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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. Made up of a base cost (similar to a "membership fee") and spendable dining dollars, 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. Choose from three levels of spendable dining dollars and change the level at any time until the last day of the semester - and if funds are running low, supplement with LionCash and receive the deeper Campus Meal Plan discount. For students who live in University Housing, the Campus Meal Plan conveniently included in the HFS Contract. To learn more about the Campus Meal Plan, watch this video (rates listed in video are for the 2021-2022 academic year).

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'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.

LionCash

LionCash is the most flexible option for students, faculty, and staff - 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 at any time in increments as low as $5.00, and LionCash is 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 Comparison
  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 food courts, with exceptions

Discounts in other locations vary; view full list

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

Discounts in other locations vary; view full list

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

Discounts in other locations vary; view full list

Plan Cost Fall 2021-Spring 2022:
Level 1: $2,158/semester
Level 2: $2,516/semester
Level 3: $2,809/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 2021-Spring 2022:
Level 1: $678
Level 2: $1,036
Level 3: $1,329
 
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 with purchase of additional meal plan; remaining funds are forfeited at the end of the spring semester (students who are here for fall semester only will forfeit remaining fall funds) Funds carry over from fall to spring semester and are forfeited at the end of the spring semester.  Funds never expire (until you graduate)

Meal Plan FAQs

Meal Plans

General

Can I cancel my meal plan?

The Campus Meal Plan is required for students living on campus, with the exception of those living in on-campus apartments, where it is optional.

The Campus Meal Plan must be purchased for each semester, and cannot be canceled.

Students who withdraws or end their relationship with the University after the semester has started may be eligible for a refund of remaining dining dollars and 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.

How do I check my meal plan balance?

Students can check 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.

The Campus Meal Plan level can be managed on eLiving, under "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.

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?

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

  • 65 percent off cash price at Buffet-to-Go and All-You-Care-to-Eat locations
  • 65 percent off cash price on prepared items* at 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 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 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. This excludes menu items at nationally branded restaurants and cafes.

What happens to my leftover meal plan funds?

Campus Meal Plan

Dining Dollars remaining at the end of  summer session are carried over to fall semester, and Dining Dollars remaining at the end of fall semester are carried over to spring semester, provided the student has an active Campus Meal Plan for the fall and spring semester, respectfully. Dining Dollars remaining at the end of the spring semester are forfeited. Students have the ability to manage their Campus Meal Plan through eLiving until the last day of the semester.

Students living on campus are required to purchase a Campus Meal Plan each semester. 

When a student accepts the HFS Contract, the Campus Meal Plan will default to level 2. The Campus Meal Plan level can be managed on eLiving, under "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.

If dining dollar funds are running low, you can also add funds to LionCash. Current Campus Meal Plan account holders have the benefit of utilizing LionCash funds to backfill your Campus Meal Plan and receive the same discounted rate as the meal plan. Students simply tell the cashier that they have a campus meal plan and the appropriate discount will be applied.

Commuter Meal Plan

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

LionCash

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 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 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