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collage of menu items including shrimp, salad, and sandwiches

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 offers the best discount for any student who eats more than 10 meals per week on campus (for University Park, these would be meals in the all-you-care-to-eat dining commons). The Campus Meal Plan is accepted at every Campus Dining location on campus and across the state at multiple Penn State campuses, creating the largest variety of options in addition to earning a discount on nearly every purchase. Items that are pre-packaged, branded, or at a nationally-branded concept (for example, Sbarro) will not receive a discount.

The Campus Meal Plan is comprised of two cost components: base cost (similar to a "membership fee"), which covers operational expenses, and dining dollars, which is the amount available on the student's Penn State id+ Card to make purchases with. There are three (3) levels of spendable dining dollars. Campus Meal Plan holders will receive a discount on qualifying purchases at select operations.

The student's Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract defaults to level 2, and students can change the level at any time in eLiving until the last day of the semester. Remaining dining dollars at end the end of the contracted period are non-refundable, so if a student is running low on funds, the meal plan can be supplemented with LionCash and still receive the deeper Campus Meal Plan discount.

For students who live in University Housing, the Campus Meal Plan conveniently included in the HFS Contract and does not need to be purchased separately. Students living off campus can purchase the Campus Meal Plan through eLiving.

To learn more about the Campus Meal Plan, watch this video (rates listed in video are from the 2021-2022 academic year).

Commuter Meal Plan

The Commuter Meal Plan offers students living off campus 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. The Commuter Meal Plan offers a 10% discount on qualifying purchases. It's the best choice for students who eat on campus a few times per week and want to charge the cost of the meal plan to the student's LionPATH 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.

Students living off campus can purchase the Commuter Meal Plan through eLiving.

LionCash

LionCash is the most flexible option for students, faculty, and staff - it's an online, prepaid spending account accessed with the Penn State id+ Card. LionCash members can receive a 10% discount on qualifying purchases. Funds can be added online at any time in increments as low as $5.00, and LionCash is accepted at on- and off-campus restaurants, markets, bookstores, entertainment venues, and more! Funds are available to students during their time as a Penn State student.

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 Comparison
  Campus Meal Plan  Commuter Meal Plan  LionCash
Recommended For 

Required for all on-campus students without personal kitchens in on-campus apartments

Recommended for students in on-campus or off-campus apartments who eat more than 10 meals per week on campus (for University Park, these would be meals in the all-you-care-to-eat dining commons)

Students who need to charge meal plan to LionPATH account, where a scholarship, grant, loan, etc. may cover the cost

Students who eat less than 10 meals per week on campus

Accepted at

every Campus Dining location on campus and across the state at multiple Penn State campuses

every Campus Dining location on campus and across the state at multiple Penn State campuses

every Campus Dining location on campus and across the state at multiple Penn State campuses

AND participating off-campus merchants

Discounts 

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

Discounts in other locations vary

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

Discounts in other locations vary

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

Discounts in other locations vary

Total Plan Cost

Fall 2023-Spring 2024:
Level 1: $2,433/semester
Level 2: $2,656/semester
Level 3: $2,861/semester 

Level 1: $250
Level 2: $500
Level 3: $1,000

Flexible option - you decide what amount to deposit and spend

Dining Dollars 

Spendable dining dollars vary by plan level
Fall 2023-Spring 2024:
Level 1: $843
Level 2: $1,066
Level 3: $1,271

Spendable funds vary by plan level
Level 1: $250
Level 2: $500
Level 3: $1,000

Flexible option - you decide what amount to deposit and spend

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

Flexible option - you decide what amount to deposit and spend. The value of your purchase is comparable to the Commuter Meal Plan

Leftover Funds 

Dining dollars carry over from summer to fall semester, and fall to spring semester so long as a meal plan has been purchased for each semester; all funds expire at the end of the spring semester.

Funds carry over from fall to spring semester and expire at the end of the spring semester. 

Funds never expire (until you graduate or leave Penn State)

All-You-Care-To-Eat Meal Prices

Behrend and University Park campuses offer All-You-Care-To-Eat dining options. Compare the all-you-care-to-eat meal prices across various plans.

 

All-You-Care-To-Eat Meal Prices 2023-2024 Academic Year

Plan

Breakfast

Lunch

Brunch/Dinner

Campus Meal Plan

$2.95

$4.45

$5.55

Campus Meal Plan Guest

$5.90

$8.90

$11.10

LionCash/Commuter Meal Plan

$7.60

$11.45

$14.25

Credit (Visa/MasterCard)

$8.45

$12.70

$15.85

Children 6-10 years

$3.40

$5.00

$6.60

Children under 6

free

free

free

Meal Plan FAQs

Meal Plans

General

How do I check my meal plan balance?

There are several ways a student can check their meal plan balance:

  1. Online idcard.psu.edu/manage-accounts 

  2. Transact eAccounts app, downloadable through Google Play or Apple App Store

  3. eLiving > My Info > My Meal Plan

  4. Penn State GO app > Dining > Penn State Eats mobile app *

  5. Penn State Eats web ordering *

* balance will only be displayed when an order is processed

The Campus Meal Plan level can be managed on eLiving > My Info > My Meal Plan through 12:00 p.m. (noon) ET the last day of finals for the spring or fall semester. The system will display whether the student's account is eligible to be increased or decreased to a different meal plan level.

When a student's dining dollar balance runs low, add funds to the student's LionCash account instead of increasing the meal plan level. Campus Meal Plan account holders can use LionCash and receive the same discounted rate that the Campus Meal Plan offers for qualifying purchases. Indicate Campus Meal Plan when checking out, and the system will transfer the required funds to cover the cost of purchase. 

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.

Is the meal plan required, can I cancel it?

The Campus Meal Plan is a required purchase for students living on campus for summer (if applicable), fall, and spring semesters and cannot be purchased. Students who live in on-campus apartments are not required to purchase the Campus Meal Plan.

The Commuter Meal Plan is available for students living in off-campus housing or living in an on-campus apartment. Any student who needs to make a change to their Commuter Meal Plan should contact their campus Housing and Food Services Office, or the id+ Office at University Park.

Students who withdraw or end their relationship with the University after the semester has started may be eligible for a refund of remaining dining dollars and, for the Campus Meal Plan, a prorated refund of the base cost, within the timeframe outlined in the HFS Contract Terms, Conditions, and Regulations. Any refund will be credited to the student's LionPATH account or to the credit card used to purchase the meal plan.

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

What are the different meal plan discounts?

Campus Meal Plan account holders have access to the greatest discounts in on-campus dining:

  • 65 percent off cash meal price at all-you-care-to-eat dining commons at University Park and Behrend

  • 65 percent off cash price on prepared items* at residential food courts

  • 10 percent off campus price on prepared items* at specialty fast casual operations, such as Soup & Garden, Grate Chee, and Blue Burrito in HUB Dining at University Park, 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 off cash price 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. No discounts are offered on purchases made at nationally branded restaurants and cafes or packaged items.

What happens to my leftover dining dollars?

Campus Meal Plan

Dining dollars remaining at the end of summer session carry over to fall semester and dining dollars remaining at the end of fall semester carry over to spring semester, provided the student has an active Campus Meal Plan for the fall and spring semester, respectfully. Any dining dollars remaining at the end of the spring semester expire. The Campus Meal Plan is a required purchase for both fall and spring semesters.

The Housing and Food Service (HFS) Contract defaults to level 2 of the Campus Meal Plan, and can be managed on eLiving > My Info > My Meal Plan through the last day of finals for the semester. The system will display whether the student's account is eligible to be increased or decreased.

When a student's dining dollar balance runs low, add funds to the student's LionCash account instead of increasing the meal plan level. Campus Meal Plan account holders can use LionCash and receive the same discounted rate that the Campus Meal Plan offers for qualifying purchases. Indicate Campus Meal Plan when checking out, and the system will transfer the required funds to cover the cost of purchase. 

Commuter Meal Plan

Commuter Meal Plan funds carry over from fall to spring regardless of whether a spring commuter meal plan has been purchased. At the end of spring semester, any funds remaining will expire.

LionCash

LionCash funds carry over year-to-year and available to spend while the student is an active 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 any Penn State Campus*, 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 any Penn State Campus*.

LionCash can be used at ALL Campus Dining locations any Penn State Campus* and any participating merchant throughout Pennsylvania.

*Penn State 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