Frequently Asked Questions

Meal plans


1. Is my first-year student required to have a meal plan?

A: Yes, all first-year freshmen students living on campus are required to participate in the residential dining program. Upperclassmen living in College Inn, Honors Hall, Legends Hall, Santa Fe Square, or Mozart Square may select any meal plan.

2. How do I exempt my student from a meal plan?
A: There are no exemptions for freshman. Upperclassman may transfer to a hall that allows them to select an optional meal plan: College Inn, Honors Hall, Legends Hall, Santa Fe Square, or Mozart Square.

3. Can students choose the meal plan they would like to purchase? 
A: Yes, residents click here. Commuters click here. 

4. What is the difference between the 5 and 7 day meal plans?
A: The 5 day meal plan allows all-you-care-to-eat access to the dining halls Monday-Friday. The 7 day plan covers the entire week and pays for itself even if you only dine on campus one weekend per month.

5. What if my student misses a meal because of class? 
A: Our cafeterias do not close between meals. Students may dine at any time convenient to them, before or after class.

6. Can my student choose any five days with a 5 Day plan, including weekends? 
A: No, the 5 Day plan is Monday through Friday only, with access to all five dining halls on those days.

7. If I live off-campus can I get a meal plan? 
A: Absolutely! Commuter students have access to all nine of our commuter and resident meal plans. 

8. I am a commuter student, do I need a meal plan?
A: Commuter Meal plans are not mandatory. However, with a commuter meal plan you gain access to any of our all-you-care-to eat dining halls for less than $5 a meal. Compare that to a typical fast-food combo meal, which can cost as much as $10 for just one burger, one side, and a drink! 

9. Where can I buy a commuter meal plan? 
A: Meal plans may be purchased online, or by visiting us at the Dining Services office at Crumley Hall room 132. If you have any questions, feel free to drop us a line at 940 565-2462.

Meal plans & Flex Dollars

 

10. What are Flex dollars?

A: Flex dollars are a spending privilege, like a stipend, that may be used at any of our 10 retail restaurants and cafes. 
 

11. How do Flex dollars work? 

A: Flex dollars work like a debit card. Each time a purchase is made, the cost is subtracted from your flex account, and the new balance will print at the bottom of your receipt. One Flex dollar has the buying power of $1, and can be used to purchase food in any dining location on campus. Flex expires every semester and is non-refundable. 

  

12. What is the difference between the Basic 5/7 day meal plan and the Value 5/7 Day meal plan? 

A: The difference between Value and Basic meal plans is the amount of FLEX money awarded. The 5 Day Basic meal plan gives students unlimited access to all five dining halls Monday through Friday, with 50 FLEX dollars. The 7 Day Basic meal plan have unlimited access with 75 FLEX Dollars. The 5 Day Value meal plan has unlimited access with 150 FLEX Dollars. And the 7 Day Value meal plan has unlimited access with 175 FLEX Dollars. 

 

13. What is the benefit of choosing the Value meal plan over the Basic meal plan? 

A: The Value meal plans only charge $90 more than the Basic meal plans, and award students 100 additional FLEX dollars.

  

14. I'm a Resident Student. How do I change my meal plan?

A: Before the start of any semester, you must email housing at housinginfo@unt.edu with your name, UNT ID #, which meal plan you'd prefer to change to, and your phone number. Once the semester begins, however, you may only change your meal plan at the Dining Services office in Crumley, room 132. After the second Friday of the semester, restrictions may apply on changing your meal plan. Please call us at 940 565-2462 to learn more.

 

14b. I'm a Commuter Student. Can I change my meal plan?

A: Commuters may change their meal plans, at any time, without restriction, at Crumley Hall room 132.  

 

15. If I change my meal plan, what happens to my FLEX dollars?

A: Used FLEX dollar totals will be calculated and adjustments will be applied to the new meal plan.

  

16. Where can I use my FLEX Dollars?

A: FLEX Dollars may be used at any of our 5 dining halls or 10 retail locations, including coffee shops, To-Go stations, and fast food restaurants. 

  

17. Can my student use their FLEX on the weekends? Where? 

A: Yes, they can use their FLEX dollars on the weekend at Kerr dining hall and at the Corner Store in the Union.

  

18. Am I charged tax at the register when I use my FLEX dollars? 

A: No. However, all applicable taxes are charged at time of purchase through housing or dining.

  

19. Do unused FLEX dollars roll over from semester to semester?

A: No, FLEX dollars are a spending privilege that comes with residential meal plans every semester. FLEX Dollars are non-refundable, and do not roll-over from one semester to the next.


20. What happens when my student runs out of FLEX, can I add more? How? 
A: Once a FLEX account is depleted, students may add spending money to their meal plan by purchasing a Declining Balance account. A Declining Balance is dollar-for-dollar account that functions similarly to FLEX, except that a Declining Balances DOES NOT expire at the end of the semester, and is refundable. You can add a Declining Balance online on this website, or you can visit or call us at Crumley Hall, room 132 (940-565-2462).

 

21. What is the difference between FLEX and Declining Balance?
A: FLEX dollars are attached to our traditional meal plans, give students retail purchasing power anywhere on campus, but expire at the end of the semester. A Declining Balance is a separate, optional account that gives students money to spend on food without having to carry cash or debit cards, and does not expire at the end of the semester. 

Declining Balance


22. What What is a Declining Balance plan? 

A: A Declining Balance plan is a fixed amount of money added to a student’s ID card. It functions like a gift card—every time you make a purchase, the cost is deducted from the balance on your card. Like FLEX dollars, the money can be used at any location we operate. Unlike FLEX dollars, the money DOES roll over semester to semester

22a. How much money can students put on a Declining Balance?

A: A Declining Balance may be purchased at our office in Crumley Hall #132 for any desired amount $25 and up. If purchased online, students must select a $300, $400, or $500 plan.

22b. Can I buy a Declining Balance Online?

A: Yes. However, students using the online portal are limited to a $300, $400, or $500 Declining Balance.

22c. Where can students use Declining Balance money?

A: Students can use their Declining Balance money at any dining and retail location operated by UNT Dining Services.

22d. Is the Declining Balance “tax free” like FLEX dollars?

A: No. In fact, both FLEX and Declining Balance dollars are charged all applicable sales taxes. The difference is that students who buy FLEX dollars pre-pay sales tax as part of their meal plan, while students who purchase a Declining Balance must pay sales tax at the register.

22e. What happens if a student doesn’t use all of their Declining Balance before the end of the semester?

A: A Declining Balance automatically rolls over from semester to semester, and may also be refunded at any time. 

 

Commuter Meal plans


24. Where can I buy an off-campus (commuter) meal plan? 

A: You can purchase online OR you may visit us at the dining office in Crumley Hall, Room 132.

25. Why are there so many Commuter Meal Plans? 
A: By providing five alternative meal plans (1-A-Day, 8's Enough, and the Commuter 80, 120, and 160), we give commuter students a wide variety of meal plan choices to fit their diverse schedules and unique needs. 

26. What are the key differences between traditional meal plans and commuter meal plans?
A: Traditional meal plans provide the greatest value and peace of mind. The cost per meal is the lowest and you never run out of meals before the end of the semester. On the other hand, the meals do not roll over and there is no cash refund for unused meals. Commuter meal plans provide more flexibility, can be rolled over from semester to semester, and the “unused” meals can be refunded. However, commuter meal plans do not offer the same value per meal as the traditional style plans and it is possible to run out of meals before the end of the semester.

27. Can I use my meal plan for a guest? 
A: If you have a traditional style meal plan, then it is for your use only. Guests would not be allowed entry. If you have a commuter meal plan, then you may bring a guest as often as you like.

Commuter 160, 120, 80


28. What do the numbers in the commuter meal plans stand for?

A: The numbers following the commuter meal plans stand for the number of meals you get per semester.

29. If I don’t use all my meals in one semester, will they roll over to the next semester?
A: Yes, the Commuter 160, 120, and 80 meal plans roll over from semester to semester, and students canceling their meal plans will be refunded for any unused meals.

8's Enough


30. What does 8’s Enough stand for?

A: 8’s Enough stands for the number of meals allowed per week in the cafeterias. This plan allows any 8 meals per week, Sunday through Saturday. Meals do not roll over from week to week.

1-A-Day


31. What is the 1-A-Day? 

A: This plan allows one meal per day Monday through Friday. The meals do not roll over from day to day, and missed meals cannot be made up. This plan is a great value if you know you will be on campus Monday through Friday.

Nutrition


32.What if my student is on a special diet?

A: In addition to providing nutritional information on our website, all five of our dining halls serve from a diverse catalogue of over 4000 menu items and recipes, covering a wide range of dietary needs. For those with more serious dietary concerns we recommend visiting a dietitian (The UNT Health Center has a dietitian on staff) or specialist for more detailed advice. 


33. What kind of food is served in the dining halls?
A: Our dining halls serve a wide variety of healthy, locally-sourced, made-from-scratch dishes, and our cafeteria managers work hard to create new and exciting menus each week. In addition to our three traditional cafeterias, which offer a constantly rotating selection of entrees, sides, salads, and desserts, we also operate two specialty cafeterias: Mean Greens at Maple, our all vegan dining hall, and West at West Hall, our homestyle/creole option. 

34. What if I have a medical condition?
A: Each case will be evaluated independently by our executive committee to determine what options best serve a students particular needs. Read more at our resident policies page under the subheading "Conversion Process".

Vegan/Mean Greens


35. What is Mean Greens at Maple Hall?
A: Mean Greens is the nation's first full-service, all vegan school cafeteria, located right here at UNT behind Maple Hall on Maple Street. 

36. What does being a vegan cafeteria mean, exactly?
A: It means that none of the food served at Mean Greens contains any ingredient that originally came from a sentient animal (meat, fish, eggs, or dairy products).

37. Why vegan?
A: We wanted to step out of the box! More people eat a variety of fruits and veggies than people who solely eat meat. Serving a completely vegan menu gives students the opportunity to explore new things and stimulate their taste buds! This also makes UNT unique and more competitive in comparison to other universities around the country.

38. Why do people become vegan?
A: Some like to explore veganism for the ethical, spiritual, health and sustainability reasons. Many students are ethical vegans who feel eating animal products is wrong. Some just see the benefits of eating a healthy high energy plant based diet. Many students believe a vegan diet is better for the earth and is aligned with our sustainability initiatives for a green campus – We Mean Green!

39. But we only have a few true vegans on campus, isn't this a waste of resources for just a few people? 
A: This exciting new option adds variety to our current menu selection. Based on student feedback we believe there are more strict vegans (students who never eat meat) than there are strict meat eaters (students who never eat vegetables), with most students falling somewhere in between. It doesn't have to be an "all or nothing" proposition - there's nothing wrong with being vegan for a meal, a day, a week, a month, a year or a lifetime. Many universities do "Meatless Mondays" but with five dining halls on our campus we have the resources to support the vegan lifestyle every day. 

40. How will vegans get their protein? 
A: There are several sources of protein. It is true that animal meat has more grams of protein per ounce than other foods, but they also contain high levels of saturated fats. Foods like beans, peas, lentils, nuts and seeds are great sources of protein and offer numerous vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Plus, they have something that animal products don't have… fiber! 

41. Are there other nutritional concerns for vegans?
A: It is important to make sure the body gets plenty of calcium, vitamin d, iron and vitamin b-12 when consuming a vegan diet. Fortified soy milk can take care of several of these concerns as it contains calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B-12. Dark, leafy greens also provide calcium and iron. 

42. I live in Maple and I am not vegan. Where will I eat?
A: Mean Greens at Maple is open to all students, vegan and non-vegan alike! Did you know? 9 out of 10 individuals dining at Mean Greens aren't even vegan!

 

Miscellaneous


50. Where can we eat if there is a University closure due to inclement weather?
A: In case of inclement weather, Kerr and Victory will be open. 

51. What are the hours of retail locations? 
A: Retail hours vary, please click here.

52. How much would it cost to eat at a dining hall without a meal plan?
A: 

  Door price w/o meal plan Door price + tax Price per meal w/ meal plan
Breakfast $6.95 $7.52 Under $5
Lunch $6.95 $7.52 Under $5
Dinner $6.95 $7.52 Under $5


53. Can I take food out of the Cafeteria?
A: No. The cafeterias are designed to be environmentally and economically sustainable. Take-out service increases costs upwards of 30% (and your price) and generates an enormous amount of additional waste on campus.

54.Do you have an installment plan? 
A: Yes, we do. Please visit our office in Crumley Hall, #132 to set up an installment plan for the following meal plans: Basic 5 or 7 Day or a Value 5 or 7 Day meal plan.

55. If I withdrawal from school, will I get my money back for my meal plan? 
A: Yes, the unused portion of your meal plan will be reimbursed. 

56. Where can students eat? 
A: Everywhere we serve food. For more information on hours and locations visit our locations page on this website. 

57. Who does my student call if he/she has a question? 
A: Contact Dining Services at 940-565-2462 or stop by the office in Crumley Hall #132. There is also an online form available from the contact us page on our website.

58. My student has a lot of classes at Discovery Park can the meal plan be used there? 
A: Yes, the Flex portion of their meal plan can be used at Discovery Park. We also have a special meal plan for Discovery Park students. Freshmen and anyone living in a hall that requires a mandatory meal plan should contact the dining office prior to the second Friday of the new semester to convert to this plan. All others can contact the dining office to purchase this plan.