RPI Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. What is the Responsible Printing Initiative?
A. The Responsible Printing Initiative (RPI) is the project name for an effort led by ITS to keep the printing costs for students as low as possible, to reduce waste, to save Technology Fee funds for investment in new or improved information technology services for students, and to gain efficiencies in the printing process.
A new print-management system called GoPrint has been installed in all public computer clusters and the campus libraries.
Under the RPI, each Bison Bucks card holder will be able to print a fixed number of copies at no charge (a "printing allocation"). Once a patron expends the printing allocation, any additional printing in public labs will be charged to the individual's Bison Bucks account. Printing allocations and charges will be handled like any other Bison Bucks charge.
Q. Do I need my Bison Card to print in the computer clusters? What do I have to do to print these jobs?
A. Yes. Continue to print the same way you always have. The only difference is that your job does not immediately start printing. You will have to release your print job after it has been sent to the printer. To do this, go to one of the print release stations located next to the printers. Step-by-step instructions on releasing your job are posted on the release stations.
Q. Will I be charged for printing?
A. Once you expend the printing allocation, printing rates will be 3 cents per page for black and white and 15 cents per page for color. These are the same rates charged against the printing allocation. Color printing is offered in the following locations: Library 118, Downtown 420, and the IACC 150.
The per-page rate is determined by the number of sides printed, rather than the number of pages. Therefore, if you print both sides of a single page, you will be charged 6 cents, not 3 cents.
Q. What does a “printing allocation” mean?
A. The printing allocation is actually "printing dollars" that have been allocated for each student each semester. The amount of the printing allocation is set by Information Technology Services (ITS) based on the amount of funding allocated for printing by the Technology Fee Advisory Committee and expected use.
When you select a job and "swipe your card" at the PayStation, you will be told the printing allocation balance (in printing dollars) and your Bison Bucks balance (or Bison Charge remaining credit) before you approve the job.
You may check your Bison Bucks and "printing" balances using the "Bison Card" tab on Blackboard.
If you do not receive the printing allocation you expect, please contact the ITS Help Desk by phone at 231-8685 (option 1) or in person in IACC 150.
Q. When will I receive my printing allocation?
A. The printing allocations are usually added the week before the first day of classes. For example, if classes begin at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 8, the allocations will most likely be added sometime the previous week for students registered that semester.
Please note: All allocations are reset to zero a day or two before Fall Semester begins. Then the printing allocations are added for students registered for Fall Semester. For example, if classes begin on Monday, August 20, all allocations will probably be reset to zero the prior week and then printing allocations are added to accounts of students registered for Fall Semester on the same day. This can take a few hours. At the start of Spring Semester and Summer Sessions any printing allocation will be carried over into the next term and the printing allocation for currently enrolled students is just added to the balance.
NDSU employees who take courses also pay the Technology Fee and are eligible for the printing allocation. However, these allocations have to be manually identified and added based on tuition waivers requested so it can take a few more days for them to be entered.
If you are registered for classes and have not received your printing allocation after classes have begun please contact the ITS Help Desk by phone at 231-8685 (option 1) or in person in IACC 150. Please contact the Help Desk promptly to avoid paying for printing that would normally be covered by your printing allocation.
Q. What will be the printing allocation per student?
A. The printing allocation for students is the equivalent of 500 black and white pages for each Semester. Unused pages allocated for Fall will be carried over into Spring and Summer Semesters.
All printing allocations will be reset to zero in August of each year. This will usually be done a few days before classes begin for the next Fall Semester to allow time to start over with new allocations for the new semester and fiscal "printing" year. In other words, printing allocations will carry over from Fall to Spring to Summer but will not be carried over for the next Fall Semester.
Q. Where can I use my printing allocation?
A. The printing allocation is only used at GoPrint PayStations. At the present time, GoPrint is used in all the computer clusters operated by ITS, the campus libraries, and computer clusters in departments which have joined the program (e.g., Ag. and Biosystems Engineering). The printing allocation is not used in the Union copy shop or in copiers in the library. These other services will draw funds from Bison Bucks.
Q. Can I print to the GoPrint printers from my laptop or residence hall computer?
A. Yes, you may print to selected clusters from your laptop computer. Instructions on printing from your laptop are now available. If you are connected to the network via wireless you must have a secure wireless connection before you can print. The instructions also include information for printing to selected residence hall clusters.
Q. Will I receive a refund if I don’t use my entire printing allowance in a semester?
A. No. The printing allocation is not real money. It is used to manage limited resources and allocate them fairly.
Q. Is duplex printing available?
A. Yes. Duplex printing is available in the main Library reference area and in IACC 150. The per-page rate is determined by the number of sides printed, rather than the number of sheets. When using duplex printing, if you print one side of a single page, you will be charged 6 cents, not 3 cents. You will always be charged for an even number of pages.
Q. Why am I sometimes charged for more pages than I am printing?
A. When you print multiple pages on one side of a sheet, the print job may not be interpreted accurately by the GoPrint software that calculates the number of pages and cost of the job. We are working to update the software to avoid this problem. However, you should always verify the number of pages to be printed before releasing the job.
In some cases, there is an alternative way to do the "n-up" printing (e.g., 2 or 4 pages imaged on one side of a page) that will be correctly interpreted. For example, specifying the format in the application instead of the printer settings might help. The intent is to charge per side printed, and we want to encourage conservation of resources.
If you cannot find a work-around to avoid the extra charges, please contact the ITS Help Desk via phone at 231-8685 (Option 1), in person in IACC 150, or via e-mail at NDSU.HelpDesk@ndsu.edu .
Q. Can Tri-College students still print at NDSU?
A. Yes. Tri-College students whose home campus is not NDSU may purchase a special Tri-College Bison Bucks card for $5. Students can then add a balance of funds to be used for printing and other goods and services wherever Bison Bucks are accepted on campus.
Q. What if my job fails to print?
A. Go to File, then Print, and select “REPRINTS.” Call the ITS Help Desk (231-8685) to have this print job released at your location. The Help Desk will ensure you are charged only once for the print job.
If you are having any problems printing, we encourage you to immediately contact the ITS Help Desk by phone at 231-8685 or in person at IACC 150.
Q. How can staff and faculty print?
A. ITS will fund a very small emergency printing allocation of 20 pages for faculty and staff for the year (August 2008 - August 2009). The emergency allocation is meant to provide a way for an employee to print a page or two if necessary while using the computer clusters. Additional printing can be paid for by individual Bison Bucks or Bison Charge accounts. These are established through the Bison Card Center. In addition, the Bison Card Center is working on a program similar to Bison Bucks to be used for departmental charges.
NDSU employees who are taking classes and pay the technology fee are also eligible for the student printing allocation for the semester. This is a manual process so please contact the Help Desk (231-8685 or IACC 150) if the allocation has not been provided after a few days of class or before printing.
Q. What can faculty do to avoid large printing bills for students?
A. It will be important to look at more efficient ways of delivering printed materials. For example, the NDSU Bookstore can work with faculty to develop printed "course packs," obtain copyright clearances, and sell the materials.
Q. What if I still have questions about RPI?
A. If you have questions about cluster printing or problems printing please contact the ITS Help Desk via phone at 231-8685 (option 1) or in person in IACC 150.