Meal Plans

Quick Links: Choosing A Plan, Semester Plans, Meal Blocks, Guests, Contract Terms, Meal Plan Requirements, Rates

ISU Dining has worked with students to develop meal plan options that fit with the ISU student lifestyle.

Choosing A Plan

Before choosing a plan, ask yourself: Do I eat breakfast? WIll I be here most weekends? What does my class schedule look like? The answers to these questions will help you determine how many meals you need to have available to you in an average week. For example, if you know you never eat breakfast (the most important meal of the day!) then you know you only need a plan that offers enough meals to cover lunch and dinner. Don't have time for a sit-down lunch a few days each week because of your class schedule? Them maybe you want a plan that give you the option of dinners every day and a few breakfasts/lunches when it's convenient for you.

Still unsure?  If you discover you are going through meals faster than you thought you would, you can bump up to a larger plan at any time. If you need to move to a lower plan, you can only do that at specific times during the semester.

You have until July 15 to select your own plan using AccesPlus. If you haven't selected a plan by then, the Gold Plan will be selected for you.

Semester Plans

Semester Plans offer a combination of meals and DD$ that are allotted each semester so that you can choose when, where, and how often to eat based on your schedule! Meals can be used in all dining centers as well as for meal bundles in select retail locations. DD$ can be used in any ISU Dining location. There are five Semester Plan available to choose from:

Plan Name
Meals per
DD$ per
Avg. Meals
per Week
Cyclone 304 $125 19
Cardinal 275 $150 17
Gold (default) 225 $200 14
Silver 175 $250 11
Bronze 125 $300 8
  • Meal plans are purchased on a yearly basis with a set amount of meals and DD$ being allotted at the start of each semester.
    • Unused meals expire at the end of each semester
    • At the end of fall, unused DD$ roll over to the spring. At the end of spring, all unused DD$ expire.
    • You are encouraged to use your meals and DD$ as unused meals and DD$ will not be reduced or refunded.

Meal Blocks

Meal Blocks consist of meals only (without DD$). Meals can be used in all dining centers as well as for meal bundles in select retail locations.

Block Name Meals
25 Meal Block 25
50 Meal Block 50
75 Meal Block 75
100 Meal Block 100
  • Meal Block meals are allotted at the start of fall semester or at the time of purchase if selected after the academic year has begun.
  • At the end of fall, unused meals roll over for use during spring.
  • At the end of the spring semester, on the Monday following commencement, all unused meals expire. You are encouraged to use your meals as unused meals will not be reduced or refunded.

Guest Meals

Mom, Dad or little sib' coming to visit? Want to network with a professor over a meal? Want to take a friend to lunch? Well, we want you to be able to bring your friends and family to experience ISU Dining!

  • If you have a Semester Plan, the majority of your meals are only for you. However, five of your meals each semester can be used for a guest. Don't have any guests? Then use the meals for yourself.
  • If you have a Meal Block all of those meals can be used for either yourself or a guest.
  • In order to use your meals for a guest, you and your guest most BOTH be present at the time of purchase.

Contract Terms

Any individual who purchases a Semeter Plan, Meal Block and/or Dining Dollar$ is subject to the ISU DINING STUDENT CONTRACT TERMS AND CONDITIONS. This document establishes the ISU Dining contract Terms and Conditions and Policy Handbook for meal plans, Dining Dollars (DD$) and dining facilities and is a binding agreement between Iowa State University and the contract signatory. It is your responsibility to become familiar with all provisions of this document.

Meal Plan Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible to purchase Semester Plans, Meal Blocks, and DD$ you must be in good financial standing with ISU and must be enrolled as a student at ISU or enrolled in the Admissions Partnership Program. ISU Staff members who wish to purchase a meal plan should visit our Staff Charge Plan page.

All residents of Buchanan Hall, Richardson Court and Union Drive are required to purchase a Semester Meal Plan. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Residents in these areas who do not choose their own plan (using AccessPlus) will be defaulted to the Gold Plan.

Residents of Wallace and Wilson halls, Frederiksen Court, University Village and Schilletter Village and student living off-campus are not required to purchase a meal plan. However many residents in these areas opt to purchase a Semester Plan or some combination of meals and Dining Dollar$ (DD$) so they can make purchases in one of the many ISU Dining locations.


Rates for all Semester Plans, Meal Blocks, and DD$ are posted on the main ISU Dining rates page. Billing for Semester Plans, Meal Blocks, and DD$ is done via the UBill.