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Meal Plan Policy

Acceptance of Terms
Contract Period

Meal Plan Structure
Contract Cancellation
Payments and Adjustments


The student accepts the terms and conditions of this contract upon acceptance of the William & Mary Housing Contract, upon initial payment, submission of preference forms or processing charges. Any form of acceptance binds the student to the entire contract unless eligible exclusions become known.

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.

Contract Period

The meal plan contract provides meals for fall and spring semesters. The operational dates vary according to individual locations and the academic calendar. Meals are not provided during break periods and some holidays.

Operating Days:
  • Fall semester- 111.65 days
  • Spring semester- 109.55 days 
  • Thanksgiving Break
  • Winter Break
  • Spring Break

A Meal Plan is mandatory for undergraduate students residing in campus-owned and managed properties and options are based on class year, except for campus managed apartments (see below). The meal plan contract is per semester and is billed accordingly. Freshmen and Sophomores are automatically enrolled in the All Access plan and all other eligible students will be automatically enrolled in the All Access plan if they do not make a selection during open enrollment.

Eligible changes must be made via (desktop only) by the end of the add/drop period. To make eligible changes using your mobile device, select Tribe Card in the W&M Mobile app. Need to make an allowable meal plan adjustment after the add/drop period? Email [[w|dining]].

A meal plan selection from the fall will automatically be assigned in the spring and be billed accordingly.

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 meals will expire at the end of each semester. 

Campus Managed Apartments: Ludwell, Tribe Square, Nicholas and the Grad Complex

Meal plans are mandatory for undergraduate students living in campus managed apartments, but residents are able to select from any of the meal plans including the commuter plans. W&M apartments 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.  

Voluntary Meal Plan

Graduate students and students residing off-campus may purchase any available meal plan, including the Commuter Plan. Voluntary meal plans will auto-renew between semesters and be billed accordingly. If a student decides to withdraw from a voluntary meal plan, they must do so prior to the end of the add/drop period.  Refunds will be applied pursuant of the refund policy defined below.


meal plan eligibility

Residential Freshmen

Residential Sophomores

Residential Juniors

Residential Seniors

Residents of Ludwell, Tribe Square and Nicholas Apartments and the Grad Complex

Commuter and Graduate students (Optional)

All Access

Block 125

Block 100

Commuter 50

Commuter 25


Meal Plan Structure
All Access
  • Unlimited meal swipes per week and $400 Dining Dollars for the semester. 
Meals per block
  • Block 125: 125 meals per semester and $400 Dining Dollars for the semester
  • Block 100: 100 meals per semester and $500 Dining Dollar for the semester
  • Commuter 50: 50 meals per semester and $560 Dining Dollars for the semester
  • Commuter 25: 25 meals per semester and $560 Dining Dollars for the semester
Meal Swipes

Meal swipes may be used in Commons and Sadler Dining Hall.

Dining Dollars

Dining Dollars are applied to all meal plans and the balance depends on the plan selected. This declining balance program is to be used at W&M Dining operated or contracted retail locations and is treated as a cash equivalent. Dining Dollars can be reloaded at any time and purchases are tax-free. 


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.

Contract Cancellation

Any student not required to be on a meal plan may cancel for any reason by the end of the add/drop period. In all cases, the student is responsible for officially withdrawing from the meal plan via (desktop only). To make eligible changes using your mobile device, select Tribe Card in the W&M Mobile app. Eligible refunds will be issued in accordance with the refund policy listed below. Failure to participate in the meal plan does not release a student from their dining contract.


Meal Plan Petitions are considered by the Meal Plan Release Committee for well documented, extraordinary circumstance not listed above. A student making a request to be released from the Meal Plan Contract is asking for an exception.  An approval of the petition is not automatic and is generally given only for well documented extraordinary circumstance. Meal plan refunds will be calculated based on the day the Meal Plan Petition is approved.  

For complete Meal Plan Petition instructions, visit Meal Plan Petition.

A Meal Plan Petition is not required for the following reasons:  

  • Student is accepted in a William & Mary approved study abroad program. Verification must be received from the Reves Center.
  • Student is academically dismissed. Verification must be received from the Dean of Students office or the student's graduate program.
  • Student is required to withdraw due to medical reasons. Verification must be received from the Dean of Students office.
  • Student transfers to another institution. A copy of the acceptance letter to the institution is required for verification.
Payment and Adjustments

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 a new eBill will be sent out after add/drop. Payment is due in accordance with the deadlines established by the Bursars Office.

Meal plan usage charges are calculated on a daily rate and the date a change is made.  If a student changes to a lesser plan or drops a voluntary meal plan and has already used a portion of the plan, refunds will be based on the difference between the two plans. Used Dining Dollars will also be deducted from any eligible refund.

If a plan is fully removed, refunds and 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 for all changes applied after the end of add/drop.

Any balance differences will be applied to the Student Account. Failure to make payment when due may result in penalties, including a hold/block on registration and/or transcripts. 


Meal plans and campus food transactions using Dining Dollars are tax free pursuant to Virginia Retail Sales and Use Tax Regulation 630-10-96(A)(4) provides that institutions of learning must collect the tax on retail sales of meals to students or others if the price of the meals is not included in room, board or tuition charges or fees.

Since the meal plans provided by the Taxpayer are included as part of a student's room, board or tuition charges, the meals are not subject to the sales and use tax. This applies to charges for regularly scheduled meals and the value of "equivalent meals" that are redeemed as part of the college's meal plan and reimbursed by the college.

Updated October 3, 2023