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Managing Your Meal Plan

Meal Plans: the nuts and bolts

  • Meals and Meal Allowances
    (Available on 1st Year, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Block and Commuter Hybrid plans)

    • Your meal plan provides the security of knowing that your basic dining needs are covered for the entire semester.
    • Meals permit you to eat a designated number of meals per week (or semester) depending on the plan chosen.
    • 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.
    • Meals have a $6.50 (non cash) value at other locations. Meals are not accepted at Dexter's Cafe, the Stand in Maxcy Hall, Becky's Place at lunch (10:45 a.m. - 3 p.m.) and the Performing Arts Cafe (after 10:45 a.m.)
    • Meals are issued weekly (or by the semester) you may use as many in a given day as you wish. Meals must be used in the week or semester they are issued; they do not roll over and are weekly plans 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).
  • FLEX credits have the purchasing power equivalent to one dollar but they have no cash value.
  • FLEX can be used in any dining unit, including PACES Catering and at The Stand in Maxcy Hall.
  • FLEX can only be used towards purchases of goods from PACES Dining Services. 
  • FLEX provides maximum purchasing flexibility: FLEX credits can be used at any time during the semester.
  • FLEX does not rollover to the next semester, they must be used in the semester they were issued. Unused FLEX credits are nonrefundable.
  • FLEX can be added to an exisiting meal plan account at any Dining Services' register or on BearPAWS. 
  • Guest passes allow you to bring a guest to Lehman Dining Center.
  • Starting in the Fall of 2018, Guest Passes will be accepted at PACES locations where and when meals are accepted.
  • You may use multiple passes at one time, you can use one for yourself.
  • Guest Passes do not rollover to the next semester, they must be used in the semester they were issued. Unused Guest Passes  are nonrefundable.
  • Passes have no other value.

You never have to "lose" or miss a meal with the PACES meal plans.

Here are some Tips for Managing your Meal Plan:

  1. Plan Ahead: You can use your meals at any time and as many meals as you want at one time.
  2. Use Guaranteed Meals First: since they must be used within the week in which they are allocated: it generally makes the most sense to use them first, for their full value.
  3. Get the Best Value: go to Lehman for your meals. Meals are meant to be used at Lehman Dining Center, where you can have all you care to eat.
  4. Do the Math: When you use your meal as an allowance it is credited as a single $6.50 (2017-18) block. Plan accordingly - don't use a meal allowance to purchase a single slice of pizza.
  5. Look for Meal Deals: Good value, no math to worry about! Look in areas that take allowances for value menus.
  6. Spend Your Flex: you've paid for them as part of your plan. Don't save them all for the end of the semester and then waste them on things you don't really need or be forced to forfeit them.
  7. Check Your Balances: You can check your balance at any register, or online at, or on BearPAWS. Refer to the Ideal Flex Meal Balances (PDF) table, so make sure you are on track for the semester.
  8. Prorated Meals: Most colleges build in and charge you for meals that they think you won't use (aka missed meal factor). PACES wants you to get what you paid for, so we take into account the three "short weeks" (opening week, fall/winter recess,spring break and final exam week). Check the Pro-rated Meal Allowances (PDF) for the amount of meals you will get per day during those times. You won't pay for what you can't use.