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DePauw to update meal plan structure

DePauw University’s meal plan system is set to be restructured in the fall 2015-16 semester, moving away from an existing declining balance plan to the more traditional single swipe system.

As reported by The DePauw, the meal plan change will mark a change for students used to the old system, but DePauw’s decision should come as little surprise as a majority of universities employ the single swipe meal plan structure. The move, then, will see DePauw come around to what could be considered an industry standard in meal plan delivery.

To aid in the transition, DePauw has also partnered with Bon Appetit for the university’s on-campus food services. Bon Appetit runs some of DePauw’s on-campus food locations offering students an all-you-can-eat meal at a set price.

The transition to the new meal plan was deemed necessary after an overwhelming number of students were below their suggested meal plan balance last spring. Students were depleting their meal plan dollars before the end of the semester, causing frustration for students as well as some parents footing the meal plan bill.

Per the university dining website, the new meal plan promises to provide more meals per week than the existing declining balance plan. University officials explain that those on the current Residence Hall Meal Plan are allotted roughly $14 per day to spend on meals, adding up to 14 meals a week. And as is the case with a number of institutions, all students living in DePauw University housing must purchase a meal plan.

With the implementation of the swipe system, however, students will be given the option of 18 meals per week, with the number of swipes resetting each week. Additionally, these plans will include $200 in flex dollars each semester. The university also plans to accept flex dollars at any of the cafes around campus, opening up more options beyond DePauw’s current dining hall locations.

The new meal plan is being modeled after similar swipe systems being used by other Bon Appetit clients including Wabash College, Carleton and Saint Olaf — the standard meal plan structure that colleges and universities across the country employ.

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