Iowa State University

ITInformation Technology

Printing for Students (PaperCut)


Students can print documents on any networked printer on campus through the use of a commercial software program called PaperCut.


PaperCut makes printing on campus easy and accessible. Students can:

  • Access network printers in more places throughout campus
  • Experience a consistent printing interface
  • Pay for printing with student technology fees (reviewed by the Computation Advisory Committee), departmental printing allowances, and U-Bill charges

Printing Units

Pages printed using PaperCut are counted in "units." One unit is equal to one cent. Black-and-white printers across campus charge a uniform $0.05 (or 5 units) per page for letter- and legal-sized paper. Color printing charges vary. PaperCut calculates the proper cost for the printer being used. Student technology fees fund a $5 per semester (or 500 units) print allowance for all students. Some colleges and departments provide additional funding. There are signs next to most networked printers that indicate the cost in units to print on that particular machine.

You can login to PaperCut using your Net-ID and password to see your personal PaperCut information, including units used and remaining. Computers on campus will require you to login in order to print on networked printers.

After using up your initial 500 units and any additional units from departments, additional printing costs will be charged directly to your U-Bill, and your PaperCut balance will appear as negative. Printing charges that appear on your U-bill require a $1 minimum. However, the maximum amount that can be charged past the initial 500 units is 5000 units ($50) per semester although a student can make a request through the Solution Center for that amount to be increased.

Contact the Solution Center with questions about your PaperCut balance.