2023/24 Meal Plans

Winter 2024 Meal Plan Enrollment

Plans Purchased using this form will expire on 3/9/2024

UChicago Dining offers a variety of meal plans to meet the needs of those in the campus community.  As part of the housing contract, students living on campus are required to have a meal plan. These first three options are targeted towards the needs of those students, but they are open to those living off-campus too.  What year of their undergraduate career and accommodation type will determine eligibility for those living in University housing.

Off-Campus Plans

While the previous options are open to all members of the UChicago community, these next options are geared towards the needs of those students, faculty, and staff living off-campus. Students living on-campus are not eligible for these meal plans. To enroll, participants will need an active UChicago Card or Campus Card from the ID & Privileges Office.

How Do I Enroll?


Students have until 4:30 pm on 1/5/2024 to change their meal plan from the default. Fill out the online form to change your plan.


New meal plan additions or upgrades can be done at any time during the quarter. 



UChicago Dining offers a considerable number of menu options for a variety of dietary needs and lifestyles. Our chefs focus on preparing meals from scratch, meaning we know what’s going into our food and can provide critical ingredient and nutrition information.


We also have options for those who choose to eat according to their religious beliefs, including kosher kitchens and complete halal stations at all four Dining Commons, which respectively meet Chicago Rabbinical Council and Ifanca certification. If a student chooses to eat vegetarian or vegan, UChicago Dining offers daily rotating selections at the Rooted stations, which can be found in all four Dining Commons.


Peanuts and tree nuts are not used in any of UChicago Dining’s kitchens. Additionally, we provide an allergen safe and an Avoiding Gluten station, called Pure Eats at every dining commons.

I live in on-campus housing, am I required to be on a meal plan?
    • Yes, residential dining is a cornerstone of Housing & Residence Life. All students in Houses are assigned a meal plan, and may not cancel or be switched to the Apartment meal plan if they do not live in an apartment.

Meal Plan assignments are based on the following:

      • First-year students are assigned to the Unlimited Meal Plan, regardless of the type of room or location they are assigned. They must remain on the Unlimited Meal Plan for the entire first year.
      • Upper-class students who live in a single or double room are assigned to the Unlimited Meal Plan but may change to the Phoenix Meal Plan during the meal plan change period, through Friday of the first week of classes at 4:00 p.m.
      • Upper-class students who live on-campus in an apartment are assigned to the Apartment Meal Plan but may upgrade to the Phoenix or the Unlimited Meal Plan at any point during the quarter.
      • Meal plan changes can be made in person at UChicago Dining or online. Meal plan downgrades are not permitted mid-quarter. Students may upgrade their meal plans or purchase additional Maroon Dollars at any time during the year.
      • Changing from the Phoenix Meal Plan to the Unlimited Meal Plan does not constitute an upgrade, since these plans cost the same.
      • Meal plans expire at the end of each quarter.  Any unused meals will not roll over into the next quarter.
      • Graduate students are not required to have a meal plan.
When does my meal plan begin?
      • For the Autumn quarter, meal plans begin at lunch on the Friday, September 22


      • . During the Winter and Spring quarter, meal plans begin with lunch on the Sunday prior to the start of the quarter.  Maroon Dollars will be loaded on the morning meal plans begin and can be used at the cafes or dining commons.

First-year students have a separate Orientation Week meal plan, which provides them with one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner per day.  In the interest of developing strong House communities, during Orientation Week, students are limited to eating in the dining commons where their House tables are located.

How does my meal plan work?
      • Meal plan account information is encoded directly onto your University of Chicago ID Card. Simply present the UChicago Card to the cashier for entry into a dining commons, and enjoy all-you-care-to-eat dining from the time the dining commons opens until it closes. Except in the case of the Unlimited Meal Plan, each visit deducts one meal from the meal plan total. Due to the flexibility of the meal plan, food other than an ice cream cone or cookie may not be removed from the dining commons. Also, due to food safety guidelines, food that has been prepared elsewhere is not permitted to be brought into the dining commons.
If I live on-campus, can I change my meal plan?
      • First-year students remain on the Unlimited Meal Plan for the duration of their first year.
      • Upper-class, on-campus housing students may change their meal plan. The request for a meal plan change must be completed each quarter. This request must be submitted via the form on our website by 4:30 p.m. on the Friday of the first week of each quarter.
      • At any time prior to or during the academic year, upper-class students who live on campus may upgrade to a higher plan (i.e., Apartment to Unlimited).  Changing from the Phoenix Meal Plan to the Unlimited Meal Plan does not constitute an upgrade, since these plans cost the same.
      • Once a meal plan has been upgraded, it cannot be downgraded during the course of that quarter.
      • Meal plans expire at the end of each quarter.  Any unused meals will not roll over into the next quarter.
If I move off-campus, do I have to cancel my meal plan?
      • No. Once the housing contract cancelation is processed, your residential meal plan will automatically be removed.
      • If you wish to keep your plan or replace it with an off-campus plan, please use the meal plan addition or upgrade form when it is available.
How do I pay for my meal plan?
      • Meal plans can be charged to your tuition account when you purchase a plan through UChicago Dining.
What is my default meal plan?
Are you a first-year? If your answer is yes, your default meal plan is Unlimited, regardless of your housing type, and you are not eligible to switch to another plan.

Are you a 2nd through 4th year and live in an Apartment?  Your default meal plan is the Apartment meal plan. You are eligible to upgrade your meal plan to the Unlimited or Phoenix plan at any time.

If the answer to both questions above is no, your default meal plan is the Unlimited meal plan and you are eligible to switch to the Phoenix meal plan.  However, you must request this no later than 4:00 pm, Friday, of the first week of the quarter.

Be sure to read the Meal Plan Terms and Conditions.

I completed the change form last quarter, why did my meal plan revert to the default?
      • You need to complete the change form each quarter, as your meal plan preference may have changed.  The form must be completed within the first week of the quarter.
How do I change my assigned meal plan?
      • Meal plan changes can be made through an


      • form available during the first week of the quarter. Changes for the current quarter may only be made during the first week of the quarter until 4:00pm of that Friday.

Be sure to read the Meal Plan Terms and Conditions.

How do I sign up for a meal plan?
During O-Week through the 1st week of classes, students can fill out a Dining Meal Plan Board Contract online.


          • All First-year students are automatically assigned the Unlimited meal plan and are required to remain on that plan throughout the year, regardless of their room type.
          • All other students, not living in an apartment on campus are assigned to the Unlimited meal plan, but have the option to change to the Phoenix meal plan during the first week of the quarter.
          • Students living in an Apartment will be assigned the Apartment meal plan, but have the option to change to the Unlimited meal plan or Phoenix meal plan during the first week of the quarter.
          • Off-campus students are not assigned to a meal plan but are welcome to purchase any of the meal plans offered.
Will my meal plan include Late-Night Dining?
      • All meal plans include a “Fourth Meal” option, Monday through Thursday, beginning 3rd week. Students on a meal plan can use one of their meal swipes.
Are the Dining Commons open to all campus community members?
      • Our Dining Commons are open to all faculty, students, staff and visitors.  If you are not on a meal plan you can pay at the door using Maroon Dollars or a credit card.
How much does a meal cost?
        • Prices vary by meal period. When paying with credit or debit cards:
          Breakfast is $13.22
          Lunch is $18.03
          Dinner is $22.84.
          These prices include tax.
The dining halls aren't open for dinner on Saturdays. Where can I eat?
        • Every Saturday during the academic year students may use a Saturday Night Meal Swipe to dine at Hutchinson Commons Or Woodlawn dining commons. These meal swipes are in addition to the meal exchanges that come with the Unlimited, Phoenix and Apartment meal plans. The Off Campus Meal Plan does not include Saturday Night Meal Swipes. Students who live in the College Houses enjoy a long-standing tradition of dining at off-campus locations on Saturday nights.  Frequently, the resident staff will prepare dinner for their Houses on Saturdays as well.
What are Meal Exchanges?
        • The meal exchange program allows you to use a select number of your meal swipes on a meal at the campus cafes, campus markets, or Hutchinson Commons.  The meal will be deducted from your total number of meals, rather than from your Maroon Dollar balance, based on how many meal exchanges come with your plan. (For instance, there are 15 meal exchanges included on the Phoenix meal plan, meaning that 15 of the plan’s total 150 meals may be redeemed as meal exchanges).  Meal exchanges may be used only once per meal period, and expire at the end of each quarter.
What are Maroon Dollars?
      • Maroon Dollars allow students, faculty, and staff to use their University IDs like a debit card at any dining hall and most cafés and markets on campus. Each time you make a purchase with Maroon Dollars, money will be subtracted from your personal account. One Maroon Dollar is equivalent to $1.
Who can purchase a meal plan?
        • Registered Students, staff and faculty.
Are meal plans available during the summer?
      • Meal plans are not offered over the summer. However, select dining locations on campus remain open with adjusted hours, and UChicago Dining venues continue to accept Maroon Dollars.
How long will it take for a change in my meal plan to appear in my tuition account?
      • Charges will be added or reversed from your account within the following 5-7 business days.