Laser Printing Fees Begin This Semester

Posted: August 29, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Since the 1995-96 academic year, the volume of printing in the university’s academic computer labs and libraries has increased tenfold, from an average of 41 pages to 520 pages per year, per student. In response to the skyrocketing printing volume and associated costs, a printing fee of five cents per page will be implemented in the libraries and general academic computer labs. Installation of print management systems is expected in mid-September.

The decision to charge for laser printing was made after consultations with members of student government last spring. At the Student Senate’s recommendation, students will receive 100 free pages per year, worth $5, paid in the form of a tuition credit.

“The fee for printing will help us recoup only the cost of printer paper and toner–the university will continue to absorb the costs of equipment, software, and associated maintenance costs,” says Joy Hughes, vice president for Information Technology. “By recouping the costs for the consumable supplies, we will be more able to focus the university’s Information Technology budget resources on providing the most advanced computers, printers, and software possible.”

George Mason joins a growing number of colleges and universities that charge students for computer printouts. A survey of ten public Virginia colleges and universities revealed that eight charge for printing at an average cost of eight cents per page.

“Easy access to computing and information resources has resulted in an explosion of on-campus printing–over 13 million pages were printed last academic year in the library and computer lab facilities,” says John Zenelis, university librarian. “The alternative to charging for printing is to scale back significantly on information technology and electronic scholarly resources, returning to the days when everything had to be photocopied by the user–hardly a desirable solution.”

For more information, visit the University Libraries website.

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