How Much Paper Schools Use & How Much It Costs Them

While it might not seem like passing out worksheets in a single classroom is an unusually large amount of paper to use, once you start considering additional factors the numbers begin to quickly stack up.

Learn more in this video or the transcription below about statistics on paper use in schools, the calculated costs of that paper consumption, and how to reduce paper use in schools with the help of scanning and digital education records.

Video Transcript

How Much Paper Are Schools Using?

Schools do not only use paper for handing out worksheets at the end of the day. While this might contribute to most consumption, it’s also important to consider paper use from the larger picture.

Additionally, there are a number of factors which play into the overall paper consumption process. Once you start multiplying items together, the costs tend to add up. One should consider the number of classes, the days in the school year, and the number of schools in the US. Given this, costs can begin to quickly add up.

Paper Use In Education

How much it costs to use paper

A typical school will use an average of 2,000 sheets per day. Additionally, this means a full 160 day academic year  will go through over 320,000 sheets of paper.

With roughly 100,000 schools in the US, this means schools are consuming around 32 billion sheets of paper per year.

How Much Using Paper Costs

With the average cost of a sheet of paper being roughly 5 cents, you can now calculate paper costs based on the total amount being used in US schools per year.

Additionally, a school that uses 2,000 sheets per day and 320,000 in a year can expect to pay roughly $100 per day and $16,000 per year.

Considering the nation, schools using 32 billion sheets per year can expect $1.6 billion is spent on paper annually.

How to Reduce Your Paper Use

Instead of traditional paper records, it can be beneficial to make the transition to a digital system. Additionally, this will help manage files as well as cut back on paper consumption.

Besides reducing paper use, digital education files boost productivity and efficiency. In addition, digital documents saves time, money, and space.

For example, physical paper copies are a recurring cost. However, school records scanning is a one-time cost and removes the need to use more paper for future copies. Common education files to scan include:

  • General and special education files
  • Student transcripts
  • Faculty/personnel files and HR records
  • Financial aid applications and files
  • Student registrations, schedules, and admissions
  • Medical records
  • Student publications (yearbook/newspaper)
  • Accounting and purchasing records

Benefits of Scanning School Records

Additionally, there are four main benefits to transfer to digital: saving money, saving time, improving securities and data backups, and ensuring FERPA compliance.

Saving Money: Comparing the Cost of Digital and Paper School Records

Save Money Storing OffsiteDigital School Records

With electronic education records, the cost is fairly straightforward. On average, the scanning costs 7–12 cents per page, and the larger the project is the lower the cost per page.

However, other cost factors include whether the files are single or double-sided, if prep work is needed, or if you want the scanning to be done on or off site.

Paper School Records

Besides the recurring cost of buying paper, using paper comes with indirect costs as well. Additionally, there is an average of 2,000 sheets per day at 5 cents each.

Other costs include the real estate used for filing cabinets, the time you spend looking for and refiling documents, and the money you spend on bulk office supplies.

Saving Time: Streamline Work and Boost Productivity

Quickly Find and Share Files

Scanned files are indexed as they’re implemented in DMS or cloud storage systems. Additionally, this means they can be quickly tracked by keyword search and sorted by things like file name and date.

Free Up Extra Space

A 1 TB hard drive can hold 6.5 million document pages and costs $50. However, a 4-drawer file cabinet only holds 10,000–12,000 files. In addition, it takes up 9 sq. ft. of floor space, and can cost $1,500.

Version Control and Avoid Duplicates

Additionally, a file can be edited multiple times and redistributed with conflicting information. When digital files are edited, a single file version is updated and doesn’t require making new copies.

Data Security and Backups: Protect Files and Stay Prepared for Disaster

Electronic education files provide additional securities to prevent physical theft. In addition, it helps to protect from external risks like hacking or natural disasters. Added protections include:

  • File encryption
  • Tiered access controls
  • Regular data backups

FERPA Compliance: Reduce the Chances of Legal Trouble

Digital Records Management SecurityFERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) states schools that receive funds from the US Department of Education can’t disclose student information without the consent of the parents or student after they’ve turned 18.

One of the most common ways schools get into FERPA compliance trouble is losing school records or storing and sharing them insecurely.

With digital school records though, they can be encrypted, password-protected, and indexed in a system. Indexing is where you can organize files and sort by names, dates, and types.

Get Free Quotes on School Record Scanning

At Record Nations, we partner with a nationwide network of records scanning and storage providers to help schools save on paper costs and make the transition from paper to paperless school records.

Join Boston and Denver public schools, the Harvard University Library, and countless other educational organizations we’ve helped to find the best school records scanning options. To get started, fill out the form, giving us a call at (866) 385-3706, or contacting us directly using the live chat.

How much paper are schools using infographic