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Make the MOST of Your Meal Plan

national nutrition month

The way on-campus dining operates is constantly changing to improve the accessibility for students who stay so busy. Mobile ordering is a new addition to some school’s dining plans. Students can pre-order breakfast, lunch, and dinner from a variety of venues and have it ready when they arrive.

You’re Not Limited to Just One Dining Option

Meal plans at any college or university are funds exclusive for food and drinks offered on campus. These plans ensure students have access to quality food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. A variety of plan options are available. Most schools, depending on the size and offerings of the university, allow the students to purchase from multiple on-campus restaurants, dining halls, cafes, shops, etc.

For example, at Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), meal plan funds can be used at vending machines, campus convenience stores, the dining café which offers five different venues, bookstore deli, and Starbucks coffee. If there is something that students would like to request, the Campus Services team accepts and considers those requests.

What About My Dietary Restrictions?

You may be afraid that you will be wasting thousands of dollars on food you can’t eat or try and get exempt from the meal plan requirement to look after your dietary needs yourself. But, have you asked your intended school what they offer to bridge the gap between dietary restrictions and their menu?

The odds are, some student before you has required a specific diet and the school found a way to accommodate them, so they have a plan in place for such a time as this. AUM advises students to meet directly with their dining services team and develop a plan. The university dining team approaches dietary restrictions on a case-by-case basis.

You Can Gain Bonus Dollars on Your Meal Plan

Although meal plans do not necessarily save a student money, they do provide guaranteed access to meals, drinks, and snacks. At AUM, meal plan funds are placed on the student’s ID. Additional funds added to the card for meal plans can earn up to an extra 13% in bonus dollars. Meal plan funding does transfer from semester to semester in an academic year.

AUM provided these tips for getting the most out of your meal plan:

  • Check out the Grubhub app or the dining website for meal updates.
  • Try something new. The chefs and dining teams create new options frequently including themed meals for holidays.
  • Campus convenience stores are open 24/7 for snacks.
  • The bookstore carries a variety of deli, snacks, and desserts for student’s on the run.
  • Take a Zen moment in the dining area and enjoy hanging out, watching TV, listening to music, and meeting new peers.
Additional FAQs:
  1. Is there a best housing/meal plan option? There are a variety of options for students. If you spend most of your time on campus, you would benefit from a larger meal plan option. If you travel for sports a lot or usually skip breakfast, you would benefit from a smaller meal plan option.
  2. Do scholarships cover meal plan costs? Yes. Scholarships can cover meal plan costs.
  3. Are dining/meal plans required for freshmen or students living on campus? Meal plans are required for all full-time undergraduate students.

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