Outlined below are basic terms and conditions of meal plans, including how they work, how to choose one every semester and some limitations/requirements you need to be aware of.
Meal Plans can have one or more features:
1. Guaranteed Meals
- The guaranteed meal portion of your plan provides the security of knowing that your basic dining needs are covered for the entire semester. Guaranteed meals permit you to eat designated number of meals per week depending on the plan chosen.
- Guaranteed meals are to be eaten in the Lehman Dining Center, which is an all-you-care-to-eat facility with multiple food stations and a wide variety of products. This is where you get the best value for your meal plan dollar.
- You may also trade your guaranteed meal for a meal allowance, which is a $6 block credit against retail food purchases in all dining units except Dexter's Café and Becky's Place at lunch (10am-4pm.)
- Guaranteed meals are issued weekly-you may use as many in a given day as you wish. Meals must be used in the week they are issued; they do not roll over and are reset every Sunday at 2 a.m.
- For any week that is less than seven days (such as the short week at the beginning of the semester) the allotted amount of guaranteed meals is pro-rated (learn more about pro-rating meals below).
2. FLEX Dining Credits
- FLEX credits have the purchasing power equivalent to one dollar but they have no cash value.
- Many students use them to supplement their guaranteed meal allowance/$6 block credit, but they can be used in any dining unit, for catering purchases through PACES and at the Bear's Den in Maxcy Hall.
- They can only be used towards purchases of goods from PACES Dining Services.
- FLEX provides you with maximum purchasing flexibility: you can use any or all of your FLEX credits at any time during the semester.
- They are allocated to your meal plan account per semester and do not rollover to the next. Unused FLEX credits are non-refundable.
- Flex credits are a part of every residential meal plan and some options are available for commuters as well.
- You can add FLEX credits to your meal plan at any register. If you go in person to the PACES Business Office window in Merritt Hall, you will receive a 20% premium on the amount you add on your Resident Meal Planexcept the ALL Flex Plan (so, if you add $100 to your meal plan account, you will receive 120 FLEX credits): this premium does not apply to non-resident plans.
3. Be-My-Guest Pass (or guest pass)
- Depending on which meal plan option you choose, you will be given a certain amount of guest passes, which allows you to pay for a guest to enter the Lehman Dining Center.
Meal Plan Selection
- If you wish to change your meal plan or bear express options, you must do so by the close of business on the first day of classes each semester. No changes are allowed after that, even if you move off campus.
- If you believe that you have special circumstances that necessitate a modification to the standard meal plan options, you may apply for a waiver at the Dining Services office in Thatcher Hall. Waivers will only be considered until the end of the first week of classes.
- PACES is able to meet the requirements for most medically prescribed diets. Students requiring such service should submit a physician's letter with detailed information to the Dining Services Office, 2nd floor in Thatcher Hall.
An Explanation of pro-rated meal plans
Most college meal plans build in-and charge you for- meals that they know you will not use. This is called the "missed meal factor." We take a different approach. We want you to get the most out of your meal plan. So, instead of charging you a full week's worth of meals for the entire 17 week semester, we take into account the three "short weeks" (opening week, fall/winter recess and final exam week) and pro-rate the amount of meals you will get per day during those times.
For example, if you have the 19 Meal Plan, in a normal week you would be allotted 19 meals but during opening weekend (which is 2 days) you will be given fewer meals. Keep in mind that your meal plan will also include FLEX, which can fill in if you need additional meals. Click here to download table of Pro-rated meal allowances (PDF) for the Fall and Spring semesters.
Important regulations you need to know
- Meal Plans are in effect during the short breaks (fall & winter recesses) but not during the extended breaks (Thanksgiving and Spring recesses).
- All students who live on campus are required to have a meal plan except students that who live in Lehman apartments or Townhouse AND who have met their residency requirements.
- Meal Plans are non-transferable and are for the sole use of the student to whom the account is issued.
- No refunds can be issued unless a student officially withdraws from the College. (Any refunds will be pro-rated and service charges may apply).
- Plan balances do not "rollover" from one semester to another. At the end of the semester all plan balances are forfeited.
- At the end of the fall semester, students will automatically be re-assigned their current meal plan option for the spring semester unless they select a different one on BeaPaws.
- You must present your SUNYCard to the cashier to access you meal plan.
- Our system allows you to check your balances at any register or by going on-line to BEARPAWS.
- Meal plan selection is subject to review and audit by the SUNYCard office and is based on room assignments and completion of the residency requirement. Students who are determined to be in contradiction with these terms will be defaulted to the 14Meal Plan.