Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the formerly "free and unlimited" student printing now restricted?
Numerous factors led to installing a managed printing solution:

  • Huge amounts of wasted paper piled up on or near printers and filled recycle bins.
  • Students’ personal work was left unclaimed at printers.
  • Long lines of students waited for their jobs to be printed.
  • MU needed statistics to determine how many students used student tech fee printing or who was abusing the printing.
  • Non-students took advantage of students’ tech-fee-supported printing.
  • The volume and cost of printing greatly exceeded the costs of the printing solution.
  • Expanded number and availability of printers (even color printers) throughout campus.
  • Prevented runaway printing costs from requiring a rise in tech fees.

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Students pay a lot of tech fees each semester. Why do I only get $20.00 for printing?
$20.00 is the total of a comparative cost of printing (10 cents per sheet) multiplied by 200 sheets. So the real question is: "How was the 200-sheet level determined?" It's difficult to determine what a reasonable amount of printing is for such a wide range of student needs. MU needed to determine an allotment that would accommodate most students’ printing needs, persuade students to think twice about what they actually need to print, promote methods to conserve the amount of sheets printed and set a level comparable to other colleges. MU is well aware that 200 sheets are insufficient for many students. Some students print thousands of pages every semester, but should the printing budget cover all the printing students want to do? Other students who pay tech fees argue that a disproportionate amount of printing is unfair use of the tech fees, just as those who print disproportionate amounts feel they are entitled to this benefit.

Many resources are limited by quotas, such as e-mail storage space, disk space and Internet download bandwidth. The intention to make the service freely available and establish reasonable limits to control excess use or abuse that would result in higher costs to everyone or affect others’ ability to use the service.

Students who use a disproportionate amount of any resource typically need to purchase additional resources or pay a lab fee. Students who require printing beyond their allotment can continue to use campus laser printers at a nominal cost of 10 cents per sheet for black and 35 cents per page color. Be aware that printing was never free and even the cost of ink in your personal printer is expensive.

Below is a comparison of other college print programs used to determine the allotment of prints per semester:

A table will be added here to show the results of my survey.

As you can see, there are varying policies at each institution. Many colleges that still offer uncontrolled printing are considering some form of print management.

What is sufficient? With statistics available through SpartanPrint, it will be easy to determine if 200 pages are adequate or if many students will print much more. However, it will take a semester or two to determine how this service is being used by students. SpartanPrint will also provide trends over longer periods of time and allow the placement of printers where they are most needed and used.

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What happens when I use up my SpartanPrint account?
You can add additional value to your Cash Account to print additional pages at the Funderburg Library Computer Lab, or at Printing Services. At the start of each new full semester, the value in your Cash Account will be carried forward, while your SpartanPrint Account will be restored to an equivalent of 200 sheets. Your SpartanPrint Account will be depleted before your Cash Account will be used again.

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If I don't use my $20.00 allotment each semester, can I get a refund or will the balance be added to next semester's balance?
No. At the beginning of each full semester, each student's account is replenished with the equivalent of 200 black laser sheets. $20.00 is simply a limit equivalent to 200 pages but it is not a refundable balance.

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Will my Cash Account be lost at the end of the semester?
Any additional value added to your Cash Account will be carried forward to the next semester. Be advised that students should manage this account and submit written requests to the Business Office for reimbursing account balances at the end of the semester.

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If I have problems or questions, where do I go?
The University will use the e-mail address “Spartan Print Help” for questions: SpartanPrintHelp@manchester.edu.  Technical questions about the machines themselves should be directed through the ITS Helpline.

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I have printed from a computer. Why don’t I see my print jobs when I login on the SpartanPrint Release Station?
Make sure you are logged onto the computer with the same MU network username. In Windows, hold down the Ctrl-Alt keys and then press the Delete key. You will see campus/username displayed. If this is not you, log off and login with the same MU network username and password that you use on the SpartanPrint Release Station. Remember to log off when finished.
If you have problems, email
SpartanPrintHelp@manchester.edu.

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I printed a color document. Why doesn't it show up on the color Release Station?
The document may have been sent to the black-only printers, or you might be logged in under someone else's username.

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What happens to print jobs that I don't actually print out or release at the Release Station because I don't want to print them? Will I be charged for them?
Print jobs submitted, but not printed from the SpartanPrint Release Station will automatically be deleted after 4 hours. You also can delete print jobs at the SpartanPrint Release Station. Deleted jobs are not charged against your SpartanPrint account. Only jobs sent to the printer are charged and those will require your approval to print.

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If the printer jams, will I still be charged for prints?
Print jobs submitted to the printer are charged against your SpartanPrint Account balance. In some cases, the print job will restart after the jam is cleared, resulting in no loss. If a loss is incurred, report the print jam and your print job can be reprinted at a working printer. The Printing Sevices can credit your account. No cash refunds issued on printer malfunctions.

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Students’ printing requirements vary depending upon their major.  Will there be any allowance for the major of the student?
Each student pays the same tech fees and is entitled to the same level of service. Imagine the complexity of determining which classes and which situations justify increased printing allocation! Some classes require more books or more-expensive books, some require students to pay lab fees, and others require students to buy handouts from the Campus Store. An attempt was made to provide a reasonable number of prints for the general cross-section of students. Students who require more printing should be prepared to add value to their Cash Account to accommodate their additional printing needs. Student leaders will be able to analyze statistical data at the end of the first semester and decide if the 200-page allocation needs to be changed.

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What happens if I try to print a two-sheet document and I only have 10 cents in my SpartanPrint account?
You will not be able to submit print jobs that deplete your accounts. You first must add sufficient value to print.

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Will the card show both the amount and number of pages left on the card at the end of each use?  If not both, which balance will be shown?

The system will show the unused dollar amount or available balance after each use.  The number of available prints depends on whether the prints were regular black & white or color, single-side or both sides.

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Where does the printout go when I click on Print?
It goes into your print queue (identified by your MU network username) and is held there for you for 4 hours. Your SpartanPrint Account is not charged until you release your print job to the printer at a SpartanPrint Release Station. After clicking Print, you can release your job at any available SpartanPrint Release Station.

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Where do I go for a credit?
Bring the unreadable page(s) to Printing Services (in the lower level of the Administration Building).

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I have a whole thesis (or large document) to print. Is there somewhere else on campus I can print without using up my page allotment?
You can purchase additional pages at the Funderburg Library lab or the Print Shop. For special paper, binding, or other needs, visit the Print Shop for specialized printing services.

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Skimping on paper is one of the worst educational ideas to come along in a long time ... Don't you realize paper is for learning?
Student tech fees always have paid for "free" printing. Printing use, abuse, costs for toner, paper, and recycling are increasing and students, hopefully, will be pleased to know measures are being put in place to control rising tuition, fees, and out-of-control printing while accommodating those who need to print higher volumes. Printing is available at no additional charge for most student needs.

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If printing is such a problem, shouldn't staff in the Computer Center and Labs be monitoring what is being printed?
The realistic way to control printing is to have each student control his or her own printing. Students can print whatever they wish, whenever they want. With a sufficient account balance, they can print a book, tax forms, journal articles, e-mail, PowerPoint presentations or a syllabus.

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Why is the SpartanPrint b&w printer paused and showing hundreds of pending documents?
This is normal for the system. You may see print jobs you and other students have submitted, however, the only way to view or print the jobs is to log in to the SpartanPrint Release Station. You will only see the print jobs you've generated. Print jobs not released will be automatically deleted after 4 hours.

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I printed a document and it didn't show up in the SpartanPrint Release Station. Did I get charged?
No, you are only charged when you release a print job to the printer using the SpartanPrint Release Station. The document may have been sent to a different print queue (b&w or color) or you might be logged onto the computer under someone else's username.

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If a student worker is printing jobs for his or her “employer” department, who will be charged?
A department will authorize its student employees to charge to the department print budget as needed.  The student will use his or her logon as part of the authorization process but the student must ensure they pick the correct driver. It will be the department’s responsibility to ensure the student is not charging the department for personal prints. 

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