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Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting or changing meal plans
Using your meal plan
Dining Dollars
Meal Plan Billing

Selecting or Changing Meal Plans:
What is the best plan for me?

If you are an undergraduate resident on campus, meal plans are a required element of campus life. Depending on your social class, you have a number of options to best suit your lifestyle. Students will be automatically enrolled in the Gold 19 meal plan but are able to make one change free of charge prior to the end of the add/drop period for each semester. Either way, eating on campus is a way to meet new friends, socialize and relax. 

Why are the meal plan options limited by social class?

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 location 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 if I live in a campus-managed apartment?

Residents of Ludwell, Tribe Square, Cabell and Nicholas will be allowed to select from any meal plan, including the Commuter 50 and Commuter 25, regardless of social class. 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?

If a meal plan is not selected, students will be auto-enrolled in the Gold 19 plan and will be eligible to make one change prior to the end of the add/drop period for each semester. Changes may be made for the Fall 2021 semester through September 10. Used meal swipes 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 social class, 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. 

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 use the online Meal Plan Selection system to make one change to the meal plan selection through September 10.

What happens with my meal plan over the summer?

Each school year the meal plans are cleared out. You must select a meal plan each fall semester.

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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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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 Center Court and receive an $8.00 door rate. This will allow for greater flexibility when a student with a weekly meal plan has a guest on campus or when a student with a Block plan 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 W&M Express, credit and cash. If you have a meal plan, you can pay using Dining Dollars for an $8.00 door rate. The Open Door Rate for credit, cash and Express at residential dining facilities is:

Open Door Rate
Door Rate
Breakfast $9.20

(Sat and Sun only)

Lunch $13.80
Dinner $14.95
What happens if I miss a meal? Do I get a credit?

If you have the Gold plan you are not restricted to the number of meals used in a given day, only the number of meals in a given week. However, if you do not use your allotment in a given week, your unused meals will not roll over. 

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 Simple Servings 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 Simple Servings 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 (pdf) and send it with a friend, along with your ID, to pick up a meal for you from the Commons or Center Court. If a student is residing in quarantine housing, we will work with them to ensure they receive access to healthy and appropriate meal options.  

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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. 

My parents wrote "cancel meal plan" or wrote my meal plan selection on the bill and added the cost to the check they mailed. Do I need to do anything else?

Yes! Meal plans for residential undergraduate students are required. To make changes to your meal plan, use 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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Updated September 14, 2021