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Frequently asked questions about printing are answered below.

How much does printing cost?

The cost of printing depends on the color and paper size you wish to use. Color printing is only available in the Fine Arts Center computer classroom and the Learning Commons. Pay-for-Print prices are the following:

  • Black and White: 8.5" x 11" (letter): $0.05 single side
  • Black and White: 8.5" x 11" (letter): $0.08 duplex
  • Color: 8.5" x 11" (letter): $0.35 single side
  • Color: 8.5" x 11" (letter): $0.56 duplex
  • Color: 8.5" x 14" (legal): $0.50 single side
  • Color: 8.5" x 14" (legal): $0.80 duplex
  • Color: 11" x 17" (tabloid): $0.70 single side
  • Color: 11" x 17" (tabloid): $1.12 duplex

We are trying to keep the cost we extend to the UMass community at an absolute minimum. The amount we charge covers the cost of equipment, maintenance, supplies and support.

Why charge for printing?

As more classroom materials have been placed online, IT’s printing costs skyrocketed. For example, printing for one course with 500 students and 650 pages on readings online would use 325,000 pieces of paper. With hundreds of classes posting course content online, the numbers quickly became untenable.

IT implemented this service after extensive research on viable printing options. Many other colleges and institutions, including Smith and Mt. Holyoke Colleges in our area, use pay-for-print in their classrooms and libraries.

How do I pay for printing?

Use your UCard IT print credit:

  • Current Students: Each semester, undergraduate students are given a $5 credit on their UCards (equivalent to 100 free pages of letter-sized, black-and-white printouts).

Use your UCard Debit Account. To open a UCard Debit Account:

  • New Students: If you went to a New Student Orientation, you signed the form for the UCard Debit Account. If you were 18 years or older, the account was opened. If you were under 18 years of age at that time, you needed a parent’s signature to open the account
  • Other Students, Faculty and Staff: Fill out a Debit Account application on the UMass Amherst UCard Web site or in person at the UCard office (168 Whitmore Administration Building).

Use a Guest Card:

  • You can purchase a Guest Card with $1 deposit at any of the six Value Ports (kiosks).
  • Value Ports are located in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library (lower level), the Science and Engineering Library (Lederle Graduate Research Center), the Campus Center basement, Hampden Convenience Store and the UCard Office located in the Whitmore Administration Building. 

Are there any restrictions on what or how much I can print?

You can print ANY type of document, including eReserves. To avoid printing errors and blank pages, save PDFs to your desktop or removable media and then print. Remember to always check the printing settings in your document to avoid any problems. 

If you are printing a document that contains a large number of pages (example: 20 pages or more), please break down your print job into few smaller print jobs. Example: Split 40 pages into two (2) smaller print jobs of 20 pages each.

What happens if I make a mistake?

There are several opportunities to cancel a print job during the printing process:

  • If, after you've sent a job to the Print Release Station, you decide you don't want it, you don't have to do anything. Print jobs left unclaimed in the Print Release Station's print queue, get deleted after 2 hours.
  • If, once you're at the Print Release Station, you decide that you don't want a print job, you can click Logout to return to return to Login screen and cancel your session.

UMass Amherst IT does not offer refunds on print jobs mistakenly sent to a printer from the Print Release Station.

To ensure that you get what you expect when printing, please use the Print Preview function available on most browsers and desktop software.

IT will reprint a job at no charge if problems with the printer result in:

  • unreadable print jobs
  • wrinkled or “crumpled” print jobs
  • no printout at all

To request a reprint, alert the Student Assistant on duty within 1 hour of the problem printout.

Is this system the same as the other Pay-for-Print systems on campus?

While many of the pay-for-print services deployed around campus are maintained by IT, the Library, Isenberg School of Management, and Chemistry also offer their own pay-for-print services which they maintain. These systems are independent of the IT pay-for-print system.

What types of printing can I do?

UMass Amherst IT offers:

  • Simplex (one-sided) printing on 8.5” x 11” (letter) and 11" x 17" (tabloid) paper on our black and white printers. We are working on offering other types of printing, in the future.
  • Duplex (two-sided) on 8.5" x 11" (letter), 8.5" x 14" (legal), 11" x 17" (tabloid) on our color printers and HP 9040 black & white printers.

You can print documents in color at the Learning Commons in the W.E.B. Du Bois Library and the Fine Arts Center IT Classroom. The process of getting your prints and using the pay station is the same as for regular printing.

What do I do if the printer isn’t working?

Alert the Student Consultant on duty in your IT Computer Classroom. If it is a simple problem (e.g., no paper), they will fix it immediately. The Student Consultant will alert other IT Computer Classroom staff if the problem is more serious.

I just sent a print job to the printer and now I don’t want it. What should I do?

If you find that you don’t want a print job, you don’t have to do anything. Unclaimed print jobs get deleted from the printer queue every 2 hours.

What does it mean if I get a "Balance temporarily unavailable" alert at a release station?

This means the transaction server is currently offline. You can still print. The amount will be deducted when the server goes back online.

How do I deposit money into my UCard Debit Account?

Once you've opened a Debit Account, you can make additional deposits with cash, check or credit card. Credit card deposits are accepted on the UCard Web site. You can also visit the UCard Office (168 Whitmore Administration Building) to make cash and check deposits.

Our unattended value ports in the Library, Campus Center, and Integrated Science Library (LGRC), Hampden C-Store accept cash deposits on evenings and weekends.

Where are the value ports on campus?

Use a Value Port to deposit funds in your UCard Debit Account. Value ports accept cash only. The unit also dispenses Guest Cards which can be used for campus purchases, vending, laundry, and printing and copying services. Guest Cards must have minimum $1 starting balance.

There are five Value Ports on campus:

  • Hampden Convenience Store, Southwest Residential Area
  • W.E.B. Du Bois Library, Lower Level (2 Value Ports)
  • Campus Center, Main Level
  • LGRC Lowrise, Integrated Science Library

Can I print to the IT Computer Classrooms, Learning Commons, or the Science and Engineering Library from my own computer?

Yes, use our UPrint web-based service. Simply go to, log in with your NetID and Password and upload your file. Then, take your UCard and go to any of the printers located in the Learning Commons, IT Computer Classrooms, or the Science and Engineering Library to release your print job. 

How can I check the balance on my UCard?

Check the balance on your UCard at any one of our value ports, online using our secure Web site, or at one of the Print Release Stations located in our classrooms.

What if I lose or forget my UCard?

If you lose your UCard, suspend your UCard soon as possible via the UCard Web site, or by contacting the UCard office via phone (413-545-0197). If you need to use the printing stations right away, you may do so by getting a Guest Card at any of the value ports. Please note your $5 credit does not appear on Guest Cards.

See the UCard Web site for more information on lost cards.

What if I'm not eligible for a UCard?

Some members of the UMass community (e.g., 5-college students and some NENS) are eligible to receive an IT Account, but are not eligible for a UCard.

If you are ineligible for a UCard, you can get a Guest Card with a minimum $1 deposit at any of our value ports.