Printing with Illini Cash

Starting January 1, students need to pay for Library printing with Illini Cash.

What is Illini Cash?

Illini Cash is a pre-paid account that works as cash at multiple locations on- and off-campus. At other locations, an iCard can be used as a debit card.

Who can use Illini Cash?

Students can use Illini Cash for printing. Faculty and staff who are currently taking a class will also be prompted to use Illini Cash. We are examining options to give employees more flexibility in billing choices.

How does this affect printing?

Students are still able to print from their laptops or public computers. The queue options remain the same: B&W, Color, Pay cash.

When the B&W or Color queues are selected, the printing system will check the cost of the print job with the student’s Illini Cash balance.  If the balance is greater or equal to the cost of the print job, the print will be available for release at a print release station. The print charge will be deducted from Illini Cash upon releasing at the print release station.

If the Illini Cash balance is less than the cost of the print job, the student will be prompted to add Illini Cash credit. Additional credit must be added before the print job can be released.

Adding credit to Illini Cash

Credit is added online with a credit or debit card. At least $5 must be added at a time, and students can choose to add more. After additional credit is added, it should be available for use immediately.


Refunds can continue to be requested online; instructions are available on the Library Technology page. What has changed is that refunds only apply in the printing system and can only go towards future printing, and not back into Illini Cash.

Troubleshooting and reporting problems

  1. Ask students to check their Illini Cash balance. Do they have enough for their print job?
  2. Did they just add Illini Cash credit? Wait a minute and try again.
  3. Has their iCard expired? If so, they will have to renew their iCard in order to use Illini Cash.
  4. Still not going through? Save files off the computer and reboot or try another computer.

Existing balances

Print quotas

Some departments provide a printing quota for their students.  Unfortunately departmental quotas are only available for use on that department’s printers, and not at the Library. If a student says they already have credit, ask if they are referring to a departmental printing quota.

Negative balances

The balance could be a negative balance, charges from printing before Illini Cash was enabled. If the balance shows up in red text, or inside parentheses, then it is a negative balance that will be charged to their university bill. We are keeping an eye on the reconcile process for these transactions, to make sure everyone is billed correctly—the billing transition will likely be confusing. January should be the last month for negative balances to appear in student printing accounts.

Contact us

If printing still doesn’t work, and the student does not have a quota or has a positive balance (black text, not in parentheses), contact the Library IT Help Desk. If you can, please send the individual’s netid so we can look into the matter more thoroughly.

If a student has issues when adding credit to Illini Cash, the student should contact University Housing (, 217-333-7111) to solve the issue.