I’m sure you’ve heard about the change in meal plans for this year, especially with the key phrase: unlimited meals. It’s true. All residential meal plans will now have unlimited meal swipes. What differentiates your choice in meal plans is the number of Dining Dollars, To-Go Meals, and Guest swipes they have. Blue Bucks are no longer included in meal plans, but you can purchase on the MyPlan website and have them uploaded to your MCard.

Now, what’s the difference between Dining Dollars and Blue Bucks, you ask? Dining Dollars aren’t accepted everywhere, but are accepted at dining halls’ after hours, res cafes, and most dining spots, like the Union (including Starbucks and Au Bon Pain), the League (Whaddup Beanster’s?), Pierpont Commons and Bert’s in the Ugli. You can also use Blue Bucks at all of these places, plus at athletic games, vending machines, in the laundry room or to make those copies for class.

Essentially, Dining Dollars are included in the meal plan as an alternative option to using a meal swipe, while Blue Bucks are like extra cash that your parents gave you to use in a very controlled way. Dining Dollars are non-refundable, while Blue Bucks are refundable.

And To-Go Meals? Up until last semester, I had no idea what To-Go Meals were, but you should. If you know you have a busy schedule, you can place an order up until 4pm the day before and pick up your meal in the morning to take with you. You can order online or print off a form with all the food items you can select, here. It’s like take out from the dining halls!

Off Campus Meal Plans:

For those of you living off campus who aren’t so culinary inclined, there are still optional meal plans available for you. You can choose between plans that have a set number of meal swipes, or plans with unlimited meals.
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The biggest negative about those meal plans is they really only cater to students who plan to eat in the dining halls a lot. I was personally hoping to get a very small off-campus meal plan that would have maybe 30-40 meals and that’s it, for those who want to just go once in a while. I was, admittedly, annoyed to find that the lowest meal plan includes 50 meals and a mandatory, $350 Dining Dollars. Looks like I’ll be asking freshman to swipe me in!

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