Printing is a necessary and important part of computing, especially in an academic environment. However, printing also costs money -- in paper, toner, maintenance, staff, and ultimately, new printers. As a way to balance the need to print with the reality of its cost, and to assure that all students have access to print services consistent with their needs AND the budget of the College, we utilize a Print Quota system for students.
Where Is the Quota Applicable?
This quota applies to all student lab printers under the control of CCS. This includes the printers in:
- A205 (Computer Lab),
- B114 (Computer Classroom/Lab),
- A144 (Computer Classroom/Lab),
- A337 (Computer Classroom/Lab),
- and the Engineering Library.
(Students utilizing departmental printers will need to check with the appropriate resource in the department for the applicable print rules.)
How Do I Check My Print Quota?
The easiest way to check your quota is with the Print System client. This small window appears near the lower right corner of the screen every time you login to one of our Engineering computers and shows your current quota balance.
When you are not at one of our computers, you can check your balance by going to https://web1.eng.famu.fsu.edu/print_quota/ -- you will be prompted to login with your Engineering user ID and password, then your current quota balance will be displayed.
You will receive warnings via email as your quota approaches 0. The system will allow you to print 5 more sheets after 0 – you will see a negative balance – before your print jobs are refused.
How Do I Add to My Quota?
All students are given 200 sheets credit when their account is created. After that, additional credit is provided when the student brings paper to CCS.
The procedure is to bring an unopened, undamaged package, of appropriate paper (minimum size 400 sheets) to CCS. The package must be UNOPENED, UNDAMAGED, in perfect condition and must contain a suitable type/quality of paper:
- Paper must be designated "Copy" or "Multi-Purpose" or "Laser" (NOT "Ink Jet")
- NO "specialty" papers, NO three-hole paper
- Paper weight must be between 20 pounds and 24 pounds (20 pounds is recommended)
- Paper brightness must be at least 88 (92 or better is recommended)
- Paper must contain no more than 25% post-consumer recycled content
The student should write their Engineering username on the package, in large print and legibly, and the date, and hand it to a member of the Customer Response Center team.
After receipt of an appropriate ream of paper by CCS, 1/2 (half) the number of sheets will be added to your Print Quota. (The other sheets offset the other costs of printing -- see below.) The quota change will take effect, immediately.
Why Do We Have a Print Quota?
As mentioned above, printing is a necessary function for students, but it is also one that costs money to provide. The Print Quota system is intended to assure that the printing resource is not abused, whether by accident or intentionally, while allowing students who wish to print more to do so (at their own expense).
Why Do We Pay for Printing at All?
The College has a limited budget. In particular, the expense budget, which covers expenses such as printing, has not increased as quickly as the need has increased -- in fact, it has tended to decrease. Tuition contributes only slightly to these costs. Technology fees, which are used by some universities for such purposes, are not available to cover printing costs.
Why 250 Sheets Credit per Ream?
For a long time, the Engineering Department provided 100 sheets credit for each 500 sheet ream of paper. As a result of improvements in our tools and procedures, we have reduced the college's costs associated with printing. Therefore, the credit has been increased to 250 sheets credit 500 sheet per ream, effective with the start of the Fall 2007 semester.
What about the other half? What happens with them? Simply, that paper is utilized for administrative needs of the College, which, in turn, offsets the additional costs of printing. This includes toner cartridges and other maintenance and support costs for the printers.
Isn't This Making My Printing Expensive?
Actually, No, it isn't. Students generally buy a ream of acceptable paper for around $5.00 (perhaps a little more or less, depending on where you buy). That means that the student's cost for one printed page is $0.020 ($5.00 divided by 250 sheets).
Contrast that with the current cost for a printed page at FSU's public labs ($0.08) or FAMU's public labs ($0.10), or with the cost at other local providers, and you see that our model actually makes printing a bargain for our students.