The annual boarding cost at Principia College is $5,600 or $2,8000 per semester. Two-thirds of this amount is used to cover the overhead of Student Dining Room operations and provides the services covered by your meal plan. One third ($933.33) is credited to your meal card (referred to as your PrinCard). Your PrinCard accesses two accounts, the Meal Plan Account and the Plus Account. This is a declining balance meal plan with a la carte pricing.
The Meal Plan Account can be used in the Student Dining Room or the Piasa Pub. It begins fall semester with a balance of either $833.33, $933.33, $1,133.33 or $1,333.33, depending on the level you have chosen. There is an opportunity to change your level for spring semester prior to Thanksgiving break. An additional $833.33, $933.33, $1,133.33 or $1,333.33, depending on the level you have chosen is added prior to spring semester. Funds roll over from fall semester to spring semester. Remaining funds at the end of spring semester do not roll over and are not refundable.
If a student runs out of funds on his/her card, meals may be purchased via cash, credit, debit, or the Plus Account. The advantage of using the Plus Account is a 33% student discount on the cash price on all non pre-packaged items in the Student Dining Room for all students on the meal plan. All forms of purchase other than the Meal Plan Account are taxed.
The Plus Account begins fall semester with $100 and can be used in the Store, Piasa Pub, or Student Dining Room. Additional funds can be added prior to the beginning of spring semester. Funds roll over from fall semester to spring semester, and there is an opportunity to change your Plus Account level to $200, $300, or $400 for spring semester prior to Thanksgiving Break. Additional funds can also be added to the Plus Account as needed with a fee of 3%. Funds remaining at the end of spring semester that were not part of the original Plus Account will be credited to any outstanding PrinBill charges, then the balance will be refunded via direct deposit.
All purchases made with the Plus Account are subject to tax. The food allowance for all boarding students has increased to $933.33 ($833.33 on the Meal Plan Account and $100 on the Plus Account) per semester, which is sufficient for most students' food expenses in the Student Dining Room for one semester. Some students spend more than this allotment. The document below 'Fall Daily Declining Balance Schedule' provides a list of daily balances for the entire semester if the same even amount is spent each day to utilize the entire allotment. This is meant as a guide only.
The opportunity to select the Meal Plan and Plus Account Balance for fall semester occurs in the weeks leading up to Spring semester finals.
The document below 'Important Dates for Boarding Students and PrinCard Usage' explains when your PrinCard is active with full benefits.
A quick comparison of the Meal Plan and Plus Account Features can be found at the bottom of the page as well.
The meal plan consists of two accounts, the Meal Plan Account and the Plus Account. The Meal Plan Account can be used in either the Student Dining Room or the Piasa Pub. Prin Plus Accounts can be used in the Store, Piasa Pub, or the Student Dining Room.
The Meal Plan Account is for meals, and can only be used in the Student Dining Room and the Piasa Pub. The Meal Plan Account receives the student discount for non-packaged items and is not taxed. The Plus Account can be used at any of the Dining Services venues—the Store, the Piasa Pub, and the Student Dining Room. The account is subject to tax, does receive the student discount, in the Student Dining Room, and can have funds added into the account. The Plus Account is flexible and can be used to purchasing toiletries, school supplies, or a snack from the Store, a quick bite to eat or ice cream from the Piasa Pub, and if the need arises to purchase meals at the Student Dining Room.
The Student Dining Room is your best value for your Meal Plan, because pricing is at a food cost level for students on the meal plan. The Student Dining Room serves mostly made-from-scratch items and the more popular prepared items. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served seven days a week.
The Piasa Pub is a short order grill serving subs, pizza, salads, sandwiches, ice cream, and assorted beverages, prepared by students.
The Store sells a wide variety of items from art supplies to wrapped cookies, frozen entrees to toiletries, and carrots to signature apparel.
The Meal Plan is there for you to use, to purchase what you want, including purchases for guests, but you must be present at the time of any purchase with your PrinCard. Please take into consideration that the Meal Plan is designed to provide meals for one person for the school term, so budget your account appropriately.
When the funds on your Meal Plan Account are depleted, you can use the funds on your Plus Account. Additional funds can be added to your Plus Account at any time, but there is a 3% fee and a minimum addition of $50. Add-on monies left over at the end of spring semester that were not part of the original Plus Account will be credited to any outstanding PrinBill charges, and then the balance will be refunded via direct deposit.
Funds can be added through a Dining Services manager or by calling 618.374.5027. This number does not take messages to maintain security on critical information. We are unable to add funds via e-mail for the same security reasons. Funds can be paid for using check, debit, credit, or cash. Funds can be added with 3% fee and a minimum $50 dollars added, i.e. $50 added on the account costs $51.50; $100 added on the account costs $103.
The biggest way to save money on your plan is purchase the right plan for you initially. Making the right choice in the beginning can save you in excess of 10% of the cost of purchasing additional funds during the term, by eliminating the add-on fee and taxes.
You should go to Campus Security to get a new PrinCard. If Campus Security is closed, you should come to Dining Services and inform the manager on duty that you need to get a new PrinCard. You will be issued a temporary voucher that will allow you to temporarily purchase meals. The voucher will then need to be taken to Campus Security,0 so they can make your new PrinCard.
If you have any questions or comments, please share them with us at our Comments page.