Dining Dollars: What You Need to Know

By: John Moulton

A lot of rumors have been flying about Dining Dollars, the new meal plan that will be implemented in the fall of 2013.

Let’s get the facts from an expert on how the new plan will work.

First, students should understand why Dining Services is moving from the current meal plan to the Dining Dollars meal plan. Mark Wirtz, director of Dining Services, believes that it encompasses many of the things that students want based on their feedback.

One thing students have told him is that “they have a lot of Flex leftover on their account that is taken away and not rolled over the next semester. Under the new plan, the dollars that are still not used transfer to the next semester and if at the end of the year there is money left over, it will be credited to your account,” said Wirtz. “[Dining Services] wants students to be able to use all of the money they are given and not lose it at the end of the semester.”

Another reason is that students are saying they “feel limited or forced to eat a specific location, and they don’t like it,” said Wirtz.

Dining Dollars works across campus and can be used at Lottie, The Union, The Falcon, Café Diem, and The Falcon Hut. “[It] allows students to have greater flexibility of where they eat,” said Wirtz.

All students in traditional housing will pay for the Dining Dollars meal plan. It will also be available for students not living in traditional housing upon request. The meal plan consists of two components: a Dining Services operational charge and a Dining Dollars declining balance account. The operational charge costs $1,240 per semester ($2,480 per year). This charge covers all operational costs, such as student and staff wages, appliances, and other costs that are separate from the food.

The declining balance account costs $895 per semester ($1,790 per year). This cost is comparable to the 210 meals/$200 Flex Dollars meal plan that is currently an option for students.

With the Dining Dollars plan, where students use their money and how much money they use is entirely up to them. If they run out of money, they can add as much money as they want through the Falcon Exchange.

Many students have expressed concerns about running out of Dining Dollars before the semester is over. This is mostly because students do not understand that prices at on-campus dining facilities will be lower than they are right now.

Starting next semester, Lottie meals will be sold at a reduced price. In addition, students with the Dining Dollars plan will receive a 40% discount off the reduced price meal. Breakfast will be priced at $4.75, but with the 40% discount, students with the meal plan will pay $2.85. A full-priced lunch will cost $6.85, while students with the meal plan will pay $4.10. Dinner will cost $8.75, while students with the meal plan will pay $5.25.

Those with further questions or concerns are encouraged to contact Dining Services and get the answers straight from the source.



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