Meal Plans

Meal Plan changes for 2014-2015: There are two meal plans offered however the eligibility for who can participate in each plan is changing.

Meal Plan 7-day, Unlimited Access, with $200 Rusty Bucket: Cost is $1900 per semester or $3800* full term.
This is now the main meal plan and is mandatory for all dorm students 21 years of age and younger. Any student, dorm or community, regardless of age may choose this meal plan. All debit ( Rusty Bucket)accounts have a spending limit of $36 per day.

*Rates include the Food Service Operations Cost of approximately $2280 (plus current applicable state sales taxes) and is the cost to cover opening the doors. This cost also covers utilities, maintenance/repairs, dumpster fees, laundry'uniforms, debt service, overhead, small wares, major deferred maintenance, partial renovation funding, marketing/printing, equipment and labors costs needed to support the dining service program. The remainder of full term fees covers approximately 608 breakfast, lunch, and supper meals at an average food cost of $2.50.

Meal Plan 22 Declining Balance (22DB): Cost is $1100 per semester or $2200* full term.
This meal plan is an option for students who are 22 years of age or older, that choose to live in the dorm but have a more flexible lifestyle for meals. This is not an all-you-can-eat plan nor is it an unlimited-access meal plan. Your debit account will be charged for a meal upon every entry into the dining room. The debit balance is available for you to purchase food in the dining room or in Rusty Bucket as you choose. Meals in the dining room are charged at full per meal rate***, no discounts are applied. (no take-outs, all food taken from serving room must be consumed in the dining room). It is up to you how you utilize your balance and you should note this plan has the potential of becoming a zero balance before the end of a semester. In the event your debit account becomes 'zero' you will be required to pay cash for all purchases or reload your debit account with a cash/credit payment. All debit accounts have a spending limit of $36 per day.

* This plan does not include enough fees to cover the full amount of the Cost of Operation. Consequently there are no pricing discounts.
** Projected cost of Breakfast is $6.61inlcuding tax. Lunch (Mon-Fri) is $12.25 including tax. Supper is $9.50 including tax. Sabbath Lunch is $13.00 including tax and Sunday Brunch is $9.50 includign tax.

Commuter Dining Plans:
Commuter Dining Plans are a great way for off-campus students to take advantage of on-campus dining. Commuter Dining plans can be added to your tuition bill (subject to approval of Student Financial Services). You can also pay the food service department directly. Commuter Meal Plan are available exclusively to currently enrolled students. Commuter student can always opt for one of the dorm dining plans shown above (subject to same policies and payment).

Commuter Advantage*: Cost is $500 and you will receive a 10% discount (applied upon payment). This is a declining balance (DB) account and may be used for dining hall meals or in Rusty Bucket.

Commuter Basic*: Cost is $250 and you will receive a 5% discount (applied upon payment). This is a declining balance (DB) account and may be used for dining hall meals or in Rusty Bucket.

* Balances are non refundable and non transferable and are good for purchases during the semester purchased (theere is no carry over).

Until fall semester 2011 Southwestern's meal plans were 'consumption driven' instead of  'access driven'  Previsously all meal plans offered were consumption driven meaning that you had a limited number of meals per week. Under the 'old' plans students felt compelled to "get their money's worth" each time they came in,  loading up their trays with more than they could eat, as well as going hungry if they were out of meals by the end of the week.

In August 2011 Southwestern's meal plans changed to 'access driven' meaning unlimited access to the Committee of 100 Cafeteria main dining room serving hours. Students with meal plans are able to enter the main dining room as often as they wish, eating only what they choose. There are no more limits to meal access and we are now open 45 hours per week instead of 22 hours as before. No longer are there unused meals, nor students out of meals at the end of the week.

The new meal plans also mean that we are creating a more 'green' dining experience. The need to 'load up' your tray is gone as you can simply return later to eat again. The means to stay satiated has the potential to reduce the amount of food waste as well as the amount of food we prepare, thus reducing our 'carbon footprint'. With our 'buffet' service we do not allow food/beverage to be taken out of the dining room. We also encourage patrons to take only that which they can consume in the building.

Our meal plans are not limited to dormitory students! Any student can choose to particpate in a meal plan. Community students are encouraged to look at the meal plan options and decide if the convenience of having meals prepared for you and the convenience of unlimited cafeteria access is better than cooking for yourself, having your roommates 'borrow'' your food, or surviving on a 'ramen' only diet. Our new, unlimited access meal plans offer value to all students. The convenience of have a varied menu, extended hours, and unlimited access are keys to a successful and well-fed student life.

Register your ID card at and you can see when and where you have used your meals as well as your Rusty Bucket balance.