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Resident Meal Plans Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a Meal Plan

  • What does MPW mean?

    These are “meals per week” that can be redeemed at the Dining Café. Once students enter the café, it’s all-you-care-to-eat. These meals will expire every Saturday at 11:59pm, starting Sunday, at 12:00am, a new week begins. Any unused meals during the week will be forfeited.
  • What does BLOCK mean?

    These are meals which can be used throughout the semester and can be redeemed at the Dining Café. Once students enter the café, it’s all-you-care-to-eat. Block meals will expire at the end of each semester and will not carryover to the next semester.
  • What are Dining Dollars?

    Dining dollars are a cash equivalent loaded onto the meal plan card and can be used at the café, any of the USU eateries or Starbucks in the library. Whenever a student makes a purchase, they can simply present their card to the cashier and the amount will be deducted from their balance. Dining dollars left over at the end of the fall semester will roll over to the spring semester, but will expire at the end of the spring semester. Sales tax is applied to dining dollar purchases.
  • What is Crash Cash?

    Crash cash is a cash equivalent loaded onto the crash cash account and can be used at the café, any of the USU eateries or Starbucks in the library. Crash cash can be added to the crash cash account at any time. Whenever a student makes a purchase, they can simply present their card to the cashier and the amount will be deducted from their balance. Crash cash accounts will be accessible through the same app as the meal plan.
  • Who is required to buy a meal plan?

    Participation in a meal plan is mandatory for all residents in the UVA and the QUAD. First Year students must purchase a 19 Meal, 15 Meal, or 12 Meal Plan. Second Year and above students may purchase one of the block meal plans or one of the First Year plans.
  • Why am I required to be on a meal plan?

    The purpose of a dining program at CSUSM is to provide students with a safe and comfortable extension of their home to get healthy, affordable, well balanced meals. Campus dining fosters community growth, enhances the quality of campus life and contributes to the social components by providing additional space for meetings with faculty and other students. Studies show that students who live and eat on campus are more likely to stay on campus for other events and use university services than those who commute. For First-Year students, the academic transition to college can be challenging, we want our students to have the opportunity to focus on their academic pursuits instead of worrying about cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping.  
  • When do I need to select a meal plan?

    Residents must select a meal plan when they fill out their housing application.
  • I’m on the waitlist for housing, do I have to select a meal plan?

    Students on the waitlist for housing will still select a meal plan when they complete their application, however, no payment will be required unless they are able to get a spot in one of the housing communities.
  • Will there be a meal plan option for CalFresh recipients?

    Yes, residents receiving CalFresh benefits will be able to enroll in a 10 meal per week plan. To learn more about changing to this plan, visit the Meal Plan Change/Exemption Information page. If you still need additional information, contact dining@csusm.edu.
  • Can I be exempt from purchasing a meal plan?

    Yes, under certain circumstances, residents may be exempt from purchasing, or allowed to change their meal plan. To learn more about the exemption process, visit the Meal Plan Change/Exemption Information page. If you still need additional information, contact dining@csusm.edu.

Paying for or Changing a Meal Plan

  • Where do I purchase a meal plan?

    Residents will be able to select their meal plan when they fill out their housing application. Costs for a meal plan will show up on students MyCSUSM account starting in August.
  • Is there a payment plan option to purchase meal plans?

    Yes, payment plans are available for students on a mandatory meal plan. Here is the payment plan schedule for those wishing to be on a payment plan.

    FIRST YEAR PLANS
    8 payments
    Month Payment
    August $574.75
    September $574.75
    October $574.75
    November $574.75
    December No Payment
    January $574.75
    February $574.75
    March $574.75
    April $574.75
    May No Payment
    Total $4,598.00
    FIRST YEAR PLANS
    Semester payments
    Semester Payment
    August $2,299.00
    January $2,299.00
    Total $4,598.00
    SECOND YEAR - GRAD PLANS
    8 payments
    Month Payment
    August $387.25
    September $387.25
    October $387.25
    November $387.25
    December No Payment
    January $387.25
    February $387.25
    March $387.25
    April $387.25
    May No Payment
    Total $3,098.00
    SECOND YEAR - GRAD PLANS
    Semester payments
    Semester Payment
    August $1,549.00
    January $1,549.00
    Total $3,098.00
  • Can I add crash cash to my crash cash account?

    Yes, crash cash can be added to the student's crash cash account at any time. These will be paid for at the time of purchase and not added to the student’s MyCSUSM account.  More information on this coming soon.
  • Can I change my meal plan if it does not fit my needs?

    Mandatory plans can be changed. These changes can be made up until housing move-in with Dining Services.  All changes must be approved by Dining Services.
  • I am withdrawing from CSUSM, can I get a refund for my meal plan?

    Refunds will be granted on a prorated basis until the end of the class add/drop period. Each request will be reviewed on an individual basis. After the class add/drop period, refunds will be granted under extenuating circumstances only. Please contact Dining Services for additional questions.

  • Can I add more meals to my meal plan without changing my plan?

    No, adding MPW or Block meals will change the meal plan type. If a student is interested in changing their meal plan, those changes must be made prior to housing move-in with Dining Services. 

How do I use my Meal Plan

  • How many meals can I redeem within one day?

    There is no limit to how many meals can be redeemed within one day, however, each meal redeemed will be deducted from the allotted MPW or Block meals available.

  • When does the meal plan begin?

    This date has not been set yet, please check back in August 2020 for a start date. In the meantime, please visit other campus eateries for hours of operation.
  • Where can I use my meal plan?

    Location Meal Plan Payment Options Accepted
    Dining Café Meals Per Week (MPW), Block Meals, Dining Dollars, Crash Cash
    Market at USU Dining Dollars, Crash Cash
    USU (Panda, Wow, Caliente, Subversions) Dining Dollars, Crash Cash
    Starbucks Dining Dollars, Crash Cash
    Coffee Cart None
  • How can I check how many meals I have left in my plan?

    Students may check their remaining meal and other balances at the cash registers in the dining café and the eateries in the USU.

  • What if I lose my meal plan card?

    Students will need to present their dining card each time you visit one of the dining locations to use their meal plan or your dining dollars. If students lose your dining card, they will need to replace it immediately because they will not be able to utilize the meal plan/dining dollars without it. Dining Services can freeze your lost card and replace it with a new one. Fees may apply to the printing of a new dining card. Please contact the Dining Services for additional information. 

  • I have special food needs (allergies, intolerances). Who can help me?

    Please contact the Dining Services to ensure the dining café can meet your needs.


Eating in the Dining Cafe

  • Can I check what will be on the menu in advance?

     Yes. Visit Sodexo My Way for additional information on menus.
  • Can we take food out of dining café?

    If a student is on the run and unable to enjoy a meal in the café, they can purchase food from the Simply-To-Go area using their dining dollars or crash cash. Alternatively, students may request a To-Go container to fill with food from the dining cafe and use a swipe, dining dollars, or crash cash to pay for the meal. If using a To-Go container, when you arrive at the café, you must let the cashier know you would like a To-Go meal. The cashier will swipe your card and give you a sustainable To-Go container. For good health, include fruits and vegetables in your selections. The brighter the colors, the healthier your meal! At the cashier, you’ll find napkins, and utensils. Enjoy your meal!
  • Will the dining café be open over breaks?

    Some type of dining option will be available for students during part of Winter break, Thanksgiving break, and Spring break. Continue to check the Sodexo My Way website for hours of operation.
  • What are the hours of the dining café?

    Use the CSUSM app to view hours or visit Sodexo My Way and see "What's Open Now" and "Hours of Operation" for current hours.
  • What are the rules of the dining café?

    All patrons of the dining café must follow all CSUSM, CSUSM Corporation, and Sodexo policies, rules and regulations. Shoes and shirts must be worn at all times and only food in the appropriate To-Go container is allowed to leave the facility. Failure to comply with all policies, procedures and rules, may result in a suspension or revocation of the meal plan and or access to the dining café.
  • What items are prohibited in the dining café?

    Skateboards, bikes, scooters, and outside food will not be allowed in the dining café.
  • Can others join me at the dining café if they don’t have a meal plan?

    Yes, friends can certainly join students with meal plans at the dining café. They can pay the door price upon entering, or the student with a meal plans can use their dining dollars or crash cash to treat them to a meal. Door prices vary by meal time and are more expensive than the price-per-meal of the meal plan.
  • Can I use my meal plan for guests in the dining café?

    MPW and Block meals are only allowed for the student on the meal plan. Students can use their dining dollars or crash cash to purchase meals for other students/guests.