Dining Club Card FAQs

The Yeshiva University Undergraduate Dining Club is designed to give students the greatest degree of convenience, accessibility, and money management on campus. For the 2019-2020 academic year, the Dining Club plan will be changed in response to student feedback to ensure food pricing is easier to understand and to better help students manage their budgets. 

The Dining Services department is a large-scale operation that has significant fixed, non-food costs. In past years, this cost was factored into the price of food.  For the coming year, YU is adopting a different model, similar to some of the SUNY schools such as SUNY Binghamton and SUNY Albany. This model has been refined based in response to several focus groups held with students on both the Wilf and Beren campuses.

Each semester’s meal plan will include a membership fee used to pay the fixed, non-food costs of the Dining Halls.  Once students have paid this fee, the remainder of the monies from the Dining Club plan will be used  for tax-free purchases of  food, the cost of which will be significantly discounted compared to regular Dining Hall prices. (See here).   

As in previous years, a portion of the funds will also be dedicated as Flex Dollars to be used in Dining Halls (at the discounted prices) or in local participating Restaurants. (Purchases at the latter are tax-free but not discounted.) All additional funds added to the plan during the school year will go toward Flex Dollar since the membership fee will already have been paid. These additional funds will also allow for discounted food purchases in the Dining Halls.

Funds are non-refundable and must be used by the end of the spring semester.  We strongly advise students to check their remaining balances regularly. This can be done via the OneCard app, its website www.onecard.yu.edu or at any Dining Hall cash register. Students are encouraged to speak to Student Life representatives and their Resident Advisors for help in managing their food budget.

I don’t understand the new meal plan, why is there a membership fee?

This year, the total cost for a meal plan is broken down into three categories: membership fee, dining funds and Flex Dollars. The membership fee category is similar to a club membership and allows students into the discounted meal plan. Once this fee is paid, all food purchased in the Dining Halls is not only exempt from sales tax but heavily discounted. The membership fee covers much of the overhead of the food service operation as it relates to Dining Hall operations. The result: food prices will better reflect the real cost of the food and consumables. In previous years, this overhead was included in the food pricing, resulting in higher costs to students. 
The remaining funds are placed in two groups for purchasing discounted, tax-exempt food in Dining Halls and to be applied to Flex Dollars for purchase of tax-exempt food at local participating restaurants.

How do I obtain my Dining Club Card?
Upon arrival at the Yeshiva University Wilf or Beren Campus and after financial clearance, incoming students have their photos taken during orientation sessions and pick up their Student ID card (which also serves as the Dining Club Card) from the Department of Safety and Security.

What happens if my Dining Club card is lost or stolen?
You should report a lost or stolen card immediately to the Department of Safety and Security and the Department of Dining Services. The card will be deactivated for your protection and you can request a new card.   You can also deactivate your card using the mobile app or the website.

What if my Dining Club Card is not working?
It may happen that your Dining Club Card cannot be read by the electronic scanners. There can be a variety of reasons for this. Most often it is because the magnetic strip on the back of the card has been damaged or the data encoded on the strip becomes scrambled. To prevent damage, it is recommended that you keep the card away from magnets, stereos, televisions, and computers. The Dining Club Card should be returned to the Department of Safety and Security immediately so that it can be re-encoded. If your dining card is not working, please use the bill pay option on the mobile app.

I just got a new Dining Club Card and it is not working - what do I do?
Your new Dining Club Card should be active immediately.  If your new card still does not work -- please contact the One Card office.

I do not have my Dining Club Card with me, can you type in my number?
If you do not have your Dining Club Card, the cashier is not allowed to accept your card number for payment purposes.  You may pay by using a "mobile swipe", cash, or credit.

When are the meal plan funds added to the Dining Club card?
The funds are added so you can begin using the card on Orientation Day. 
Do I need to be on a meal plan?
All students in university housing must purchase a meal plan.  This policy is consistent with those of other universities and is designed to ensure that students can have easy and consistent access to food throughout the semester.

All students who are not in university housing must purchase the commuter meal plan. Although this plan does not provide a discount, funds may be used at Dining Halls or local participating restaurants.

Last year I had more money on my card when I began the semester.  How will I get through the year on less money?
Since the food cost is significantly discounted, the plan amounts are designed to allow students the same purchasing power as last year for equivalent meal plans. Any additional money added to the plan goes directly to Flex Dollars and can be fully used for Restaurants and discounted Dining Hall purchases. No additional costs are assessed for the semester’s membership fee. 
Can I get my money back if I don’t use all my dining funds by the end of the year?
Meal plan funds are useable throughout the year and roll over from fall semester to spring. Meal plan money is not refundable.  It is advisable for students to manage their purchases so as not to have excessive amounts remaining at the end of the spring semester. 
How can I tell how much money I have on my meal plan card?
The OneCard app, the OneCard website www.onecard.yu.edu and the Dining Hall cash registers all show the funds remaining in the plan. Funds can be added via the app, or  OneCard site www.onecard.yu.edu.
How much of a discount am I getting when I join? 
The discount for weekday Dining Hall purchases is approximately 35 to 40 percent from last year’s prices. Certain items may be excluded. (See here for sample pricing)
Does the discount apply to Restaurants and Vending Machines? 
The discount is only for Dining Hall and on-campus commissary purchases. Restaurants and Vending Machines are not managed by the University but do offer  purchases, exempt from sales tax, worth almost a 9% discount.    
What is the cost to visitors, staff, family and faculty who are not on a meal plan? 
The retail costs will be similar to last year’s pricing since these purchases are not subject to a discount and are charged sales tax. 
Can I purchase food for my friends who are students? 
All meal plans are exclusively for the student whose name is on the card.  This does not extend to friends, family members and fellow students.  You are not allowed to purchase food on their behalf.   
Can I purchase food for my non-student siblings and parents when they visit? 
The membership fee entitles only one student to receive membership discounts. This does not extend to family (even though they may be the ones paying for the meal plan). Thus, they cannot have food purchased on their behalf. 
Can I purchase food with cash or a credit/debit card? 
Yes, visitors or students can purchase food with cash or a credit/debit card.  However, such purchases are not discounted nor are they tax free. Only food purchased via the meal card for registered members are discounted and exempt from sales tax. 
Is there a limit to the number of snack items that can be purchased in the cafeteria at any one time? 
There is a limit on bulk purchases up to $100 before any discount is taken and six quantities of a given item per day. This restriction is imposed to maintain inventory in a fair manner so that students are not forced to purchase snacks at neighborhood stores. Please keep in mind that the cafeteria is not a convenience store, and it carries limited quantities of items.    
Is it legal for the University to retain the meal plan funds after the end of the school year? 
Similar to the practices of many colleges and universities in New York State, the University’s meal plan allows for a carryover of unused meal plan monies only through the end of the spring semester, which corresponds to the end of the contractual meal plan period and academic year.  In developing its policies, the University applies the relevant New York State tax rulings and regulations and monitors the standard practices of other New York colleges and universities.  Adhering to these rules allows us to provide an almost 9% discount to our students since meal plan purchases are therefore exempt from sales tax.  In an effort to avoid situations where students have significant unused funds at the end of semesters, students should periodically check their balance at one of our retail locations, on the mobile app or online. 
 Can you give me examples of the new pricing?
See here for sample pricing