Dining Program Frequently Asked Questions
Campus Dining offers a variety of dining plan options for all types of students, living on or off campus. Having a dining plan gives students the ease of not having to prepare meals so they can focus on their academics and student life during the first year. All components of any dining plan are accessed through the students' PolyCard (student ID) for fast, convenient access. There are several options for students to choose from, depending on where they live and the type of eater the student is.
Every student is different, which is why we created different dining plan options. Dining plans are designed to provide the majority but not all of the meals during the week, taking into account students' busy schedules and eating out with friends and families. Students can allocate more funds for food with Campus Express or Fast Pass. These funds are loaded onto the PolyCard (student ID) for convenience.
Think of Dining Credits like meal tokens. These tokens get applied to the PolyCard (student ID) each week. Students can use one credit per breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night each day at these restaurants: VG Cafe, Sandwich Factory, 19 Metro station, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and Tacos To-Go Mexican Grill in Poly Canyon Village. Dining Credits allow students the convenience of not having to carry cash or credit cards around campus to purchase meals. Dining Credits are allocated weekly, which provides the security of having meals available throughout the academic year. Unused Dining Credits are forfeited when the dining plan resets at the end of each week (from breakfast on Saturday to 2 a.m. on Friday nights).
One dining credit can be used during each meal period at one of the dining credit restaurants: VG Cafe, 19 Metro station, Sandwich Factory, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and Tacos To-Go Mexican Grill. Listed below are the different credit amounts and meal periods:
- Breakfast (7 a.m. to 9:59 a.m.) - $7.90
- Lunch (10 a.m. to 4:59 p.m.) - $9.00
- Dinner (5 p.m to 8:14 p.m.) - $10.75
- Late Night (8:15 p.m. to 2 a.m weekdays/Midnight weekends) - $8.75
Dining Credits are allotted weekly and can be accessed through the students' PolyCard. The meal periods begin on Saturday mornings (excluding academic breaks) and ends on Friday nights. Students need to use their allocation during that weekly period; any unused credits are forfeited when the dining plan resets each week. There are no substitutions or refunds for missed meals, either on a weekly or quarterly basis and Dining Credits cannot be converted into Plu$ Dollars.
Plu$ Dollars are a dollar-for-dollar cash value that can be used for purchasing food items at all Campus Dining restaurants and markets, including Subway and Starbucks! Plu$ Dollars are allocated at the beginning of each academic term during the regular school year.
Unused Plu$ Dollars roll over to the next quarter through the end of the academic year. Plu$ Dollars remaining at the end of the spring quarter are forfeited.
Students can swipe their PolyCards (student ID) at the register of any campus dining operation to view their current balance or view the information online through their Cal Poly Portal.
Students can request a change from one meal plan to another during the specified change periods ONLY. This process can be completed through the students' Cal Poly portal during the specified enrollment periods. Listed below are the change periods:
2013/14 Academic Year
- Fall Quarter- Between September 18 through September 26, 2013, with new Dining Plan starting no later than September 28, 2013.
- Winter Quarter- Between December 2 through January 9, 2014, with new Dining Plan starting January 11, 2014.
- Spring Quarter- Between March 10 through April 3, 2014, with new Dining Plan starting April 5, 2014.
2014/15 Academic Year
- Fall Quarter- Between September 16 - 25, 2014, with new Dining Plan starting no later than September 27, 2014.
- Winter Quarter- Between December 8 - January 8, 2015, with new Dining Plan starting January 10, 2015.
- Spring Quarter- Between March 9 - April 2, 2015, with new Dining Plan starting April 4, 2015.
Campus Dining and University Housing policies require that all entering first year students living on campus must have a dining plan for the full academic year. The Housing and Dining License can't be modified or changed during any time. Please review the Housing and Dining license carefully prior to submitting the initial payment registration for the Housing and Dining License.
Fast Pass is perfect for students and staff living off campus who want a small meal plan. It's also a great way to apply additional meals and Plu$ Dollars to a first-year student dining plan. Visit the Fast Pass webpage for options and information.
Dining plans are not available during the summer but students can apply value to their Campus Express account.
Other Dining Related Programs
Cal Poly faculty, staff and students are automatically set up as a member when they arrive on campus. They can easily apply value to their PolyCard (student ID) to purchase food, clothing, printing, supplies or health services. Add value through the Campus Express webpage, or the Money Matters tab at the Cal Poly Portal.
The Fast Pass program offers supplemental mini dining plans which are perfect for first-year students living on campus who want to add a few more meals and Plu$ Dollars to their dining program. It's also great for first year students living off campus, transfer students, upperclassmen, faculty and staff living off campus who want a few meals a week to dine at 19 Metro station, our all you care to eat restaurant. There are two types of Fast Pass options to choose from:
- Lunch Pass: Purchase blocks of 5, 10 and 20 lunch passes to dine at the all you care to eat restaurant, 19 Metro station. If you purchase a 20 pass, you pay as low as $5.25 per meal!
- Commuter Block: Consists of meal passes to 19 Metro station (lunch and dinner) and Plu$ Dollars. There are three Blocks to choose from.
Use as many lunch and meal passes at once, purchase them at any time and have the freedom to use them anytime during the academic year.
Nutrition and Dietary Restrictions
Campus Dining has a team of Food Science and Nutrition students led by the registered dietitian that provides nutrition education and support to students and staff on campus. They created a comprehensive program of information, resources, and support tools. Please visit the online Nutrition Resource Center for menus, ingredient lists, nutrition facts, food allergy support information, and much more.
I have one or more food allergies and am starting Cal Poly in the fall. Is there something I should do prior to fall?
If you have medically documented dietary restrictions that prevents you from making full use of the room and board dining program please contact campus dining and the registered dietitian can work with to outline the many food options available in the dining plan venues and help you make the best possible use of your dining plan when living on campus. Please call (805) 756-5939 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further assitance.
Campus Dining offers many nutrition support resources. Click here to get started.
Please contact Campus Dining at (805) 756-5939 or at email@example.com for further assistance.
Campus Dining has a registered dietitian on staff that can work with students and staff. Please contact Campus Dining at (805) 756-5939 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for further assistance. After reviewing the program and food options, you need to determine whether your dietary needs can be met prior to submitting the initial payment registration for the Housing and Dining License.
Log into your Cal Poly portal and access the payment information through the Money Matters tab. Click here to view the dining plan payment schedule and methods.
You may have paid the incorrect amount or paid after business hours so your payment was processed the next day. To avoid late fees, please carefully follow the payment schedule and procedures. We have helpful representatives on staff available to provide additional support.
Campus Dining will send out an e-mail reminder to your Cal Poly e-mail account in early August. At that time fees will be posted to your portal account, located on the Money Matters tab. Based on the charges incurred, you will know the type of housing assignment. At that time you can select a dining plan based on your housing assignment through your Cal Poly portal.
Campus Dining does not receive any subsidies from the State for food services. Campus Dining is a commercial division of Cal Poly Corporation, a non-profi auxiliary organization. The Corporation supports the university in achieving its educational mission through a variety of valued, quality services.
If the magnetic stripe appears to have lost its encoding, please bring your PolyCard to the PolyCard Office in Building 46, Room 100 (The Natatorium, across from Spanos Stadium) to be re-activated. If you feel that your PolyCard has been lost or stolen, you can deactivate your PolyCard through the Cal Poly Portal.
Keep your card away from magnetic fields such as those created by a TV, stereo, microwave, or magnetic clasps of wallets and purses. Heat, water, and eelskin can also corrupt the magnetic stripe and render the card unreadable. There may be minimum charge of $5 to replace a lost or stolen card. The PolyCard must be readable by Campus Dining's cash registers in order for a purchase to be transacted using Dining Credits, Plu$ Dollars, Fast Pass, or Campus Express.