There is no change to the meal plan structure for the 2015-2016 school year. There has been some language added to the meal plan to help clarify the meal plan and its purpose. The cost of the meal plan has increased slightly to account for inflation. The meal plan is a combination of goods and services that Dining Services is charged with providing the student body.
The annual boarding cost at Principia College is $5,680 or $2,840 per semester. Two-thirds of this amount is used to cover the overhead of Student Dining Room operations and provides the services covered by the meal plan. One third or 946.66 points is placed on the meal card (referred to as a PrinCard). The 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 for all boarding students has increased to 946.66 points (846.66 pts on the Meal Plan Account and 100 pts on the Plus Account) per semester, which is sufficient for most students' food expenses in the Student Dining Room for one semester. Some students need more points than this allotment and there are multiple ways to increase the points on the meal plan before each semester and then during the semester.
The Meal Plan Account can be used in the Student Dining Room or the Piasa Pub. It begins fall semester with a balance of 846.66 pts, 946.66 pts, 1,146.66 pts or 1,346.66 pts, depending on the meal plan chosen. An additional 846.66 pts, 946.66 pts, 1,146.66 pts or 1,346.66 pts is added for spring semester as well. Unused points do roll over from fall semester to spring semester. Remaining points at the end of spring semester do not roll over and are not refundable. The points on the meal plan are there to be used. Again, in the meal plan, there is no residual cash value to unused points.
The document at the bottom of the page - 'Fall Daily Declining Balance Schedule' provides a list of daily point balances for the Meal Plan Account for the entire semester if the same amount is spent each day to utilize the entire allotment. This is meant as a guide – the points in the meal plan are used in order to help students track their usage. Again, there is no residual dollar value in the points.
If a student runs out of points 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-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. All purchases made with the Plus Account are subject to tax.
The Plus Account can be used in the Store, Piasa Pub, or Student Dining Room. At the beginning of fall semester 100 pts is placed on the Plus Account plus there is an opportunity to increase the Plus Account level to 200 pts, 300 pts, or 400 pts for fall semester during the meal plan sign-up process. Points roll over from fall semester to spring semester. At the beginning of spring semester 100 pts are again put on the Plus Account plus there is an opportunity to increase the Plus Account during the meal plan sign-up process. Additional points can also be added to the Plus Account as needed during the semester with a service charge of 3%. Points remaining at the end of spring semester that were not part of the original Plus Account decided before each semester will be credited to any outstanding PrinBill charges, then the balance will be refunded via direct deposit.
The opportunity to select the Meal Plan and Plus Account Balance for each semester occurs during the following windows – for fall semester the meal plan sign-up process occurs at the end of spring semester, right before finals. The spring semester meal plan sign-ups occur in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving Break.
The document below 'Important Dates for Boarding Students and PrinCard Usage' explains when PrinCards are 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.
Where can I use my meal plan?
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.
What is the difference between the two accounts?
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, receives the student discount in the Student Dining Room, and can have points added to it during the semester. 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.
What is 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.
What is the Piasa Pub?
The Piasa Pub is a short order grill serving subs, pizza, salads, sandwiches, ice cream, and assorted beverages, prepared by students.
What is the Store?
The Store sells a wide variety of items from school supplies to chips, frozen entrees to toiletries, and carrots to Principia signature apparel.
Can I treat a friend or family with my Meal Plan?
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.
What do I do when I run low on points on my meal Plan account?
When the points on your Meal Plan Account are depleted, you can use the points on your Plus Account. Additional points can be added to your Plus Account at any time, but there is a 3% fee and a minimum addition of $50. Points 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.
How do I add points to my Prin Plus account?
Points can be added through the Principia Marketplace. This link will take you directly to the needed page. Points can be added with 3% fee and a minimum $50 dollars added, i.e. 50 points added to the account costs $51.50; 100 points added on the account costs $103.
How can I save money on my Meal Plan?
The biggest way to save money on your plan is to select 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 points during the term, by eliminating the add-on fee and taxes.
If I lose my PrinCard and need to get a new one, what do i do?
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 so they can make your new PrinCard.