Frequently Asked QuestionsAccounts
When do graduate students have Open Access Lab (OAL) access?
Graduate students are automatically authorized if they're enrolled in the previous, current or a future semester.
When do instructors have OAL access?
Instructors are automatically authorized if shown as the "Instructor of Record" for a class in the previous, current or a future semester.
When do undergraduate students have OAL access?
OAL access for a semester in which a student is enrolled will begin the Monday after the graduation weekend of the previous semester. Access for a semester ends the Monday after graduation for that semester if the student is not enrolled in the upcoming semester.
How do I get an authorization if it is not automatic?
Authorization outside of "automatic authorization" will be processed through a system called CLAIM. Examples: If a student is not currently enrolled but needs OAL access, or if a professor is sponsoring a visiting group of students, they should contact Identity Management Office for processing through CLAIM.
What can I do if I am having problems with my account?
Persons entitled to automatic authorization who are having access problems should ask an OAL employee for help or call Help Desk Central at 979.845.8300
Do student Computer Access Fees (CAF) pay for printing?
The Computer Access Fees pay for much more than printing! CAF funding helps pay for equipment in the Open Access Labs. These fees also fund full and part-time workers, networking and other infrastructure costs that are part of providing an up-to-date computing environment for Texas A&M University students, faculty and staff. A small portion of the total CAF is allocated for student printing allocations. Each student gets $30 in printing per full semester and $15 for the summer.
How do I keep track of printing charges?
All registered students can easily see their print account status with the "My Print Charges" tool in the Start menu (In the Classic Start Menu, it is located at the top of the Start Menu. In XP and Vista Start Menus, it is located under All Programs). Click the Report tab to see the number of pages you have printed this semester. You can choose to view print charges for different semesters from the drop-down menu at the top. The dollar amount of your current bill will be available as well. You can see your printing history by clicking the Data Sheet tab. You may also print a summary of your charges, under the Data tab, by clicking the Print button or save a text file of your charges by clicking Export to File. Printing a summary will count towards your print allocation. If you are off campus, you can use the VOAL to check your print charges.
How much does printing cost?
See the Print Rates page.
How can I check my printing allocation?
From any OAL computer, click the Start Button > All Programs > My Print Charges
Does my printing allocation include the cover page that shows my login ID?
No, cover pages are not deducted from your printing allocation.
Why do we have cover pages?
Cover pages protect your privacy, preventing others from seeing the content of your print jobs. They also make it easy to locate your print job among all the other printouts at the print counter.
What about X-print jobs?
X-print jobs are treated just like jobs printed from the labs. Costs will appear on your fee statement, just like all black-and-white printing and color print jobs.
What happens if my print job fails?
If your print job becomes corrupted, or if the print quality is poor due to some malfunction of the OAL printers, you may request a credit for your print job. You will need to fill out a Print Credit Request form, which can be obtained from the print counter staff or online. Attach the printout to the credit request and turn it in to the print counter staff. If you are requesting a credit because your print job did not print, you can use the My Print Charges application to determine the information needed on the credit request.
What happens if I accidentally print?
Accidentally sending a job to the printer is not a valid printing excuse for receiving credit for the print job. For all print jobs less than 100 pages, the print job will be charged to your account. Print jobs exceeding 100 pages will be paused in the print queue and can be cancelled by you or OAL print operators.
What about the printing I do between semesters?
If you are registered for the next semester, your printing will be counted as part of your next semester's allocation. If you are not registered for the next semester, you will be billed.
What about double-sided printing (duplexing)?
The charge for duplex black-and-white pages will be slightly lower than that for single-sided pages. Duplexing conserves paper, but uses as much toner as single-sided printing. Additionally, their impact on printer maintenance fees is about the same as single-sided pages because duplex sheets must pass through the same printer path as single-sided pages.
What is my printing allocation for the summer? Is it split out per summer session?
The summer printing allocation is $15, one-half of the normal semester allocation. Everyone taking a class during at least one summer semester will get the $15 allocation. Those taking a class in both summer sessions will still get $15, not double the allocation.
What happens if I don't pick up what I've printed?
All black-and-white printouts will be retained in the lab in which they were printed for three days. Color printouts will be retained until the end of semester. You will be charged for printouts whether you pick them up or not.
What about printing from a TAMU staff account?
Charges accrued from TAMU staff using OAL printers are billed to their respective department(s) through the CIS Business Office. Faculty charges will be billed to and paid for by the Office of the Vice President and Associate Provost for Information Technology. Like students, faculty and staff will be able to view their print activity and history using the "My Print Charges" application.
What happens if I exceed my allocated funds for printing?
You will still be able to print. The print charges you accumulate in excess of your allocated funds will be added to your fee statement at the beginning of the next semester or added to your final bill if you are graduating.
What will my end-of-semester bill show?
It will show your accumulated printing bill in excess of your allocated funds as a single line item, but will not show each and every print job for the semester.
Will print charges block my graduation?
Print charges for the current semester will not block graduation. However, unpaid print charges can prevent you from receiving official transcripts. Print charges are assessed to your account shortly before the next semester. Since fee statements are no longer mailed, please go to Howdy to look at your fee statement online and pay for any outstanding balance.
How do I know where my print out went?
Click the Start Button > All Programs > My Print Charges
There is also a pop-up box that appears after you press print. It describes what and where your print event is.
How can I make sure my plot will print correctly?
Using the Print Preview option is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that your plot will print properly. You can send a test print to the normal printers. Never plot your file until you are completely satisfied with the way it looks.
What type of paper should I specify to plot my file?
There are two types of paper used by the plotter: Glossy or plain. The paper you choose is a personal preference.
How do I get my file to plot after I send it?
After you send your file, it will pause in the queue of the plotter you chose. You will need to ask the print operator at the Resource Desk to have your file released. Be sure to specify the paper you want to use.
Where can I print large (over 100 pages), color, or large format (11" x 17") print jobs?
Large print jobs are not allowed in the Libraries. All labs can print color and 11" x 17". The Student Computing Center is the only lab to print plots.
How do I map additional printers?
Start Button > All Programs > Utilities > Map Printers or Map Color Printers
Where can I provide feedback about the OALs?
You may send an email to Suggest@tamu.edu. If you would like to speak with someone in person, see the lab supervisor in any Open Access Lab.