Frequently Asked Questions

RIT dining plans, meal options, dining dollars, and Tiger Bucks are placed on your RIT ID card. Sign-up for or change a RIT meal plan at during allowed timeframes.

How do I sign up for a Meal Plan?

RIT Meal Plans, Meal Exchanges, Dining Dollars, and Tiger Bucks are placed on your RIT ID card. To sign-up or change a RIT meal plan visit during allowed timeframes.

What if I forget my RIT ID Card?

A RIT ID card is required to use your meal plan. You may use cash or credit to purchase meals. RIT ID cards are consistently checked by RIT staff to prevent unauthorized use.

What if I lose my RIT ID Card

Report your lost card immediately to RIT Public Safety, open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 585-475-2853. Once reported, your card will be deactivated preventing unauthorized use. You can obtain a new RIT ID card at the Registrar's Office. You are responsible for any usage on the card up until the time you report it lost/stolen.

When is my meal plan available for use?

Academic Year 2017-2018

  • Fall Semester: Meals and meal exchanges begin with dinner Tuesday, August 22nd and end with dinner Tuesday, December 19th. There will be no meal or meal exchanges active during Thanksgiving break (Wednesday, November 22nd through Sunday, November 25th).
  • Break between Fall/Spring Semester: Only Dining Dollars and Tiger Bucks will be active. Dining Dollars associated with Spring Semester dining plans will be active as of Wednesday, December 20th to use during break.
  • Spring Semester: Meals and meal exchanges begin with brunch Sunday, January 14th and end with dinner Friday, May 11th. There will be no meal or meal exchanges active during Spring Break (Saturday, March 10th through Saturday, March 17th). All Dining Dollars expire Saturday, May 12th. Dining Dollars do not rollover after Spring Semester.
  • Summer Term: Dining Dollar meal plans are active Sunday, May 13th through Wednesday, August 15th. Dining Dollars do not rollover from Summer Semester to Fall Semester.
What if I don't use all my meals/meal exchanges in a week?

Meals and meal exchanges must be consumed within a given week (a week begins with breakfast on Sunday and ends at midnight on Saturday), and cannot be accumulated, transferred, nor refunded.

What if I miss meals/meal exchanges because of work and/or class conflicts?

For students who are on a residential meal plan, take-out meals are available at Gracie's. Ask the cashier for a take-out container. Please note that you can either take-out OR eat-in, not both. Additionally all RIT Dining locations that except meal locations also offer take-out items for purchase.

Can I bring a friend?

Yes, treat your friend, family, co-worker, boss, adviser, or better yet, your professor, to a meal at any Dining Services location. Ask the cashier to deduct your guest's meal from your Dining Dollars balance. Also, you'll receive a 15% discount in Gracie's when using Dining Dollars!

If you have a Tiger Meal Plan, you may use up to five (5) of your meals, per semester, as a guest meal. When a guest meal is used, that meal is taken away from that week's remaining meals. Students may use any number of these guest meals to pay for 1-5 guests at Gracie's as long as the student themselves are eating with their guest(s).

How do I select my meal plan?

You can select a meal plan online at

When to select a meal plan for 2017 - 2018:

  1. Optional meal plans (fall and spring semesters): All students living in on and off-campus apartments are available to select beginning June 2017.
  2. Required resident meal plans: All students living in the Residence Halls, RIT Inn, or Greek housing are available to select once your RIT housing assignment has been finalized starting June 2017.

How to select and sign-up for a meal plan:

  1. Visit and log in with your RIT computer account username and password
  2. Click “Housing Contract/Meal Plan” at the top of the page
  3. Select a meal plan:
    1. Students required to be on a meal plan: You will be able to select a meal plan once you receive notice from RIT Housing Operations that your assignment is finalized. Once finalized, you can select a meal plan by completing the “Dining Plan Preference” step in your online housing contract. Click “save & submit” after selecting your dining plan. Changes to meal plans may only be made until the end of the first week of each academic semester (fall, spring) until 4:30 p.m. the Friday of that week online. No changes can be made after the deadline.
    2. Students not required to be on a meal plan: You may sign up for an optional meal plan by selecting “Optional Meal Plan” for each semester desired. Click “save & submit” when finished.
  4. You can also view, change, and cancel your plan at by clicking on the appropriate links.

TIP: Track your meal plan usage online at or at!

How do I change my meal plan?

You can also change a meal plan online at until the Friday of the first week of classes.

After this time, you will need to contact the Dining Services Office at (585) 475-2228 or at to make any changes to a meal plan. Any meal plan change after posted deadlines will be reviewed on a case by case basis and will incur a $100 change fee. This fee is non-negotiable. 

How can I put more money into my dining accounts?

Manage Your Dining Account Online

Log on to and click on the “Tiger Bucks/Dining Accounts” on the left to:

  • Track account activity and balances
  • Add funds online anytime using e-check or Visa/MasterCard
  • Grant access to your parent/payer to make deposits and check balances online.
What if I don't use all the money in my Dining Dollars account?

When a meal plan is purchased, 100% of any Dining Dollar balance at the end of the Fall semester will roll over into the Spring semester. All funds from both the Fall and the Spring semester must be used by the end of Spring semester. All Dining Dollars expire at the end of spring semester, funds do not rollover after spring. Dining Dollars balances cannot be transferred to a Tiger Bucks account.

Do you give partial refunds for unused meals/Dining Dollars if I leave mid-semester?

The following guidelines regarding a refund of unused meals/dining dollars:

Required meal plans - A refund of unused meals/Dining Dollars cannot be refunded unless a student is officially released from the residence halls, Greek Circle, or the RIT Inn either through 1) withdrawal from the University (graduation does not constitute withdrawal) or 2) academic or disciplinary dismissal. When released from the residence halls, Greek Circle, or the RIT Inn, the account holder may receive a partial refund on his/her meal plan in accordance with the refund schedule (see Refund Schedule below).

Optional meal plans – If released by RIT, or deciding to opt-out of a meal plan, the account holder may receive a partial refund on his/her meal plan in accordance with the refund schedule (see Refund Schedule below).

Refund Schedule:

Week 1

100% refunded

Week 2

90% of the unused Meal/Dining Dollars charges are refunded

Weeks 3-5

75% of the unused Meal/Dining Dollars charges are refunded

Weeks 6-8

50% of the unused Meal/Dining Dollars charges are refunded

Weeks 9-16

0% of the unused Meal/Dining Dollars charges are refunded


Any unused balance at the end of the spring term is forfeited. Refunds will be applied to the account at Student Financial Services.

How do Meal Plans work during Fall Orientation?

During Fall Orientation, your Dining Dollars account will be available upon arrival. Fall semester meal plan meals and meal exchanges begin with dinner on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 for all students. Meal exchanges can be used in any Dining Services facility for a meal credit of $8.25 as a part of the meal plan. Total meals per week along with meal exchanges will be replenished each Sunday for the Tiger Meal Plans.

What do I do for meals if I am on campus during a break week or arriving early?

If you are on campus during a break week or arriving early, please keep in mind only Dining Dollars and Tiger Bucks are active during breaks or before a semester. Meals and meal exchanges are not active during break weeks, or summer term. Please note that dining location hours are limited during break weeks. Please refer to the Dining Services hours.

What if I have a food allergy or special dietary restriction?

Students with any dietary needs due to medical reasons, family medical history, and/or food allergies should contact the Disability Services Office at 585-475-2023 to make an appointment. Once confirmed, RIT Dining Services registered dietitian, Mary Anne McQuay, at will work with you to provide the special diet and food allergy information necessary to accommodate your dietary requirements. You will be contacted personally to discuss the right food options available to you in the RIT dining locations.

To promote healthy eating and to accommodate various dietary restrictions/needs, such as food allergies, Celiac disease, and religious restrictions, RIT Dining Services offers a number of services and resources through our Smart Nutrition program including:

  • NetNutrition, RIT Dining Services’ online tool for determining nutritional information for foods and meals served in many dining locations. NetNutrition also allows guests to filter menu by food allergen, such as milk and peanuts.
  • RIT Dining Services offers a wide selection of healthy foods and foods for those with dietary restrictions in all of our dining locations. Daily menus at all dining locations include a number of international cuisines, as well as special dietary items such as gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, and Halal.
  • Daily specials and grab-and-go items available throughout many RIT dining locations include custom nutritional labels that include caloric, fat, carbohydrate, fiber, and protein content, and allergens. Also included on nutritional labels are Smart Seals, identifying Healthy, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sodium, Vegetarian, and Vegan options. Smart Seals assist with easy identification of healthy food choices along with foods that comply with certain dietary restrictions.
  • Mary Anne McQuay, RIT Dining Services registered dietitian, is available to answer your questions about healthy eating, food choices, ingredients used in foods served on campus, special dietary needs, and general nutrition inquiries. You can e-mail Mary Anne at to schedule a one-on-one appointment and visit our Ask Our Dietitian page for more information.
  • The Smart Nutrition website also offers a number of resources and links to direct guests to additional nutrition-related information and useful tools.

How does my meal plan work?

A meal plan is a prepaid account for your on-campus meals. At the start of the term, you pay for a predetermined plan to cover your meals throughout the semester/academic year. To purchase a meal, you swipe your RIT ID card and the meal or meal cost is deducted from your meal plan.


The Tiger Meal Plans have meal exchanges, valued at $8.25. Exclusive to these plans, meal exchanges are included in the total meals per week. Meal Exchanges may be used in any Dining Services location except for Gracie's, Nathan's Soup & Salad and Java's.


For example: If you select the Tiger 20 Meal Plan: During one school week, you may purchase 14 meals at Gracie's and use 6 meal exchanges by purchasing meals at the Café & Market at Crossroads, RITZ, Artesano Bakery & Cafe, Brick City Cafe, The Commons, and Sol's Underground, for a total of 20 meals for the week.


Meals and meal exchanges are not transferable week to week. The total meal and meal exchange balances are reset for breakfast on Sunday and go through dinner on Saturday night. Meals and meal exchanges that are not used are not rolled over into the next week.

How does my co-op affect my meal plan?

If you are registered for co-op through the Co-op and Career Services Office and will no longer require/live in RIT housing (ex. The residence halls, the RIT INN, or Greek Housing) then you will no longer be required to have a meal plan. Therefore, you will be receiving 100% refund for the unused meal plan. If there are any issues, you may contact the Dining Services Office directly.


If you are registered for a through the Coop and Career Services Office and will still live in RIT Housing (ex. The residence halls, the RIT INN, or Greek Housing), you will still be required to have a meal plan. However, you will have more meal plan options available to you. Please contact the Dining Services Office to discuss your needs.

Where is the Dining Services Office Located?

The Dining Services Office is located in the basement of the Student Alumni Union (SAU), room A520. We are near the Q center and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority life. You can also contact us via:



Phone: (585) 475-2228

Where can I use my Tiger Bucks off campus?

Our list of Tiger Bucks vendors continues to grow. Visit the Tiger Bucks page for the most updated list of locations.

Why can’t I use my meal exchanges and Dining Dollars in Javas?

Java Wally’s is an independent business that has contractual relationship with RIT but is not owned and operated by RIT Dining Services. Therefore, meal plan funds cannot be used as a form of payment. Tiger Bucks, cash and credit are acceptable methods of payment.

Why can I not use my meal exchanges at Nathan’s or Concessions?

Nathan’s Soup and Salad is an independent business that has a contractual agreement with RIT but is not owned and operated by RIT Dining Services. Therefore, only Dining Dollars, Tiger Bucks, cash and credit cards are acceptable methods of payment. Meals exchanges are intended for use in only RIT Dining staff operated operations.


Campus Concessions is an event based operation that is a quick service serving snacks, beverages and limited entrée items. The meal exchange is designed for full meals and therefore is not an acceptable method of payment.

What happens when I run out of Dining Dollars?

You may add voluntary funds through eServices to replenish your Dining Dollars to your Student Account.

Why should I use Dining Dollars as opposed to my Credit/Debit card?

Using RIT Dining Dollars on campus allows you to save the 8% tax rate on perishable and nonperishable food items.

What am I paying for?

Dining Services provides 21 on campus dining options for students, faculty, staff, and guests of RIT. The cost of each meal plan is based on the historical number of meals eaten by the average student. Meal plan revenue is allocated to pay a portion of dining expenses in the following areas: employee wages and benefits, food, equipment purchases and repairs, supplies, and services like laundry and trash removal. Because of the support needed to operate 22 operations, the board fee also covers general administrative expenses and overhead of the University. When it comes to meals, leave the shopping, cooking, and cleaning to us -- you will have more time for social and academic activities.

What is the difference between Dining Dollars and Tiger Bucks?

Dining Dollars

Tiger Bucks

Used for Food Purchases only at all locations excluding Java Wally’s

Can be used on all food and non- food items

Set amount given for each Dining plan per semester

Separate account that starts with a zero balance

Dining Dollars can be rolled over per semester and expires at the end of the academic year

Tiger Bucks can be rolled over per semester and the academic year. Expires once you graduate.

No sales tax charged (8%)

Charged 8% sales tax on all purchases

Typical uses: Food in allocations including vending machines.

Typical uses: Health and beauty aids, books, supplies, food in dining locations, vending machines and off campus partners

Add funds at any time via

Add funds at any time via

If I can voluntarily add Dining Dollars, do I really need a meal plan?

If you do not live in RIT housing that would require a meal plan, you do not need to have a meal plan. You are able to add Dining Dollars through eServices. However, there are a couple reasons why having a meal plan is a good idea.

  • We have budgeted out use of a meal plan to help you figure out how much Dining Dollars so you don’t have to worry about figuring out exactly how much you would need.
  • Having a meal plan also gets charged through your Student Account which can be paid with financial aid, scholarships, etc.

I live on campus in a residence hall. Why do I have to carry a meal plan?

Residence halls on campus do not have the adequate facilities for storage, preparation, or clean-up of meals for large numbers of students. The hall kitchens are not for commercial cooking for students to prepare well-balanced, nutritious meals.

Having meals prepared for you allows you to focus on your education instead of trying to figure out what, or how, to cook. All freshman who have not been on campus for a full year or are considered Freshman status are required to have a Meal Plan if living in the residence halls.

When does a new week start with my meal swipes?

For Meal Plan purposes, the new week starts Sunday morning. Your meals will reset after the close of business Sunday at 3:30 a.m. when the nightly process runs. Meals not consumed each week are forfeited.

Can I still purchase a Meal Plan if I live off-campus?

Absolutely! We have On Campus Meal Plans and Optional Meal Plans for students living off-campus or in RIT owned and operated apartments. Optional meal plans are Dining Dollar plans that range in value. These plans have great flexibility.

What do I do if am sick or unable to eat in the dining room? Are sick trays made available?

Please contact the Dining Services Business office at 585-475-2228 or to explain your situation and we will work with the appropriate Dining and Student Affairs personnel to accommodate your needs.

I’m eligible to reduce my meal plan or live off campus. Which meal plan should I choose?

Your choice of meal plans is a very personal choice. You need to think about what your class schedule is like, along with work and social time. If you are only going to be on campus 3 days a week, a Tiger 5 or Bronze/Silver plan may be optimal. If you want lunch and dinner every week day, the Orange, Gold, or larger Tiger plans would work well.

The key is to remember that meals are only valid for the semester the plan is purchased. Meals will not be carried forward, and there is no monetary refund for uneaten meals. It is best to add meals than to lose meals. Our goal is to ensure our meal plans provide the most value and flexibility to meet individual needs.