Student Printing Procedures - Home

Student printing on campus has increased greatly over the past five years as library research resources, class materials, and academic assignments have increasingly moved into electronic formats. The Student Technology Fee continues to fund most of the printing supplies for students in computer centers and libraries to ensure that students have access to printing resources in order to accomplish academic work. Supply costs have risen along with student demand for printing, and so has the occurrence of abandoned print jobs filling the recycle bins. PaperCut, a computer based print management system, has been installed to encourage responsible printing, discourage waste, and help control costs.

Each student registered for credit classes at Pierce College will be credited with $10.00 worth of free prints per quarter in a PaperCut account. That's the equivalent of 200 single sided black-and-white prints. (Double sided prints are discounted to $.08 cents.) Once a student selects "print" in a document or web page, the student will log into PaperCut, confirm the print job, the document will be sent to the printer, and the charge will automatically be deducted from the student's account. Students are welcome to add additional money to their accounts at either of the college libraries. Below is a list of frequently asked questions. Download the complete Student Printing Procedures document.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of the student printing system?
The purpose is to provide equitable and supportive printing options for students, encourage responsible printing choices, reduce the amount of printing waste, and practice responsible stewardship of financial and environmental resources.

Doesn't the Student Technology Fee pay for our printing?
Yes, Student Technology fee is used to pay for toner, printer maintenance and paper. However, needless printing and the rising cost of paper and toner leave less money for other important technology projects.

How does the student printing system work?
Printing is as easy as 1-2-3. Select print, log in to the PaperCut web-based system and confirm your print job, and collect your documents at the printer. The system will automatically log out after each print job.

How much does it cost?
Each student registered for credit classes at Pierce College will be credited with $10.00 worth of free prints per quarter in a PaperCut account. That's the equivalent of 200 one sided black-and-white prints. Single sided black-and-white prints will debit $.05 per page from the account.  Double sided prints will debit $.08 per two sided page.  Color prints will debit $.20 per side from the account.

How do I check the balance of my PaperCut account?
You can check your account balance from any on campus computer. Log into your account. Be sure to log out of your account when you're finished!

What is my username and password?
The username for PaperCut is the same as it is for your student email account. The password is part of a secure password system using a combination of letters, special characters and numbers. The username and password use the following pattern.

Username: First Initial + Last Name + Last 4 digits of Student ID# (example: jsmith 2222)
Password: PCD! And your birth date in YYYYMMDD format (example: PCD!19920328 for March 28, 1992)

What do I do if I can't log into my account?
First check these common trouble spots:

  • Passwords start with the capitol letters PCD and an exclamation point like this PCD!
  • Birthdates include the four numbers of the year you were born, followed by the month and day like this PCD!19920328
  • Have you changed your name recently? Try your previous name.
  • Is your last name more than 16 letters long? If so, please begin by removing any hyphens in your name, and then removing letters from the end of your last name to get the total number of characters in the username down to a maximum of 20 characters.
  • Are you registered for classes this quarter? Only registered students will have an account. If you are a former student from a previous quarter or are a guest at the college, please contact library staff. They will create an account for you and collect cash for any prints you would like to make.
  • Did you register a little late for classes? An account will need to be created for you. Please contact the library.

Any other questions, please speak with the computer center assistant or library personnel.

How do I add money to my PaperCut account?
Students may add additional funds to their printing accounts at the campus libraries. Library staff can add value directly to student accounts.

Cash or check will be accepted for purchases. The library is not able to accept credit or debit cards. Please see the library website for hours of operation.

Do the Tech Fee credits or cash I added stay in my account from quarter to quarter?
No. After the end of every quarter, all accounts are cleared back to zero. Each registered student will start the next quarter with $10.00 in credit from Tech Fee funds. If you need to add money to your PaperCut account, please add only what you think you'll need for the quarter. This money cannot be refunded.

Can I get cash from my account or use it to pay fees at the College?
No. This amount is provided by Student Tech Fee to ensure students have access to printing resources in order to enhance student learning and accomplish academic work. It can't be withdrawn in cash or transferred for any other purpose.

The printer malfunctioned and my printout was smeared. How do I get a credit?
Credits will only be given for printer malfunctions such as paper jams, smeared toner, garbled print, etc. Credits will not be given for user errors or unwanted printouts.

Credit for printer errors will be issued through the library. Bring the damaged prints to the Borrow desk and speak with a staff member. Computer center consultants cannot issue print credits for failed or unsatisfactory print jobs. A Print Credit Form is available for situations where it is not possible to visit the library to inquire about receiving a credit. Printed forms are available at the computer centers or online. Complete the form, attach the damaged pages, and submit to the Library within 3 business days of the printer error. Your account will be credited within 10 business days.

I forgot to log out of PaperCut when I checked my balance and someone else used my credits. Can I get a refund?
No. Printing credits can only be refunded for printer malfunctions. It's very important to log out of PaperCut when you are finished checking your account status.

Can I print from my laptop?
Sorry, wireless printing isn't available yet. Students are welcome to save files on a flash drive and print them from a computer in the computer centers or library.

I'm not a Pierce College student. Can I print on campus?
Yes. Guests will be required to pay for all printouts. Library staff can create a printing account in the PaperCut system for guests and add money to the account. Visitors may use library computers only during certain hours as outlined on the Library's policy.

I'm concerned about my impact on the environment. How can I check my environmental impact monitor on PaperCut?
You can see your printing environmental impact regarding carbon, energy use and trees by logging into your PaperCut account. Log into your account from any on campus computer. Be sure to log out of your account when you're finished!