Paper Cut! NYU Starts Charging Students to Print

By Jennifer Millman
|  Friday, Sep 11, 2009  |  Updated 10:40 AM EDT
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Paper Cut! NYU Starts Charging Students to Print

AP

Earlier this year, students staged a protest against the school's high costs.

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You'd think that charging students a whopping $52,000 a year for tuition, room and board would cover its operating costs, but New York University is apparently scrounging for cash.

The Greenwich Village school, one of the most costly colleges in the nation, is now rationing paper and charging students 10 cents per page they print out at campus computer labs, reports The New York Post.

To be fair, students are allowed to print out 500 pages per semester free before the pricing kicks in. But most of them are furious the college would consider charging them for paper at all, given how much they're shelling out to go to school there.

"We're spending a s- - -load of money to go here, and they're screwing us over. It sucks," John Peter, a 20-year-old philosophy major, told the Post. "They're being stingy about paper, and I'm paying 50 grand a year to go here."  

While 10 cents doesn't seem like a whole lot of money, students say it could add up quickly, especially in classes where they're required to print out long readings or essays. And some majors find themselves at an even greater disadvantage. 

"I'm a screenwriter, so I need to print hundreds of pages at a time. I can't afford that," Allison Maggy, 21, a senior, told the Post. "That really is terrible."

School officials said the measure was two-fold – designed to cut costs and also to make students think twice before wasting paper. Nearly a third of the 18 million pages students printed out in computer labs last year ended up getting tossed as garbage, reports the Post.

"These are 'paper cuts' that actually shouldn't sting too bad. Not only does every student still get to print 1,000 pages per year for free, it should also really reduce the 5-6 million sheets of paper that are wasted each year," NYU spokesman John Beckman told the paper.

NYU isn't the only college that charges students to print, but it is among the largest. Dozens of smaller schools have already implemented the measure, and this year, the larger Washington University in St. Louis also began the practice.

Columbia University has had a printing limit in place for about a decade, but it's about double that afforded students at NYU, reports the Post.

Despite the added cost, some NYU students applaud the school's environmental consciousness. 

"This campus is trying to get greener," freshman Justin Eberly told the Post.

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