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Vanderbilt's Meal Plan, the Abridged Version

Here's a rundown of the main points in Vanderbilt's innovative meal plan…

  • - All students in their first three years must purchase a meal plan: freshmen have to buy the 21-meals-a-week plan while sophomores must get least 14 meals a week and juniors eight meals a week

  • - Meal plans include a declining balance “meal money” cash component that can be used to make purchases at any campus dining/store location and at select off-campus restaurants

  • - There are four meal periods in each day: breakfast (7 am - 11 am), lunch (11 am - 4:30 pm), dinner (4:30 pm - 12 am) and late night (12 am - 7 am); students may purchase only one meal per meal period on the meal plan

  • - Upperclass meal plan holders are rebated the food cost portion of missed meals at the end of each week, an amount currently pegged at $3.10; the money is placed in the declining balance meal money portion of their account and can be used to make purchases at any campus dining location and at Taste of Nashville (see below) restaurants off campus

  • - All meals are a la carte, with students able to choose an entrée, two sides and a beverage from among the selections in the outlet they are patronizing; at the two “big box” dining centers (Rand and Commons), the components can come from different stations

  • - Single-serve retail pack food and beverage items sold in the campus c-stores can be used as components of a meal plan meal, with items designated “entrée” and “side” in the displays

  • - Students can use meal money from their meal plan declining balance cash accounts to make purchases at 25 off-campus restaurants participating in the Taste of Nashville program (see sidebar on p. 26); the students pay the menu prices, using their meal money like cash

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