Dining Policies


Patrons are required to use their i-card, a guest meal ticket, or pay by credit card to access any dining hall. Attempting to enter without providing proper payment or attempting to enter through a marked exit is prohibited.

Carry Out

Residents eating in the dining halls may take a choice of: one piece of fruit, one cookie, or one ice cream cone and a non-­‐dairy beverage in a thermos mug (up to 22 oz) from the dining hall. Everything else must be consumed before you leave the dining area. A $10 charge may be assessed for any item above the one item provision. Orange on Green at the Illini Union is a designated carry-out location and students may use a Classic Meal to select multiple items for eat-in or carry-out.

Use of your Meal Plan by Others

Your meal plan is non-transferable and cannot be used by others. Meal plan holders may be asked to show photo ID. You may swipe guests in under your meal plan, but you may not give your i-card to others to use your plan in your absence.

Use of Classic Meals

Classic Meals may only be used once per meal period. For example, you cannot use a Classic Meal at 7 a.m. for breakfast and again at 8 a.m. for breakfast.

Appropriate Attire

No one shall enter a dining location shirtless, with bare feet, or in stocking feet.


No refund is made for unused meals, absences, or lost passes, except in the case of an approved extended absence.

Food Credit for Absences

If a student is absent from the residence halls for seven or more consecutive days because of illness, student teaching, or a University field trip, residents may request a dining service credit of $5.80 per day at the area/hall office. Residents should notify the office before leaving for teaching or a field trip or after return from an illness. There is no dining service during University vacation periods.

Meal Plan Changes

Meal plans may be changed before the contract begins, or you may wait until after you arrive on campus. Visit the Housing website to see the deadline for each semester and to submit a request to change your meal plan online. You may roll over up to one week's worth of your old plan's Café Credits to your new plan. Students who move from an undergraduate residence hall to a graduate hall after the meal plan cancellation deadline must keep their meal plan until the next meal plan change period.

Café Credit Rollover

You may roll over a maximum of one week’s worth of your plan’s Café Credits into the following week, to a maximum of the previous week’s Café Credits plus the current week’s Café Credits. Rollover of applicable credits will occur automatically.

Prorated Meal Weeks

Standard meal weeks begin on a Sunday. At various times of the year when the meal week begins on a different day (e.g., opening week in the fall and after some break periods) your meal plan is prorated. This means you will have fewer meals during the week than you would in a regular week during the school year. When your meal plan rate was set, prorated weeks were already figured in (so you did not pay for them). Prorating is calculated by dividing your meal plan into sevenths, representing seven days of the week.

Board-Only Meal Plans for Residents of Graduate Halls

Residents in Daniels and Sherman Halls do not have a mandatory board plan as part of their contract but can choose from one of six meal plans. This is an academic year contract that can only be cancelled before the dates listed in the contract. Six Classic Meals and Six Classic Meals + 25 Café Credits plans are not available to residents of the University undergraduate residence halls. Students who move from an undergraduate residence hall to a graduate hall after the meal plan change deadline must keep their meal plan until the next meal plan change period.

Responsible Use

Residents should take what they want and enjoy what they take, but they should not waste food. University Housing does not receive any subsidy from the University or the federal or state government. It is funded entirely by resident payments. To keep the cost of meal plans and dining services down, please consider the following:

  • Avoid wasting food; please take only what you can eat.
  • Care for your dining area and avoid breakage of dinnerware.
  • Ensure guests pay for their meals.
  • If you need to borrow something, please talk to the unit manager. (There is a $10 charge for each unauthorized item removed from the dining room.)

Public Health Requirements

Illinois Public Health regulations do not permit food prepared outside the dining service area (including salad dressing) to be brought into or consumed in the dining room.

Sick Tray

If a student is ill, a roommate or a friend may obtain a sick tray for the ill student. The ill student should call his or her dining hall’s main office during meal hours and provide the ill student’s name, UIN (found on the i-card), and name of the friend who will be picking up the tray. Please call at least 60 minutes prior to the requested pick-­‐up time. A Classic Meal or equivalent credits will be deducted for the meal.

Religious Observances

Residents with a meal plan who choose not to dine in the dining halls during religious observances such as Passover or Ramadan must email their request to housing@illinois.edu to be reimbursed the raw food cost for meals. Residents requesting this credit option should see the raw food cost credit posted on their Student Account statement. Students on the 6 Classic Meal Plan will receive a maximum of six dinner credits. Residents may also elect to prepare sack meals for breakfast and/or lunch instead of a food-cost reimbursement. Notify a supervisor as you enter the dining room, and your ID number will be entered into the access system to deduct your carry-out meal from your meal plan. One container will be provided each for cold and hot food items. It is the student's responsibility to keep To-Go meals taken according to food safety guidelines: 40˚F or below for cold food and 165˚F or above for hot food.