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Printing – Frequently Asked Questions

How did MSU arrive at a $40 per semster print allowance?

Based on data gathered and surveying of other institutions, the $40 print allowance will satisfy 90% of the campus community’s printing needs. That is, less than 10% of students print more than 800 pages during the semester.

What does it cost to print at MSU?

Above the $40 of free printing, students pay .05 cents per single-sided page, .07 cents per double-sided page for black and white printing and .65 cents for a single-sided color printing on 8½ x11 paper at public site printers.

How does MSU's print allowance compare to other colleges and universities?

Through our research, we learned that MSU has one of the more generous printing allowances and one of the lowest price-per-print after the allowance has been satisfied. Nearly all colleges and universities charge for printing, and many of those do not offer allowances.

My degree program requires me to print a lot. Is it possible to get more than $40 worth of free printing?

After the annual print allowance is exhausted, any additional print costs will be your responsibility. You also have the option of printing to a personal printer.

I didn't use all of my printing allowance. Can I get a cash refund?

No. If you don’t use your print allowance each year, you’ve done your part to contribute to MSU’s commitment to sustainability and to help save trees and money.

How often are print allowances reset?

On the start day of each semester, all MSU students will receive a $40 print allowance.

Can I carry over a balance from year-to-year?

No. There is no trading, combining, or year-to-year carryovers. Credits will only be considered if it’s determined that your print job failed. Printing allowances are reset each August.

How can I check my printing allowance balance?

If you are using a public site computer, your current account balance will appear directly on the PaperCut gadget on the desktop screen. Alternately, you can check your balance as well as your print job history by logging into your PaperCut account. In addition, you will also receive an email notification when your print allowance has dropped to $5.00 in order to make you aware of a low balance.

How do I add money to my PaperCut account?

As long as you have money on your Red Hawk Dollars account, you will be able to print and it will be deducted “on-demand”. To add money to your account, please go to the Red Hawk Dollars page.

Where can I print?

You can print to an available printer in any MSU Public Computing Lab from one of the lab computers.

Can I print from my laptop?

Yes. You can utilize Webprint Service to submit print jobs from your own computing device and release them at designated “release stations” in UNIV5008 and Sprague Library Laptop Lending labs.

What happens if my print job fails?

If your print job fails, no deduction from your print allowance should occur. If it does or if you think there is a discrepancy with your allowance, please log into your PaperCut account to request a refund. Please be as detailed as possible while describing the reason for the request.

I'm not affiliated with MSU. Can I print?

Due to the fact that users must be authenticated to the PaperCut server with a valid MSU NetID, non-affiliated guests will not be able to print at the public sites.

Where do I go for help?

If you are having trouble printing, please see a staff member at the front desk or call MSU Service Desk at 973-655-7971 option 1 for assistance.