Students elect to purchase larger meal plans in fall 2012

Of the 1919 students registered for one of the College’s five dining packages, the majority – 1381 students – are registered for the 21-meal plan. 

This semester, 110 students are registered for the 14-meal plan, 353 are registered for the 10-meal plan, 41 are registered for the five-meal plan and 34 are registered for the 50-meal block plan.

Every year, a number of students change or drop their plans at the beginning of the semester.

This fall, 47 students switched from the 21-meal plan in their previous semester to the 14-meal plan; 17 students switched from the 14-meal plan to the 10-meal plan; 15 students switched from the 10-meal plan to the five-meal plan; and 36 students elected not to register for a meal plan after registering for one of the five options in the spring semester.

Most of these changes are quite predictable. For example, because certain plans – namely the five-meal plan and the 50-meal block – are only available to seniors living off-campus and students living in co-ops, Dining Services can usually predict the number of students who will switch to one of those two plans after their junior year.

A reduction from the 21-meal plan to the 14-meal plan after a student’s first year is also common, as purchasing a 21-meal plan is mandatory for first-year students. This year, 47 students chose to drop down from the 21-meal plan to the 10-meal plan.

Despite the somewhat systematic year-to-year changes to student dining packages, Dining Services has noted a positive trend that more students are opting for the bigger meal plans.

“We’ve seen a steady increase upwards in the number of subscriptions, and the students are choosing the higher meal plan,” Bob Volpi, director of Dining Services, said. “What it’s telling us is that they’re satisfied with the quality of our program both in food and in service.”

Due to the quality of the food, the number of options Dining Service offers and restrictions based on boarding, around 90 percent of the student body purchases a meal plan annually.

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