Info for... William & Mary
William & Mary W&M menu close William & Mary

Meal Plan Release Petition

Can I be released from the meal plan if I live on campus?

The Meal Plan Contract covers an entire academic year and all undergraduate students living in university-owned housing are required to have a meal plan

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

  1. The student is accepted in a William & Mary approved study abroad program. Verification must be received from the Reves Center.
  2. The student is academically dismissed. Verification must be received from the Dean of Students office or the student's graduate program.
  3. The student is required to withdraw due to medical reasons. Verification must be received from the Dean of Students office.
  4. The 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 a 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 a well documented extraordinary circumstance. Location of residence hall is not considered an extenuating circumstance for a meal plan exemption. 

Can I be released from the meal plan if I follow a special diet?

William & Mary Dining Services are able to accommodate students with allergies to gluten, wheat, soy, shellfish, dairy, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts as well as vegetarian and vegan dietary restrictions, so citing these dietary restrictions are not typically approved as a reason to be released from the meal plan.

Please visit the Special Diets page for more information.  If you believe your diet cannot be accommodated, please submit a Meal Plan Petition and a meeting with the Dining Services Dietitian will be arranged.  The petitioning process requires Dining Services to provide a written recommendation to include with your petition regarding how your diet can, or cannot, be accommodated. Auxiliary Services will arrange the meeting as part of the petitioning process.

What if my religion requires certain dietary restrictions and I can’t eat in the dining hall?

Halal-certified meat is served at our Mediterranean-themed station in the Commons Dining Hall during lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday.

Additionally, both dining halls offer a robust vegan station as well as many vegan and vegetarian menu options daily in other stations. See the Special Diets page for more information about following a plant-based diet. Following a vegetarian or vegan diet for religious reasons may not be approved as a reason to be released from the meal plan.  

What do I need to do to submit a meal plan release petition?

2022-2023 Meal Plan Petition

While completing this petition, you will need to have these documents available to submit based on your reasons for petitioning:

  • Financial: income and expenses, i.e. bills, checking/savings, loans, tax returns, and W2's
  • Medical: Medical Release Form and Healthcare Provider Assessment Form. Both forms are available for download in the Meal Plan Release Petition. These forms must include diagnostic criteria that adheres to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States. 
    • Documentation not accepted:

      • Letters written by healthcare providers who are related to the student or are not caring for the student in an official capacity
      • Physician’s notes recommending exemption from the meal plan requirement 
      • Self-diagnosis or family diagnosis of food allergies, nonceliac gluten intolerance or other diagnosis without supporting medical corroboration.  
  • Religious: document demonstrating proof of practice
  • Other: verification of circumstance

 Documents not written in English must be translated. Petitions will not be reviewed until all documentation is received by William & Mary. 

All information or appointments should be completed within two (2) weeks of the request or the petition will be voided.

Petitions approved after the add/drop period will be subject to a daily rate and a change fee. The daily rate will be based on the date of approval, not the date of petition submission.

What happens after I submit the petition?

Once your petition is submitted, and all supporting documentation is received, it will be reviewed by the appropriate areas: 

  • Petitions submitted for financial reasons, the petition will go before the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Petitions submitted for medical reasons will require a meeting with the Dining Services Registered Dietitian and will then go before the Medical Review Committee. The Dietitian will contact you to schedule that appointment, if needed.
  • Petitions filed for religious reasons will go before Center for Student Diversity.
  • Petitions filed for other reasons will go before the Meal Plan Petition Committee. Meal Plan Petitions submitted based on residence hall location will not be considered.

Recommendations from these reviewers will be provided to the Meal Plan Petition Committee, who will then make the final decision. The student will be contacted regarding the committee's decision with an email to their W&M email address. 

What do I do if I need to make an allowable meal plan adjustment after the add/drop period?

Email [[w|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.

Who do I contact if I have additional questions?

Contact Auxiliary Services with any questions at [[auxiliary]].

Updated: June 21, 2022