ISU meal plans made simple

I can only use one word to describe ISU Dining: Delicious.


Iowa State students have the opportunity to get freshly made, nutritious, and tasty meals and snacks with minimal effort through ISU Dining Services! ISU DiningĀ provides several different meal plan options for students who live both on-campus and off. To help you get the “skinny” on how these plans work, I’ll help explain the semester plan system. šŸ˜‰

SemesterĀ plans are a balance of meals and Dining Dollars (DD$). There are five different tiers of meal plans; each is a different balance of meals and DD$. They range from the Cyclone Plan (Most meals, fewest DD$) to the Bronze Plan (Fewest meals, most DD$). A complete breakdown of the plans can be found at here.

Meals can be swiped at one of our four buffet dining centers, or swiped at a c-store or restaurant for a meal bundle. A meal bundle consists of an entree, three sides, and drink.

Dining Dollars are a pre-loaded amount of money that is loaded on to your ISU Card for food purchases. These can be used at campus cafes and c-stores. Food purchases are just debited from your DD$ account.

MealsĀ do notĀ carry over from semester to semester, but DD$ will carry over from the fall semester to the spring semester.

Students who live in Buchanan, the Richardson Court neighborhood, or the Union Drive neighborhood are required to purchase a semester meal plan. Students who live in Wallace-Wilson are not required to have a semester meal plan, but many students find it convenient. Students in apartments both on-campus and off-campus are also welcome to purchase these plans, but not required.

In my experience, I have found that it is important to check out your class schedule before picking a meal plan. Are you going to have time to eat lunch in a dining center, or will you need more DD$ for grab-and-go options? Do you eat breakfast regularly? Thinking about these things definitely helps make sure you are getting the most out of your plan.

Oh boy…typing this has made me hungry. Time to go use my meal plan at the Union Drive Community Center! šŸ˜›

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3 responses to “ISU meal plans made simple”

  1. Oatey says:

    I appreciate the post. I guess I’m still confused if dining dollars are able to be used at the buffet dining centers. Or can they only be used at c stores and campus cafes? If they can be used at the buffets, do you know how much is charged? Thanks!

    • Paige says:

      Hey Oatey! You definitely can use Dining Dollars in order to swipe you in at buffet dining centers, but most students don’t use this option until they have run out of meals. If you did want to use Dining Dollars at a buffet dining center, it would cost about $9 for breakfast and $11 for lunch and dinner. Hope that helps!

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