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Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting or changing meal plans
Using your meal plan
Dining Dollars
Meal Plan Billing
Statement from Sodexo on W&M Dining
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 Spring 2022 semester through February 4. 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 February 4.

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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Statement from Sodexo on W&M Dining

April 15, 2022

Thank you to members of the W&M Community for offering candid feedback on what you expect from your dining experience and how we might improve. Your input is critically important, and it has sparked a number of advancements, additions and improvements.

As you may be aware, the local health department conducted an inspection in February 2022 that did not meet our expectations. All items identified in that report have been addressed and we received strong marks from subsequent inspections on March 31 at all of our dining locations.

In addition, Sodexo North America Chief Executive Officer, Campus Division, Brett Ladd, visited campus on April 12 to hear directly from W&M students, Sodexo management and staff about the dining experience at W&M.

Following his visit, Mr. Ladd concluded, “The W&M Dining team is dedicated to the best possible service and experience for all members of the community. I look forward to seeing your satisfaction increase in response to our immediate and long-term initiatives for improvement. Please remain engaged and give us your feedback as that is what guides our efforts to best serve you.”

Beyond addressing the immediate action items identified in late February, the W&M Dining team continues to implement improvements to meet the needs and expectations of the W&M Community, including newly implemented process controls for our entire dining team, increased quality monitoring and additional third-party inspections at all dining locations on campus.  

Some other immediate actions are underway:

Quality Control
  • We’re hiring a Quality Control manager dedicated to W&M Dining and skilled at managing a complex hospitality operation with over a dozen dining locations to ensure the quality of the food we serve you across our campus. This new position is in addition to a new Senior Operations Manager hired to specifically provide leadership during peak times, nights and weekends that begins later in April.
  • In addition, we have committed to installing new technology in milk dispensers and cooling units to monitor temperature fluctuation with real-time alerts.
  • To provide the best service and value, weekend meals will be expanded at the Caf/Commons with service remaining at Sadler Express, Late Night, Marketplace Mobile Orders and our retail locations. Although we’ve consolidated locations, we have intentionally expanded both hours and offerings. We piloted this new process last weekend and received very positive feedback from W&M students. We will continue to implement steps to enhance service and variety.
Visiting Special Chef
  • For the remainder of the semester, students will enjoy Visiting Special Chefs from across the country. These guest chefs will support our W&M Dining culinary teams, student appreciation events, and resident dining. Our first events will be a plant-based pop-up for Earth Day (Friday, April 22).
Student Appreciation
  • In addition to the Earth Day event, we will have other weekly student appreciation events, including a barbecue event to say thank you during Finals Week.
New for the Fall
  • As we look beyond this semester, Sodexo is continuing to work with W&M leadership to identify future enhancements to our dining program. We are already planning to deploy the next generation of mobile ordering in Fall 2022 in order to provide students with improved technology, more information and more accessibility. We expect additional announcements in the near future.

Both now and in the future, we will continue to review our dining program and ensure it meets all of our expectations, as well as the standards of excellence established by the university. To that end, please keep providing us feedback. It drives our efforts for the best possible service and experience for our students at W&M.

You can message us directly at

- W&M Dining Culinary Teams

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Updated April 15, 2022