I’ve read through some of the threads about meal plans, and it looks like parents of girls or girls themselves recommend skipping the meal plans and doing some cooking in the dorm. But, I don’t see my son doing that. He cooks eggs and grilled cheese at home, but that’s about it. I can’t imagine that he will want to cook (or clean up!). So, assuming he gets accepts this Friday (fingers crossed!), should we get him some kind of meal plan? Or would be be better off just letting him pay as he goes?
If he is a freshman, isnt it mandatory? and of course he needs a meal plan. As a freshman, that is part of college life going to the dining hall with friends, and hanging out. Also, he doesn’t need to be stressed over how much he has to pay for food, cooking etc.
Meal plans are not mandatory, and he could still eat in the dining halls without one. He could just use a debit or credit card, or we could get him a meal card with a declining balance. I have read that many students tend to eat off-campus, so you might not get your money’s worth out of a meal plan.
Meal plans are fine, especially for the first semester. If he eats on campus a lot, then it’s a better deal than not getting the plan. You may want to pick one of the more “flexible” plans. After a semester or two, he will likely want to drop the plan, but it’s one less thing for you to worry about his freshman year.
Good Luck this Friday!
We skipped it for my son. I posted about it previously. It would be convenient to be able to walk in and eat all you want. I’ve noticed some students complaining about the hours they’re open, weekends and holidays. May want to check on that. My sons hours are usually later, so a trip to Graham Oasis or some delivery is usually his option. There are also quite a few of his friends on a plan, sometimes he joins them, often times they join him off campus, where you’d essentially be paying twice.
Unless something has changed recently you CAN NOT sign up only for the first semester You’re stuck for the whole year. Read the fine print very carefully!!! It’s expensive unless you eat ALL your meals, 3 times a day in the cafeteria. And that is close or equal to “not gonna happen”
Teach your son to cook–it’s the best way to make friends!
Dining halls are open only during certain hours at specific locations–unless it’s convenient for your particular classes/schedule/location it won’t get used.
We figured it out a few years ago and based on a realistic vision of when it would be used decided that even paying full price just to go in and join any friends there would still be cheaper in the long run than buying the meal plan. And it worked out that way.
Thanks very much for the advice. Sounds like a meal plan is not the way to go. (Now let’s hope he gets admitted tomorrow!)