The US may be notorious for its student tuition fees, but the fate of the average student is more or less the same around the world. After all, nothing is ever free (or cheap) and a job is usually the solution to making ends meet. Students often find themselves sandwiched between their studies and their jobs, with loads of other responsibilities and expenses in between. It is this specific socioeconomic context that has lead many students to learn to think outside the box.

So, it should come as no surprise that whenever a university comes out with a policy for free printing, some ingenious student is bound to find a loophole.

2 students wanted to use up their 500 pages of free printing by taking blank paper from the printing room

Image credits: u/UrPokemon

Reddit user UrPokemon has recently posted a story on the Malicious Compliance subreddit—a subreddit dedicated to “people conforming to the letter, but not the spirit, of a request”—about how he and his roommate took an unconventional way to getting 500 pages of blank paper for free from their university. Completely legal, no stealing involved.

To give you context, the university in question has a policy of letting each student print out 250 pages per semester for free as part of their attendance. This should be used for things like assignments and projects.

Since the Reddit user and his roommate have their own printer, they ended up not actually using their share of free printing. Instead, they figured they can simply go to the printing room and redeem the 500 pages between the two in blank letter paper. Seems logical, right?

They couldn’t & were asked to go through the proper channels by printing something… which they did

Image credits: u/UrPokemon

Well, apparently, under this policy, the school actually meant that the paper is for printing only and not a quantity of letter paper that the students were entitled to. This is where their student out-of-the-box thinking kicked in and they figured they’ll follow the rules as written.

The two students went to the computer lab, sat at two of the computers there, opened up a blank Word document, and printed that. Yes, a blank document, collated and neatly stacked, 500 pages.

They then proceeded to collect the “printed” paper and to walk out with it. Nobody batted an eye about it. In fact, nobody noticed. In his own words: “There has not been, and there will likely not be any fallout.”

This just goes to show how clever and ingenious students can sometimes get. The story went viral with other users sharing their own stories from when they were students or teachers and lightbulbs struck.

Since the story went viral, a number of students & teachers shared their genius tricks to get free printing…

What are some of your student-time stories? Let us know in the comments below!