Housing Services > Dining Options > FAQ

Meal Plan FAQ

Am I required to have a meal plan?

Residents living in Lincoln Park campus housing and suite units at the University Center, in the Loop, are required to maintain a meal plan.

Meal plans are optional for non-residents.​

How do I sign up for a meal plan?

Residents will be assigned a meal plan along with their housing assignment.

Non-residents can request a meal plan by submitting the Non-Resident Meal Plan Form​.

How do I use my meal plan?

DePaul University, in partnership with our dining vendor, Chartwells, has made significant changes to the dining program for the 2018-19 academic year. The biggest change is a move from a purely declining balance based meal plan to a combination of an All-You-Care-to-Eat (AYCE) meal swipe environment with fewer declining balance dollars. The biggest reason for this change was to afford students greater value and more dining flexibility. The AYCE model is actually more common at colleges and universities across the country.

The new meal plan program allows students, faculty, staff and guests to participate in an AYCE environment. In the swipe-based plan, when you go to a meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch), a meal swipe is deducted from your ID. Once you swipe in for a particular meal, you may eat all you like from any platform within the inner dining hall, “Create,” rather than paying for each item you pick up. You may also stay as long as you like as the new model includes continuous dining. Meal offerings inside the dining hall change throughout the day to transition from breakfast to lunch and lunch to dinner. Guests without a meal plan or those who do not have meal swipes can access the AYCE dining hall by paying the door price with declining balance (Flex dollars), Demon Express, cash or credit.

There are several details to note about the new dining model:

  • In the Lincoln Park Student Center, the inner section of the second floor contains the AYCE environment, Create. Meals are available to go from the AYCE area. Students will let the cashier know that they wish to take their meal “to go” and the cashier will provide a biodegradable container. The student can then fill their container and enjoy their meal elsewhere. Students or guests choosing to enjoy the to-go option may not also eat in the dining hall. (If a guest asks for a meal to go and then decides to stay to eat, they can return the to-go container to the cashier.)
  • There are several platforms on the second floor outside of the main dining hall that offer food options that can be purchased per item using declining balance (Flex dollars), Demon Express, cash or credit. Platforms include Cluck, featuring grilled and crispy chicken; Revolution Noodle, with Asian-inspired cuisine prepared to order; Saboroso, for Latin American cuisine and build-your-own burritos and rice bowls; and 312 Diner, emphasizing burgers and breakfast all day.
  • When the inner AYCE dining area is closed, Cluck and 312 Diner will be offering a meal exchange, where diners with a meal plan who wish to use one of their meal swipes instead of another form of payment can choose one of many value meal options. For example, you could go to the 312 Diner late at night to use a meal swipe to get a combo meal featuring a burger, fries and a drink.
  • On the Loop Campus, meal exchanges can be used in the DePaul Student Center on the 11th floor at The Market, which features various dining stations that have combos available for a meal swipe (as well as other payment options).
  • There are multiple other locations on campus where Flex dollars, Demon Express, cash and credit can be used. In Lincoln Park these locations include ETC (the campus convenience store located on the second floor of the Student Center), Brownstones Café (located on the first floor of the Student Center), McGowan Café in the McGowan Science Building and the HPC Café in the School of Music’s Holtschneider Performance Center. In addition, the Bean Caffes located in the Ray Meyer Fitness Center and Schmitt Academic Center also take all aforementioned forms of payment. In the Loop, diners can visit the Big Shoulders Café on the 11th floor of the DePaul Center.
  • If students would like to add declining balance money (Flex dollars) to their ID, they can do so at any time by clicking here​. (They may also log in to Campus Connect and select University Services > Meal Plan Online.)

The new dining program at DePaul allows us to provide students with more options and flexibility. DePaul and Chartwells will be constantly assessing this new program and evaluating what is working and what perhaps can be improved. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to fill out our online feedback form​ or contact us at housing@depaul.edu.

Can I take food out of the dining hall?

Yes. We understand that you have a busy schedule, but don’t miss a meal.

Here is how our to-go program works in Lincoln Park:

  1. See the cashier to purchase your meal to go. Ask for the biodegradable to-go container; this will also include a cup. Straws are only given on request.
  2. Fill up your container with your favorite foods. (Please do not eat while you are in the dining hall unless you plan to stay and eat your entire meal there. If you change your mind and want to stay, that’s no problem—just return the to-go containers to the cashier.)
  3. Don’t forget your silverware. Pick this up at CLUCK on your way out.
  4. Enjoy!

To-go meals are also easy to use at the University Center dining hall. Please see the cashier for container options.​

Can I check my meal plan balance?

Yes. Go to Campus Connect. Once logged in, select Student Resources > Optional Transaction > Meal Plan Online.

If you are a resident of the University Center, you can receive your balance from the cashier at the University Center dining center. ​

What should I do if my DePaul University ID card is lost or stolen?

Lost IDs must be reported immediately to ID Card Services. After normal business hours, lost or stolen cards should be reported to Public Safety at (773) 325-7777. You can get a new ID card at ID Services.

DePaul University is not responsible for misused funds for the time during which your card was not reported as lost or stolen. ​

What do I do if my card runs out of money?

You can add funds by using a credit card or by billing them to your student account. Go to Campus Connect. Once logged in, select Student Resources > Optional Transaction > DePaul University Meal Plans.

If you are a resident of the University Center and want to add funds to your University Center meal plan, contact housing@depaul.edu. ​

Am I able to buy meals for my friends or family?

Guest meals or Flex dollars can be used for family or friends. ​

If I leave DePaul at the end of the quarter, can I get a refund on my unused balance?

If you are leaving DePaul at the end of any given quarter/semester, any remaining balance will not be refunded. ​

Can I use my dining plan at the University Center?

DePaul University meal plans can only be used at Lincoln Park dining areas and the Loop dining center on the 11th floor of the DePaul Center.

University Center meal plans can only be used at the University Center. ​

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