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FAQs

Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions concerning dining on Grounds. If you don't find the answer to your question, please send us an email to dining@virginia.edu and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Need your 9-digit ID #? First years and transfers, you can obtain your UVA ID number at:
http://whois.virginia.edu/uid/

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Meal Plans

Do I need a Meal Plan?

  • First-Year Students: All first-year students are required by the University to participate in a meal plan. Depending upon needs, first-years who are not varsity student athletes or are not planning to live in a Residential College must choose either the Ultimate Access or All Access 7 meal plans. First-year Residential College students must choose either the Residential Ultimate Access or All Access 7 meal plans. First-year Varsity Student Athletes must choose the Athletic All Access 7.
  • Residential College Students: Students who reside in Brown College, Hereford College (Norris and Whyburn dorms), and the Language Houses (French, Spanish, and Shea) are required to participate in a Residential meal plan. Residential College students dine together during the week and attend frequent banquets and events with Faculty Fellows of the Colleges. First-year Residential College students must choose either the Residential Ultimate Access or All Access 7 meal plan. Upperclass residential college students must select from the available Residential meal plans. 
  • Varsity Student Athletes: Student athletes on NCAA competing sports teams are eligible to participate in an Athletic meal plan. With an Athletic meal plan, Varsity student athletes enjoy dinners at the state-of-the-art dining facility in the John Paul Jones Arena.  Upperclass Varsity student athletes on a full scholarship who choose to participate in a meal plan must select one of the available Athletic meal plans. First-year Student Athletes will receive the Athletic All Access 7 meal plan.
  • Upperclass Students: You need a meal plan if you want to make your life simpler. Enrolling in a meal plan entitles you to:
    • Guaranteed all-you-care-to-eat meals and the flexibility of a la carte purchasing
    • No worries about carrying cash
    • Minutes from great food and comfortable locations
    • No sales tax on your meal's purchase

What does each Meal Plan Contract include and how does it work?

A U.Va. Meal Plan is an annual contract billed over two semesters (for one full academic year: it includes the Fall and Spring semesters) by the Student Financial Services office. Each meal plan comes with meal swipes, Plus Dollars, and Meal Exchange. Any remaining balance of Plus Dollars at the end of the Fall semester rolls over to Spring semester (as long as the plan has not been cancelled), but not to the next academic year.

Meal Swipes:  Meal swipes are mainly used at our residential dining rooms (Observatory Hill, Fresh Food Company, and Runk). You use one swipe to enter the dining room, and the service is All-You-Care-To-Eat.  

The number of meal swipes you have depends on the meal plan that you chose.  Weekly plans, such as the Ultimate Access and All Access 7, provide unlimited meal swipes in the main dining rooms 7 days a week. Semester block plans, such as the Semester 160, have a certain number of meal swipes available for use on any day during the entire semester.

Plus Dollars:  Plus Dollars are included in your meal plan and are available for use in all dining locations on Grounds. Each meal plan includes a pre-set number of non-taxable dollars for you to spend like cash.

As long as you have a dining plan, your unused Plus Dollars transfer from the Fall to the Spring semester. Be sure to use them by the end of the Spring semester, however, because at the end of Spring semester, any unused dollars are not refundable and cannot be transferred to the new academic year. Meal Plans and Plus Dollar funds are non-refundable.

Unused meal plan swipes and Plus Dollar balances expire on the earliest of: the last day of enrollment in U.Va., the last day of the Spring semester, or the last day of enrollment in the meal plan. Unused Additional Plus dollars added to your account are refundable with written request to dining@virginia.edu by May 11, 2018.

You can also purchase Additional Plus Dollars whenever you need them. They may be purchased by completing a green “Add Plus Dollars” form at any location, at the Dining Services Office, or online. Do not send the funds to U.Va. Dining as Student Financial Services will bill you through your SIS account. Although all charges will be billed, your new funds are available within 24 business hours. Keep track of your Plus Dollars account simply by asking the cashier when you present your ID card at any meal or by visiting the Cavalier Advantage website. Unused Additional Plus dollars added to your account are refundable with written request to dining@virginia.edu by May 11, 2018.

There are only two restrictions on Plus Dollars: They can be used for food purchases only, and they are available only to students on a U.Va. meal plan.

Meal Exchange:  We also offer a Meal Exchange Program where students can use one meal swipe in exchange for a combo meal at certain retail locations. Visit the Meal Exchange page for this semester’s Meal Exchange hours.

Meal Exchange/To-Go Meal Policy
With our All Access Meal Plans, we are offering you open access to the residential dining locations – O’Hill, Fresh Food Company and Runk. We are excited to share our locations with you and provide you with a place for nourishment, fellowship and forming connections. Our policies on Meal Exchange and To-Go meals at U.Va. Dining are as follows: a To-Go meal counts as a “Meal Exchange” swipe, and will be deducted from your account in the same manner.  With the Ultimate Access Meal Plan, you will have three swipes per day to use for either Meal Exchange or To-Go meals. With the All Access 7, Semester 160, Semester 80 and Semester 50 Meal Plans, you will have two swipes per day to use for Meal Exchange or To-Go Meals. You will be allowed one swipe per hour whether you use a Meal Exchange or To-Go swipe. We want you to join us for your meals in our locations and share in the experience of dining at The University of Virginia.

Guest Meals:  If you have an All Access 7 plan, you have 10 guest meals per semester (or 15 with the Ultimate Access plan), and you cannot swipe in a friend with your card unless you use a guest meal. If you have a block plan, you may use any of your swipes for a guest at any time. You can also pay for your friends with Plus Dollars. Encourage them to sign up for a meal plan, and they can join you every day!

How can I add Additional Plus Dollars?

Additional Plus Dollars can be added to your account at any time. You may do this in person at the Dining Services Office by completing a green "Add Plus Dollars" form at any dining location or online at this site. Do not send the funds to U.Va. Dining. The Student Financial Services Office will bill you. Although all charges will be billed, your new funds are available within 24 business hours. Unused Additional Plus dollars added to your account are refundable with written request to dining@virginia.edu by May 11, 2018.

Please note: Additional Plus Dollars are in a separate account and will not show up on the card readers until the original contractual balance of Plus Dollars has been totally depleted; the new funds are then immediately accessible. 

How can I find out the balance of my Plus Dollars or Additional Plus Dollars?

To find out how many meal swipes (for block plans), Plus Dollars or Additional Plus Dollars you have left, you can ask the cashier when you present your card at any dining location on Grounds. You can visit the Cavalier Advantage website to view your balances. You can also visit the Dining Administration Office on the first floor of O'Hill Dining Room or call 434-982-5140, and we will pull up your account.

I bought a meal plan last semester. Do I need to buy one for the new semester?

No; meal plans are for entire academic years. The meal plan you have during Fall semester will automatically renew for the Spring semester. If you purchase a new meal plan for the Spring, you will have a second meal plan charge on your account. If you want to change your current meal plan, please see below.

Can I make changes to my Meal Plan?

Absolutely! We want you to have the plan that works best for you. 2017-2018 meal plan members may upgrade their meal plan at any time to have more meals available. To reduce or cancel a meal plan, members must notify Dining Services during the semester change periods. Fall 2017 semester changes must be submitted by August 29, 2017, and Spring 2018 semester changes must be submitted between December 1, 2017 and January 24, 2018. There is a $50 Early Termination Fee if you wish to cancel your meal plan entirely (except in case of December graduation or study abroad). Cancellations for active students will not be accepted after the deadline.

All change requests must be made in writing to the U.Va. Dining Office on the first floor of O'Hill. Change forms are available in the U.Va. Dining Office, or you can complete an online Dining Plan Change Request Form; both are acceptable means of submitting your change request to U.Va. Dining in writing.

First-year students, residential college students, and full Grant-in-Aid athletes living on Grounds may not cancel the second semester of their meal plan. They may, however, change to a different meal plan as outlined above.

Refunds are determined by the Student Financial Services Office (not the U.Va. Dining office) according to their refund schedule.

Not paying your second semester bill does not constitute dining program cancellation. Sending the $50 early termination fee to the Student Financial Services Office does not cancel your meal plan. If you don't tell U.Va. Dining first, you may be liable for late fees levied by the Student Financial Services Office, or registration blocks by the Registrar.

Can I treat a friend by using my Meal Plan?

Yes.  With an All Access Plan, you have 15 or 10 guest meals included in your plan. If you have an All Access Plan, you cannot swipe in a friend with your card unless you use a guest meal. If you have a block plan, you may use any of your swipes for a guest at any time. You can also pay for your friends with Plus Dollars. Encourage them to sign up for a meal plan, and they can join you every day!

To whom should the Meal Plan payment be made?

The Student Financial Services Office will bill you for your meal plan and any additional Plus Dollars you add.  All payments, including cancellation fees, are made to the U.Va. Student Financial Services Office. All refunds are issued from the Student Financial Services Office. The only exception is for Summer Meal Plans, which are paid directly to U.Va. Dining.

How do the ID Cards work?

ID cards are issued by the ID Office on the first floor of Observatory Hill, 434-924-4508. Please call the ID office immediately if your card is lost or stolen, so that your account can be protected. If the magnetic strip on your card becomes demagnetized, it can be re-coded at the ID Office.

To enter a dining room or to pay with Plus Dollars, you must present your ID. If you have lost your ID, you must replace it (see above). For a limited number of times, you may "vouch" for your meal at the cashier's stand. Please note: Vouching is emergency method of getting into a dining room for times that the ID Office is closed, and cannot be used for an extended amount of time, or you will be denied access to the dining room, even if you have meals left on your plan.

How do I obtain my ID number?

This number is found on UVA ID cards. First years and transfers, you can obtain your UVA ID number at: http://whois.virginia.edu/uid/.

What is your Casual Meal Rate?

Meal

Cash (plus tax)

CavAd

(plus tax)

Plus $

Breakfast

$8.50

$8.50

$7.50

Brunch

$10.50

$10.50

$9.25

Lunch

$10.50

$10.50

$9.25

Dinner

$11.00

$11.00

$9.75

Special Dinners

$12.00

$12.00

$10.75

A Few More Morsels

Nutrition
Nutrition concerns? Need dietary modifications? Want your dietary intake analyzed? All of these services are available free of charge to meal plan participants through our on-staff nutritionist. Our nutritionist is actively involved in the planning of the menus to ensure a healthy variety of options. Nutrition information is available for each menu item at the residential dining rooms and through our online menus. This information is posted so that you can make healthy decisions. 

Food Allergies, Gluten-Free and Lactose-Free
We are proud to be proactive in helping students with food allergies or intolerances make informed decisions about their meal choices. Visit our Food Allergies page. Gluten-free and lactose-free mainstays are available in all three main dining rooms. If you cannot find what you need, just speak with a location manager or chef. 

Vegetarian
For our vegetarian and vegan guests, meatless entrees are available at all residential dining rooms during each meal period.

Online
Weekly menus, nutrition information, meal plan information, hours of operation and general dining information are available right here on our website.

Schedule Conflicts
If your schedule conflicts with our dining room service hours, we offer a "To-Go" program at all of the residential dining rooms. In addition, we have locations open until 2 a.m. If you are ill and cannot make it to a residential dining room for a meal, send your ID and brief, written authorization with a friend, who can then get a meal for you.

Cavalier Advantage vs. Plus Dollars
A Cavalier Advantage account can be used just about anywhere on Grounds - from vending machines, copy machines and parking to the U.Va Bookstore and all dining locations. Plus Dollars are part of your meal plan and are only available for use on food, in dining locations on Grounds. When you use Plus Dollars, you get guaranteed value, and Plus Dollars can be used anytime. Plus Dollar food purchases are not charged sales tax.

I have a suggestion, I have a problem...
Got a question? Check out our web pages. If you can't find an answer there, or if you have a special need, check the list of locations, managers, and phone numbers. The managers are a great resource for help, information, and answers. You can always call us at 434-982-5141 or 5140 or email us at dining@virginia.edu. We have an "open door" policy - stop by our office at O'Hill and see us anytime between 8am and 5pm.

Account

Why do I have to create an account in order to check out?

For you (and us) to be able to best track orders and to be able to contact you in case of a question regarding your order, we ask that you create a CampusDish account.

How do I create an account?

Click the "Login" button, and then on the login page click the "create a new account" link.

How do I find more about Nutritional Information?

Use our Comparison Box and Nutritional Calculator to get the most out of your eating decisions. Select products from the Menu section and use one of the options below to get accurate comparisons and information about your choices. 

For more on Nutritional Information and Healthy for Life initiatives, visit our Eat Well section.

Commerce

How do I get a Promotional Code?

Unfortunately, we are not currently offering Promotional Codes. We may offer Promotional Codes in the future, so please check back periodically.

Where can I find more info on nutrition?

For more on Nutritional Information and Healthy for Life initiatives, visit our Eat Well section.

How do I use the Menu?

We have utilities designed to help your health. Use the Meal Calculator Box to quickly relate the nutritional information of two or more items. The Meal Calculator can populate the nutritional value of your meal. Use our quick nutritional icons to identify food with special preparation or contents at a glance.

How do I increase password security?

Your password should be at least 8 characters that include upper and lower case characters, numbers, and symbols. You should always use a unique password for each website you use; that way, if one account gets compromised, the rest are safe. Other ways to ensure the security of your password include:

    • If passwords must be written down on a piece of paper, store the paper in  a secure place and destroy it when it is no longer needed.

    • Never share passwords with anyone.

    • Change passwords immediately if they may have been compromised.

    • Be careful about where passwords are saved on computers. Some dialog boxes present an option to save or remember a password. Selecting this option poses a potential security threat.

What is a CVV?

The Card Validation Code is a 3 digit number set that uniquely identifies your credit card.


Visa/Mastercard Users

Flip your card over and look at the signature box. You should see either the entire 16-digit credit card number or just the last four digits followed by a special 3-digit code. This 3-digit code is your Card Security Code.

American Express Credit Card Users
Look for the 4-digit code printed on the front of your card just above and to the right of your main credit card number. This 4-digit code is your Card Identification Number (CID). The CID is the four-digit code printed just above the Account Number.

Why should I select favorite locations?

Selecting a location will help us customize your experience on the CampusDish site.

Why am I required to select a role when creating my account?

A role will help us customize your experience on the CampusDish site.

Why are my products split into separate orders and why does this happen?

Two or more of the items in your cart are restricted by product type or payment method. In order to process the transaction, the items in your cart must be processed separately.