How to Navigate Meal Plans

Swipes? Declining? URos? What?

On the first day of college, I was very confused about the different meal plans and the different types of money. Read on so you can understand ahead of time!


You can get a student discount and pay with URos at many different eateries on and near campus. Treat yo’self and your family when they visit!


Meal swipes grant you access to the dining halls, either Danforth or Douglass. As a freshman, you will have unlimited swipes! That’s like unlimited food! The dining halls open at 8:00 am for breakfast (Douglass on weekdays, Danforth on weekends). Lunch usually lasts from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm while dinner takes place from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. You can swipe into a dining hall as many times as you would like during these times. There are a few other uses for swipes. At Meliora Grab and Go, you can use one swipe for a sandwich, salad, parfait, or soup with a fruit, drink, and a cookie. At the Pit, you can use one swipe for pizza, salad bar, or grill items from 8:00 to 10:00 pm. At Rocky’s, you can use one swipe for a sandwich, a drink, and a bag of chips from 8:00 to 10:00 pm. You get about seven guest swipes as well for visitors. So the negative of swipes are the restrictions on variety and the restrictions on time. But in my personal opinion, swipes are the bomb.


Declining is almost like money on a debit card. You start fresh with a certain balance each semester. Declining can be used at all the different dining services on campus, including the dining halls, Starbucks, the Medical Center dining hall, and Hillside Market. Declining really opens up your options; it can be used anywhere at any time and on anything! Declining is helpful if you want to buy quick microwavable dinners or snacks for your dorm room. One limitation is that declining does not roll over after each semester. If you have $350 for the fall semester, you should use it all up before winter break!



“But Char, what if I want to buy non-food stuff on campus? How can I purchase a Dr. Bear just like yours from the bookstore?”



Here is a close-up of Dr. Bear since his cuteness warrants one. I picked him out with URos. A worthwhile purchase.



URos… Get it? Our school really likes puns so prepare yourself. URos is very similar to declining. The main difference is that URos can be used on anything: tickets to see BJ Novak’s stand-up routine on campus, candy grams for your secret crush on Valentine’s Day, travel-size toothpaste from Hillside when you run out during the last week of the semester, menu items at certain restaurants at CollegeTown, that ten-page paper you need to print, a t-shirt from a club’s fundraiser, envelopes and stamps from the mail center, the possibilities go on and on. You can use URos for the same food that you can use declining for, but you should use up your declining first since you can’t get it back after the semester ends. URos roll over to the next semester so declining takes priority for food items. You can refill URos and declining at any point in the semester, as well.


We love our smoothies.


Alright! Now you are a meal plan expert. Comment any questions below if you have any!

About the author

Charlotte Pillow

I am a member of the Class of 2019. I am originally from Ridgewood, NJ. I am a student in the Dual Degree in Nursing program. I am majoring in nursing, public health, and interdisciplinary dance studies, and minoring in psychology. I am the president of the College Diabetes Network and a research assistant at the School of Nursing. For the 2017 spring semester, I studied public health at the University of Oxford.

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