. If you need to disable duplex printing, see the How-To guide named "How to Temporarily Disable Duplex Printing in Microsoft Word 2007" located here. This guide is designed for Microsoft Word 2007, but can be applied to other Windows applications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Printing used to be free, why are you implementing print billing?
For many years, printing was free for students, subsidized by the Information Technology Fee. With the introduction of e-books and online materials, we have seen a surge in the monthly print volumes and cost. Monthly statistics and trending show that the top 1% of users account for as much as 20% of printing and associated costs per month, costs which are burdened by all students. Records show that some users consistently printed over 1,000 pages per month. In some cases, it was discovered that large documents were being printed and never retrieved from the printer.
Q: Why should I pay for additional pages, I already pay an Information Technology Fee?
The Information Technology Fee pays for nearly all academic technology used by students. Technology such as new computers in computer labs and audio/visual equipment would not be possible without the Information Technology Fee since student tuition is not used for student technology purchases. Printers, paper, and toner are also purchased from the Information Technology Fee. The more resources which are spent on printing and related costs, reduces what can be used elsewhere to maintain the high level of technology our students are accustomed to. Print billing is designed to reduce the disproportionate number of pages that are being consumed by a small number of students.
Q: Why do I only receive 250 free pages?
The Student Government Association (SGA) of Penn State Mont Alto was presented with the question of how many free pages to allocate on a per semester basis. The number of free pages chosen was 250. Prior to the introduction of print billing and the 250 free page limit, statistics showed that over 80% of students printed less than 250 pages per semester.
Q: Your system shows I only have 110 free pages, what gives?
The print billing system is maintained centrally by University Park. University Park students are allocated 110 free pages per semester. By default, all students start with this number. Approximately two weeks into the semester, an additional 140 pages will be added to your printing allotment. Late registrations, transfers, and other special situations can sometimes cause a student to be missed when the extra 140 pages are added. If you believe your current page count to be incorrect, please send an e-mail to email@example.com so the problem can be corrected.
Q: Are faculty and staff subject to print billing?
Yes, faculty and staff are also subject to print billing, but only in the computer labs. Faculty and staff are allocated 110 free pages per semester in the computer labs but are asked to only use computer lab printers for demonstration purposes as central printers and copiers are made available for everyday use. Once the 110 page limit is reached, faculty and staff will have to purchase additional pages via LionCash+ in order to resume printing.
Q: How long can I keep free pages or if I don't use them can I obtain a refund for unused free pages?
Free pages are allocated on a per semester basis. Any remaining free pages at the end of an academic semester are forfeited. No refunds will be given for unused free pages.
Q: How long can I keep pages that I've purchased and how can I obtain a refund for unused purchased pages?
Pages which are purchased using the User Printing Management website are perpetual and will carry forward for as long as you remain a Penn State student or employee, even if you transfer to a different campus. Once per semester, you may request a refund via the User Printing Management website for unused pages which you've purchased. As an example, you can conceivably purchase 10,000 pages as a freshman and request a refund for 10,000 pages upon your graduation provided you have never exceeded your free page limit each semester.
Q: Why does the printer show as 'Paused'? Shouldn't it show as 'Ready'?
All printers subject to print billing show as paused, this is a function of the accounting software used to track page usage. This is the normal state of the printer.
- About Mont Alto ITS