Meal Plans

HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR A MEAL PLAN?

You can visit UChicago Dining (located in Bartlett Hall, room 111) or College Housing (located in Campus North Residence Hall) and fill out a board card to enroll in a meal plan.  All meal plan purchases must be made in person at either one of these locations.

All first-year students are automatically assigned to the Unlimited plan and are required to remain on that plan throughout the year.  All other students who live in the College Houses are also assigned to a meal plan, but have the option to change that 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 four meal plans offered. See the table below for meal plan eligibility details.

HOW DO I CHANGE MY MEAL PLAN?

Meal plan changes must be made in person at the UChicago Dining office or College Housing office. Changes for the current quarter may only be made during the first week of the quarter until 4:30pm of that Friday.

HOW DO I PAY FOR MY MEAL PLAN?

Meal plans can be charged to your tuition account when you purchase a plan at either UChicago Dining or College Housing.  UChicago Dining also offers the option for you to pay by credit or debit card.

Be sure to read the Meal Plan Terms and Conditions.

What meal plans does the University offer?

  1. The Unlimited Meal Plan
  2. The Phoenix Meal Plan
  3. The Apartment Plan
  4. The Off-Campus Meal Plan

The meal plan prices below reflect 2017-2018 academic year costs.

What does the Unlimited Meal Plan include?

  • An unlimited number of visits to the dining commons.
  • 100 Maroon Dollars per quarter.
  • Three meal exchanges per quarter.
  • Five guest swipes per quarter.
  • The Unlimited Meal Plan costs $6,282 per year or $2,094 per quarter.
  • The plan can be purchased at any time during the quarter.

What does the Phoenix Meal Plan include?

  • 150 visits to the dining commons per quarter (about two meals per day).
  • 150 Maroon Dollars per quarter.
  • 15 meal exchanges per quarter (taken from total of 150 meals).
  • Five guest swipes per quarter.
  • The Phoenix Meal Plan costs $6,282 per year or $2,094 per quarter.
  • The plan can be purchased at any time during the quarter.

What does the Apartment Meal Plan include?

  • 90 visits to the dining commons per quarter (about one meal per day).
  • 200 Maroon Dollars per quarter.
  • Eight meal exchanges per quarter (taken from total of 90 meals).
  • Five guest swipes per quarter.
  • The Apartment Meal Plan costs $4,809 per year or $1,603 per quarter.
  • The plan can be purchased at any time during the quarter.

What does the Off-Campus Meal Plan include?

  • 10 visits to the dining commons.
  • The Off-Campus Meal Plan costs $126.
  • The plan can be purchased at any time during the quarter, and may be purchased up to six times per quarter.

A guide to Meal Plan eligibility:

  Unlimited Meal Plan Phoenix Meal Plan Apartment Meal Plan Off Campus Meal Plan
  $2,094 per quarter $2,094 per quarter $1,603 per quarter $126 per quarter
First-Year Students Yes No No No
Upperclass Students  on campus Yes Yes No No
Upperclass Students in apartments on campus Yes Yes Yes No
Upperclass Students - off campus Yes Yes Yes Yes
Graduate/Professional Students and
Faculty/Staff
Yes Yes Yes Yes

What are the meal plan requirements for College House residents?

  • Residential dining is a cornerstone of College Housing. All students in the College Houses are assigned a meal plan.
  • 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 meal plan change periods: the week prior to and through Friday of the first week of classes at 4:30 p.m.
  • Upper-class students who live on campus in an apartment are assigned to the Apartment Meal Plan, but may change to the Phoenix or the Unlimited Meal Plan during meal plan change periods.
  • Meal plan changes can be made in person at UChicago Dining or at College Housing. 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.

Who can purchase Meal Plans?

Anyone with a University affiliation (student, faculty, or staff member) can purchase any of the residential meal plans offered to students.  Please note that this does not include visiting scholars.

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. More information can be found here

 What are Meal Exchanges?

The meal exchange program allows you to use a select number of your meal swipes on a combo 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).

All meal exchanges include an entree, side and drink.  Meal exchanges may be used only once per meal period, and expire at the end of each quarter.  

 What are Guest Meals?

Guest meals allow meal plan holders to bring guests into the dining halls with them at no additional cost.  Five guest meals are provided on every residential meal plan except the Off-Campus plan.

When a student is using a meal swipe to provide a meal for a guest, that student must be present with their guest(s) and swipe their card to gain access to the dining commons.

How can I get a meal when I am sick?

Students who live on campus are eligible to sign up for simple sick meals that can be eaten in the residence halls. Please go here to receive more information on this program. 

The dining halls aren't open for dinner on Saturdays.  Where can I eat?

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.  For students who prefer to dine on campus, Hutchinson Commons, the C-Shop, and both retail markets are also open on Saturday nights. UChicago Dining also hosts the Saturday Night Social Club on some Saturday nights across campus. Your meal plan can be used to attend those events. For more information visit our Facebook page.  

If I live in on campus, am I eligible to change my meal plan?  If so, when and where?

  • 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 until 4:30 p.m. on 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). 
  • Once a meal plan has been upgraded, it cannot be downgraded during the course of that quarter.
  • Any requests to change a meal plan must be made in person either at UChicago Dining, in Bartlett 111, or at College Housing, in Edelstone 266.

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.

Will my meal plan include Late-Night Dining?

All meal plans include a “Fourth Meal” option. Cathey Dining Hall will be open from 9:00 p.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday evenings, starting on Monday of the second week of each quarter. Students on a meal plan can use one of their visits to pay for dining. Maroon Dollars can also be used at the rate of $8 to eat during Fourth Meal.

When does my meal plan begin?

Meal plans begin each academic year with dinner on the Friday prior to when classes begin. Maroon Dollars can be spent on this same Friday.

Incoming students have a separate Orientation Week meal plan. 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.

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.

Be sure to read the Meal Plan Terms and Conditions.