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Voluntary Meal Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Choosing a Meal Plan

  • Which Voluntary meal plan is right for me?

    Use this chart to determine which plan is right for you!

    Meal Plans Cougar Blue Tukwut Paw Social Deluxe Select
      19 MPW +$75 Dining Dollars $2,368 per semester 15 MPW +$400 Dining Dollars $2,368 per semester 12 MPW +$625 Dining Dollars $2,368 per semester 50 Block +$450 Dining Dollars $950 per semester 30 Block +$165 Dining Dollars $475 per semester 20 Block +$125 Dining Dollars $350 per semester
    I would like to eat every meal at the Campus Way Café located @Quad X X X      
    I would like to eat 2 meals per day at Campus Way Café and 1 at the USU Dining Pavilion (Think Food Court, Market, Starbucks)   X X X    
    I will eat at Campus Way Café and USU Dining Pavilion, Starbucks 2-3 times per week.       X X  
    I want to join my friends at the Campus Way Café occasionally.       X X X
    I am not on campus for every meal.     X X    
    I need flexibility with my meal plan   X X X    
    I am a COMMUTER, but I still want a meal plan.       X X X
    I live in UVA or Quad, but I still want a meal plan as I do NOT cook. X X X      
    I plan to eat dinner ONLY at Campus Way Café.     X X    
  • What Voluntary meal plans are available?

    Meal plan options and costs will be as follows.

    Meal Plans
    VOLUNTARY PLAN OPTIONS  PLAN BENEFITS  COST PER SEMESTER

    Cougar Blue Plan

    19 MPW +$75 Dining Dollars

    $2,368

    Tukwut Plan

    15 MPW + $400 Dining Dollars

    $2,368

    Paw Plan

    12 MPW + $625 Dining Dollars

    $2,368

    Social Plan

    50 block w/ $450 Dining Dollars

    $950

    Deluxe Plan

    30 block w/ $165 Dining Dollars

    $475

    Select Plan

    20 block w/ $125 Dining Dollars

    $350

  • What does MPW mean?

    Meals Per Week (MPW) offer a specified number of meals each week during the meal plan period and reset weekly on Sunday morning at 12:00 am. Unused meals expire weekly when the plan resets. Because unused MPW expire weekly, it is strongly encouraged that students select a MPW that suits their specific dietary needs. Weekly Meal Plans are pro-rated according to the CSUSM academic calendar. Weekly Meal Plans are not available during Winter Break although Dining Dollars will be available for use at select retail dining locations on campus. These breaks are factored into the price of the Meal Plans. Please refer to the website for the Campus Dining service days calendar.

    * MPW are exclusive to Campus Way Café @Quad.  There may be promo days where MPW can used at the USU Dining Pavilion.

  • What does BLOCK mean?

    Block Meals offer a fixed number of meals (Block), which carry over from week-to-week throughout the semester for which the Block was purchased. Block meals will roll over from the Fall semester to the Spring semester but will expire at the end of the Spring Semester. Block meals are not available during Winter Break although Dining Dollars will be available for use at select retail dining locations on campus. These breaks are factored into the price of the Meal Plans. Please refer to the website for the Campus Dining service days calendar.

    * Block meals are exclusive to Campus Way Café @Quad.  There may be promo days where Block Meals can used at the USU Dining Pavilion.

  • What are Dining Dollars?

    Dining dollars are a cash equivalent which comes with a meal plan 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 meal plan app to the cashier and the amount will be deducted from their balance. Unused Dining Dollars at the end of the Fall Semester will roll over to the Spring semester. Dining Dollars expire on the last day of the Spring semester. Unused balances are forfeited and not refundable. Should students purchase a meal plan for the following Fall semester, up to $100 of the leftover Spring Dining Dollar balance will be carried forward to the Fall semester. Any amount over $100 shall be forfeited and not refundable. If a student has a balance less than $100 at the end of the Spring semester and they purchase a meal plan for the following Fall semester, that balance will carry over to the Fall semester. Fall meal plans must be purchased by the last day of the previous Spring semester. Carryover Dining Dollars are subject to a meal plan purchase for the following fall semester and will be forfeited in whole by the student should they cancel their fall meal plan purchase for any reason.

  • What is Cougar Cash?

    Cougar cash is a cash equivalent loaded onto the Meal Plan's cougar cash account and can be used at the café, any of the USU eateries or Starbucks in the library.

    Cougar cash can be added to the Cougar cash account at any time through the Dining Page in the CSUSM app or online. Whenever a student makes a purchase, they can simply present their QR Code in the campus app to the cashier and the amount will be deducted from their balance. Cougar cash accounts will be accessible through the same app as the meal plan.

    * You do not need to have a meal plan to load Cougar Cash onto your account. 

  • Who can purchase a voluntary meal plan?

    Meal plans are optional for students who live in UVA, QUAD and commuter students.

    UVA and QUAD residents and commuter students are welcome to purchase a meal plan if they choose. Every meal plan option is available for students who live in the UVA and the QUAD or commute to campus.


Paying for or Changing a Meal Plan

  • Where do I purchase a meal plan?

    Purchase A Meal Plan HERE

    Fall 2022 Meal plans can be selected online or through the Dining Page in the CSUSM app, starting June 1, 2022. Meal plans for spring 2023 will become available starting November 1, 2022. 

    The cost of your meal plan will be added to your student account, viewable through your MyCSUSM portal. You also pay through your MyCSUSM portal, just as you would for tuition and housing.

    Step By Step Process to select a Meal Plan

  • Can I or someone else add money or meals to my meal plan?

    Yes, cougar cash can be added to meal plans by you or someone you know through the Dining Page in the CSUSM app at any time. A Step-By-Step process for this is coming soon.

    You cannot add more MPW meals or Block meals during the semester because it will change the meal plan type. You will, however be able to change your meal plan during the inter-semester period.

  • Is there a payment plan option to purchase a meal plan?

    Yes, payment plans are available for students, through Student Financial Services. The due dates of the installments are the same as the due dates for tuition, fees, and housing. 

    Step By Step Process to enroll in Payment Plan

  • Can I change my meal plan if it does not fit my needs or cancel it if I am withdrawing from CSUSM?

    Voluntary plans can be changed prior to the end of the Add/Drop deadline, online or through the Dining Page in the CSUSM app.  If making a change to a voluntary meal plan, students will only be able to switch to a larger meal plan, not a smaller meal plan. It can take up to 48 hours for changes to be fully processed in the system. 

    Refunds will be granted on a prorated basis until the end of the class add/drop period. After the class add/drop period, refunds will be granted under certain circumstances. Please contact Dining Services at dining@csusm.edu for additional questions.

  • What will happen to my Declining Balance Card If I Get a Meal Plan?
    Nothing! The Declining Balance Card program is a separate, parallel system, and will be accessible before and after you sign up for a meal plan. Your Declining Balance will roll over between semesters and years, and be accessible as usual. You may spend them at any of the previous dining locations, as well as in the Campus Way Café.

Using a Meal Plan

  • When does the meal plan begin?
    The meal plan will begin on Friday, August 26th. For other campus eateries, please visit https://www.csusm.edu/corp/commservices/diningserv/hours.html for hours of operation.
  • How can I check how many meals I have left in my plan?
    Students may check their remaining meal and other balances online or through the campus app.
  • Where can I use my meal plan?
    Meal Plan Locations
    Location Meal Plan Payment Options Accepted
    Campus Way Café Meals Per Week (MPW), Block Meals, Dining Dollars, Cougar Cash
    USU Market Dining Dollars, Cougar Cash
    USU (Panda, Hilltop Bistro Grille, QDOBA, Get Fresh) Dining Dollars, Cougar Cash
    Starbucks Dining Dollars, Cougar Cash
    Coffee Cart None
  • What forms of payment are accepted in the Dining Café

    The Campus Way Café accepts the following: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Cash, Dining Dollars, Cougar Cash and Meal Swipes (MPW meals and Block meals).

    Anyone using Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Cash, Dining Dollars and Cougar Cash for entrance into the all-you-care-to-eat facility will be charged the meal rate for their transaction. See rates below.

    Breakfast:                $9.50
    Lunch/Brunch:        $11.00
    Dinner:                      $12.00

  • Can I still eat at the dining café without a meal plan?

    Yes! There will be a walk-in rate available to those interested in dining in the facility. Price does vary by meal time and are more expensive than the price-per-meal of the meal plan. 

    Breakfast:                $9.50
    Lunch/Brunch:        $11.00
    Dinner:                      $12.00

  • How many meals can I redeem within one day?
    Only one meal can be redeemed per meal period (meal periods include Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Brunch, Late Night) Each time the QR Code is scanned a meal will be deducted from the allotted MPW or Block meals available.
  • I have special food needs (allergies, intolerances). Who can help me?
    Please contact the Sodexo General Manager to ensure the dining café can meet your needs.

Eating in the Campus Way Café

  • Can I use my meal plan for guests in the Campus Way Café?

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

  • What forms of Payment are accepted at the Campus Way Café?

    The Campus Way Café accepts the following: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Cash, Dining Dollars, Cougar Cash and Meal Swipes (MPW meals and Block meals).

    Anyone using Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Cash, Dining Dollars and Cougar Cash for entrance into the all-you-care-to-eat facility will be charged the meal rate for their transaction. See rates below.

    Breakfast:                $9.50
    Lunch/Brunch:        $11.00
    Dinner:                      $12.00

  • What items are prohibited in the Campus Way Café?

    Skateboards, bikes, scooters, and outside food will not be allowed in the Campus Way Café. 

  • What are the rules of the Campus Way Café?

    All patrons of the Campus Way 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 Campus Way Café.

  • What are the hours of the Campus Way 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.

    Hours of Operation:

    Mon-Fri

    Sat/Sun

    Breakfast

    7am-10am

    ---

    Lunch / Brunch

    11am-2pm

    10am-2pm

    Dinner

    5pm-8pm

    5pm-8pm

  • Will the Campus Way Café be open over breaks?

    The Campus Way Café will not be open over winter break. 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.

  • Can we take food out of Campus Way Café?

    If you are on the run and unable to enjoy a meal in the café, you can purchase food from the Simply-To-Go area using their dining dollars or cougar cash.

    All-you-care-to-eat meals from Campus Way Café may not be taken “to go”, unless specifically authorized for a student who is unable to go to the Campus Way Café (examples include: illness, injury, isolation, etc). The Resident Advisor or Resident Director may contact a CSUSM Dining Services manager to make special arrangements for a meal or meals to be picked up on the student’s behalf.

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

    Yes. Visit Sodexo My Way for additional information on menus.

  • Can others join me at the Campus Way Café if they don’t have a meal plan?

    Yes, friends can certainly join students with meal plans at the Campus Way Café. They can pay the door price upon entering, or the student with a meal plan can use their dining dollars or cougar 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.

    Anyone using Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Cash, Dining Dollars and Cougar Cash for entrance into the all-you-care-to-eat facility will be charged the meal rate for their transaction. See rates below.

    Breakfast:                $9.50
    Lunch/Brunch:        $11.00
    Dinner:                      $12.00