Frequently Asked Questions
What forms of payment do dining facilities accept?
Guest Meal Tickets can be purchased at the Wilder Student Union Desk, the Office of Admissions, and the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services. The following prices apply to both paper meal tickets and meals purchased with Flex Points, Obie Dollars, or Student/Faculty/Staff Charge.
Can I take food out of the Dining Halls?At our "all-you-can-eat" dining halls (Stevenson and Lord/Saunders), students are free to take a piece of fruit, cookie, or ice cream cone with them at the conclusion of a meal. Entrées must be consumed in the dining hall. At Dascomb Dining Hall, you may purchase food and then either consume it there or take it with you. See the Dascomb Reusable Container Program for related information.
I want to treat a friend to a meal. Can any part of my meal plan pay for this?Board meals cannot be used to purchase meals for guests, but you may use the Flex Points that come with your meal plan, as well as Obie Dollars or cash (where accepted).
How do Meal Plans work?All students are required to be on a meal plan for the duration of their time at Oberlin. Each meal plan contains a certain number of board meals per week, which are deposited onto your card every Monday morning during the semester. Board meals can be used at any dining hall that accepts board meals. You can only use one board meal on your card per meal period (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night), regardless of location. If you run out of board meals, you can pay for additional meals using Flex Points or Obie Dollars; refer to the information below. Any meals that are not used at the end of each week are lost.
Please see Meal Plans for the different meal plans and their rates. Students who live off-campus or in Village housing are eligible for meal plans with fewer meals per week.
Which plan should I choose?Assess your eating habits. Meal plans with more meals per week work well for students who eat meals regularly and consistently; meal plans with fewer meals work well for students whose meal schedules vary from day to day and week to week. Meal plans with fewer meals also come with more flex points, which enable students to eat meals at a greater variety of dining facilities.
The Meal Plan Calculator can help you choose a meal plan based on how many meals you consume per week.
Can I change meal plans if I made the wrong choice?Yes. Students can request a meal plan change at any time, and changes are applied on select dates throughout the semester. Please see the Meal Plan Changes page for more information.
Why are meal plans more expensive than purchasing meals separately?All students are required to help pay for the cost of the dining program, as part of the educational experience of a residential college. The charge includes fixed costs (labor, utilities, maintenance) of running dining halls, as well as variable costs (food, supplies) of what students consume.
Obie Dollars and Flex Points
What are Obie Dollars?The optional Obie Dollars program is a debit account on your ID card that can be used instead of cash at CDS dining facilities, copy machines and printers across campus, and at designated downtown merchants. Money may be added to the Obie Dollars account at the ID Card Office in Stevenson-Biggs, at a card dispenser in Mudd Library outside Azariah's or in the Conservatory Library, or by logging into eCard via Blackboard.
Do Obie Dollars roll over between semesters?Yes, Obie Dollars roll over from year to year and you can use them at any point during your academic career at Oberlin College. If you have any remaining balance when you leave Oberlin College, you will be refunded all monies above any college term bill liabilities.
What are CDS Flex Points?The Flex Points program is a debit account built into meal plans (1 flex point = 1 dollar). Flex Points may be used to purchase food at our à la carte dining facilities or additional meals at other CDS dining facilities. Please refer to the Meal Plans to determine how many Flex Points come with each meal plan.
Do Flex Points roll over between semesters?CDS Flex Points roll over from Fall semester to Spring semester, but not between academic years. Any Flex Points left in your account at the end of Spring Semester will be lost.
How are Flex Points allotted over the course of the school year?Flex Points are deposited to your account at the beginning of each month. Flex points continue to accumulate until the end of the Spring Semester. View Flex Points Schedule »