Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Meal plans: yes or no

A case of 24 Aquafina bottled waters in stores typically costs about $5, but they sell the same cases for $13 on campus.

“The prices in the non-dining hall areas seem reasonable,” Plattsburgh State sophomore Hailey Frey said. “They feel like great deals actually until you see the same product in actual stores.”
Sale displays of bulk items are commonly set up in the Angell College Center, but are not deals at all.

The signs next to the items don’t specifically read sale, but the large text and the proudly displayed prices lead you to believe otherwise.

“The other items the Sundowner sells,” Frey said. “Such as the little bags of chips and their in-house food is marked reasonably; it’s the beverages set out like sale items that are overpriced.”
The Sundowner accepts dining dollars, meal swipes, cash and credit cards as payment.

On-campus students are required to have meal plans and depending on whether you’re a freshman, sophomore, junior or a senior, your options are different.

As a freshman attending PSUC, you are required to have the anytime meal plan +125, which means you can eat anywhere on campus at anytime for $2,370 a semester.
Freshman are required to have the anytime plan so they don’t have to worry about when they eat and how much on top of adjusting to college life.

Sophomores get two more meal plans to choose from and both options cost $2,220 per semester and juniors and seniors get access to the anytime dining and the two sophomore meal plans along with the least expensive meal plan that costs $1,740 per semester.

The different meal plan options all have different amounts of allowed meal swipes, set dining dollars and express dollars attached. That’s why some are more expensive than others.

“I have dietary restrictions that make eating on campus a challenging experience,” Frey said. “I find myself not using most of my meal plan because of my restrictions and because I don’t eat that much.”

Dining halls on campus open up at 8 a.m., so if an on campus student has an 8 a.m. class, they more than likely have to skip breakfast on that day which means that’s one less meal swipe used that day.
The Huffington Post reports 31 million Americans and 10 percent of the U.S population skips breakfast.

It isn’t uncommon in college to sleep in and put off getting out of bed at the cost of a morning meal.

“I wish I could have the meal plan that’s reserved for only juniors and above,” Frey said. “Since I’m not using my current meal plan to its full potential, it’s just adding to my college debt for no reason.”

Email Abby Talcott at

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