Meal Plans

Northwestern offers a flex plan for all meal plans, which allows students more flexibility to purchase a la carte items in the main cafeteria and other locations. Flex plans give students more control over how and when they use their meal plan. The cost of each food item purchased is deducted from a student’s dining funds balance.

2012–13 Meal Plan Requirements

Residential Students:

Dining Funds
Dining Fee
Total Cost perSemester
Freshmen/Sophomores (<60 credits earned)$1,400$295$1,695
Juniors (60–89 credits earned)$650$245$895
Seniors (90+ credits earned)$100$95$195

Commuter Students:

Freshmen/Sophomores (<60 credits earned)$200$95$295
Juniors/Seniors (60+ credits earned)$100$95$195


Dining Funds – these are the funds students use to purchase food in any of the dining locations on campus. Students receive a 20% discount at the cash register and are not subject to sales tax when paying with dining funds. Any student can add dining funds in $100 increments at any time during the semester, for an additional cost.

Dining Fee – this fee covers utility costs, facility maintenance costs, equipment purchases and repairs, and administrative costs in the dining facilities. In previous years, this amount was included in the cost of meal plans.

A Residential Student is any student living in University of Northwestern residence halls.

A Commuter Student is any student living off-campus who is enrolled as a traditional undergraduate student and taking 12 or more credits, including both traditional undergraduate and undergraduate online learning credits.

Exceptions to Meal Plan Requirements

  • If a commuter student has class on campus fewer than 2 days/week, they may apply for an expemption.
  • Students with serious medical dietary conditions may request an exemption. These are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Questions about meal plan information? Please contact Jane Goedeke at 651-631-5107 or