by Naisha Roy
This story was originally published on New York University’s Washington Square News.
As an incoming first-year, one of the most complicated things that I had to go through was navigating NYU’s meal plan — rivaled only by trying to figure out how to manage the Vax Pass, the Violet Go pass and my ID every time I wanted to enter a building.
Among meal swipes, meal exchanges, Dining Dollars, Grubhub, buffet-style dining halls and à la carte options, it can get pretty confusing. And don’t even get me started on the erratic dining hall hours (I’m looking at you, 18 Below, and your choice to operate for only three hours per day). Maybe this is why you’ll hear several upperclassmen tell you that meal plans aren’t worth it, or at least suggest that you downgrade to one with fewer swipes and more dining dollars.
But before you start spending millions for a convenient dinner on MacDougal Street every night, hear me out. Once you figure out how to apply them, meal plans are worth it, and in most cases, can even save a ton of money.
First, let’s talk about the No. 1 argument against a meal plan: dining hall cash registers say that a meal swipe is worth $15, and no one in their right mind would pay that much for a meal at an NYU dining hall. And to that, I say I agree. However, when you do the math, you’ll realize that when you purchase a meal plan, you’re actually paying less per meal.
Read the rest of the story at Washington Square News.