How many Plu$ Dollars should I have left?

As of today, there are days left in Spring Quarter 2017.

Residence Hall Students

Starting balance: $

Apartment Students

Starting balance: $

Targeted balance:

Targeted balance:

Targeted balance based on 92 days in Fall Quarter, September 16, 2016 – December 16, 2016. Calculated per second.


Eating meals on campus is always a popular topic among incoming freshman. And for good reason: students love food and want to make the most of their Plu$ Dollars. Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, fruitarian, kosher, paleo, pescatarian, omnivore, foodie or food agnostic there are many different ways to maximize your Plu$ Dollars on the Cal Poly campus.

The math of eating on campus.

The total cost of the dining plan for a student living in a residence hall is $5,147, and for a student living in an on-campus apartment residence the cost is $4,103. In translation, students have about $130 per week to buy food. There are 19 different dining venues on campus including two markets, three food trucks and more than 1,000 options to choose from. Budgeting is often the most difficult part of the dining plan to manage. Here is a Plu$ Dollar chart to give students something to guide them.

Are you a splurger or a hoarder?

When students are given $1,400 all at once, it can be easy to splurge too much too quickly, and they may find their Plu$ Dollar accounts dwindling by the end of the quarter. Others may have hundreds left by the end of the third quarter and not know how they will be able to spend all of the remaining money by the end of the year. Although the money does roll over from quarter to quarter, Plu$ Dollars expire on June 18 and cannot roll over to the next academic year.

Budgeting Tips

Students can keep up to date on the balance of their Plu$ Dollars online through the Cal Poly portal. They can also swipe their PolyCard at any register at any campus dining operation to see their remaining balance.

Check Balance at Mycalpoly

Too few Plu$ Dollars

Students who are running low on their Plu$ Dollars can add money to their Campus Express account, which they can use at any dining venue. They can also purchase a 19 Metro Fast Pass, which they can use during all meal periods at 19 Metro, saving them up to 40 percent off the regular cost of a meal. Students can access both supplemental dining programs through the Money Matters tab on the Cal Poly portal.

Too many Plu$ Dollars

Students who find themselves with an abundance of Plu$ Dollars can use them at Campus Market and Village Market to stock up on grocery items like snacks, drinks and personal items. They can also purchase Cal Poly products like chocolate, jam and BBQ sauce, which make great gifts to bring home. Another idea is to take a friend who is low on Plu$ Dollars out for a meal.