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Meal Plan Terms & Conditions

  1. All first and second year students will be assigned to the Open Access meal plan. The Open Access Meal Plan provides UNLIMITED meal swipes per week within any of the four resident dining halls, $125 Dining Dollars per quarter, with 3 Guest Meals per quarter. This includes being able to come and go from the dining hall multiple times within any meal period. Hours are posted on the dining website and meals are available 7 days a week throughout the academic year. Times and locations may vary based on the academic schedule, but typically you will be able to get food in campus residential dining halls throughout the day from breakfast until late night dining at 11:30 pm. Dining dollars do not expire each quarter. Unspent dining dollars will roll over to the next quarter until the end of the academic year. All meal plan swipes and dining dollars will expire at Commencement in June

  2. For transfer and upper-class students, there are additional dining options to choose from. These options are listed on our website and described below. Additional Meal Plan Options:     

    Base 14 Meal PlanThe Base 14 Meal Plan provides 14 meal swipes per week for use within any of the five resident dining halls, $225 Dining Dollars per quarter, with 3 Guest Meals per quarter.                                                     

    Flex Pack 330
    The Flex Pack 330 offers 110 meals per quarter and $275 Dining Dollars per quarter. Meal Swipes can be used for guests at any time.

    *Flex Pack 210: *This meal plan option is only available to students who join a Greek house and purchase the house meal plan, but continue to live within Resident housing. The Flex Pack 210 offers 70 meals per quarter and $100 Dining Dollars per quarter. Meal Swipes can be used for guests at any time.   

    Purple 50/50 Plan: The Purple 50/50 Plan offers 50 Meals Swipes + $50 Dining Dollars per Quarter *For commuters and voluntary purchases.
  3. Students are permitted to make one change to their board contract per quarter. Requests for changes made after the second week of classes will be effective the following quarter.

  4. If you have special dietary requirements please contact our campus dietician at 847-491-DIET (3438).   

  5. Northwestern dining is committed to providing meals for students during University vacation periods including Thanksgiving, winter break and Spring Break. A survey will be sent out prior to these breaks for students to indicate if they will be on campus and planning to take meals. There is no additional cost to the students for this service and it will not affect your meal plan balance.

  6. Each student is issued a photographic identification card (WildCARD), which must be presented in order to obtain access to the food services. Students who lose their identification card must go to the WildCARD Office for a replacement and pay the applicable replacement fee. Meals will not be provided without a valid WildCARD.

  7. No partial refunds for unused meal swipes on board contracts will be provided. Dining dollars will be prorated when changing meal plans. Since it is not possible to give refunds for every cause, we cannot make exceptions for religious groups or charitable organizations. Meals and points are non-transferable with the exception of making a donation to an approved student charity event.

  8. Students may be able to get a credit towards the cost of the meal plan if they work in the dining halls for a minimum of 10 flexible hours per week, or a minimum of 100 hours per quarter, conditions apply. Upon termination of employment, the board portion of the contract is immediately prorated and costs reinstated.

  9. A student who demonstrates a medical or severe dietary must apply for a release from the meal plan in writing. Prior to the request, please contact the University Student Health Services and provide a doctor’s note to document the circumstances. A letter from the health services must accompany your request in writing to the University Food Service Office Requests will be evaluated as they are received. All students making a request will be asked to meet with the campus dietician to receive verification that we are not able to meet the dining needs. We are able to handle most dietary accommodations and expect that students work with the staff to ensure we have an effective plan for them. Releases to take effect for the fall quarter must be filed by Friday of the second week of classes of that quarter. Releases to take effect at the end of the fall or winter quarters must be filed two weeks before the last day of classes for that quarter. Meal plan change forms may be found here:
  10. A student who withdraws from the University or who moves from a University residence hall to an off-campus residence may be released from the board portion of this contract effective the last day of the student’s residence, if the student applies for such release in writing at the University Food Service Office. Meal plan charges will be prorated effective the date the student leaves the residence hall.
  11. Students who live off campus may purchase any of the meal plans offered by Northwestern Dining. We recommend the Commuter meal plan for off-campus students. This plan provides 50 meal swipes and $50 dining dollars per quarter. See the dining website for additional details.
  12. Students may open a debit account called Cat Cash. Funds will be placed on your student WildCard ID. Cat Cash is a way to take advantage of tax free purchases on campus. To find out more visit