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Can someone help me with the meal plan, please?

jyc1230jyc1230 85 replies7 threads Junior Member


My son is entering CAS as freshman this Fall and we are wondering if we could get some more info on meal plans offered at NYU for freshman? We looked at its website on the meal plan and also this website but are still unclear.

We know every freshman in the dorm should purchase the meal plan although the minimum (or default) will depend on which dorm you are going to have.

Here are our questions:

1. If my son purchases the 225 Flex plan, we guess he can have 14 meals per week. Can he, for example, have 16 meals in one week and 12 in another?

2. What is the difference between the 225 Flex and 225 Flex Plus?

3. We found that there is a dining dollars of $300 that comes with 225 Flex Plus and don't understand what it means? Does it mean that if he purchase 225 Flex Plus, he can spend $300 in addition to the 14 meals per week?

4. If he can have 14 meals per week, how does this work when he enters a dining halls that are not all-u-can-eat style? Do they just swipe the card no matter what he orders?

5. Lastly, what is the declining dollar? I saw many use this term often when explaining the NYU dining.

We would so much appreciate your help.
11 replies
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Replies to: Can someone help me with the meal plan, please?

  • VA_NYU2021_MomVA_NYU2021_Mom 186 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited June 2017
    Hello @jyc1230 my daughter will also attend CAS in the fall. This is my understanding of the meal plan:

    1. He can have as many meals in a week that he wants as long as he is mindful of the allotted amount of 225 for the semester.

    2. The difference in the flex plan and the plus is $100. It's a matter of preference on which is more feasible for your budget of $2500 vs $2425. This could also help with the additional meals he may eat during the week. The dining dollars can be used outside of the dining halls. There is a list places to use them at.

    3. Yes, that's how it was explained to us when we attended the send off.

    4. I want to say yes because once you enter the dining hall your card will be swiped. I could be wrong.

    5. I haven't heard the term Declining dollar before. I'll have to look at that terminology and get back with you.



    I hope this helps.
    edited June 2017
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  • jyc1230jyc1230 85 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited June 2017
    @OldCheermomDC

    Thank you so much for your kind reply. It helps a lot!

    I found on this NYU forum the definition of declining dollars and campus cash. Declining dollars is the cash that comes with the meal plan. (ie, $300 with 225 Flex Plus). my 10 meal plan had 250 Declining Dollars on it.

    The followings are what I found on the NYU forum:


    DD dollars are quite different than CC though. DD are on your meal plan, and can only be used at the convienence stores in the dining halls, or to buy a meal if you run out/have a guest.

    Campus Cash can be used all the places Declining Dollars can, but lots of other places too, like laundry, vending machines, neighborhood restaurants and grocery stores, bookstores, tons of places.

    The money carries over as long as you are at NYU. It's in no way connected to your meal plan. It's sort of just like having cash restricted to be used a certain places, and can be refilled at any time. The only real benefit to CC is that sometimes you get discounts for using it, and you don't have to worry about quarters/small change for laundry and stuff.
    edited June 2017
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  • VA_NYU2021_MomVA_NYU2021_Mom 186 replies1 threads Junior Member
    edited June 2017
    @jyc1230 Thanks for the clarification because I confused the campus cash and the dining dollars. This helps a lot. Thanks.
    edited June 2017
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  • wonderlandddwonderlanddd 367 replies8 threads Member
    Hello! I'm a rising sophomore and I'm not sure if either of you are still confused, but I thought I'd clarify some thigs:

    basically the only real use for campus cash is the laundry and SOMETIMES vending machines if you don't have cash/card on you. As far as I know nowhere really gives you a discount for using it (although places do give discounts for having an NYU ID), and as far as I know only 1 or 2 residence halls still have the option to use change in the laundry (you swipe your card on the wall and press the machine you want to use and it charges from campus cash).

    In the dining halls that aren't buffet style, there's meal exchange, which means you can get an assortment of things (usually an entree from any of the places, a side of chips/fruit/carrots, and a fountain drink) and the cashier will swipe it as a meal. Dining Dollars can also be used in the food court style dining halls for food that doesn't count as part of meal exchange, as well as at our small convenience stores that sell anything from snacks to school supplies (you can also spend dining dollars at the Starbucks on campus, which is where most of mine go). The $300 is per semester, the 225 means 225 per semester and an average of 14 a week. The difference between the Flex and Flex Plus is just the amount of dining dollars.

    Honestly, the meal system is pretty easy to get the hang of and I like it a lot! People rarely run out of swipes, and when they do, other people usually have plenty of extra to offer.
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  • jyc1230jyc1230 85 replies7 threads Junior Member
    @wonderlanddd Thanks a lot for your clarification. No further confusion.
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  • VA_NYU2021_MomVA_NYU2021_Mom 186 replies1 threads Junior Member
    @wonderlanddd thanks a lot for clarifying.
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  • uskoolfishuskoolfish 2906 replies50 threads Senior Member
    edited July 2017
    @jyc1230 @OldCheermomDC Dining dollars expire at the end of the year. They do not roll over to the following year. This is important for parents to remember!

    One of my fondest "parent" memories at NYU--and one of the times we embarrassed my D the most--was when I asked my D how many dining dollars she had left on her card a few days before the end of her sophomore term. When she announced something like $250, I was determined to spend that money down and so I carefully researched where that money can be best spent. I discovered that she could use it at the Dunkin donuts and Starbucks on campus. So in the middle of packing up her dorm, we marched her down to Starbucks (so she could swipe) and bought out their "on sale" coffee mugs, and a bunch of K-cups. Then we proceeded to Dunkin and bought an entire Keurig machine and more mugs.

    But the funniest is that we repeated the same exact thing Junior year! And the manager of Dunkin remembered us from the prior year, since had inadvertently held up the line with our massive purchases 2 years in a row.

    We actually just started to use the last "spare" Keurig this past week and I am still enjoying my morning coffee using my "NYU" mugs!
    edited July 2017
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  • prospect1prospect1 1391 replies41 threads Senior Member
    @uskoolfish, that is awesome. :))
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  • HereincaHereinca 17 replies2 threads Junior Member
    Is this typical to have extra dining dollars? I've heard the 19 meals a week is next to impossible to use, and the 14 meals with dining dollars is the way to go. Based on the numerous establishments that accept dining dollars, I would think the dining dollars would be used daily for a meal option. I would love to hear your opinions. Thanks :).
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  • jyc1230jyc1230 85 replies7 threads Junior Member
    edited July 2017
    @uskoolfish

    Thank you for your reply. I found from the "NYU dining guide" that the dining dollars can roll over from Fall to the Spring semester for active meal plan members. So, I guess it does not roll over from one year to the next?

    @Hereinca, when you purchase ANY meal plan, the dining dollars come along with it. No choice. I purchased the minimum amount required for my son. 225 flex (or 14 meals per week). We thought 19 meals per week would be too much. It means he will eat every meal at the campus dining facilities. That is unrealistic. At the end of his freshman year, we should be able to see if 14 is too much and will be most likely to reduce the #.
    edited July 2017
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  • wonderlandddwonderlanddd 367 replies8 threads Member
    I had 19 first semester and 14 the second. First semester, I had way too many meals. Second, I learned that you could swipe for coffee at certain places, got too careless with my swipes, and ran out. I also was trying to eat more in the dining halls second semester after realizing I was spending all my money ordering food (whoops). I also tend to eat mostly on-campus because it's pretty good and eating off-campus gets really expensive pretty fast. However, I know very few people who have extra dining dollars because you can use them for coffee (where most of mine go lol) or at the on-campus convenience stores for snacks/treats/things to cook at home.

    Dining dollars roll over fall-spring semester but not between years.
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