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UR Printing FAQs

Charging/Rate Related Questions

Technical Related Questions





Charging/Rate Related Questions

What is a printing account, and how do I use it?

Every College undergraduate is given a printing account that is tied to their student ID. This account contains funds added by a student using the Online Interface. Money in this account carries over each year until the student leaves the university by graduating or transferring, at which point funds in excess of $5 will be refunded on their final term bill. Please note that a minimum of $5 and a maximum of $100 can be added in a 24 hour period.

Funds will first be deducted from the printing account. When printing funds are depleted, funds will be drawn from the Flex account.

Who is charging for Printing?

University Information Technology and the River Campus Libraries are charging for printing from all of their publicly accessible computers.

Why are charges being instituted?

There are several reasons driving the need for a pay-for-print solution. The most important factor is to enable University IT and the Libraries to provide better quality printing to students and faculty using the public computing facilities and libraries. In recent years it has grown increasingly difficult to offer reliable, quality printing. Secondarily, the massive amount of waste that been seen in recent years has continued to grow. Students and faculty routinely print documents that they never pick up. Studies showed that in the IT Center alone, an average of approximately 14,000 sheets of paper were left in recycle bins each week.

What are alternatives to paying for printing?

It is possible to save documents, library database search results, course reserves/notes etc. to disc or networked file storage, or to email them to yourself. You can then print them on your own printer or departmental printers. The other alternative is to use paper and pencil to record citation lists, and transcribe course notes.

How will I pay for my printing?

Just like photocopying, you can use your ID card (utilizing your Flex account), or purchase a visitor card to pay for printing. Visitor cards can be purchased for $1 at the value transfer stations located throughout the libraries. The printer stations will not accept cash.

College Students also have a Print Account tied to their University ID. Funds can be added to this account using this Online Interface.

What if I need to add money to my card?

You can add money to your University ID, Visitor card or Print Account at the value transfer stations throughout the Libraries. College Students can also add funds to their Printing Account using this Online Interface.

What will the cost for printing be?
Simplex (one side) black and white printing is $.10 per sheet.

Duplex (two side) black and white printing is $.18 per sheet.

Simplex color printing is $.25 per sheet.

Duplex color printing is $.48 per sheet.

 How were these amounts determined?

The charges are based on the cost of the system, including the new hardware, software, paper, toner, and other related support costs.

How does this compare to other institutions?

At the time of implementation most institutions either have implemented or were in the process of evaluating pay for print systems. Here is a list of print programs that were in place at other institutions with whom the University of Rochester often benchmarks.

  • Cornell University - Charges students $0.10/page, since 1996.
  • Harvard University - Charges students $0.10/page, students need to use Crimson Card.
  • Yale University - Charges students $0.10/page b&w, $0.75/color, use both network logons and ID cards for chargeback.
  • MIT - Charges $0.10/page for copies and prints, students need to buy a Vendacard.
  • Johns Hopkins - Charges $0.10/page when using cash, $0.06 page when using student ID card , they do offer color as well, since at least 1996.
  • Northwestern - Charges $0.08/page, students need to use Wildcard.
  • University of Washington - Charges $0.10/page, students need to use Husky card, also accept cash, check and charge, print jobs sent to copy centers.

What happens if I make a mistake?
You should preview your work by using the application's Print Preview capability before sending it for printing. It is your responsibility to do so and determine if there are problems.

You CANNOT cancel a job once you have authorized it at a Print Release Station. You can, however, choose not to release unwanted jobs. Jobs not released will be deleted after 4 hours.

How can I get a refund?

Refunds are not offered by University IT or the River Campus Libraries. If the UR Printing group is contacted within ten hours of the print job having been sent, the document can be re-printed at no additional charge to the patron under the following circumstances: the reprint request is due to poor or damaged output (faded output or lost pages due a jam), and the print job was properly formatted in the first place. If pages are lost due to a PDF or JPG formatting issue, the document will need to be correctly re-sent by the patron, and these situations are not eligible for a free re-print.

Refunds will only be offered to students who are leaving the University and have funds in excess of $5 remaining in their printing accounts.

How does tax exempt status get applied?

Only charges made to Department Copy Cards are tax exempt. When using a Department Copy Card to print, the print job cost with the tax subtracted will be shown once the patron swipes the card at the release station. As an example, a twelve-page duplex print job (Six double-sided pieces of paper) that would have cost $1.08 for Student/Staff/Faculty and Visitor cards including sales tax will cost $1.00 for Department Copy Cards after the tax is subtracted.

How do I get a departmental copy card?

To get a new departmental copy card or make a change to an existing card, contact the IT Help Desk at 275-2000 or submit a request online through the IT Self Service system.

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Technical Related Questions


What do I do if the printer doesn't work?

Go to the nearest information/service desk for assistance. Don't hesitate to ask for help.

I just sent a 100 page job to the Black and White printer, but I don't want to pay $10.00 for it. What do I do?

Don't do anything. The job will be deleted from the queue after 4 hours.

I am trying to print a document from Blackboard, but it is not coming out. What is wrong?

The problem is most likely due to the web browser that you are using. Printing from a browser that is not supported by Blackboard can result in a number of problems, including lost pages, or the printer getting stuck on a print job. For more information on which browsers should be used for accessing Blackboard, please refer to the supported browsers page on the University of Rochester Blackboard site.


The release station says "failure to connect" when I swipe my card. What is wrong?

The problem is most likely due to the release station having lost contact with the print server due to an extended period of inactivity. Wait about ten seconds, and then reswipe your card. If the release station is still unresponsive after a few swipes of the card, then contact the UR Printing support group.


I just printed an odd number of pages, but I was charged for an even number. What happened?

This was a frequent problem that has been addressed with recent server updates. If it does occur, it is caused by how Microsoft sends print jobs with an odd number of pages to a printer set to duplex printing. In order to get the final sheet of paper to print, Microsoft sends a final blank page. This is a result of how Microsoft writes their software. We recommend that you print the last page separately from the even pages, and print it as 'simplex'. If you are printing single pages from Internet Explorer, then you need to make sure that you set the printer to 'simplex'.

The printer says "MANUAL FEED" and I can't get to that tray because it is locked. What do I do?

Please see the answer to the next question.

The printer says "LOAD MBF". What do I do?

The printer is indicating that either a print has been sent to the printer as a manual feed job, or the paper size for the document is something other than 'letter' (8.5 by 11 inches). On the control panel press the upper right-hand button ("Value Up"), then press the lower left hand button (the 'enter' arrow) to confirm that you want to continue printing using the default paper tray. Your print job will then print normally on the 'letter' sized paper loaded in the printer.

NOTE: If you force a document that is formatted for a size other than 'letter', the page formatting will very likely be messed up. In this case best option is to go back to your document, set the page setup to LETTER, and print again.

If you need to print on special paper, please see the following question.

I need to print on special paper, but the manual feed tray is locked. What do I do?

Manual feed printing is only possible at the IT Center. Please be aware that you should only use paper or transparency material that is appropriate for the type of printer that you are using. In the case of the black-and- white laser printers (HP LaserJet 8150's, Xerox Phaser 5400's), you must use material that is specifically for laser printers; transparencies rated safe for copiers is not always safe for laser printers.

The release station says "SQL server timed out". What do I do?

This is most frequently caused by a delay in the communication between the release station and the server. Try swiping your card again after several seconds.

When I print multiple copies of an Excel document, it creates a separate job for each copy.

This is a known issue with Microsoft, and is unavoidable.;en-us;211474

Will my Departmental Copy Card or Guest Card work with the new printing system?

Maybe. Some department cards will work, and others won't. If your department card does not work, you will need to request a new one.

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I'm trying to print a JPEG from Photoshop on a Macintosh, but the printer is spitting out garbage (code). How do I remedy this?

To prevent this from happening, in the Print dialogue box in the "Photoshop" options menu, make sure the encoding is set to "JPEG" and not "BINARY."

I sent a job from an eMac in the IT Center minutes ago and it still hasn't shown up in the queue.

On the eMacs in particular, it may be a few moments before the system accepts your job. Just wait at the computer for a few moments after you hit Print for the pop up box to appear.

I'm printing a PDF on an eMac, but it's printing with a grey background. What's wrong?

To solve this, save the PDF file to the hard disk, and print it using Adobe Acrobat. If you don't know how to save the file, ask a consultant.

I'm trying to print multiple copies of an odd-page document on a Macintosh, but page one of the second copy is printing on page 3 of the first. How do I separate the copies?

On the Macintosh, there are two collate checkboxes. To solve the duplexing problem, uncheck the one in the Microsoft Word dropdown print menu.

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I'm trying to print a PDF document but there are missing pages. How can I make sure this doesn't happen?

1: Make sure you click the Print button on the Adobe Acrobat toolbar, not on the browser.

2: Make sure you DO NOT print the PDF as an image. In some cases printing a PDF as an image will work, but for the majority of the files, you do not want this setting enabled.

3: Double check for simplex/duplex problems.

How can I make suggestions on making the system work better?

The IT Center has a suggestion box for your ideas. Please feel free to write out your suggestions and place them there or send e-mail to

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