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FAQs - Dining Plan
- What is the cost of the dining plan?
- If I live in the Residence Halls or Apartments, do I have to have a dining plan?
- When do I sign up for a dining plan?
- What if I want to change my dining plan?
- How many meals per week am I guaranteed?
- What is a declining balance plan?
- Is the dining plan just something else for me to keep track of?
- Are Resident Dining Plan Points considered to be actual money?
- Do I get a refund if I can’t spend all my Resident Dining Plan Points?
- What happens to my Resident Dining Plan Points at the end of the quarter?
- What if I run out of Resident Dining Points?
- Although I started the fall as a sophomore, I’ve completed enough courses this spring to become a junior. Can I change my plan to the Junior/Senior Plan?
- My parents live nearby and I go home a lot on weekends. Can I get a Junior/Senior plan?
- I have special dietary needs. Who should I see?
- I’m a vegetarian. What options do you have for me?
Questions and Answers
Room and board charges are billed together through the University Bursar's Office and appear on the Bursar Account bill with tuition. With each plan, you have the flexibility of dining when and how you like, or purchasing groceries on campus. The dining plan is a quarterly allocation of purchasing points. There is no predetermined number of meals per week, so you won’t lose out if you leave campus for a few days. Freshmen and Sophomores can only select from the Preferred or Basic Plan. Juniors and Seniors can select from three plans, either the Preferred, Basic, or Junior/Senior plan. Juniors and Seniors living in an apartment style accommodation also have a fourth option to select the Apartment plan.
Each year, the dining plans include the respective number of points. Each point is equal to a dollar. For example, during the 2012-2013 year:
- Preferred (1,531 points per quarter)
- Basic (1,308 points per quarter)
- Junior/Senior (898 points per quarter)
- Apartment Plan (193 points per quarter)
Yes. For freshmen and sophomores, shared dining is an important way to make connections and build community. For juniors and seniors, dining plans offer a convenient and flexible approach to their dining needs. Apartment residents will find a dining plan offers an easy way to pay for RLC catered events, or to purchase snacks on campus.
New students choose a dining plan beginning March 1 as part their RLC/Housing Preference Form. Returning students choose a dining plan as part of their housing selection beginning March 1. Students requesting to live in apartments on campus will choose a dining plan when submitting their RLC/Housing Preference Form. Current sophomores and juniors living off campus who are interested in on campus housing please contact the Housing and Residence Life Office at (408) 554-4900, or via e-mail.
Once the quarter starts, you cannot change your dining plan. The Offices of Housing & Residence Life have Resident Dining Plan Change Request Forms and the change period schedule. There is no charge to change your plan.
None of the plans are a "guarantee" of any specific number of meals. The plans are declining balance plans in which you pay for what you choose.
A declining balance plan works like a debit card: You start each quarter with a preset number of dining points. Each time you purchase a food item, your balance will be decreased by the amount of your purchase.
Don’t worry. We make it easy for you to track your balance. At each point-of-sale register you’ll find a "Pace-yourself" chart showing approximately what your balance should be for each week of the quarter. You can check your balance at any register, at the Value Transfer Stations in Benson (ACCESS Card Office) or Orradre Library, or on the Access card Web site. That way, you can make sure your spending is on pace and that you don’t run out of points.
Resident Dining Points are not real money. They are a method of assigning values for the different dining plan options.
There are no cash refunds for unspent points.
At the end of the Fall quarter, if you remain in residency, up to 65 points will transfer to your beginning balance for the Winter quarter. Same for Winter to Spring quarter. At the end of the Spring quarter, however, any unspent points will not carry over and will be forfeited.
You can always add Dining Plus Points, at any time, and in any amount.
(Purchases of $50 of more can be charged to your student account.) These are a great value: You save 8.25% (sales tax isn’t charged) and Dining Plus points are good for as long as you are enrolled at Santa Clara University.
No. The Junior/ Senior Plan is available for those beginning their third or fourth collegiate year at the start of their contract period.
Only those beginning their third or fourth collegiate year at the start of their contract period may choose the Junior/Senior Plan.
Talk to a Bon Appetit manager if you have medical or dietary restrictions. Everything possible will be done to meet your special needs.
Lots! Every venue operated by Bon Appetit offers vegetarian options. Vegetarian meals are available every day. Diners can create vegan meals any time via the build-your-own program in "Farmers' Pantry" which provides a variety of seasonal and local prepared vegetables and grains for use in salads, pasta or sautéed dishes.
SCU also has a commitment to providing fresh, organic, and local ingredients whenever possible to create healthy food while following sustainable practices and fostering ecological awareness.
For a complete daily menu list, venue operating hours, and other detailed information about SCU's on-campus food service, visit the Dining Services Web site.
Dining Services at Santa Clara University are proudly brought to you by Bon Appetit. We are proud to share that your food is prepared by employees who are paid in accordance with the guidelines for a living wage as established by the City of San Jose.