Info Hub: How To Save On Printing Costs At Uni

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The next academic year is here and we’re here to help you out with how to save money on printing costs, because who doesn’t like saving their pennies?!

After all, printing can be expensive, with some research suggesting that UK students over the course of three years at university spend on average £1,000, which all adds up. Instead, you can save with our helpful guide.

Welcome to the info hub…

printing university

How Does Printing At Uni Work?

Firstly, let’s discuss a little bit about how printing at university works. At most UK universities, you get given a standard allowance and then if you need more, you can top up your printing costs online with a credit or debit card, or by using a card reader.

Essentially, you credit your online print account and then use your student ID card or manually type in your user login on the touch screen, to print your documents off in the library or wherever the printers are located on campus.

The instructions for using your campus printers will be on your university website. However, if you encounter any issues with printing at uni then there will be an IT support department for you to contact.

Printing university

1. Print Only What You Need

It might seem obvious, but if you don’t really need to print something off then don’t. Nowadays, a lot of assignments are submitted online and depending on your course, you may not need to print off any university submissions at all.

Whilst for other courses like art-based subjects, you may need to head to the printer a lot more often. Although, chances are most students will need to print off their dissertation when it comes to their final year.

For other documents though, you can save them as a PDF so you have the document available to you and you can attach it to emails or online submissions.

print only what you need

2. Be Cautious With Printing Credit

Similarly, to what we’ve just spoke about, you should only add to your print credit balance what you’re going to use, as some universities don’t offer refunds for credit that isn’t used up by the end of the academic year.

So, you don’t want to find out you added way too much to your printing account and didn’t get to use it all.

If it’s getting close to the end of university and you still have loads of credit left, you could put it to good use by offering friends to use up your credit or take time to print off important documents whether its copies of your CV or portfolio!

printing credit

3. Print In Black & White

Another obvious yet ever so important tip for printing at university, is to print in grayscale when you can to budget on printing and ink costs. Realistically, do you really need colour pages?! Probably not.

If you’re printing off an essay or a document with little to no colour, then you can print in B&W and save some money! Just go to Print Properties and change the colour settings.

Print in black and white

4. Print On Both Sides

When printing off pages at uni, try to print off on both sides of the paper as you’ll save money by using less paper. Not all printers support double-side printing though, so it’s worth checking first.

However, if you’re able to then just click printer properties and change the file you’re printing to “print on both sides”. You can even change the font size to fit more words onto one page!

Print double sided

5. Check Before You Print

Another tip to save money on everyday printing at university is to proof-read your work before you send it to print, rather than reading through the physical copy and noticing mistakes.  You should also check your document name before you click print, to ensure you don’t print off the wrong thing.

Not only will you budget but it’s also better for the environment as you won’t waste any paper on your print job!

You should all search what print service locations are on campus too, as some places may be cheaper than others to get print copy, or the devices may be a better quality in certain course departments.

Check document before printing

6. Chill With The Print Button

Another printing tip for university is something we’re all guilty of doing, hitting the print button over and over again. You may find you’ve printed off tons of copies you didn’t need or got a hefty print jobs list.

Just take a chill pill and wait to see if it loads, you can go into your printing settings and see if there’s an issue with your document or a print queue before pressing the button again.

Don’t worry, if you do find you’ve printed things off you didn’t need you most likely will be able to cancel it before you head to the university printers, as like we mentioned earlier, you’ll most likely need to sign in when you get to the machine anyway.

Print button

7. Scan Rather Than Copying

If you need multiple copies of a specific document such as for a group project, you can opt to scan it and email to whoever is required rather than printing off multiple pages.

You can email it to them straight from the printer by using the scan option, not only will you save money on printing costs but it’s actually easier than going around handing copies to everyone. This way you’ll also have proof you did give that specific someone the project notes too!

There’s even a feature on the notes app on an iphone for scanning documents which might come in handy for you whilst printing at uni!

sScanning using iphone

8. Print In Your Accommodation

Your student accommodation may have a print service you can make use of for a cheaper price than at university, or you may have an allowance included in your rent so it’s worth asking about this. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

There may even be people in your student flat with a printer who may allow you to use their own device, if you’re lucky.

Don’t just assume that it’s okay with them to use it all the time though, be polite and ask them or offer to pay, as printing costs can be expensive (as you already know, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog!)

Printing in student accomodation

9. Don’t Get A Personal Printer

We know we just said to use other people’s printers if you can, but most of the time it won’t be cost effective for you to fork out on your own printer for university.

You have to pay for the initial device cost, the paper and the ink cartilages, so it’s most likely going to be more expensive. If you have to pay for your own bills in a student flat or house, it’s going to work out more in this sense too.

Unless of course you’re doing a subject or course which requires you to print off a lot of things, then it might work out cheaper and less time consuming to have your own.

You could even split the costs between your flatmates and all chip in for one, or you could go home and use your parents’ printer when you need to, to save some coins!

Personal printer

10. Go Digital

As we mentioned earlier, sometimes going digital can be the most effective money saving technique for printing at university.

Gone are the days of printing off essays and leaving them on your lecturer’s desk or pigeonhole.

So, if you’re able to, upload your document or work virtually. Most of the time you’ll submit work and get feedback on an online system for your university so you may not need to print off much.

Chances are, if you ask your lecturer if you can choose the greener, and more affordable option with formatting your work, they’ll be fine about it. We’re in a cost-of-living crisis after all!

Working digitally

There we have it, the end of our post on how to save on printing costs at uni. Hopefully you found these tips and tricks helpful, and you’ll have more money to save on going out or visiting new places – woop!

We hope you’re looking forward to the beginning of the next uni term, it’s going to be a great academic year.

You should take a look at our blog on: Is A Digital Detox Good For Your Mental Health?