East Carolina University has recently revised its printing policy, removing all free printing from on-campus computer labs.
Wendy Creasey, director of academic technology, explained that a large part of establishing a print quota was because students were taking advantage of printing. She said that some students were abusing the policy to the point of printing entire textbooks.
Just last year, printing costs increased $600,000. The money to cover the printing quota come from the student technology fees included in tuition and fees.
“We want to consider the needs of the students and make it fair to all students,” said Creasey.
Creasey explained that by May of 2015, 80 percent of the students had printed less than $25. The average pages printed by a student for two semesters were around 438 pages. Approximately, 10.5 million pages printed were printed last year.
Students are now given $10 at the start of the fall semester, and the labs are charging two cents per black and white page, which is equivalent to 1250 pages. Color printing is more expensive at 10 cents per page and is about 250 pages. These numbers are all less than the actual cost.
When comparing these numbers to other colleges within the UNC system, ECU has the lowest printing costs for color and black and white copies combined.
“We are one of the last schools in the UNC system to adapt a printing quota; no large schools have free printing anymore”, continues Creasey.
According to the ITCS website, students are allowed to add money to their print quota via debit or credit card. Any leftover print balance from fall semester rolls over to spring semester. The university will continue to roll balance into the summer session as well, but each fall semester, the student’s print quota is reset.
Faculty and staff are not allowed to print in student computer labs unless printing is an instructional requirement for a class and a special printing account has been created.
There are a few exceptions to the print quota such as a GIS class or arts course, where maps or graphics are required for the class. A special print balance has been created for circumstances like these.