Sheets and Pricing

Students are allocated 110 subsidized sheets each semester, paid for by the Information Technology fee. You may purchase more sheets at any time.

A sheet is a basic unit used for charging for printing, and currently one sheet costs $0.05.  What constitutes a sheet?  A single piece of 8½" x 11" paper, printed either duplex (double-sided) or simplex (single-sided) in black is equivalent to one sheet.  Print jobs in color or on larger paper are charged multiple sheets for each physical piece of paper because of the increased cost of supplies.

Here is a chart of how many sheets we charge for different types of print jobs.

Print Job Price
Printer Type Paper Size Color Price Per Page Sheet Cost
Black and White Laser Printers 8½" x 11" No $ 0.05  1
Black and White Laser Printers 11" x 17" No $ 0.10  2
Color Laser Printers 8½" x 11" Yes $ 0.15  3
Color Laser Printers 11" x 17" Yes $ 0.30  6
Other types -- be sure to look at local signage

Not all labs offer printing on paper sizes larger than 8 1/2” by 11”. You can find where large-format printing on the printing locations page.

By default, a single print job is limited to 100 sheets in order to prevent you from accidentally printing too much. If you have an assignment that requires printing more than 100 sheets, you can change your Job Limit with the User Printing Management Utility.  Simply click the “Job Limit” button and reset your limit.

Common Questions

Q: Why isn't printing free?
Printers, paper, toner, and ink are all very expensive. Allowing free printing would result in many people printing documents that they do not really need and the cost would have to be shared by all students regardless of how much each prints.  Pay-as-you-go is fair to everyone.  Some instructors may request you print certain course materials; that cost should be viewed the same as the cost of other course materials such as text books.  In addition, Classroom and Lab Computing strives to be as “green” as possible and unnecessary printing would lead to more paper waste.
Q: Why are there only 110 free sheets?
The 110 subsidized sheets allocated to each person each semester allows new students to print right away, and may cover on-campus printing for those that have their own printers at home or otherwise print very little.
Q: What if I bring my own paper? Can I save money that way?
No, because of several reasons. One, the cost is not just paper, but toner, ink, and wear-and-tear on the printer. In addition, students are not allowed to open printers and touch the paper inside (if there is a paper jam please alert a lab attendant). If you need to print anything special that requires something other than the paper in CLC printers, such as labels, large maps, etc. please ask the faculty member who made the assignment for assistance. For example, the Maps Library offers services for printing large maps.
 
Q: How can I limit how much I print to save money and not waste paper?

There are several ways to limit how much you print.

  • Check and doublecheck your work (and maybe even triplecheck): Be sure to review all your work on your computer screen carefully before you print. That way, you don’t have to reprint a job due to mistakes.
  • If you do have to reprint, do not print the entire document: If you have a misspelling or got a formula wrong in a multi-page document, print only the page with the error instead of printing the entire document.
  • Look for an electronic alternative, such as using your iPad or other tablet: If you need to print materials to take notes on them, such as slides, and you have an iPad or other tablet, consider taking notes right on the device. This article talks about how a Penn State student did just that and saved money.
Q: How will I be billed?
There is no billing.   Each user has a "bank" or "wallet" of virtual "sheets" (pages).  These are used up by actual printing, and replenished by buying more with your LionCash+ account via the User Printing Management page. At the end of the semester, unused purchased pages can be returned for credit to your LionCash+ account.  Please note - you can only use LionCash+ to pay for printing, and not cash, check, credit card, or any other payment method (see more on this below).
 
Q: How do I tell how many sheets I have left?
You have several choices: (1) go to the User Printing Management page; (2) open up PSU Messages and Alerts (the paw icon on the bottom-right of the screen) when logged onto one of our Windows computers; (3) note the message you receive when you print; or (4) note the bar and totals on the left-side of https://www.work.psu.edu
 
Q: How do you keep track of printing?
A server called PALS keeps track of the printing done at the student computer labs, technology classrooms and other labs and locations participating in the printing system. We have technical information about printing if you are curious.
 
Q: Do my unused sheets from the original 110 subsidized sheets from the previous semester rollover into the next semester?
No. Everone starts each semester with a credit of 110 sheets regardless of how many were used the prior semester.  Any remaining LionCash+ purchased sheets carry over to the next semester.
 
Q: I think I got charged for a print job that did not come out; how do I request a credit?
Review our print credit policy procedures and request a credit. Often, if your document did not print, there is no charge posted for a job, but staff will review the request and look up the billing data.  Please note that any user error like printing the wrong document, printing landscape format when you wanted portrait, printing to a color printer when you wanted a black-and-white printer, etc., will not be credited.
 
Q: I don't want to use LionCash+; is there another way to purchase sheets?
No, we are only able to accept LionCash+ as payment for printing sheets.  Every student and employee has a LionCash+ account and there are many ways to deposit funds in your LionCash+ account and retrieve excess funds, many available 24/7.   Our secure purchasing system accessed via the User Printing Management page allows anyone to buy any number of additional sheets at any time from any computer.  It’s always a good idea to make sure you have enough LionCash+ to cover printing costs if you know you have a big project coming up.
 
Q: Can I print from my laptop or do I need to use a Penn State Computer?
You can print from your own computer, no matter where you are--home, your dorm room, at the HUB, etc.; see the page on Remote Printing.

Last Updated April 16, 2013