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PaperCut Account Management

PaperCut is a quota-based print management system designed to monitor and control campus network printing resources; this allows Hamilton to reduce printing costs and environmental impact. The system was piloted during the spring and fall 2010 semesters. It became fully operational on January 17, 2011.

For more information on how to print, click the following link: Printing at Hamilton College.

PaperCut™ Print Management

  • Individual student quotas are as follows (and are restarted on the first day of classes each semester):

    Seniors - $70
    Juniors - $65
    Sophomores - $45
    First years - $30

  • Student organizations that have access to printing will have their quotas set at $25. Requests for additions to student organization quotas are made to Noelle Niznik in the Student Activities Office. 
  • Students who work for faculty and have substantial printing as part of their job will be able to obtain (top-up) cards to increase their quotas from their faculty supervisor. A note has been sent to all faculty members.
  • Any students on campus during the summer are assigned a quota of $28.
  • Any students with special needs should contact Allen Harrison (aharriso) for adjustments to their quotas.

Charges for printing are as follows:

  • Black and white printing will cost .05 for single-sided printing
  • Black and white printing will cost .07 for two-sided duplex printing (a discount of 30%)
  • Color printing will cost .15/side.

When students deplete their provided free print quota, they can add money to their PaperCut accounts directly from their Hill Cards using their PaperCut account details page. See Accessing PaperCut below.

Accessing PaperCut

PaperCut lets you view the history of things you printed and displays various details about the printouts. Your print usage is summarized in graphical form with approximations of environmental impact. Any questions about how to access your PaperCut account, see your balance, or add money to your quota can be answered by the ITS Lab Consultants, located on the first floor of the Burke Library or by contacting the ITS Help Desk at x4181.

From a Lab, Classroom or Office Computer:

  1. Go to the PaperCut Program and click details.

PaperCut Balance on MacPaperCut Balance on Windows

  1. Sign in with your MyHamilton username and password.

From your Personally-Owned Computer:

  1. Go to the website
  2. Depending on your browser, you may see a message about the website's security certificate.
    1. Internet Explorer: Select Continue to this website.
    2. Firefox: Select Add an exception.
  3. Enter your MyHamilton username and password. That will bring you to the PaperCut Management Page.

Managing PaperCut

Summary gives you a summary of your PaperCut usage, including your environmental impact.

Rates list the current prices for printing.

Redeem Card allows you to add funds to your PaperCut account through a card purchased from ITS.

Transaction History details your transactions for the past fifteen days.

Recent Print Jobs lists your specific print jobs for the past fifteen days.

Jobs Pending Release states which jobs are queued to be printed.

Web Print allows you to print to any printer remotely. See here for details.

Add Credit From Hill Card allows you to add funds to your PaperCut account from your Hill Card.

Log Out securely takes you off the PaperCut management page.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the quotas?
    Seniors - $70 (approximately 2000/sides/semester)
    Juniors - $65
    Sophomores - $45
    First year students - $30 (approximately 850/sides/semester)
  2. What are the printing costs that will be deducted from the print quotas?
    Black and white printing will cost 5 cents for single-sided printing
    Black and white printing will cost 7 cents for 2-sided duplex printing (a discount of 30%)
    Color printing will cost .20/side.
  3. How can I get a refund when I experience a printing problem?
    If there is a problem with your printout (e.g., paper jam, low print quality) you can request a refund by logging into your PaperCut account details page (, clicking Recent Print Jobs, and using the Request Refund option for the print job that failed. Once submitted, the system triggers an email that will alert us that a refund has been requested to which we can approve or deny.
  4. What if I go over quota?
    To assist you in managing your Papercut quota, you will receive a low balance notification when your balance reaches $5.00. You are also allowed an overdraft limit of $2.00. Once you reach the overdraft limit you will have to add to your quota in order to print.

    The quota is based on data collected in the spring and fall 2010 semesters and from peer institutions and should be sufficient for all printing supporting the academic program. It takes into consideration all varieties of courses. Quotas will be restarted between semesters. The data for each semester will enable us to fine tune the quota system for the following semester. Individuals who go beyond their quota can add credit from their Hill Card by logging into their Papercut account details page (see above).
  5. How can I print for my student organization?
    Student organizations approved through the Office of Student Activities will be allowed to print for their organization only (no personal use) using their organization's account.
  6. When did the quota system go live?
    We started collecting data on Tuesday, September 7, 2010 at 8 a.m. The system became fully operational on January 17, 2011.

Background History

In 2008-2009, the faculty Committee on Information Technology recommended that we investigate systems for managing printing on campus to help reduce perceived paper waste (save trees), reduce Hamilton’s carbon footprint and reduce energy consumption. A task force was set up including faculty, representatives of the library, ITS, and students to evaluate alternatives. In the summer of 2009 PaperCut™ was selected and a pilot use of the product was conducted during the spring 2010 semester in all the ITS computer labs. The purpose was to gather data on usage and to test out the user interface.

At the same time we surveyed our peer institutions about the quota systems they used. We set the initial quotas based on the 90th percentile of usage in spring 2010. That is, 90% of the students in each class year would be able to do all the printing without exceeding the quota. This was the methodology used by most of our peers and it turns out that Hamilton’s quotas are higher than those of our peers.

Most academic departments also asked us to restrict access to their department printers to only faculty and staff in the departments. This was also implemented using PaperCut.

For the fall 2010 we tried out all the elements of the system. Students were not be charged if they went  over their quota. At the end of the semester we  studied the data for students who exceeded their quotas to determine if adjustments needed to be made based on their academic programs. The system became fully operational for the start of spring 2011 semester. The ultimate goal of this project is to save institutional resources (by reducing Hamilton’s carbon footprint, saving trees and reducing energy consumption) without adversely affecting the academic program.

Using PaperCut, students are assigned a quota limit for free printing ranging from approximately 850/sides/semester for first year students to 2000/sides/semester for seniors.

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Last updated: October 25, 2018


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