HawkCard Office

Meal Plan FAQ


 How does a meal plan work?

The fixed meal plans start on Monday of each week with breakfast and run through Sunday late night. Every Monday morning at 4:00 AM the computer resets all student accounts for the next week. Unused meals do not transfer over from week to week. Students registered for a meal plan must present their HawkCard (University ID) prior to entering the serving areas.

HawkCards are not transferable, misused HawkCards will be confiscated.

 What happens to the meals that are not used at the end of the week?

A student on a fixed meal plan (10, 14, 19, or 24) has the opportunity to use that number of meals each week. The unused meals do not accumulate and do not figure into a refund.

 Can I bring a friend to eat with me?

Yes! If you have meals available, you can bring a non-UW-W guest to eat from dinner on Thursday through Sunday late night. One guest is allowed per meal period. Just tell the cashier you have a guest.

Extra guest meals may also be purchased with Dining Dollars, Purple Points, cash, check or credit card. You will save 15% by using Dining Dollars in the Esker Dining Hall, Prairie Street Cafe or Drumlin Hall. You will receive a 10% discount at all other on-campus restaurants. You will save the 5.5% sales tax when using Purple Points.

 What are the benefits of signing up for a meal plan?

There are lots of reasons why you should sign up for a meal plan:

  • With grab n' go choices, daily vegetarian entrees, a variety of home-style dishes and entrees with an international flair, you can be sure to satisfy your appetite!
  • You won't have to race back to your room to cook up a nutritious meal.
  • Eat with your friends on campus.
  • Don't worry about always having cash to get a bite to eat!
  • 10 campus locations to choose from with a variety of choices at each location.

 What are "Dining Dollars"?

"Dining Dollars" is a small debit card-like account that that is a part of your fixed meal plan. You use Dining Dollars to buy extra meals, snacks or food from any of the campus dining halls or restaurants. It's just for purchases in the campus dining halls and restaurants.

Add-on Dining Dollars are a required part of your fixed meal plan. You start with $50, $75, $100, or $150 for the semester and spend it down to $0.

When you use your Dining Dollars, you will receive a 15% discount on items/meals bought in either Esker Hall, the Prairie Street Cafe or Drumlin. You will receive a 10% discount at all other on-campus restaurants.

When you want to use your Dining Dollars, just tell the cashier "Dining Dollars" when handing your HawkCard to them for payment.

You can't get cash refunds from this account. To see how to budget your Add-on, Full or Mega Dining Dollar Plan over the semester, go to our Dining Dollars Usage Guide.

Meals and food on campus, paid for with Dining Dollars, are not charged the 5.5% sales tax so you save money every time you use your account.

 Where can I eat with my meal plan/Dining Dollars?

  1. Fixed meal plans may be used at Esker Dining Hall, Prairie Street Market & Café, Drumlin Dining Hall, Erbert & Gerbert's, Ike Schaffer Commons (breakfast only), Willie's 360 (breakfast only) the Down Under (after 2pm weekdays, evenings, and weekends) or CA Café.
  2. Dining Dollars are accepted at any UW-W Dining Services location (Esker, Prairie Street Café & Market, Drumlin Market, CA Café, Library Café, Deloitte Café, Commons, Uno due Go, Beans and Graham St. Café).
  3. Use this chart to quickly determine what meal period and where you can use your fixed meal plan.

 What happens to my Dining Dollars at the end of the semester?

At the end of the fall semester, any unused Dining Dollars will roll over to your Dining Dollar account for the spring semester and be combined with your spring semester Dining Dollar deposit. 

Any Dining Dollars remaining on your account at the end of the spring semester will lapse. Dining Dollars have to be used during the school year for which they were purchased. Students should carefully consider how much they will use their Dining Dollars over each semester. Generally, lower Dining Dollar amounts are best.

 Why is there a difference between the cost of Full or Mega Dining Dollars Meal Plan and the redemption value?

The difference is an overhead charge that is part of all meal plans. This charge covers bonds, utilities, maintenance and custodial services for the Residence Dining Program in Esker Hall and Drumlin Hall.

This same overhead charge is built into the 10, 14, 19, and 24 meal plans.

 Are there any restrictions on meal plans for Freshmen?

No. All options for meal plans are available for Freshmen.

 Do I need a meal plan? Can't I just get Purple Points?

Per the housing contract signed with Residence Life, all students under 21 must be on a meal plan the first four semesters that they are living in the residence hall, or until they reach junior status.

Because a Purple Point Account can be used for so many different types of purchases, it can't be considered a meal plan.

 Can I change my meal plan if I don't like it?

Yes. Meal plan changes will be accepted during the second and the third weeks of fall semester and the first two weeks of spring semester. Meal plan changes are effective the following Monday. Changes to a meal plan may be made in person at the HawkCard Office (UC 250) or by using our on-line change form at Change a Meal Plan.

 How do I get involved with the meal plan program?

You can get involved by becoming active in your Hall Council, Residence Hall Association (RHA) or the University Dining Committee. Residence Dining related topics covered by each of these organizations include program and menu planning and how well students' dining needs are being met. For more information or to become involved, contact us at 262.472.1437 or RHA at 262.472.4903.