For the first three years of my college experience, we have had the same meal plan options. The old meal plans were each worth $2,797. The first of the previous two options gave students unlimited access to the cafeteria (meaning you could swipe into the cafeteria multiple times during the day) with around $100 of flex money, which could be used at either Jack’s Corner (the late-night fast-food place on campus) or Café 1812 (the coffee and sandwich place on campus). The second previous meal plan option gave you 14 meal slots a week (to be used at the cafeteria or the Café) and $150 in flex. Because of meal equivalency, there were times when you could get food at the Café instead of going to the cafeteria.
Freshmen were all required to take the Unlimited meal plan, but after freshmen year, you could decide which one better suited your class schedule. I kept the Unlimited meal plan my sophomore year, which worked out reasonably well, except for the fact that we all ran out of flex really fast. So our Junior year, me and my friends all decided to go with the 14 per week meal plan. This was actually a really good choice for us. We didn’t really eat breakfast, but we would go for lunch at Café 1812, and then eat dinner at the cafeteria or use flex and eat Jacks later. If you played your cards right, you could eat at Jack’s with your flex about twice a week. But recently the school has offered new meals plans in replacement of the old ones.
The new meal plans are titled the ‘Standard’ and the ‘Enhanced.’ The Standard meal plan is $2,935; this covers unlimited access to the cafeteria, $150 in flex money, but you don’t have meal equivalency at Café 1812 or Jack’s. The Enhanced meal plan is $3,185; this covers unlimited access to the cafeteria, $100 dollars in flex AND meal equivalency at Café 1812 and Jack’s Corner.
For a long time, the student body had been fighting for meal equivalency at Jack’s Corner, especially since some people have evening classes that run through dinner at the cafeteria. So in that respect, the new meal plans have done really well. For me, the hardest part was choosing between the two, especially since there seems to be a big gap in what you get with each meal plan. On the one hand, if you like going to the cafeteria, and you have the time to do so, the Standard meal plan can cover whatever you need. On the other hand, you can get meal equivalency at Café 1812 and Jack’s Corner, but to me, the unlimited access to the cafeteria seems a little unnecessary. For the most part, if I have access to Café 1812 and Jack’s, I would just go there for my meals.
My roommates and I discussed the pros and cons of each plan thoroughly and eventually we decided to go with the Enhanced. This one seemed to fit us a lot better than the Standard. We like eating at Café 1812 and sometimes Jack’s is a late-night food must. I am still a little unsure if this was the best direction to go with the meal plans, but I will be sure to keep everyone updated when next year begins.
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