Auburn University
Required Participation Dining Plan
Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions and answers should address most concerns and questions regarding the introduction of the program. If you have additional questions, please contact us at the TigerCard office.

Why are meal plans required?
A structured housing and dining program that provides convenience and variety allows students to focus on their studies and adjust to college life more easily, as well as provides social support systems. In order for high quality dining options to be provided, meal plans must be required so that monies can be invested back into the facilities and programs.

At Auburn, after many years of suggestions from parents and students to improve our dining offerings, and after studying universities nationally, the university made a commitment to developing successful living and learning communities, which would be enhanced by creating settings, including a vibrant on campus dining program, that foster social interaction. In the Southern University Group, 25 out of 30 universities require residential meal plans. Nationally, most universities now require meal plans.

Why do I have to buy a meal plan if I live off campus?
Again, convenient on-location dining facilities are important to student success, allowing more time to stay, study and socialize on campus between classes, and for the university to re-invest monies in maintaining outstanding facilities and options.

How did the university decide on the pricing?
While AU invested a tremendous amount in facilities, offerings, and ambience, we also decided to remain very competitive in our pricing: we remain among the lowest priced in the Southeast.

Auburn calculated an average cost of three meals a day in a 210 day academic calendar year, and determined that most students' dining expenses were approximately $22.51 a day, or $4,727 per year. However, Auburn decided to be conservative in its primary plan to allow for students who occasionally skip on campus meals, go home on the weekends, travel, or eat out in the community, while also ensuring we could reinvest dollars into maintaining the highest quality facilities and offerings. So, our plan price for on campus residents is based on $9.41 per day ($995 per semester, or $1990 per year).

The off-campus residents' plan is $300 per semester, or $600 a year, which is only $2.85 per day.

How do I pay for a meal plan?
Students who are enrolled and meet the criteria for the plans are automatically billed for the required dining plan.

Do I get a meal card?
No. The required dining plans are accessed with the students TigerCard (student ID card).

Where can I eat with my meal plan?
At any AU residential dining area, snack bar or food items marketplace. Non-food items, outside dining operated venues, must be paid for separately.

If I miss a meal, will I be charged?
No. You pay for food when you make a purchase in a dining facility. Items are individually priced.

What do I do if I have medical or dietary restrictions?
Many options are available on campus for vegans, vegetarians or those with food allergies. However, please contact our Campus Dining office at 334-844-8504 for more information and guidance. While Tiger Dining's goal is to try and accommodate all Auburn student's needs, those with serious medical conditions may be eligible to receive a dining plan reduction or exemption if the dietary restrictions are so severe that meals cannot be provided on campus. A note with a medical diagnosis from a qualified physician, who is not a member of the student's family is required for exemption from the meal plan. Exemption applications must be submitted each semester. Call 334-844-8504 for more information.

How will I know if there is a balance remaining on my plan?
Students can check their balance several way. Click Find Current Balance for more information.

If my student's dining plan runs low during the semester, can I add additional funds?
You may add money by one of the following ways: These funds will be held in a separate account and become available after a student has exhausted the required funds. These additional funds roll over each semester until the student uses them or closes the account. Upon withdrawal or graduation any unused additional funds are uploaded to Student Financial Services to be applied to any outstanding debt. If no debt exists, the funds will be refunded to the student.

What if I exceed my meal plan balance?
The register will exhaust any remaining funds from the required dining plan. The cashier will then direct the register to search the account for any additional funds. If no additional funds are available, then the student is required to complete the transaction with credit card or cash.

What happens to any unused balances from my current semester meal plan?
At the end of fall semester, any remaining dining funds will roll to be added to the amount billed for spring semester. Students have until the end of the summer term to spend all of their required dining funds for the academic year.

What other advantages are there to eating on campus?
Studies consistently show that on campus dining and socializing has numerous educational and social benefits, including contributing to graduation rates, assisting in better transitions from high school to college, meeting with and making new friends, and providing convenient options -- without the need to carry cash -- between classes or while studying. For off campus students, establishing on-campus connections and friendships are also critically important.

What about students who pledge a fraternity and live in a residence hall?
An on-campus resident who is an active member of a campus organization which requires its members to participate in ten or more meals per week at the organization's officially designated kitchen may apply to have the resident dining plan of $995 reduced to the $300 off-campus dining plan. On the completed form, students must obtain a signature from the organization's advisor.