Is a meal plan a good deal?

This tool helps you determine the average cost per meal for a meal plan. Many colleges and universities require students that reside on campus to register for a meal plan. Even if you are not required, it may be cheaper to buy a meal plan than to pay cash for your meals. Most sources of financial aid and tax-advantaged college savings plans consider meals a legitimate education-related expense.

Some of the questions you may ask about meal plans include:

  1. Can unused meals be rolled over and used in the next period?

  2. Are meal portions unlimited?

  3. What are the dining hours and when are meal times?

  4. What types and what merchants accept campus-cash?

  5. Is sales tax levied on the plan?

  6. Does the plan accommodate for special meals (e.g. ethnic or vegetarian)?


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