VPrint FAQs for Students

About VPrint

Q: What is Vprint?

A: VPrint is Vassar College's print management system. This system has been in place since 2006 in an effort to cut down on paper waste and improve the printing experience throughout the campus.

Q: Why print management?

A: CIS and the Sustainability Committee found a common goal in the quest to alleviate the ecological problem of paper waste while making the user experience as simple as possible. Our research showed that the number of college's using a quota-based printing system is on the rise. These schools are seeing a significant decline in the amount of wasted paper, with little impact to their faculty and students.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Q: Why the ecological concern?

A: There are still plenty of trees and we can always grow more, right? Learning to reduce and reuse is about much more than just saving trees. Paper accounts for more than half of all trash going into landfills. Americans throw away enough paper every year to build a 12 ft high wall reaching from LA to NY. It's okay as long as we recycle, though. Transporting and recycling uses energy and contributes to pollution. It is much more effective to reduce and reuse.

Q: How do I reduce and reuse?

A: Ways to reduce:
  • Print only when necessary. Review on-screen whenever possible.
  • Print duplex (two-sided).
  • Print two-ups. If it's a draft, check to see if the application you are printing from allows you to print two reduced-size pages on one sheet of paper.
  • Print partial documents. Don't print the whole paper if you made a change to one page. Don't print a whole website if you only need a passage. Use the printer tools to print only what you need.
Ways to reuse:
  • Print drafts on the reverse side of discarded prints.
  • Use any available white space as scrap or notepaper.
  • Any paper that must be discarded belongs in the recycle bin.

Cost & Quota

Q: What is quota-based printing? Do I have to pay for it?

A: Your Vassar Student ID Card will be credited once per semester with a $32.50 credit (the equivalent of 650 prints) at no additional charge to you. Each printed 8.5" x 11" standard laser print is charged at $.05 per side against this balance.

You can print in color by sending your print jobs to the color queue (called Vassar_Color on a Mac and Vassar Color Printer on a PC) Color prints cost .15 a page, $.14 per side for double-sided. Click here to learn more about color printing using VPrint.

Nonstandard sized prints can be printed at the copy center at an additional charge.

All full-time students enrolled in classes will automatically have a quota associated with their Vassar ID Card at the beginning of each quota year. Student Assistants will also receive a quota but must first visit the circulation desk to activate their Student Assistant card.

Q: Do I get a break on duplex (two-sided) printing?

A: Yes! You will get charged only $.04 on the second side of a duplexed print or copy. In a campus-wide effort to save paper, the computers in the library and dorm clusters will default to duplex automatically unless you change this in the print dialogue on the computer. See full instructions here.

Q: The quota does not seem like enough. How was the quota assigned?

A: Last year's printing usage was evaluated and a quota was set accordingly. Based on the usage in the Fall Semester 2007 the estimation was correct. Part of adhering to a quota will lie in changing printing habits wherever possible. Do you need to print this or can you review it on screen? Do you need to print the whole document? If we worked together we can make it work for our community. As this is our pilot run, quota needs will be evaluated throughout the year.

Q: What happens to my balance at the end of the year? Can I cash out?

A: You cannot cash out. This quota is given to each account at no additional charge to you and therefore has no cash value. Remaining quota does not roll over to the next quota period. You will receive a new balance at the beginning of the next period.

Q: Can I add value to my card if I’ve used up my quota?

A: Yes. VPrint will roll-over to your VCash account once your quota is used up. You may add value to your VCash account in the following ways:

  • Using a credit card online at https://vcard-sp.blackboard.com/eaccounts
  • Using a credit card or cash at the Campus Card Office
  • Using cash at a Value Transfer Station located in the Main Building next to the Cashier’s Office and in the ACDC hallway next to the West Dining Room

Color Printing

Q: Can I use my VPrint quota to print in color?

A: NOW AVAILABLE! You can now print in color by sending your print jobs to the color queue (called Vassar_Color on a Mac and Vassar Color Printer on a PC). Color prints cost .15 a page, .14 per side for double-sided. The color printer is located in the Library. Jobs sent to this printer will be charged at the color print rate for any page in your job that has color on it. For example, if you print a 10 page paper, single-sided, and 2 pages have color, you will be charged .05 each for 8 pages and .15 each for 2 pages. A page will print color if there ANY color on the page, no matter how insignificant.

Special Case Printing

Q: I am not a not a full-time student, faculty or staff. Can I print?

A: The question is not whether or not you can print but whether or not you've been provided with a quota.

  • Special Borrowers: Special Borrowers are not supplied with a quota but can buy a VPrint card from the card machine located in the main library. The initial card costs $5 and has a value of $3.75. See Adding Value to Your Card.
  • Faculty Families: Families are not supplied with a quota but family members can still use the VPrint system to print in one of two ways. Spouses or children can purchase a VCard from the card machine in the main library. The initial card cost is $5 and has a value of $3.75. After that, the card can be loaded with funds. Otherwise, family members may request to use their ID cards for printing by sending an email to helpdesk@vassar.edu, including the ID number on the front of their card. Once your ID is in the VPrint system, faculty family members can load their cards with funds online, at the card office or any of the transfer stations. See Adding Value to Your Card.
  • Retired Faculty: Retired faculty will receive a quota equivalent to that of current faculty.
  • Alumnae: Can purchase a VPrint card. VPrint cards are available for $5 via a vending unit in the library, CIS and the Card Office and are preloaded with a $3.75 value (there's a one time charge of $1.25 per card). After purchasing a card you can add value to it. See Adding Value to Your Card.
  • Student Research Assistants: All Student assistant cards issued before the start of the fall semester 2007 are no longer active. Faculty members must complete a student assistant form [download here] including a quota amount for printing and copying. This signed form must be returned to the Circulation desk. Once the form is submitted it may take 24-48 hours for the card to be reactivated, or a new card to be issued if it is a new assistant, and for the VPrint quota to appear.

Q: I am visiting Vassar or do not have a Vassar College ID. Can I print?

A: VPrint cards are available for $5 via a vending unit in the library, CIS and the Card Office and are preloaded with a $3.75 value (there's a one time charge of $1.25 per card). After purchasing a card you can add value to it. See Adding Value to Your Card.

Features & Functions

Q: What other features does VPrint offer?


  • Printing and Copying in One High Quality Device. Yes. VPrint printers are copiers too.
  • No more lines at Print Release Stations. You release your jobs right from the printer.
  • Print from anywhere. Pick up anywhere. Send your job to the Vassar queue and pick up in the library, the dorm, CIS or wherever a VPrint printer is located. Jobs stay in the queue for 2 hours.
  • Automatic Stapling. With a few simple clicks, you can automatically have your job stapled when it comes out of the printer. See the instructions here. All public Macs and PCs are configured for auto-stapling. If you'd like to configure your personal computer, see the instructions here. Your personal Mac should require no further configuration.

Card Issues

Q: I lost my ID card. What do I do?

A: Your Vassar ID is as valuable as your credit or debit card as it gives the person in possession of it access to your VPrint quota, VCash account and your dorm. Report lost or stolen cards to the Card Office within one business day.

Q: My card isn't swiping properly. Do I need a new card?

A: If your card is old or worn, you may have trouble getting it to work in the VPrint printers. Be sure to swipe slowly and hold the card straight. If problems persist, you can see the CIS Satellite Help Desk in the Reference area of the Library. They can check that your card is properly encoded. If your card is not properly encoded, you will be sent to the Card Office to get a new card at no charge to you. Please note, the card office will only issue cards at no charge with an authorization phone call from the help desk.


Q: Can I use my quota to pay for other things on campus?

A: No. Your VPrint quota is for printing and copying only.

Q: Are there other restrictions?

A: There is an additional charge for printing formats larger than 8.5" x 11" at the copy center. You cannot use your quota for any other specialized printing. Your quota is for your personal use and is not transferable. It may not be sold, used for commercial purposes or used to print other people's work.

Q: Can faculty and staff print as much as they want?

A: Please be aware that although faculty and staff have been allotted a balance on their ID cards for copying and printing, all activity is charged against their departmental budgets. Check with your supervisor if you require further clarification on printing and copying limits.


Q: I purchased a VPrint Card and lost it. What do I do?

A: We're sorry, but we can not issue refunds for lost or stolen VPrint cards.

Q: There was a problem with the printer or VPrint system. How do I get those prints credited to my quota?

A: We understand that issues may arise with the printers or other card errors that may result in lost prints. These issues will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis by CIS and prints will be credited if deemed necessary. There are no cash refunds. If you are experiencing such an issue, you should visit one of our help desk staff immediately. In the event that you have a printing problem after hours, email us at servicedesk@vassar.edu with the details of the problem including your name, the printer, your 999 number and the job name. Please allow 24 hours for prints to be credited to your account.