Your Meal Plan

Food plays an important role in nourishing both students and campus life at Puget Sound.  A vibrant dining experience is vital to create an environment where all members of the campus and surrounding community are eager to gather around the same table.  Puget Sound Dining Services fulfills this need with quality food made fresh from the best available local ingredients served by friendly and welcoming staff.  Whether you choose to recharge in The Diner, relax over a latte at Diversions, grab a slice in The Cellar or catch up between classes at the Oppenheimer Café, we offer a dining option to fit your tastes. 

Puget Sound offers multiple meal plans to meet a wide variety of dining needs.  All meal plans are “A La Carte” which allows you to choose your own food items, rather than being restricted to a specific menu.  You pay for only what you choose to eat instead of paying for an entire meal you may not finish. You select the type of fare that suits your budget and appetite.  With that in mind, we offer a variety of meal plans: 

  • The Light Plan is designed for the light eater who eats smaller quantities or who may eat fewer than three meals per day.
  • The Medium Plan is sufficient for many students who are "middle of the road" eaters.
  • The Hearty Plan is designed for students who eat more often, snack more frequently and/or purchase higher priced items.
  • The Mega Plan is intended for the regular and discretionary dining needs of students who spend the majority of their time on campus. This plan also is offered for students in athletic programs where a higher calorie intake may be desired.
  • The Off-Campus Plan is designed for students living off-campus.

Students who live in residence halls, Union Avenue housing, Foreign Languages House and Langlow House are required to purchase an on-campus Light, Medium, Hearty or Mega meal plan each semester.

The meal plans are on a declining Dining Dollar (D$) balance so students can eat anytime, anywhere and anything they choose. Students have a wide variety of dining options throughout the day and can get an espresso drink and a breakfast pastry in the morning at Diversions, grab an exciting vegetarian lunch made at Vegetarian & Co in The Diner, and then later in the evening have a snack at the C-Store and a slice of pizza in The Cellar.  The best way to get the most from your D$ is to eat at The Diner located in the Wheelock Student Center. 

In order to maintain financial stability for Dining Services and to give students the flexibility of meal plan choices and value, our meal plans are a combination of an overhead payment and D$.  

 

Meal Plan Fees

Plan

Total Cost
Per Semester

Dining
Dollars

Overhead
Cost

Light

$2,415

D$540

$1,875

Medium

$2,515

D$640

$1,875

Hearty

$2,660

D$785

$1,875

Mega

$2,750

D$875

$1,875

Off-Campus

$995

D$255

$740

Note: Rates are current for the 2014-15 academic year, per semester.

 

Dining Dollars

D$ is the amount of money directly deposited into the student's meal plan account each semester to be used for purchasing food.  Previously, our system worked with meal plan “points”.  We received feedback that this artificial currency was confusing.  In an effort to increase transparency and simplicity, we are converting to D$. 

 

Overhead

The overhead payment contributes to the operational business costs of having multiple dining outlets open seven days a week and for three primary meal periods.  These funds cover costs such as: salaries (staff and student), utilities, supplies, repairs and capital expenses. The overhead allows us to budget more effectively, thus passing a higher savings on to the students.

 

Discounts

Because of the overhead payment, all students with a residential meal plan can purchase food made in The Diner at approximately the wholesale cost of the food items.  This also includes the cost of condiments. 

 

Meal Plan Selection

Select your new meal plan carefully. Think about:

  • your eating habits
  • class schedule
  • how often you will be on campus to eat

You can change the plan you selected during the first ten days of the semester.  You could change from Medium to Hearty or drop from a Medium to a Light plan to meet your individual needs. Again, changes must take place during the first ten days of the semester.  Once that date passes you are committed to the plan you have chosen for the remainder of the semester.

Use the meal plan selection worksheet to aid you in selecting the program that best matches your eating style and preferences. 

The dollar amount placed on your Dining Account each semester is determined by the Meal Plan level you choose, and the entire semester dollar amount is accessible at the beginning of each semester.  You use your student ID card to access your dining funds and make purchases.  Every time you make a purchase, the amount is deducted from your balance.  You can always check your D$ balance via your Cascade web account; this is a great way to track your D$ balance throughout the semester.  Additionally, you can ask one of our cashiers to check your balance at the cash register.

We created a Dining Dollar Usage Chart to help you budget your D$ throughout the semester.  It displays where your meal plan balance should be from week to week. 

 

Dining Services Meal Plan Adjustment Procedures

Dining Services must maintain good financial health while serving the nutritional needs of students.  Students who live in the residence halls, Union Avenue housing, Foreign Languages House and Langlow House are required to purchase an on-campus Light, Medium, Hearty or Mega meal plan each semester as stated by the 2013-14 Room and Board Contract.  A variety of meal plans have been developed with student habits in mind.  Our dining staff makes every effort to educate students in examining their lifestyle to assist in making a proper meal plan selection.  Students are encouraged to thoughtfully examine the available plans and to choose wisely. 

 

Changing Meal Plans

Do you have a large balance on your meal plan?  Do you keep running out of money on your card?  If so, you may want to change your meal plan.  If your meal plan is not the right one for you, please feel free to change it.  To request a meal plan change, please visit Student Financial Services in Jones Hall 019.  You may only change your meal plan during the first ten days of the  semester.   

Adding More Dining Dollars

A variety of meal plans were developed with student habits in mind.  Our dining staff makes every effort to educate students in helping them make a proper meal plan selection.  We also understand that mistakes happen.  Some students find that they have chosen a plan incompatible with their eating habits or, for a variety of reasons, students run too low on meal plan funds as the semester progresses.  Students can add more D$ through their Cascade Web Accounts, ten days after the start of the term.  Purchases of additional D$ must be authorized with student e-signature and will be charged to the student account the next business day.  If you have questions or concerns please contact Student Financial Services.

Students may add straight D$ to their Light, Medium, Hearty, or Mega meal plans. No overhead will be taken out of these deposits.  A $25 deposit will be D$25. 

Students with Off Campus meal plans can also add D$ to their meal plan. For every $25 paid to augment your Off Campus meal plan you will receive D$6 , the difference going to overhead costs.

 

Meal Plan Carry-Overs/Refunds

D$ are purchased by the semester. All meal plans can carry up to D$25.00 worth of D$ from fall to spring semester.  Roll over D$ are in addition to the new spring semester’s D$.  At the end of the spring semester, all D$ remaining on the student’s meal plan are forfeit and non-refundable.  Additionally, D$ are not transferable from one student account to another.  This is why it is very important to monitor your meal plan balance  throughout the year. 

Students permanently withdrawing from the university before the end of a term may be eligible for a refund of remaining D$.  Refunds will be determined based upon the unused portion of a student’s meal plan.  Please contact Student Financial Services for more information.               

Upon graduation, all D$ remaining on the student's meal plan are forfeit and non-refundable.

 

Your Meal Plan and its Balance

Dining Services provides a variety of quality menus and services to Puget Sound students. A balanced nutritional diet is emphasized for a healthy lifestyle and is the foundation of all Dining Services' menus. Dining on our campus is a unique, social and educational experience. It is part of the campus culture and part of a healthy, overall student experience. We encourage our students to eat on campus because of the healthy, nutritional content of our meals.

Occasionally, students don’t use their pre-purchased plans fully throughout the term as expected. Low meal plan use may be a warning sign that you are not maintaining your nutritional needs. Sometimes students choose to go home on Friday and stay through Sunday evening, attend a dinner sponsored by a student organization, or do an off-campus dining experience.  Such behaviors on a regular basis can result in a high meal plan balance; we offer opportunity to adjust a meal plan to a lower level.

The best way to use your meal plan is to eat regularly at The Diner.  Students and Dining Services have a commitment to one another. Students are encouraged to monitor their food spending outside of their dining plan since you have already pre-purchased meals through your meal plan. Dining extensively off campus can create unnecessary additional overall food costs. Remember, balances left on your meal plan at the end of the year are non-refundable.

Students who have too many remaining D$ may purchase items at our C- store, located in The Cellar.  Additionally, bulk items will be available for purchase in The Diner near the end of each semester.  Purchase of these pre-packaged items can help to reduce an excess dining balance.

We have created a Dining Dollar Usage Chart to help you budget your D$ throughout the semester.  It displays where your meal plan balance should be from week to week. 

Dining Services total cost per semester includes expenses for preparing and serving food, cleaning the dining facility, mortgage payments, and utilities. Housing and Board are a prepaid commitment between a student and the university designed in the best interests of our student community. Dining Services needs to pay all expenses throughout each term, including labor and food costs.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I take someone else to lunch using my meal plan?

2. What do I do if I run out of food money?

3. Where are the Dining Services Offices? 

4. I paid $2,325 for meals but my D$ are D$520. Why?

5. Can I spend my D$ in the Bookstore?

6. How do I make a comment on Dining?

 

1. Can I take someone else to lunch using my meal plan?

Absolutely! Take a friend, roommate, parent or guest anywhere your meal plan is accepted. You need to be present as cards cannot be loaned. Your discounted student price will be applied for each of your guests.

2. What do I do if I run out of food money?

First, don't panic. Money can be added to your meal plan any time after the first ten days of the term.  Please see the Adding More Money section for guidance.  You always can pay cash, but you will get a better deal and greater convenience by adding money to your plan.  Our Meal Plans were designed to support individual dining needs throughout the semester with nutritionally balanced meals.  However, you need to do your part in budgeting.  Please remember to consider meals you do not plan to eat on campus; e.g. the pizza party you are attending on Saturday with a group, weekends you go home, or that Wednesday night dinner off campus.  Also remember that meal plans are designed to purchase nutritionally balanced meals and not to support an abundance of ice cream cones or lattes.

3. Where are the Dining Services Offices? 

The Dining and Conference Services offices are located on the second floor of the Wheelock Student Center, office WSC 240. 

4. I paid $2,515 for meals but my D$ are D$640. Why?

$1,875 of your money is applied to overhead, which includes all costs associated with meal production; e.g.  ordering, preparing, serving and clean-up.  It also pays for costs like electricity, maintenance, and equipment. Because you pay overhead up front, what you actually pay in D$ is just the cost of the food. So when you go to The Diner you pay, on average, about two thirds less than cash customers.

5. Can I spend my D$ in the Bookstore?

No. Meal plans are designed to meet the nutritional needs of students. Sweatshirts in the bookstore, while good-looking, warm and fuzzy, are low in nutritional value when compared to a lunch or dinner in The Diner.

6. How do I make a comment on Dining?

  1.  Fill out a comment card located in any of the dining venues.
  2.  Fill out the feedback form.
  3.  Tell a member of the Dining Services team.

 

Puget Sound Identification Card Policy & Procedures

Please visit the Logger Card website for policies and procedures relating to your ID card.