Every resident living in UC Davis residence halls receives a dining plan as part of their contract. Every resident living in UC Davis Student Housing Apartments (SHA) has the option to purchase a dining plan as part of their contract. Residents may choose a plan that best fits their eating preferences or needs.
Residence hall and SHA dining plans have two components:
- A Meal Plan (for eating in the dining commons)
- Aggie Cash (a declining balance (debit) account for retail food purchases)
The residence hall and SHA rates ("room and board") include the fees for the dining plans; dining plan fees are not itemized separately.
- To review residence hall rates, which are broken down by dining plan options, refer to the Residence Hall Fees webpage
- To review SHA rates, which are broken down by dining plan options, refer to the Student Housing Apartment Fees webpage
Dining Plan Component #1: Meal Plans
Meal plans come with a set amount of meals per quarter. Meal plan information is stored on the AggieCard, and students "swipe" their AggieCard each time they enter the dining commons. One swipe is good for one meal at the DC.
Five meal plans are available: Unlimited, Prime Line, Frequent Diner, Aggie Advantage and Budget Saver. The only difference between the meal plans is the quantity of meals, and the Unlimited Meal Plan includes "bonus meals".
Unlimited Meal Plan
- Unlimited meals per quarter
- Recommendation: this plan is ideal for residents who prefer to eat smaller/more frequent meals on campus
- Bonus meals: the Unlimited plan comes with an additional 10-meals-per-quarter; bonus meals can be used to bring guests into the dining commons and on Flexible Meal Options; each quarter's 10 meals do not roll over to the next quarter
Prime Line Meal Plan
- Total meals in plan: 180 meals per quarter
- Average meals per week: about 16-17 meals
- Recommendation: this plan is ideal for residents who prefer to eat on campus for most of their meals
Frequent Diner Meal Plan
- Total meals in plan: 150 meals per quarter
- Average meals per week: about 13-14 meals
- Recommendation: this plan is ideal for residents who prefer to eat on campus frequently
Aggie Advantage Meal Plan
- Total meals in plan: 120 meals per quarter
- Average meals per week: about 10-11 meals
- Recommendation: this plan is ideal for residents who eat two meals a day and frequently leave campus during the weekend
Budget Saver Meal Plan
- Total meals in plan: 90 meals per quarter
- Average meals per week: about 7-8 meals
- Recommendation: this plan is ideal for residents who frequently leave campus during the weekend
Residents have access to any dining commons regardless of meal plan–all meal plans are valid for any meal offered in any dining commons location–provided the meal plan is not exhausted for the quarter.
Residents may change their meal plans at scheduled "meal plan change periods" during the academic year. See Changing Meal Plans for more information and instructions.
Residents may use their meal plan to bring, or "swipe in", guests up to ten times per quarter. Guest swipes are deducted from the resident's meal plan, except for unlimited meal plans, where guest swipes are deducted from the unlimited plan's 10 bonus meals. Residents MUST remain with their guests when eating in the dining commons. Guest allotments do not roll over from quarter to quarter.
Flexible Meal Options
Meals, or "swipes", may be exchanged for other meal options besides eating in the DC. Go to the Flexible Meal Options webpage for more information.
Dining Plan Component #2: Aggie Cash
Aggie Cash is a declining balance (debit) account available to UC Davis students, staff, and faculty. View the Aggie Cash webpage to learn about Aggie Cash.
Too Many Meals - Not Enough Meals
End-of-Quarter: Fall & Winter
At the end of fall quarter and winter quarter, all leftover meals roll over to the next quarter, to be added on to the next quarter's total meals. Example: if 20 meals are left over from fall quarter, and winter quarter's meal allotment begins with 90, then the total meals available at the beginning of winter quarter is 110 meals. Note: Unlimited Meal Plan bonus meals do not roll over each quarter.
End-of-Quarter: Spring (End-of-Academic Year)
2013-2014 academic year: Meals do not roll over at the end of the spring quarter. Students should plan to eat all of their meals before moving out of the residence halls or Student Housing Apartments (SHA).
2014-2015 academic year: Meals do not roll over at the end of the spring quarter. Instead, leftover meals are cashed out at a rate of $3.00 per meal and can either be applied to AggieCash or donated to the Swipe Out Hunger Fund.
Purchasing Additional Meals
Increasing Meal Plans
At various times during the academic year, residents may "upgrade" their meal plan to add more meals per quarter. See the Changing Meal Plans webpage to learn how to upgrade (or downgrade) meal plans.
Students who deplete their meal plan balances before the quarter ends and would like to purchase additional meals may purchase "Meal Blocks". Meal Blocks are 10-meal meal plans that may be added to any existing meal plan. Meal Blocks are $70.40 each. Students may purchase multiple Meal Blocks. See the Changing Meal Plans webpage to learn how to upgrade (or downgrade) meal plans or purchase Meal Blocks. Visit or call Student Housing for more information.
Suggestions & Planning Ahead
UC Davis Dining Services suggests that students who are unsure which meal plan to select should consider selecting a middle-to-larger plan to ensure they will have enough meals for the quarter. Afterward, students who determine they instead should have a smaller plan may choose to downgrade their plan during a scheduled "meal plan change period", and should remember that leftover meals roll over to the next quarter (except for spring quarter - see "Leftover Meals", above).
Dining Services also publishes a Block Meal Planner that can be used to estimate how many meals a student should consume by a particular period in the quarter. This tool can be used to predict how many meals will be needed for the remainder of the quarter, as well as which meal plan should be selected for the following quarter. Visit any dining commons, the Area Service Desk, or Student Housing to get a copy of the Planner, or download a digital copy of the spring 2014 planner (pdf).