Meal Plans, Dining Dollars, and Tiger Bucks

Whenever I travel, whether for a short or long period of time, my main worries are: where am I going to sleep and where am I going to eat. Since I have already covered your housing options for Spring 2018 on the blog, I will now go through the meal plans. I will explain and compare Dining Dollars and Tiger Bucks, and give you a few tips if you decide to opt out of any one of these systems like I did.

Let me begin first by giving you a definition of each system:

Meal Plan: A meal plan is a prepaid account for your on-campus meals.

Dining Dollars: A non-taxable (that means you don’t pay tax when you purchase food) electronic form of payment for food purchases (for FOOD ONLY).

Tiger Bucks: A taxable electronic form of payment for food and other purchases (you can buy other types of items in addition to food).

Meal Plans

As a Global Scholar staying at one of the on-campus or off-campus housing, your meal plan options change. If you are assigned or have chosen to stay at the RIT Inn & Conference Center, please note that meal plans are required. If you’re staying at one of RIT’s on-campus apartments, Perkins Green apartments, or non-RIT and off-campus housing, your meal plans are optional.

Having a difficult time deciding which meal plan would be better for you? You can go to the Dining Services website, click on Find My Meal Plan, and select an option based on information like the apartment you’re staying, physical activities you do throughout the day, number of meals you have per day, and so forth.

Dining Places

There are many places to eat on campus (21 in total), and I haven’t even had the chance to visit all of them. Since I cook at my apartment, I rarely eat out; but when I do, I usually have Mexican food at Salsarita’s or cheese pizza at Crossroads. Both these dining places are located in the Global Village Plaza, and if you go there for brunch or lunch you will be able to see how busy it gets – you might even have a hard time finding a free table if you’re eating indoors on a cold day! Even though I have only been to the Brick City Café once, I enjoyed my salad – mainly due to the fact that I could assemble my own plate with all the ingredients I wanted. And now for the chocoholics – when I run out of chocolate, without which life becomes unbearable, I like to go to Ben & Jerry’s and indulge in some super-tasty, chocolate-heavy ice cream scoops.

Dining Dollars & Tiger Bucks

In order to be able to use your Dining Dollars or Tiger Bucks, you need your RIT ID. Your ID becomes a sort of ‘debit card’. You would deposit Dining Dollars or Tiger Bucks through your e-services account. So, there is no need to carry extra cards or cash around when you want to purchase food. Dining Dollars come along with your meal plan, but Tiger Bucks are simply another form of payment. Since you can add funds to them during the semester, I suggest that you don’t instantly add large amounts of money because you cannot take the unused funds back.

Can’t tell the differences between Dining Dollars and Tiger Bucks? Consult the list below!


If you have been keeping up with the blog, you should know by now that I like to carefully select the food I’m about to eat and that I cook in my own apartment. Even though I shop in the Global Market on campus from time to time, I usually go to off-campus grocery stores, like Wegmans, and to the public market whenever the free shuttle is running. I find organic products in both of these places. As such, Dining Dollars and Tiger Bucks do not really come in handy to me. However, remember that Tiger Bucks can also be used on some off-campus vendors such as Barnes & Noble at RIT, Chipotle, Subway, etc. Find the full list of off-campus locations here.

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Dije Rizvanolli

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