A guide to all the meal plans.
The start of college is right around the corner and many of you might be envisioning your student’s diet as burgers and pizzas and fries, oh my? Sure, we have been making meals for our kids for as long as we can remember. And yes, some of our kids know how to cook or even enjoy cooking but most have come to rely on their meals being ready the minute you yell “Dinnertime?” We get it… but what happens now that they will be on their own to figure out their meal plans? Before you get ready to go into a cooking frenzy, packaging and labeling items to send with them, stop. Because we assure you, college food choices have changed since many of us went to college. That’s not to say they won’t be tempted by the vast array of food choices … we’ve all heard the phrase Freshman 15. For many, there will be late-night deliveries and food runs.
Today’s college campuses, in addition to offering burgers, pizza and fries, offer many healthy and vegetarian alternatives as well as meal plan options. For incoming freshmen that live on campus at The University of Miami, it is mandatory to sign up for a meal plan. If you live on-campus in one of the residential colleges, you must purchase either a 14 meal plan, 19 meal plan or unlimited meal plan. Meal plans also come with dining dollars that can be used at other food option areas on-campus. Block meal plans are available for upperclassmen. You have up to the end of the first week of classes to lower your meal plan. If you wish to increase your meal plan after the first week of school email.
NOTE: First Year/Freshmen must choose the Unlimited Meal Plan, 19 Meal Plan, or 14 Meal Plan. Students, who fail to choose a meal plan upon enrollment in Housing, will automatically be signed up for the Unlimited meal plan with the $50 Dining Dollars.
A student’s Block Meal Plan that runs out of meals can also purchase additional 10 Block Meals at a time. Students will be able to downgrade their meal plan for the spring semester for a $40 administrative fee; the last day to do so is before the end of the first week of classes for the spring semester. There are also meal plans available for commuter and University Village students. Commuter and University Village Apartment Students – have the option of choosing between 15, 50, 75, or 100 Block Meal Plans. Block meals remaining at the end of the fall semester roll over to the spring semester, but are forfeited at the end of the spring semester. 15, 50, 75, and 100 Block Meal Plans are nonrefundable. Commuter/University Village students can also purchase Residential Block/Meal Plans. Student’s whose Block Plan runs out of meals can also purchase an additional 10 Block Refresh at a time.
Each plan comes with a specified dollar amount of dining dollars (determined by the meal plan purchased) which allows your student to eat at any of the other restaurants on campus including Einstein Bros. Bagels, Jamba Juice, Starbucks, Panda Express Burger 305, Lime, Outtakes, Sunway, Sushi Maki, Pollo Tropical, Rathskellar (The Rat), and the Corner Kosher Deli plus using the flex bucks at on-campus convenience stores. Be aware that when you commit to the Meal Plan, you are committing for two semesters.
Kosher food options: U Krave Cafe located inside the University of Miami Hillel, The Braman Miller Center for Jewish Life, is under the supervision of the ORB. The Corner Deli in Outtakes has quick kosher food to go including salads, falafel and sandwiches are also on the campus inside the Outtakes convenience store, and is under the strict kosher supervision of the Chabad’s campus, Rabbi.
Guest Passes And Takeout
Residential (Unlimited, 19, and 14) Meal Plans come with ten guest passes a semester. Residential (225, 160, and 117) Block Meal Plans come with two guest passes a semester. Takeout options are available at the entrance of the residential dining halls; students may only use one meal swipe per meal period. (Ex: a student on an Unlimited Meal Plan having lunch in the dining hall may not also do a takeout option for lunch as well). The choice you make should entail a conversation between you and your student. We would recommend you familiarize yourself with how each program works. Visit the meal plans section here to learn more and make sure you read the frequently asked questions section and be sure to pay attention to the deadlines for changing your meal plan.
If your student is adamantly opposed to signing up for a meal plan (not including freshman living on campus), we would still suggest having a declining balance card that you provide (a lot easier if they want to grab something quick on campus). They can head to any of the grocery stores by bus or car to purchase the food they need/want (see our blog on grocery stores) or choose amongst the many, many restaurants around town.
If cooking on their own works best for your student (other than freshman living on campus), rest assured most dorms have room for a small refrigerator and some do allow for microwaves (under 1500 watts). Freshman dorms do not have a kitchen, Mahoney Pearson has a kitchen- but you will need to bring your own pots and pans.
If the meal plan or cooking for themselves is not working for them, while maybe not the healthiest option, students today can get almost any type of meal delivered directly to their dorms. Companies that service Coral Gables include PostMates, Grubhub.com, and Ubereats. A Different Type of University Meal Plan
There is a whole new type of meal service that is becoming popular with students who can’t cook, don’t want to cook, don’t want to buy groceries and are looking for an easier, and healthier meal plan. Known as the meal kit industry, the premise is that they deliver pre-portioned, packaged meals delivered weekly right to your student’s door. Make sure you check out our blog on A College Student’s Guide to Meal Kits. Our interns tested out Blue Apron, Plated, Chef’d (Spoon University) and Hello Fresh.
Of course, you can always send them some of your home-cooked meals!