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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Student MavPRINT FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is the formerly "free and unlimited" student printing now being restricted?
There were numerous factors that lead to installing a managed printing solution:

  • Requests from student leadership and technology groups to control printing waste.
  • Huge amounts of wasted paper piled up on or near printers and filling recycle bins.
  • Student's personal work being left unclaimed at printers.
  • Printing in the library alone (paid for by student tech fees) rose nearly 170% over the previous year.
  • Long lines of students waiting for their jobs to be printed in the library.
  • Need for statistics to determine how many students used student tech fee printing or who was abusing the printing.
  • Non-students taking advantage of student-tech-fee-supported printing.
  • Need for wireless laptop owners to use printers.
  • The volume and cost of printing greatly exceeding the costs of printing solution.
  • Expanding the number and availability of printers (even color printers) throughout campus.
  • Prevent runaway printing costs from requiring a rise in tech fees.

Students pay a lot of tech fees each semester. Why do I only get $20.00 for printing?
$20.00 is simply the total of a comparative cost of printing (5 cents per page) multiplied by 300 pages. So the real question is – "how was the 300 page level determined?" It's very difficult to determine what a reasonable amount of printing for a wide range of students would be. A decision needed be made to decide on an allotment that would accommodate most student's printing needs, persuade students to think twice about what they actually need to print, promote methods to conserve the amount of pages printed and set a level comparable to other colleges. We are well aware that 300 pages are insufficient for many students. Some students print thousands of pages every semester. The question for these students is – "should the printing budget cover all the printing that you want to do?" Other students who pay tech fees believe that a very 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, dial-in time, Internet download bandwidth to name a few. Here again is the intention to make the service freely available and establish reasonable limits to control excess use or abuse which would result in higher costs to everyone or affect other's 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 5 cents per page for black and 90 cents per page color. Be aware that printing was never free and even the cost of ink in your personal printer is quite expensive.

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

CollegePrinting Policy
University of MN DuluthNo free printing, $0.07 per page.
St. Cloud State University200 free pages per semester, $0.04 per page after that.
University of MinnesotaNo free printing. Punch card purchases $0.10 per b&w page and $1.00 per color page.
University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire Students must supply their own paper.
St. Scholastica200+50 (covering printing problems) free pages per semester, $0.03 per page after that.
Winona State University$500 semester laptop fee includes free printing.
University of Colorado, Boulder50 free pages per semester, $0.07 per page after that.
University of KentuckyNo free printing, $0.10 per b&w page and $0.50 per color page.
YaleNo free printing, $0.10 per page.
University of North Dakota$8.00 for 200 pages per semester, $0.10 per b&w page and $0.50 per color page after that.
University of Washington $0.10 per sheet. No Free printing.
Dartmouth Free with print management
University of Arizona $0.10 per page
University of Virginia No more free printing.
Other colleges  
Kinko's$0.50 per b&w laser printer page, $0.08 per page for b&w copies, $0.89 per color laser printer page.
MSU Copy Shoppe $0.10 per page, cash; color copies/prints $0.49 per page, cash (Wiecking Copy Shoppe only)

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, particularly those who have laptop access on campus.

In addition to the institutions above, a number of MSU students were asked what they feel would be adequate. Most students felt that 100 – 300 pages per semester were normal (depending on the class/instructor). Several groups of students have responded that they typically print well over 1000 sheets per semester.

What is sufficient? With statistics available through MavPRINT it will be easy to determine if 300 pages is adequate or if many students will go beyond this level. However, it will take a semester or two to determine how this service is being used by students. MavPRINT will also provide trends over longer periods of time and allow the placement of printers where they are most needed and used.

What happens when I use up my MavPRINT account?
You can add additional value to your Cash Account and print additional pages at the MavCard Office, Memorial Library Copy Shoppe, or online. At the start of a new semester, the value in your Cash Account will be carried forward to following semesters, while your MavPRINT Account will be restored to an equivalent of 300 pages. Your MavPRINT Account will be depleted before your Cash Account will be used again.

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 semester, each student's account is replenished with the equivalent of 300 black laser pages. $20.00 is simply a limit equivalent to 300 pages but it is not a refundable balance.

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 since there is no way to reimburse account balances at the end of the semester. MSU will be examining ways to merge cash accounts with flex cash accounts and possibly vending accounts in the future.

Why can't faculty or staff use MavPRINT?
Student tech fee supported printing is paid for by students and is intended only for students who pay the semesterly technology fee. Faculty who are also students and pay tech fees will be allotted 300 pages per semester. Faculty who are not students will need to look to their departments to provide them with printing resources. Faculty and staff who are also students and do not pay tech fees will need to add value to their MavPRINT Cash Account for their student printing.
Note: Faculty can print in color or black laser in Memorial Library and have the page cost charged to their department.

If I have problems or questions, where do I go?
The Academic Computer Center (ACC) in Wissink Center, the Memorial Library Copy Shoppe, or call the IT Services Help Desk at 507-389-6654.

I have printed from a computer. Why when I login on the MavPRINT Release Station don't I see my print jobs?
Check to find out if you are logged onto the computer with the same MavAccount username. In Windows, hold down the Ctrl-Alt and then press the Delete key. You will see campus/username displayed. If this is not you, you will need to logoff and login with the same MavAccount username and password that you use on the MavPRINT Release Station. Remember to log off when finished.
Laptop and Macintosh users must be logged into their computer with the same MavAccount username that you would use at the MavPRINT Release Station. If you have problems, call or stop by the ITS Help Desk.

Can students who typically use a greater number of prints, such as grad students, be allocated more "free" printing?
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 print shop. 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 300-page allocation needs to be changed.

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

If the printer jams, will I still be charged for prints?
Print jobs submitted to the printer are charged against your MavPRINT Account balance. Report the print jam and your print job can be reprinted at a working printer. The ACC or Memorial Library Copy Shoppe can reprint your job – this time at no charge.

What happens if I try to a two-page document and I only have $.05 in my MavPRINT account?
You will not be able to submit print jobs that deplete your accounts. Add sufficient value in order to print.

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

Where do I go for a refund?
Bring the unreadable page(s) to the ITS Help Desk located on the 3rd floor of Memorial Library.

I have a 300 page thesis. Is there somewhere else on campus I can print without using my whole 300 page allotment?
You can purchase additional pages at the MavCard Office, Memorial Library Copy Shoppe, or online. If you require special paper, binding, or other needs you can visit one of the seven Copy Shoppes or Kinko's for specialized printing services.

Do College of Business students have a $20.00 limit?
Yes, College of Business students have the same 300 page limits as other students for campus MavPRINT printers. COB students also pay a semesterly program fee that accommodates additional printing at 5 COB printers within Morris Hall and Armstrong Hall.

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 have always paid for "free" printing. Printing use, abuse, costs for toner, paper, and recycling are increasing and students might feel better knowing 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.

If printing is such a problem, shouldn't staff in the ACC and Library be monitoring what is being printed?
The realistic way to control printing is to have each student control their 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.

Having to use a Release Station in the classroom causes lines and delays particularly during tests. Can anything be done to eliminate print release stations in these computer classrooms?
ITS and ACC are looking at alternatives that will speed up printing in the classroom labs.

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

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

I printed a document and it didn't show up in the MavPRINT Release Station. Did I get charged?
No, you are only charged when you release a print job to the printer using the MavPRINT Release Station. The document could 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.