7 ways to Survive the Printing Quota (on a Poor College Student budget)

Student stands in front of printer
Student Samantha Allison puzzles over her printing dilemma.

This semester Duquesne has instituted a thousand page per semester printing quota (like most other universities) to begin in March. Students will no longer be able to print for free after 1,000 pages, but can choose to pay for more. Yikes! While the quota is cost effective, it is very daunting for many students. From experience in both health sciences and liberal arts, I know how difficult can be to limit what you print when you have slides and articles each week for many of your classes.

In light of Duquesne’s new printing quota, here are 7 strategies to avoid going over the deadline and/or become bankrupt.

    1. Keep track of every page you print. If you want to do it old school, write it down. Or as a son or daughter of the technology age you can also track it on your, iPhone or ipad/tablet using free apps like Counter+ and Tally Counter.
    2. Print multiple pages per slide. Most people can comfortably read the equivalent of four slides or two pages on one sheet of paper.

      a screenshot of multiple pages per sheet
      Two pages of an article on one piece of paper remains readable.
    3. Make your font size (on papers) smaller only if your professor is okay with it. Do it reasonably though.  Going from a 12 pt font to a 10 pt font is doable. Anymore might get you a furrowed brow, even from the most understanding academic.
    4. Pare your printing down to the essentials.  If you need to discuss an article for a class, for example, and don’t like depending on electronic devices, take down paper notes of key points and statements and then discuss from your notes.  (Maybe bring an electronic copy of the article as backup.)

So what if the unthinkable happens and you do exceed the printing quota while being a broke college student like me? Here are some ways to save “moolah”.

  1. Use your nook, ipad, tablet, laptop and/or iphone to read your notes or slides off of.  Some software like Lumireader can even allow you to add in notes and highlights digitally.
  2. Develop an eidetic memory and/or psychic powers. ( No, seriously, don’t try, that was a joke. 😛 )
  3. If you’re one of those people who need a pen and paper for their notes, it might be worth your while to print your notes, etc. on your own printer. There are ways you can save even more money on ink and paper, like by getting your cartridges refilled and by printing on both sides of a page.

Good luck with the printing and spring coursework. You’ve got this! (And, of course, if you’ve got any more tips of your own, send them our way!)


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