Dining Plans FAQ

What are dining plans?

Campus Dining offers a variety of dining plan options for 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.

What are 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, Yogurt Creations and Starbucks! Plu$ Dollars cannot be used for gratuities or to purchase gift cards, clothing, school supplies, mugs, coffee makers and similar non-food merchandise. Plu$ Dollars are allocated at the beginning of each academic term during the regular school year and expire at the end of spring quarter.

What is the cost break down of a dining plan?

The dining plan cost is broken up into three components (1) the Plu$ dollars on your card to be used around campus to eat, (2) the cost of WOW week meal programming, and (3) base operating expense for the dining plan All-You-Care to eat facility.

What is the Base Operating Expense?

In order to maintain financial stability for Dining Services and to give students the flexibility of dining plan choices and value, our dining plans are a combination of an overhead payment and Plu$ dollars. The overhead payment contributes to the operational costs of the All-You-Care to eat facility. These funds cover costs such as: salaries (staff and student), utilities, supplies, repairs and capital expenses. The overhead allows us to budget more effectively. Because the overhead payment covers the operational costs of the All-You-Care to eat, the entry price for freshman dining plan students is discounted to $5.50.

What happens to my unused Plu$ Dollars if I don't use them by the end of the quarter?

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.

If I run out of Plu$ Dollars, what else can I use to buy food on-campus?

Students can use cash, credit/debit cards, apply value to their Campus Express, and/or purchase Fast Pass Lunch Passes or Commuter Blocks.

How do I check my account balance?

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 clicking the Polycard services link.

Are dining plans mandatory for freshmen living on-campus?

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.

Are there dining plans for students and staff living off-campus?

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.

Do you offer dining plans in the summer?

Dining plans are not available during the summer but students can apply value to their Campus Express account.

Where can I find nutritional information about campus foods?

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?

A dining plan is mandatory for all freshmen living on campus and is non-refundable. If you have dietary restrictions due to medically documented food allergies, food intolerances, and/or other dietary concerns, please review the food options available through the Dining Plan program. After reviewing the program and food options, the Licensee can determine whether their dietary needs can be met prior to submitting their initial payment registration for the Housing and Dining License. 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 you 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 campusdining@calpoly.edu for further assistance.

Do you have any helpful tools for students with dietary restrictions?

Campus Dining offers many nutrition support resources. Click here to get started. Please contact Campus Dining at (805) 756-5939 or at campusdining@calpoly.edu for further assistance.

Who can I speak to if I have dietary restrictions or special needs?

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 campusdining@calpoly.edu 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.

Where do I go to make payment?

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.

I made my monthly payment, but why did I get a late fee?

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.

Does the State subsidize Campus Dining food services?

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-profit auxiliary organization. The Corporation supports the university in achieving its educational mission through a variety of valued, quality services.

What should I do if my PolyCard malfunctions, is lost, or stolen?

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 a 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.

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