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Cornell meal plans questions

alx_wnhalx_wnh Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
I am a student of Class 2022 at Cornell,and I am looking at the meal plans.Wondering if MUST enroll in any of these meal plans? Or can I just go to the dining hall and buy my meals every time? And about the BRBs,I know if I don't enroll in meal plans I will not have BRBs, but are we only able to buy snack on campus?or can we buy food off camps and take it back? Are snacks on campus cheaper?
THX

Replies to: Cornell meal plans questions

  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 11,214 Forum Champion
    edited March 7
    Generally as a freshman, you must enroll in a meal plan. Colleges want students to get used to college life and not worry about meals/skipping meals. Generally you can use some "points" to buy meals other than in caf on campus and also at some nearby places. Look on the Cornell website for details.
    Post edited by skieurope on
  • Ranza123Ranza123 Registered User Posts: 1,345 Senior Member
    I had previously thought freshmen were required to enroll in a meal plan, but apparently not ("Enrollment in a Cornell Dining meal plan is voluntary, except for those students who choose to live in the West Campus House System"). Still, I didn't know anyone my freshman year not on a meal plan (maybe it used to be required?) and you'll probably want to be. Buying your meals in the dining hall with a credit card/cash is actually really expensive; if you only bought lunch and dinner at a dining hall each day and did something else for breakfast, that would cost $28.40 a day. Multiply that by a semester and it's going to end up being more expensive than at least two of the four traditional meal plans.

    To answer the second part of your question, of course you can buy food off campus and bring it to your room, but the closest place off campus you'll find anything would be collegetown, which isn't that close to where freshmen live. You can also order delivery or get take-out or whatever you want to do, but it adds up. Basically you're an adult free to do whatever you want, but you'll probably want to calculate how much everything will cost and find the most economically sensible option that is still practical for how much you plan on eating.

    For reference, here's the details of the traditional meal plans: http://living.sas.cornell.edu/dine/mealplans/traditional-meal-plans.cfm

    I personally recommend getting at least the Bear Choice plan, which would let you get lunch and dinner during the weekdays and let you do what you want on the weekends (either using BRBs on campus or cash wherever). I'm pretty sure that's what I had freshman year and it worked out, but if you want to eat on campus 7 days a week you'll probably want the Bear Traditional, and if you plan on eating breakfast on campus you'll probably want more swipes per week as well.
  • rphcfbrphcfb Registered User Posts: 144 Junior Member
    My D started with a 14 meals a week plan and quickly switched to a 10 meals a week after two weeks there. She and her friends usually eat something simple for breakfast like breakfast bars, cereal, yogurt, on the way to classes.

    Freshmen’s dorms are on the North campus where the two main dining halls are located. It is at least a 15-20 min walk back from classes. To her, it is not worth walking back to have lunch. She just uses BRB buying lunches from cafes or eateries near her next classes.

    Dinners are at dining halls. So 7 dinners, 7 days a week plus two lunches on Sat and Sun are what she and her friends uses their meal plans for. She thinks it is more than sufficient. Sometimes, they walk to dinner in town on weekend.

    We bought her a small fridge for her and her roommates to share. We’ve bought her food she likes like granola bars, drinks in bulk from Costco. So far, so good.
  • dedex13dedex13 Registered User Posts: 72 Junior Member
    It depends on your eating habits... 7 meals a week with the BRBs works well for my daughter. She lives in a program house and there are upper classmen in her dorm who do not have meal plans and use the dorm kitchen to cook their own meals. I have suggested my daughter go off the meal plan and just purchase her meals (she eats so little it would probably be cheaper), but she wants to keep the meal plan because it is convenient and, being very frugal, she is concerned she would not eat at all if she was using "real" money.
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