Students scramble to spend meal plan dollars

Kristyn Lebovitz

The semester is coming to an end, and students are trying to spend the additional money on their meal plans.

Zane Powell, assistant director of marketing for Dining Services, said if students do not spend the money on their meal plans, the rest of it will go to the university.


If all meal plan money isn’t spent, the extra dollars go to the university, not back in students’ pockets.

Mark Feldman, junior political science major, said he has the basic meal plan and has extra money to spend.

“I’m definitely going to spend the money so that the university doesn’t get it,” he said. “I’ll probably get groceries at the end of the semester and buy my friends food.”

Eric Johnson, junior medical technology major, also has the basic meal plan and extra money.

“I probably won’t spend the money,” he said. “I don’t really worry about it.”

Right now, about 1,500 students will have extra money at the end of the semester if they keep spending at the same rate, Powell said.

If students have a Premier or Premier Plus Plan, the money rolls over from year to year. If students do not spend the money on those meal plans, the rest is dumped into the university upon graduation – not Dining Services.

How students can get value out of their meal plans

• Buy groceries and donate it to food drives around campus.

• Buy groceries in bulk to take home for the summer.

• Take friends out to dinner.

• Buy a specialty basket from The Basket Shoppe located in the Kent Market II on the second floor of the Student Center.

If students have the Basic or Lite Plan, the money rolls over from semester to semester. All excess money goes to the university at the end of each academic year.

Johnson said he thinks all of the meal plans should roll over.

“We’re paying for it,” Johnson said, “not the university.”

To help students with extra money better budget their meal plans, Dining Services created a “High Rollers Club.” They send messages through e-mail and Facebook with suggestions and invitations to events.

“We try to give opportunities for students to get the value of their dining plan,” Powell said.

Dining Services gives students the chance to use their meal plans through themed nights and other events.

One event Dining Services is offering is the “Broke Buddy Dinner” from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. April 30 in the Eastway private dining room.

Powell said they encourage students with lots of money left on their dining plans to take their friends out to dinner.

Contact room and board reporter Kristyn Lebovitz at [email protected].