Friday, December 6, 2013

Hungry Hungry Residents!

With contracts coming out soon I'd like to take a minute to explain the meal plan in more depth to clear up or prevent any confusion that may be surrounding the topic. Any resident that does not have a kitchenette in their suite is required to have a meal plan. When filling out a housing contract, three meal plan levels will be available to choose from. Level 1 is the lowest dollar amount and level 3 is the highest. Anyone assigned to a room which requires a meal plan but selected a no plan choice will default to level 2, if necessary. Each plan also includes (within the cost posted) a Dining Administration Fee which traditionally has been equal to the base amount of meal plan level one. This fee enables Restaurant Operations, who controls and coordinates all food related efforts, to provide the great service and convenience our residents become accustomed to throughout their time in University Housing.

The best place for residents to use their meal plans is in the cafeterias (Cambridge, RiverView and Sandburg plus Palm Gardens in Sandburg) because food purchased with a meal plan at those venues gets a 50% discount! Spending the meal plan money in the cafeterias is the best value for the price and helps you recoup the admin fee.

Everything available for purchase in the cafeterias being a la carte, so each transaction is only for the exact food purchased. There are no buffet-style cafeterias in University Housing (and you don't swipe or pay just to be able to enter the facility).

It is unlikely anyone will spend their entire meal plan in the cafeterias, but this is good information to be aware of and take into consideration when trying to budget out how to spend the meal plan.

"Eric! Help! There's still a month left in the semester and I don't have any more money left on my meal plan! Do I have to starve for the rest of the semester?!"

Absolutely not! Residents can add money to their meal plan online at or in person at the cafeteria Cash Value Center located in Sandburg. On the other side of the fence, there is no penalty for not using the entire meal plan amount. Any balance at the end of Fall semester is carried over into the Spring semester, and the balance at the end of the contract (end of Spring semester) is refunded back to the resident, less a ten dollar processing fee.

If you have any questions about meal plans or if you would like to change your meal plan level, you can call or email our office at

Hopefully everyone understands meal plans a little better now!


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