Freenters: How Students Can Print For Free At Universities
Printing in college can become expensive.
Even in an age where tablets and smart devices are used more frequently than ever before, paper printed media is both necessary and very common on nearly every campus in the country.
In fact, recent studies have shown that around 92% of students prefer print books to ebooks.
So how exactly are students solving the problem of printing costs on campus? Many have begun using the ad-supported printing services of Freenters to reduce or even entirely eliminate their printing costs.
Freenters Offers Free Ad-supported Printing Services
Freenters is a popular ad-supported printing service that allows students to print documents, papers, and more, for free in exchange for the inclusion of advertisements within the printed materials.
At the University of Chicago, students have been able to work with Freenters in exchange for cash rewards.
The hardware model designed by Rho Kook Song has been designed around the fact that students prefer to work with printed material.
Freenters has grown exponentially over the last few years, initially expanding their user base to over 15,000 college students nationwide across 22 campuses in the span of around one year.
Freenters currently launching a software service aimed to expand their printers and rake in more advertising dollars than they ever have before.
They offer a unique solution to students and advertisers. With an environmentally friendly stance and smart ad-targeting, Freenters may just be one of the best affordable printing solutions out there.
The Beginnings of This Affordable Academic Printing Solution
In 2012, Freenters began their quest to reduce printing costs for students on campuses around the country. At first, Freenters manually installed hardware on the college campus printers that were being utilized.
This hardware was used to place banner ads on printed materials in exchange for cost-free printing services. While there were many successes, this business model presented the Freenter team with a few difficulties. For one, contracts had to be negotiated with each individual campus administration; a long and drawn out process.
Additionally, many hidden operating costs were found within the hardware that was initially installed. Despite the fact that these frustrating issues were present, Freenters continued to grow.
The need for their services was clearly evident as students desperately required an affordable printing solution. By 2013, Freenters had won UChicago’s College New Venture Challenge.
This sparked expansion, funding, and growth for the Freenters team, leading them to become a presence in over 22 college campuses with a user base of 15,000 and growing.
Using Freenters 2.0 is Easy
Now that Freenters was taking off, they needed to find a way to become more scalable. Freenters continued to expand until private software could be individually downloaded by students. This new service is known as Freenters 2.0. Here’s how it works.
Students can easily print with software installed on their printer drive which keeps track of printed pages. Every five pages that are printed come with an advertising-only page.
This is much preferred to the banner that used to be present. Each advertising only page is worth 40 cents.
Whenever 10$ or more of ads have been printed (around 120 pages of total printing), students are able to quickly cash out via PayPal.
The Advertisers are charged 25 cents for each medium-sized ad. Data is also collected on local campus residents to create better user targeted ads. This gives advertisers a direct view of what services are preferred within each individual campus, making ad-targeting easier and more efficient.
Freenters Engages in Environmentally Conscious Printing Practices
Freenters has many safeguards in place to prevent instances of the system being gamed. This is due to their environmentally friendly stance and company policies.
They have partnered with PrintReleaf to help ensure that sustainable printing practices are being observed. For every 8,300 pages printed, Freenters plants a tree.
This measurement system ensures that paper footprints are reduced, and reforestation sites are increased.
Freenters is a quickly growing enterprise that benefits advertisers and students simultaneously.
It allows for affordable printing on college campuses and efficient ad targeting, as an alternative to students having their own printer.
It’s also economically friendly, partnering with PrintReleaf to promote smart and sustainable printing practices.
The coupons that are included are another impressive bonus. Students can print for free and save money all at once.