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Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting or Changing Meal Plans
Dining Dollars
Beverage Subscription
Using Your Meal Plan
Meal Plan Billing
Dining Construction

Selecting or Changing Meal Plans
Why are the meal plan options limited by class year?

William & Mary's meal plans are designed to foster healthy dining habits of students that live both on and off campus. Because dining is as much a social experience as it is a vital part of campus life, we have designed programs that allow for the ultimate flexibility using meal swipes and Dining Dollars for Freshmen and Sophomores that allow for most of their meals to be consumed on campus. 

Juniors and Seniors are afforded increasing freedoms because we have found that their lives are more and more independent. Whether they are cooking for themselves or involved in a variety of community activities, they spend more time off-campus. Thus, meal plans are designed to foster that balance. 

What is the All Access Plan?

If you are an undergraduate resident on campus, meal plans are a required element of campus life. The All Access meal plan is designed to give a student the ultimate flexibility in how they dine on campus. With unlimited entries into residential dining (Commons and Sadler), students can access snacks, meals and beverages as needed. Freshmen and Sophomores are automatically enrolled in the All Access plan while Juniors and Seniors can select from two additional Block plans. Either way, eating on campus is a way to meet new friends, socialize and relax. 

What is a Block meal plan?

Block meal plans are a good choice for upperclassmen who have additional methods for meal service such as a campus apartment, off-campus housing or are not on campus full-time during the day. Block plans provide a set amount of meal swipes per semester for students to use in residential dining and Dining Dollars at retail locations. Unused meal swipes expire at the end of each semester

What if I live in a campus-managed apartment?

Residents of Ludwell, Tribe Square and Nicholas will be allowed to select from any meal plan, including the Commuter 50 and Commuter 25, regardless of class year. This also includes undergraduate students living in the Grad Complex. These residences offer an in-unit kitchen allowing 1-6 students to cook for themselves offering the most independent living arrangement at W&M. All other available housing options that are managed by W&M offer a communal kitchen which is available to 7 or more students.  

Can I change my plan once I've signed up?

Students will be auto-enrolled in the All Access plan and eligible students are permitted to make one change prior to the end of the add/drop period for each semester- Used meal swipes (Block plans only) and Dining Dollars will be deducted from the updated meal plan. Additional changes will be subject to a $25 processing fee.

Need to make an allowable meal plan adjustment after the add/drop period? Email [[dining]]. Refunds and charges will be calculated on a daily meal plan rate as of the date the request was made. A $25 processing fee will also be assessed. 

Changes beyond what is allowed by class year, residence location or cancellations are rare and must be approved by the Meal Plan Petition Committee after the submission of the completed online Meal Plan Petition. Petitions with supporting documentation will be reviewed once all documentation is received. Please review the Meal Plan Petition page for complete process information. Meal plan refunds will be calculated based on the day the Meal Plan Petition is approved. 

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Dining Dollars
What are Dining Dollars?

Dining Dollars are great for students who have a meal plan and want the flexibility to dine at retail locations on campus.  It provides flexibility and convenience with your Tribe Card to use at on campus W&M Dining facilities. Dining Dollars can be used to purchase food and beverages at all W&M Dining and convenience locations. Anything from having a Domino's Pizza delivered to your dorm room, to grabbing a pint of ice cream, to meeting your friends for a specialty coffee drink. You won't need to carry cash or visit an ATM every time you need lunch or snack money.   

Can I just buy Dining Dollars without a meal plan?

No. You must be enrolled in a meal plan to have access to Dining Dollars. 

What do I do when my Dining Dollars run low?

Simply add to your account online in increments as low as $10. Learn more about Dining Dollars. Budget wisely though, Dining Dollars are non-refundable. 

Do Dining Dollars roll to the next semester?

As long as a student maintains an active spring meal plan, unused Dining Dollars will transfer from the fall semester to the spring semester. Unused meal swipes will expire at the end of each semester. Dining Dollars do not roll from spring to summer or spring to fall meal plans.  Unused Dining Dollars will expire at the end of the spring semester and are non-refundable.

What happens to my Dining Dollars if I don't use them all by December and I CANCEL my meal plan in the spring?

Your unused Dining Dollars from the fall semester will expire. 

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Beverage Subscription

Each All Access meal plan includes a Drips and Sips beverage subscription which is available for a monthly fee for Block or non-meal plan holders. 

Subscriptions include unlimited drip coffee, hot tea and fountain beverages at all retail dining locations.  

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Using Your Meal Plan
Can I share my meal plan?

No. Meal plans are intended for individual use only. The meal plan holder is the only person who will have access to the meal plan. All meal plans are billed and charged to individual accounts and placed on each student's ID card for their personal use. Meal plan programs are designed so that the individual who has the meal plan may use it at their discretion for their personal use.

I have a meal plan and have a guest on campus. How can they eat in a residential dining facility?

A meal plan holder may use their Dining Dollars at Commons or Sadler. This will allow for greater flexibility when a student has a guest on campus or wants to maximize their Dining Dollars at a residential dining facility. 

Can I dine in a residential facility without a meal plan?

Yes. The two residential facilities accept Dining Dollars, W&M Express, credit and cash. Students may use Dining Dollars at residential facilities for an $8 door rate; Faculty/staff receive this rate with a valid Tribe Card. The Open Door Rate at residential dining facilities is:

Open Door Rate
Door Rate
Breakfast $9.50

(Sat and Sun only)

Lunch $14.20
Dinner $15.40
I have special dietary needs. What do I do?

At W&M Dining we recognize that each person’s diet is considered special. Many of our dining options feature fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and/or whole grains and other wholesome carbohydrates. For students with food allergies, the resident dining chefs are trained and knowledgeable about food allergies such as celiac disease, lactose intolerance, nut allergies and more. Your dining services dietitian is also available to help you manage your allergy.

At the True Balance station, the only foods served are prepared without gluten, wheat, soy, shellfish, dairy products, eggs, peanuts, or tree nuts. Foods are also protected against cross-contact with allergens throughout storage, preparation, and service. All customers need to take a clean plate at True Balance to avoid cross-contact.

You can check recipes on any dining station for the presence of these allergens and also fish, by clicking on the recipe in the online menu. This will bring you to the “nutrition calculator,” which lists the nutrition facts as well as allergens for all our recipes.  Point-of-sale materials on many items will also list allergens, nutrition facts, and icons highlighting foods that meet vegan, vegetarian, or Mindful criteria. Be aware that some ways of preparing foods are prone to cross-contact with allergens, such as deep-frying. If you have a severe allergy, pre-plan your menu with the chef so that an individual portion of food can be prepared for you if needed. You may also see the full ingredient list, recipe, or food labels for any product on request.

Depending on your allergy, you may also need to work with your resident advisor, roommate, friends and faculty. People around you should know if you carry an epinephrine self-injector, and about your emergency plan. William & Mary Dining works closely with FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education.) Check their site for information and resources for college students with food allergies.

Please contact us at [[specialdiets]] so that we may schedule an appointment to meet with you to review current menu offerings and evaluate your dietary needs.

If I am ill, how do I get a meal?

You may fill out an Under the Weather form and designate a helper to pick up your meal. Upon completion of the form, an email will be sent to you to confirm your meal request with a copy sent to your designated helper. Your designated helper should bring the confirmation email and their Tribe Card to Commons or the Food Hall for pick-up. Once a form is submitted, W&M Dining will deduct the meal from your meal plan. Each form is valid for one meal only. A separate form must be turned in for each meal pick-up.    

What does it mean when you say my meal plan will "rollover"?

If you have a meal plan in the fall, you will automatically be assigned the same meal plan in the spring and be billed accordingly. Unused Dining Dollars will roll from the fall semester to the spring semester for students who remain enrolled in a meal plan. Unused meal swipes will expire. This applies to both mandatory and optional meal plans. 

If you want to make a change or cancel your meal plan, you can use the online Meal Plan Selection system to make one change to the meal plan selection through the end of add/drop. 

What happens with my meal plan over the summer?

Meal plans expire at the end of each semester. If you are interested in a meal plan over the summer, you may purchase a Summer Meal Plan

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Meal Plan Billing
How will I be billed for my meal plan?

If you have not changed your meal plan or have not changed it before the billing in December/July, the charge for your meal plan will appear on your eBill. If you changed it after the billing in December/July, then your account will be adjusted and your Student Account will be updated. 

What happens to the money on my account if I have already paid for a meal plan and I then cancel it?

That credit will remain on your student account until the Bursar's Office runs the refund checks. If you have any questions about this, contact the Bursar's Office at (757) 221-1220, via email at [[bursar]], or visit the Student Accounts website. A daily rate and used Dining Dollars will be deducted from any refund. 

I emailed to change or cancel my meal plan. Do I need to do anything else?

Yes! Meal plans for residential undergraduate students are required. Freshman and Sophomores will automatically be enrolled in the All Access plan but if you are eligible to make a change, you must do so using the Meal Plan Selection system before the end of add/drop period to select or change your meal plan.

Changes or cancellations after the add/drop period are rare and must be approved by the Meal Plan Petition Committee after the submission of a completed Meal Plan Petition. Petitions approved after add/drop will result in financial adjustments based on a daily meal rate. Need to make an allowable meal plan adjustment after the add/drop period? Email [[dining]]. Refunds and charges will be calculated on a daily meal plan rate as of the date the request was made. A $25 processing fee will also be assessed. Daily meal rate charges do not apply to changes made prior to add/drop.    

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New Dining Facilities 
What is the status of the new dining facility?

Phase one of the $700-plus million comprehensive housing and dining facilities project began in July 2023. The new dining facility is anticipated to open in fall 2025. The dining facility is Phase one of a three phase, 10-year Housing & Dining Comprehensive Facilities Plan

Updated September 25, 2023