Savannah State University has made the decision to stop issuing meal plans that include Dining Dollars, instead offering meal plans supplemented by students' personal cash or Flex Funds.
In a statement to Savannah State's student publication, The Tiger's Roar, Joe Davis, director of dining services at Savannah State University, said the decision to discontinue Dining Dollars was at least in part the result of a policy implemented at the University System of Georgia level.
“Almost every university in the Georgia system has stopped selling meal plans with dining dollars,” Davis added.
A separate decision made by Georgia's state Board of Regents is requiring all colleges to refund unused Dining Dollars at the end of each year. The Dining Dollar refund process was part of the decision to remove the campus currency at Savannah State.
The university tried to continue selling Dining Dollars, but saw that year-on-year the amount being refunded increased, Davis said. This suggested to Savannah State administrators that fewer students were using the extra money for food purchases, as intended.
At Savannah State, meal swipe values are based on the meal for which they're used: $4.35 for breakfast, $6.09 for lunch, and $6.39 for dinner. But according to The Tiger's Roar report, many of the menus at on campus restaurants contain items more expensive than the swipe rate. In those cases, Dining Dollars would fill in to cover the remaining balance.
The removal of Dining Dollars now means students need to make up these cost differences in either personal cash or Flex Funds which, unlike Dining Dollars, are non-refundable at the end of the academic year.
Flex Funds at Savannah State can be loaded onto a student account and used anywhere on campus, including concession stands and campus bookstores.