You did it! You got into your dream school.  A good program for your intended major, and a strong Jewish presence on campus. Before you submit your deposit, however, you need to consider the Kosher dining options on campus. Maybe there are separate Kosher sections in the campus dining halls. Maybe the campus dining website just says "special accommodations can be made". Either way, here are some important factors about kosher dining on campus for when you're making your college decision. 

What is your current level of Kashrut?

bacon, juicy, vsco, hand, bun, cheese, lettuce, fita, Dinner, cheeseburger, burger
Katie Kasperson

Are you strictly Kosher, or Kosher style? Do you only eat Glatt kosher meat and Chalav Yisrael dairy products, or do you mix meat and dairy products? Do you eat snacks and hot dairy without kosher symbols on them? These basic questions will give you a good idea of your kashrut needs. 

Do you have any dietary preferences or restrictions in addition to Kashrut?

sandwich, chicken, lettuce, salad
Rachel Weil

Are you gluten-free? If the only kosher meat to be found on campus is between two slices of bread, you may find your options limited. Eat a lot of meat? If the only kosher options on campus are vegetarian, you may run into an issue. Make sure to look into the details of what being kosher on campus actually entails. This includes locations, variety (meat, dairy, and parve options), and how it fits into a meal plan (is one entrée the same price as a regular meal swipe, etc). A college student cannot live on deli sandwiches alone (or can they?)

Is there a mandatory meal plan for freshman? If not, do you have access to kosher groceries and kitchens?

Jina Kim

If the kosher options are not ideal, consider cooking your own food if possible. Many universities do not have mandatory meal plans for freshmen, and most dorms have some form of kitchen. Cooking for yourself is often cheaper and healthier than campus meal plans. However, keep in mind that the dorm kitchens are often shared between multiple students, and therefore not always kosher. Also, grocery shopping and cooking have their downsides. The dining hall can be a popular place to hang out but is useless without meal swipes. Not only can grocery shopping as a student be isolating, but it also takes valuable time out of your busy college life. However, if cooking your own food helps you keep kosher and avoid the freshman 15, it may just be worth it. 

Finally; does it make sense for you and your lifestyle?

twenty, 20, bill, cash, money, Pay, dollar
Caroline Ingalls

It may be tough to admit, but it may not work. Take a look at your priorities and make a pros and cons list. If the school of your dream's kosher dining plan is going to majorly hurt your overall college experience or bank account, it may not be the school for you. In the end, your perfect school should be a place that makes you feel comfortable to practice and observe, in any capacity you so choose. If you consider these points you'll be even closer to finding th perfect school for you, both academically and Jewishly.