College: it seems like everyone is constantly on-the-go and hungry, talking about how much they hate dorm food or that they don't have time to cook for themselves. Even if your school has one of the best dining halls in the U.S., you might not like what is offered on a particular night, or are simply pressed for time. Whether you're a freshman with a dining hall meal plan or an upperclassman with your own kitchen, you're likely to be caught in one of these instances. Don't you wish there was another easy, cost-effective way to get the food you want without the hassle? Some sort of off-campus meal plan, perhaps? Well, there might be!


Enter Elevate, the newest innovation in college campus dining. Their service partners with some on-campus restaurants to offer an "off-campus meal plan." The founders created Elevate at the University of Virginia in 2013 after noticing the high costs of meal plans coupled with decreasing quality, as well as meals on repeat in the dining halls.

How Does It Work?

Online app ordering makes it super convenient to order in advance, whether that's to grab lunch between classes or pick up dinner to take to the library in the evening. Various types of cuisine are offered at each university, from salads and sandwiches to pizza and sushi, satisfying any type of craving. One meal on the plan is redeemable for certain combinations at participating restaurants—examples include a burger, fries, and drink, or a salad, chips, and drink.

Where Can I Get Elevate?

While Elevate is currently only offered at the University of Michigan, University of Virginia, Cornell University, and Florida State University, they are actively looking to expand to more schools. They partner with some local campus favorites, so you know you can get something you know and love. For example, UMich offers Salads Up, Ray's Red Hots, and Elevation Burger as some of their options, and FSU offers Brooklyn Water Bagel, Pita Pit, and Bento among others.

What's The Cost?

Elevate is likely less than your current dining hall plan—meals are sold in packs of 45, 75, and 105, averaging out to $9.40-$10 a meal (dependent on university and size of package chosen). There's also a 3 meal tester pack for those uncertain.

Overall, Elevate is a fantastic option for busy students, whether you live in a dorm or off campus. Ordering ahead and grabbing on the go: what could be easier, especially when it's time to cram for finals? UVA, UMich, FSU, and Cornell students are in luck to get the service right now, but students at other schools may have to wait. While Elevate is currently limited to a few universities, there are high hopes to spread to new campuses in the future. Bringing tasty, quality cuisine to college students at an affordable price is their mission—cross your fingers they come to your campus soon!