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Meal Plan Information

By partnering with Bon Appétit to provide food across all of our dining locations, Wheaton College is able to leverage economies of scale, thereby providing excellent dining options at a considerable discount (as compared to charging the true cost of the high-quality service). By college policy, we ensure that the money we collect from students for meal plans covers only the College’s costs to provide dining services to our students, and does not generate extra revenue.

New Freshmen and Students Living in the Residence Halls

All freshmen living in residence halls must be on the 18 or 14 traditional meal plan or the 210 or 160 block meal plan. All other undergraduate students (sophomores through seniors) living in the residence halls must be on an 18, 14, or 10 traditional meal plan or the 210 or 160 block plan. Undergraduate students living in residence halls are not eligible to enroll in the 65 block plan. All undergraduate students living in residence halls are automatically assigned an 18-meal plan for the fall semester, but students may request a meal plan change until 4:30pm on the Friday of the first week of classes.  Meal plans may be requested or changed on the Residence Life website or at the  housing portal through the student's myWheaton account. 

Undergraduates Living in College-Owned Apartments or Houses

Meal plans are optional for students living in college-owned apartments or houses. However, all undergraduates living in college-owned apartments or houses automatically receive an 18-meal plan for the fall semester. These students may request not to have a meal plan, or make a meal plan change, until 4:30pm on the Friday of the first week of classes. These students can sign up for an 18, 14, or 10 traditional meal plan for 210 or 160 block plan. Undergraduate students are also eligible for the 65 block meal plan if they are living in campus apartments or houses. However, for undergraduate students, the unused meals from the 65 meal plan expire at the end of each semester and therefore any unused meals are forfeited, even if another block plan is purchased. The 65 meal plan does not include ThunderBucks. Meal plans may be requested or changed on the Residence Life website or at the housing portal through the student's myWheaton account.

Undergraduates Living Off-Campus in Non-College Owned Apartments or Houses

Meal plans are optional for undergraduates living off-campus in non-college owned apartments or houses. These students are not automatically enrolled in a meal plan. If they wish, these students may enroll in the 18, 14, or 10 traditional meal plan or 210, 160 or 65 block meal plan. Meal plans may be requested or changed on the Residence Life website or at the  housing portal through the student's myWheaton account.

Graduate Students

The 65 meal plan is ideal for graduate students. For graduate students only, unused fall meals roll over into the spring semester. Once all 65 meals are used, an additional 65 meal plan may be purchased at any time. For graduate students the 65 meal plan expires at the end of the academic year and any unused meals are forfeited at that time. The 65 meal plan does not include ThunderBucks. Meal plans may be requested or changed on the Residence Life website or at the  housing portal through the student's myWheaton account.

Meal Plan Procedures, Policies, and Explanations

The meal plan a student chooses for the fall semester is automatically applied to the spring semester unless a change is made in writing or via email by the Friday of the first week of the semester. Meal plans may be requested or changed here: Meal Plan Management Any other communication to the Student Accounts Office or the Wheaton Installment Program will not be honored.

Dietary Restrictions and Meal Accommodations

We believe it is vitally important for students to have access to multiple meals a day to stay healthy and flourish as whole people. At times students have unique dietary and allergenic challenges that need to be addressed for a student to be healthy and full of energy during the year. Students who require an accommodation with respect to meal plans and dietary needs should contact the Learning and Accessibility Services Director for details as to the kinds of documentation that may be necessary to obtain accommodations concerning our food service and meal plan policy. The Director of Learning and Accessibility Services works closely with Bon Appetit chefs to accommodate student’s dietary needs. The Director may be contacted via phone, 630.752.5674, in person in the Student Services Building 218, or via email at jennifer.nicodem@wheaton.edu. The Director will evaluate the request and, if necessary, consult with the Director of Student Health Services, the Associate Dean for Residence Life and the housing committee before communicating back to the student. A dietary needs orientation session is available for incoming students and their parents during orientation weekend to familiarize students with available resources. For further information, please see the Learning and Accessibility Services website.

Traditional Plans

Bon Appetit serves 18 meals a week: Monday through Friday (5) Breakfast, (5) Lunch, and (5) Dinner, on Saturday (1) Brunch and (1) Dinner, and on Sunday (1) Brunch for 18 meals. We also open the Stupe on Sunday nights for a meal. Students on a meal plan, and who have meals available, may use a meal Sunday night at the Stupe or pay with ThunderBucks. Traditional plans are offered in 18, 14, or 10 meals a week increments and come with $50 worth of ThunderBucks. On the traditional plans, no guest or other student can use the student's meals at any time. The maximum numbers of meal swipes per day is three on the weekdays and two on the weekends, and the maximum number of swipes per meal is one.

When you select a traditional meal plan, and do not eat every meal, it can feel like you are wasting money.  However, we take into account the fact that students on the traditional plans typically eat only 74% of the meals they are entitled to, and we price those plans accordingly.

Block Plans

Block plans offer students a set-number of meals they can use any time, and as often as they wish, until they have used up all the meals. With the 210 and 160 block plan, students may use the meals in their plan at any time during the semester as needed, and unused blocks from the fall semester can carry forward to the spring semester as long as another 210 or 160 block plan is purchased. Students may also use their block plans to purchase meals for family and friends. All unused block meals are forfeited at the end of the school year. The 210 and 160 block plans do not have the same amount of meals as the 18 and 14 traditional plans (please see chart below). If a 210 or 160 block plan is chosen and the student runs out of meals before the end of the semester, he or she has the option to purchase meals at a discounted rate through our ThunderBucks program. Students must not lend their ID card to anyone for use in the cafes; they must be present with their card to use the plan for any guest.

Students living in on or off campus apartments or houses, have the option of purchasing a 65 block plan. For undergraduates, the unused meals on these plans expire at the end of each semester, and are forfeited. For graduate students, the unused meals carry over to the end of the school year. These plans do not include the additional $50 ThunderBucks allotment. Students can determine their block meal plan balance by inquiring at any café register, or by calling Bon Appétit at 630-752-5880.

ThunderBucks and ThunderBucks Plus

ThunderBucks are dollars that are included in all meal plans, with the exception of the 65 block plan. ThunderBucks may be used in Anderson Commons, Sam's, and The Stupe. Using ThunderBucks in Anderson Commons offers a special discounted price (ThunderBucks Price) for meals in that cafe. Unused ThunderBucks from the fall semester "roll over" and are added to the ThunderBucks received for the spring semester meal plan when a meal plan with ThunderBucks is selected. All ThunderBucks expire at the end of the academic year.

 ThunderBucks Plus are discretionary dollars that may be added to a student's ID card, if the students have elected a meal plan. Students without a formal meal plan cannot add ThunderBucks Plus to their ID card. ThunderBucks Plus may be used in Anderson Commons, Sam's,  and The Stupe, in lower Beamer Center. ThunderBucks Plus do not expire until a student leaves Wheaton. Students, and their parents, may add ThunderBucks Plus to their student ID cards at any of the cafes, or by calling Bon Appétit at 630-752-5880.

The Stupe is a dining option on the board plan which means that students eating lunch or dinner can use their traditional or block meals to pay for their meal at this venue. ThunderBucks, cash, or credit cards are also accepted in The Stupe.

Sam’s is the premiere retail venue on campus with an expansion of grab-n-go offerings. Sam's accepts ThunderBucks, ThunderBucks Plus and cash, Visa or MasterCard. The small packaging and specialized nature of Sam’s products makes the cost of the product higher than the food that is served as a part of the meal plans, thus students are not able to use their meal plan at Sam’s. Hopefully the $50 of Thunderbucks included in meal plans  helps to facilitate those “just in time” snack purchases at Sam’s.

What If I Miss a Meal Period?

Breakfast is served during the week from 7:00 to 10:20 am. Students on meal plans who miss the breakfast period can sign in on clip-boards located to the left of the registers, and obtain Continental Breakfast items like toast, bagels, cereal and juice until 10:35 am. From 10:35 to 11:15 am the staff need to clean the serving area and replace the breakfast entrées with the lunch menu. Lunch is served during the week from 11:15 am to 1:30 pm.  From 1:30 pm until the dinner hour begins at 5:00 pm, students who have meal plans can sign in on the clip-boards and access the salad bars, soup station, deli-bars, cereal station, drink stations and desert station.  Dinner is served from 5:00 to 7:00 pm during the week.  Students on meal plans who miss the dinner period can sign in from 7:00 to 7:30 pm to access the salad bars and other “between meal” items described above.

 Meal Plan Prices and Comparison for 2019-2020

PlanThunderBucks# of Meals Per WeekSwipes Per Meal PeriodCan Invite Guests*Unused Meals Roll OverPrice per Semester
18 Traditional $50 18 1 No No $2,165
14 Traditional $50 14 1 No No $1,970
10 Traditional $50 10 1 No No $1,810
210 Block Plan $50 Average: 12 As needed Yes Yes $2,165
160 Block Plan $50 Average: 9 As needed Yes Yes $1,970
65 Block Plan $0 Average: 3-4 As needed Yes **No $750

* 210/160 block plan unused meals roll over into the spring semester only if another 210/160 block plan is purchased.

 ** For Undergraduate students these do not roll over; for Graduate students they do.