Meal Plan Policy

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- 112 days (16 weeks)
  • Spring semester- 108 days (15.42 weeks)
  • 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 social class, except for campus managed apartments (see below). The meal plan contract is for an academic year and is billable by semester. If students do not make a selection of a meal plan during open enrollment they will be automatically enrolled in the Gold 19 meal plan. Students are able to make changes free of charge prior to the end of the add/drop period for each semester. A meal plan selection from the fall will automatically be assigned in the spring and be billed accordingly.

Unused meals or dining dollar balances will not transfer between semesters.

Campus Managed Apartments: Ludwell, Tribe Square, Cabell, 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.


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.

Meal Plan
Meals per week
  • Freedom: Unlimited meal swipes per week and $100 Dining Dollars for the semester
  • Gold 19: 19 meal swipes per week and $225 Dining Dollars for the semester

Weekly meal plans reset on Wednesdays. Meals not used during a week are not refundable or held in reserve for use at another time.

Meals per block
  • Block 175: 175 meals per semester and $400 Dining Dollars for the semester
  • 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
  • Unused meals and Dining Dollars do not transfer to the following semester.
Meal Swipes

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

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. Students may use Dining Dollars at residential dining facilities and receive a $7.25 door rate, which can include access for a guest. Dining Dollars can be reloaded at any time and purchases are tax-free. 


Meal swipes and Dining Dollars do not roll from one semester to the next.

Meal Plan Eligibility

Eligibility is determined by social class except for residents in campus managed apartments. 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. Balance differences will be applied to the Student Account. Need to make an allowable meal plan adjustment after the add/drop period? Email [[w|dining]]. Changes will include a $25 processing fee in addition to refunds based on the daily meal rate.  

Residential Freshmen

Residential Sophomores

Residential Juniors

Residential Seniors

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

Commuter and Graduate students (Optional)


Gold 19

Block 175

Block 125

Block 100

Commuter 50

Commuter 25

Meal Periods

Meal periods are defined as the following:

  • Breakfast: 7-10 am (Continental: 10-11 am)
  • Lunch: 11 am-2:30 pm (Continual: 2:30-5 pm)
  • Dinner: 5-8 pm; 5 - 9 pm in Sadler Center
  • Late Night: 9 pm-12 am (Sadler Center only)
Contract Cancellation

Failure to participate in the meal plan does not automatically release a student from his/her dining contract.

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.

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

  • Student is accepted in a William and 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.

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. 

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

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. 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 17, 2018