Auburn University's
Required Participation Dining Plan

Research shows that higher education students who spend more time on campus perform better academically, graduate sooner, and enjoy richer academic interactions than those who spend only a small amount of time on campus. Students who eat on campus, enjoying time in community with peers and professors, rather than eating alone or in small groups at home, are far more likely to succeed in the rigorous academic environment of college life. Attendant to those indicators of success, Auburn University implemented a required participation dining plan in the fall of 2008. The program was slowly phased in to cover all Auburn University main campus undergraduates over the past five academic years. All undergraduate students, regardless of when they began taking classes, are now participants in the required participation dining plan.

The required participation dining program enables its participating students to purchase meals, food, beverage products and dining services utilizing their personal student photo-ID card, the TigerCard, at all on-campus dining venues. Students on this declining balance program enjoy a wide variety of dining options, ala carte, in an amount equal to the dollar level of their required contributions. Students residing in on-campus residence halls participate at a minimum level of $995 per semester. Students residing off-campus participate at a minimum level of $300. Each participating student's University account will be assessed the appropriate level concurrently with the posting for the upcoming semester's tuition and fees. Each student's plan will activate for student use upon receipt of payment or no later than the day after the due date for tuition and fees. If a student registers late for an academic semester, invoices for the meal plan will be sent to the student in the next month following the student's registration, but the student will still participate in the plan immediately, regardless of when that invoice is sent.

Summer Terms and Roll-Overs within an Academic Year
Students attending a summer term are not assessed a required participation amount for summer. Funds from the minimum level not expended during a fall semester may be expended during the spring semester. Funds from the minimum level not expended during a fall or a spring semester may be expended during the summer term, regardless of whether the student is enrolled for the summer.

The minimum level of $995 is not anticipated to cover all meal costs an on-campus resident student may incur during a semester. Auburn University students occasionally skip meals, dine off campus, and frequently go home for weekends. A student resident is not penalized under this declining balance, debit plan for meals that a student does not consume on campus (the notorious "missed meal factor"). If an on-campus resident student is present each day during the semester, she or he need only spend less than $10 per day to utilize his or her entire $995 plan before the end of the semester

The minimum level of $300 for all other students is anticipated to cover many on-campus between-classes meals and snacks throughout the semester. It is not anticipated that students residing off campus will be forced to return to campus in the evenings to expend those funds. Assuming a student is on campus only 56 of the 70-plus class days and exam days in a given semester, the student would have available an average of $5.36 per day for a meal or snacks while on campus. If an off-campus student is present each day during the semester, she or he need only spend $2.85 per day to utilize his or her entire $300 plan before the end of the semester.

Funds remaining in this plan at the end of summer term revert to the University, for use in the University's dining program.

Additional Questions

Questions concerning Auburn University's required participation incoming student dining program should be directed to the TigerCard office, in the Student Center, at 334-844-4507 or email the TigerCard office at

Read the Dining Plan FAQ.