Cost of most student meal plans exceeds prices at the door

The average price of a meal for a student who uses all of his or her  allotted swipes for the 33  weeks that the meal plan is in effect for, is shown in the graphic. A student on the 21-meal plan will spend $9.75 per meal, someone on the 14-meal plan will spend $13.67 per meal, someone on the 10-meal plan will spend $15.64 a meal, someone who is on the 5-meal plan will spend $16.53 per meal and someone who purchases a block of 50 meals will spend $16.56 per meal.

This was calculated using the fact that the meal plan is active for 33 weeks. It was assumed that students use every one of their allocated swipes every week and will remain on campus for shorter breaks. Many students do not use all of their meal swipes in a week.  The total price of the meal plan was divided by the number of times a student would swipe in total.

If someone were to pay for each meal in cash or via credit card, they would be paying eight dollars for breakfast, $11.50 for lunch, $14.75 for dinner and $7.00 dollars for  ’82 Grill and Lee Snack Bar combos (shown as snack bar in the chart). This comes to an average price of $11.42 per meal for someone who eats breakfast, lunch and dinner.

If a student were to eat lunch and dinner every week and pay for each meal individually instead of purchasing the 14-meal plan, they would save $250.25. If a student were to eat seven dinners and three lunches, the most expensive meal options, and pay for them individually instead of being on the 10-meal plan, they would save $616.25. If a student were to pay for five dinners individually instead of purchasing the 5-meal plan, they would save $294.25. If a student were to buy 50 dinners instead of purchasing a block of 50 meals, they would save $90.50.

All first-years are required to be on the 21-meal plan. Sophomores, juniors and seniors are required to be on a 21-, 14- or 10-meal plan unless they are living off-campus or in co-op housing; however, they can choose which one best suits their dining needs.