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Students eating in Port Sky's Creekside room

Meal Plans

Meal Plan Options

Whether you're an on-campus resident, a commuting student on campus five days a week, or a part-time student or faculty member in need of a quick bite, we offer a meal plan option that works for you!

Campus Meal Plan

The Campus Meal Plan is included in the HFS Contract and offers the best discount for any student who eats more than 10 meals per week on campus. Made up of a base membership fee and spendable dining dollars, the Campus Meal Plan is accepted at every Campus Dining location on campus and across the state, creating the largest variety of options in addition to earning a discount on nearly every purchase. Choose from three levels of spendable dining dollars and change the level at any time until the last days of the semester - and if funds are running low, supplement with LionCash and receive the deeper Campus Meal Plan discount.

Commuter Meal Plan

The Commuter Meal Plan offers students the opportunity to eat for less than paying out of pocket while saving time that otherwise would be spent packing lunch or driving off-campus. It's the best choice for students who eat on campus a few times per week and want to charge their plan to the student account. Three levels to choose from and each carries over from fall to spring - there's no need to purchase a spring meal plan when you have funds remaining from fall.

LionCash

LionCash is the most flexible option for students, faculty, and staff - an online, prepaid spending account accessed with the Penn State id+ Card. Funds can be added at any time in increments as low as $5.00, and it's accepted on and off-campus at restaurants, markets, bookstores, entertainment venues, and more! View our complete list of participating merchants and enjoy the convenience of making cash-free purchases on your terms.

It's easy to purchase a meal plan - log on to eLiving to choose from available options.

Compare Plans

Looking to compare plans at a glance? Take a look at the chart below which highlights some of the main differences between our meal plan options.

  Campus Meal Plan  Commuter Meal Plan  LionCash
Recommended For 

Required for all on-campus students without personal kitchens

Recommended for students in on-campus or off-campus apartments who eat more than 10 meals per week on campus

Students who need to charge meal plan to LionPATH account Students who eat less than 10 meals per week on campus
Discounts 

*65% on prepared foods in UP food districts and campus dining centers, with exceptions

Discounts in other locations vary; view full list

10% discount on prepared foods in UP food districts and campus dining centers, with exceptions

Discounts in other locations vary; view full list

10% discount on prepared foods in UP food districts and campus dining centers, with exceptions

Discounts in other locations vary; view full list

Plan Cost Spring 2021:
Level 1: $2,100/semester
Level 2: $2,449/semester
Level 3: $2,732 /semester 
Spring 2021:
Level 1: $250
Level 2: $500
Level 3: $1,000
You decide your spend - the most flexible option
Dining Dollars  Spendable dining dollars vary by plan level
Spring 2021:
Level 1: $655
Level 2: $1004
Level 3: $1287
 
Spendable funds vary by plan level
Spring 2021:
Level 1: $250
Level 2: $500
Level 3: $1,000
 
You decide your spend - the most flexible option
Meal Breakdown  Level 1: 7-9 meals per week
Level 2: 11-13 meals per week
Level 3: 14-16 meals per week
 
Level 1: 1-2 meals or snacks per week
Level 2: 3 meals or snacks per week
Level 3: 4-6 meals or snacks per week
 
You decide your spend, but the value of your spend is comparable to the commuter meal plan above.
Leftover Funds  Dining dollars carry over from summer to fall semester and fall to spring semester with purchase of additional meal plan; remaining funds are forfeited at the end of the spring semester.  Funds carry over from fall to spring semester and are forfeited at the end of the spring semester.  Funds never expire.

Meal Plan FAQs

Meal Plans

General

Can I cancel my meal plan?

Campus Meal Plans are required for students living on campus who are not assigned to apartments with a full kitchen. The Campus Meal Plan must be purchased for each semester, and cannot be canceled.

Students assigned to apartments with a full kitchen and off-campus students who have purchased a meal plan may change their meal plan level until the Friday of finals week. Meal plans once purchased are binding, and balances are not refundable.

Students who withdraw or end their relationship with the University mid-semester may receive their remaining dining dollars and a prorated refund of the base cost. Any refund will be credited to the student account or to the credit card used to purchase the meal plan.

A meal plan cannot be transferred or assigned to another individual.

How do I check my meal plan balance?

Students can check and manage their meal plan balance online at idcard.psu.edu/manage-accounts. Available balances are also displayed at Campus Dining registers and on receipts, but understand that the registers display a combined meal plan and LionCash account balance.

If funds are running low, friends and family can add dining dollars or LionCash, too.

How does my meal plan work?

The Campus Meal Plan provides easy purchasing and savings for students who regularly eat meals on campus. 

The Campus Meal Plan account is accessed via your Penn State id+ Card. Each time you visit a dining facility operated by Penn State Housing and Food Services, simply present your id+ card to the cashier, who will swipe the card through a reader. The reader will access your account, deduct the proper purchase amount, and display your new account balance.

What are the different meal plan discounts?

Students have access to the greatest discounts when they use their Campus Meal Plan:

  • 65 percent at Buffet to Go and All-You-Care-to-Eat locations
  • 65 percent on prepared items* at food courts
  • 10 percent on prepared items* at specialty fast casual operations such as Soup & Garden, Grate Chee, and Blue Burrito in the HUB, Bruno's at Behrend, The Outpost at Harrisburg, and coffee shops at campus locations

The Commuter Meal Plan and LionCash offer a 10 percent discount on the items and  locations listed above. Additional LionCash discounts may be available at off-campus participating locations.

 

*prepared items are meals, snacks, and beverages that are made by Campus Dining staff. This excludes menu items at nationally branded restaurants and cafes.

What happens to my leftover meal plan funds?

Remaining Campus Meal Plan funds at the end of the summer or fall semester will carry over to the next semester so long as the student has purchased any level of Campus Meal Plan for the next semester. Students living on campus are required to purchase a Campus Meal Plan each semester. 

Commuter Meal Plan funds carry over from fall to spring regardless of whether a spring commuter meal plan has been purchased.

If you have too many dining dollars, you can lower your campus meal plan level at any time until noon on the last Friday of the semester.

If your dining dollar balance is low, funds will automatically be pulled from your LionCash account (provided there are funds available in LionCash) and still provide the same discounted rate provided by your meal plan on any purchases.

All remaining Campus and Commuter Meal Plan funds at the end of spring semester are forfeited. Students who do not have an active Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract for spring semester will have all remaining funds at the end of fall semester forfeited.

LionCash never expires and is available until you are no longer registered as a Penn State student.
 

What meal plan options are available?

We offer three different meal plan options: Campus Meal Plan, Commuter Meal Plan, or LionCash funds. Review our meal plan comparison to choose the plan that best suits your needs. 

Where can I use my meal plan?

Campus Meal Plan dining dollars can be used at all Campus Dining locations across the commonwealth*, as well as at popular destinations at University Park such as Beaver Stadium, Bryce Jordan Center, Pegula Ice Arena, and Berkey Creamery.

Commuter Meal Plans can be used at all Campus Dining locations across the commonwealth*.

LionCash can be used at hundreds of merchants, both on and off campus. Visit https://idcard.psu.edu/merchants for a full list.

 

*Campuses offering Campus Dining locations:  Abington, Altoona, Beaver, Berks, Behrend, Brandywine, Dubois, Fayette, Greater Allegheny, Harrisburg, Hazleton, Mont Alto, New Kensington, Schuylkill, Scranton, Shenango, University Park, Wilkes-Barre, and York