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Printing at Pierce College

Printing is provided across the district collaboratively by the student body and the college. The Student Technology Fee (STF) is used to purchase and supply printers in public access and student areas, and the college provides daily maintenance and technical support. A computer-based print management system called PaperCut provides access and account management for all users.

The objectives of the colleges print support program are to:

  • Provide equitable and supportive printing options for students
  • Encourage responsible printing choices
  • Reduce the amount of printing waste generated
  • Exercise responsible stewardship of financial and environmental resources
  • Control expenses while providing printing resources to support students' academic success

On campus printing is intended for materials that support student academic work. Please use off-campus printers for personal, non-academic printing. For student club and other school-related, yet not academic, printing (such as student club flyers, newsletters, posters, etc.), please contact the Student Life offices for information.

Printing inappropriate material, as outlined in the Pierce College Information Systems Resources (CISR) Acceptable Use Policy, is prohibited.

Quick Links

Getting Started with Printing

How does printing work?

Printing is as easy as 1-2-3. When you are ready hit print, log into PaperCut with your codes when prompted, confirm your print job and release it for printing, and collect your documents at the printer. The system will automatically log out after each print job, but to be safe it is best if you log yourself out.

Where can I print?

Computers available for student use can be found across the district. The library and computer labs are your best resources but PaperCut is connected to all available printers.

How much does it cost?

Each student currently taking for credit classes at Pierce College are credited with $10.00 to use for printing each quarter in a PaperCut account. That's the equivalent of 200 one sided black-and-white prints ($.05) or 50 one sided color prints($.20). You can save resources and money by printing on both sides of the page for a 20% discount or $.08 b/w double sided and $.36 for double sided color prints. Costs and account allocations may be changed to reflect price increases and the availability of funding.

How does my account get funded?

All students actively taking for credit classes, ABE (Adult Basic Education), GED (General Education Degree), ESL (English as a Second Language), and IEP (International Education Program) classes at Pierce College automatically receive a quarterly print allocation funded by Student Technology Fee and held in an electronic account within the PaperCut system. The allocation will be added to students' accounts on the first day of classes in the quarter they are registered to attend. For example if you registered for fall classes in May you will not have a printing account until classes begin that September. If you register late, after classes have started, it takes a few days for your PaperCut printing account to become available.

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: jsmith2222)
Password: PCD! And your birth date in YYYYMMDD format (example: PCD!19920328 for March 28, 1992)

I am a Central Washington University student. How are things different for me?

You must be registered with CWU Pierce College to get a printing allocation. If you are registered through some other branch of CWU, you are not eligible for supported printing. The username starts with cwu. and uses the last digits of the CWU ID number, but the rest is the same as other Pierce College students, including identical configuration of the password.

Example: cwu.cjones6789 (cwu.+ first initial and last name + last 4 of Central ID number).
Password: PCD! And your birth date in YYYYMMDD format (example: PCD!19920328 for March 28, 1992).

Maintaining Your Account

How can I check my balance?

You can check your account balance from any on campus computer by logging into your account directly. The front page gives you a quick look at what is going on with your account and the transactions tab will break down your printing in detail. Be sure to log out of your account when you're finished just to be safe!

How do I keep track of my printing?

PaperCut calculates the cost of each print job and gives you a chance to proceed to print or cancel your printing. Once you say yes to printing, it verifies that there is enough credit available in your account and automatically debits the correct amount from a student's account. You can see a history of your transactions by logging into your account and clicking on the transactions tab at the top of the page.

What if I need more money?

Your printing account starts fresh every quarter, but if you use your entire allocation and still need more printing, you can add funds to your account at any time. You can use cash or check in the library or can go to the cashiers' office to pay by debit/credit card. Since any unused funds cannot be refunded or rolled over into the next quarter, you should add only what you plan to be using that quarter. Any funds left over in accounts go directly back into the fund used to support student printing on campus.

Troubleshooting Your Account

What do I do if I can't log into my account?

First check these common trouble spots:

  • Passwords start with the capital 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. Unless you have requested that your email be changed, then your previous name will remain on your printing account also.
  • 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 actually attending 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 for assistance.
  • Is this your first time printing for the quarter? If you are still having issues printing and none of the above problems relate, try printing again in 15 to 20 minutes. The system will lock you out if you have made too many attempts, so a little time will often fix the problem.

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

Where did my money go?

If you log into your account you can view the transactions on your printing account. This includes any printing debited from or credits added to your account. If there is something that still seems wrong check with the library staff for help.

My account won't work

If you need help accessing your PaperCut account, feel free to speak with an assistant at the computer center or library personnel.

You can also contact us online and we will do what we can to get your account working or you can try the troubleshooting section to see if you can solve the issue yourself.

My prints were bad

Credits will be given only for printer malfunctions such as paper jams, smeared toner, garbled print, etc. Credits will not be given for user errors or unwanted printouts, so make sure things look correct before releasing things to print or, if quality is a factor, printing at an off-campus print shop. 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, but can help you file for reimbursement.

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.

Somebody used all my money

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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Printing

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.

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.

Can I print from my laptop?

Sorry, wireless printing isn't available yet. Students can email what they want to print to themselves and then open it on a campus computer for printing, or are welcome to save files on a flash drive and print them from a regular college computer.

I'm not a Pierce College student. Can I print on campus?

Yes. Library staff can create a printing account for guests starting for as little as $.40 and add money to the account as needed. The library staff can release small jobs and accept payment for one-time guest users, so work with them if you have questions about what to do to print. Visitors may use library computers only during certain hours as outlined on the Library's Computer Use Policy.

I'm concerned about my impact on the environment. How can I check my environmental impact monitor on PaperCut?

You can see your printings environmental impact express in terms of carbon, energy use and trees by logging into your account from any campus computer. You can save resources by choosing to print things double-sided and by choosing options that use less ink when you print. The computer defaults to print double-sided and to a font that uses less ink. You can make any other adjustments before you release the print job that may help too.

I'm a Central Washington Student. Do I also have a printing account?

Yes. Central students attending Pierce pay into tech fee and will be able to print in the same manner as Pierce College students. If the student is registered out of any other Central branch or campus, they will not have printing accounts and will have to use money put into a guest account to print.

What about Faculty/Staff?

The Doc Shop and other departmental printing resources should be the primary method for faculty and staff printing. Limited printing on student computers and instructor workstations in the Library and Computer Centers will be funded by the College to facilitate research or other impromptu work, but you should strive to limit printing using student resources. If you want to do personal printing, you can pay to open up a guest account.