Frequently Asked Questions


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Meal Plans

The meal plan offered to each student is voluntary; you choose to be our customer. First-year students living on-campus are eligible for our All-Access and 180-Block Plan Plus 300 Paw Points. Upper-level students living on campus are eligible for our Upper-Level Student Meal Plan as well as our All-Access Plans. Students living off-campus are eligible for all of these as well as a Commuter Block Plan with Paw Points. 

You can purchase a meal plan online. The charge will be added to your student account. Payment deadlines and more information about your Student Account are available at the Bursar's Office. Be sure to check your student account after your purchase to verify that you fall under the standard deadlines. You can learn more about how to purchase a meal plan here.

Yes, you can purchase a meal plan after meal plan service has begun. However, the cost for the meal plan remains the full amount for the first 7 days of meal service. After that time, the cost will be reduced by one day’s cost at the daily meal plan rate for either the 5-day or 7-day meal plans.

Note: Because the meal plan cost stays the same for the first week, there is no cost advantage in waiting to get on the meal plan unless you have no choice due to funds availability.

Students living on campus are eligible for any of UGA's All-Access meal plans only. Students become eligible for a Commuter meal plan when they live off-campus. Commuter students may also choose to purchase an All-Access meal plan.

Meal plan fees are added to your student account and need to be paid in accordance with Bursar payment instructions sent to your UGA email. If you pay via my.uga.edu with a credit card (MC, Discover, AMEX), the total cost plus a 2.85% fee will be additionally charged (with a $3.00 minimum). You may mail a check to the Bursar for your meal plan. Make your check payable to The University of Georgia and mail it to:

UGA Bursar's Office
424 East Broad Street
Athens, GA 30602

Include the student's name and Student ID on the check.

If you acquire a meal plan online before 5:30 p.m., Monday - Friday, the charge should post to your student account the next business day. If after 5:30 p.m., the charge should post the second business day. If you acquire a meal plan after 5:30 p.m. on Friday and before 5:30 p.m. on Monday, the charge will not post until Tuesday.

After you sign up for a meal plan, you will receive a confirmation email and number. This means your meal plan contract was activated and you can immediately begin dining provided, of course, that the dining locations are open and serving (you can view hours of operation here). If you purchase a meal plan prior to its start date, your plan will not be active until the first serving day of your contract (ex. if you purchase a summer plan in spring, the summer plan will not activate until the first serving day of your chosen plan).

Meal plan customers will use an IRIS Camera System when entering any of the five residential dining locations. The IRIS Camera System uses a mathematical analysis of the random patterns within the iris of an eye to verify a person’s identity. In the enrollment stage, the IRIS Camera System captures a digital photographed iris pattern (D-PIP) of a user’s eyes.

To use your Paw Points in UGA Dining Service retail locations, Dining Services may request to see your UGA OneCard and a government issued photo ID upon entry. Please have both forms of identification available at all times.

When using your Paw Points at vending machines all you need to do is swipe your UGA OneCard in the credit card terminal.

Please visit our hours page for more information about dining commons and retail hours of operation. If you have any questions about how to use your meal plan, please feel free to contact us.

Balances can be viewed through the student account management page.

Meal plan participants on the 180-Block, Commuter, and Upper-Level plans with fewer than 10 blocks can now purchase additional blocks in increments of 10to extend their meal plan until the end of the semester. The opportunity for a 10-block extension will be added to the participant’s account management page each time they drop below 10 blocks and are eligible to add more.

Please visit this page for information on how to change your plan online, or contact our Customer Relations Specialist at (706) 542-1256 or dining@uga.edu.

Unused blocks at the end of Fall and Spring semester will expire so be sure to use any remaining blocks by the end of each semester. Check your balance here.

You are responsible for only one-half of the total academic year meal price — one semester's cost only. Your meal plan agreement will expire on the last day of Spring semester's meal plan service. Your academic year meal plan will not carry over to the Summer or Fall semester.

If you will be on the meal plan for Fall semester, but one of these conflicts occurs during Spring semester, then go ahead and sign up for the academic year contract. Once charges have posted to your account for Spring semester (usually late November or early December), you may go online to the “Request Meal Plan Change” form and follow the directions to cancel your Spring meal plan.

If your approved internship is scheduled for just a part of the Spring semester, please bring documentation from your adviser indicating the dates of your internship. Dining Services can adjust the Spring semester charges to reflect those dates that you are not participating in your internship to allow you to participate in the meal plan.

If one of these conflicts occurs during Fall semester and you only can be on the meal plan during Spring semester, just complete the academic meal plan contract before the start of Spring semester. Your meal plan charge will be only for Spring semester.

If your classes are cancelled, you may continue to dine up until re-instatement of your classes is no longer available. You will receive an email from Dining Services advising that your meal plan is in jeopardy of being cancelled. If your meal plan is cancelled due to non-payment, you will be denied access to the dining commons and you will owe the Bursar the payment on your meal plan. Should you decide to withdraw from the University before this action is taken, please contact Dining Services so the withdrawal can be verified with the Registrar and the appropriate refunds can be processed.

 


Paw Points

Don't worry about having to use them before the end of each semester, as your Paw Points will now remain active for one calendar year past your last use of Paw Points. Even if you have graduated or are no longer on the meal plan, your unused Paw Points are still available as long as your ID card is active during that time period.

Check your balance here.

A Paw Point rollover account is where unused Paw Points are stored from previous semesters. They remain in this account until the present semester’s Paw Points are depleted and then are automatically activated. ANY Paw Point balances remain available to the student until after one year of their last activity on the account or until their UGA ID is deactivated, whichever comes first.

No. Unused Paw Points from previous semesters are stored, per contract, in a Paw Point rollover account. Current Paw Points purchased with an active meal plan are always used first for the semester. The rollover account automatically activates once current Paw Points are depleted or when no meal plan is present. Paw Point balances remain available for use to the student for up toone year from the date of their last Paw Points activity on the account or at the point their UGA OneCard is deactivated, whichever comes first.

No. Your meal plan is a contract between you and the University and for your use only. You cannot share your meal plan or transfer funds to another student.

 

 


Nutrition

We offer one-on-one counseling with our registered dietitian, Katherine Ingerson, where she can walk you through managing your allergy in the dining commons and finding every option available to you. She can take you through the dining commons to help you make the most of your meals.

For information at any time check out our Build Your Plate interactive menu on the UGA app which highlights the top 8 food allergens plus gluten as well as all the ingredients in that food item for specific allergens.

You can learn more about how to eat on the meal plan with special diets and allergies here.

Absolutely! All of our vegan and vegetarian items are marked with special icons (Meatless  Green circle with a leaf.  & Vegan  Yellow circle with V. ) so you can tell what's available at a glance. We also have a vegan/vegetarian line in each residential dining facility with daily rotating menu items.

You can even search from the comfort of home to see what's available via our website or mobile app using our Build Your Plate interactive menu. You can also view general lists of our vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free items on our website.

Lastly, if you ever need help finding vegetarian/vegan items in the dining commons, feel free to contact our registered dietitian, Katherine Ingerson, for one-on-one counseling or a guided tour.

Please contact the Registered Dietitian at ingerson@uga.edu.

UGA Dining Services now offers student meal plan participants the ability to take food to-go from the dining commons during a meal period. Participants receive a reusable, environmentally-safe, sustainable container that allows them to easily build their own meal to-go. The box is microwave and dishwasher safe and is made of 30% recycled material while also being recyclable at the end of its usage. Learn more here.

Late nights at Snelling are definitely something many of us experience at least once in our college careers. If you want to avoid a snack high in added sugar or saturated fats while Snellibrating, try:

  • making your own trail mix
  • a plate of assorted veggies, pita chips, and hummus
  • a parfait with Greek yogurt, granola, and fruit
  • a delicious peanut butter and banana sandwich

These snacks are packed with vitamins, healthy unsaturated fats, and help give you a boost of energy to finish off that last bit of studying.

If you're concerned about making healthy choices in the dining commons, do not fret! Nearly half of all of our daily and rotational menu items are considered "Heart Healthy," so there are lots of options to choose from. Making sure you get plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein is a great way to avoid overeating.

There are TONS of delicious desserts and treats available daily and we want you to enjoy them! Treat yourself every once in a while! If you're not sure whether you're getting a balanced diet, meeting with our Registered Dietitian, Katherine Ingerson, or our trained Peer Nutrition Educators can help you gear toward a healthier lifestyle.

If you want quick information you can check out our nutrition education stations located at every residential dining facility. They have resources such as healthy dining recipes and our Build Your Plate interactive menu tool available via phone, computer, or any iPad station.

For more in depth knowledge you can visit with our Registered Dietitian, Katherine Ingerson, or join our Eating Smart course in the spring.

Making sure your diet is balanced — getting the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins — is essential to being your best self! Your body is your engine, if you put good fuel in, it will keep running until the day is done. Energy is a huge concern for college students, because we are constantly on the go, whether it's writing papers, working on lab reports or studying for the next exam. Most of us will sooner reach for a latte than a bowl of Greek yogurt and fruit, and this will ultimately end in an energy crash or yet another cup of coffee. Many who try to incorporate a healthier eating pattern tend to feel better overall and may not even need an energy boost at the end of the day. Along with having adequate energy supplies, a healthy diet can help boost the immune system, brain function, ability to focus, and more. For more information on mindful eating, try our Eating Smart course offered every semester by our registered dietitian.

Moving to a new place can be exciting but sometimes you just want something familiar. You and your parents/guardian can get more involved with our menu planning by submitting recipes to us via our Taste of Home event hosted in the Spring. We obtain recipes from all over the US as well as international cuisines. Here at UGA, we consider it a top priority to adopt as many cultural cuisines as possible from our homemade authentic salsas at Oglethorpe Commons to our variety of dishes at The Wok in Bolton. Below is a list of the following culture we have recipes from:

  • Vietnamese
  • Korean
  • Chinese
  • Thai
  • South American
  • Mexican
  • Latin American
  • Greek
  • Italian
  • Indian
  • Moroccan
  • Levantine
  • French
  • Cajun
  • German
  • Maharashtrian

 


Employment

Yes, UGA Dining Services offers great student employment opportunities. Student employees receive a free meal for every shift worked and meal plan rebates along with real-world work experience and a convenient work schedule. Visit our Employment page for more information.

No matter if you work in a dining commons or retail location, you will be cross-trained for all stations at your unit. Some days you may be doing dishes, helping on a serving line, scooping ice cream, or even running a register.

Not at all! We welcome students with all types of backgrounds and will train you for the job.

For every shift you work, you get a free meal. Most students are not scheduled for more than four hours in one day, so if you plan on eating multiple meals a day in the dining commons, yes, you will need one of our Meal Plans.

For students on the 5- or 7- day unlimited meal plan, a meal plan reimbursement is paid for each meal eaten while at work as long you meet the qualifications.

You can learn more about meal plans here.

All of our students can work between 9-20 hours a week. There are no exceptions for more or less.

Dining Services has lots of variety! Yes, we have 5 dining commons, however we also have many retail operations — some of which include: Chick-Fil-A, Barberitos, our very own Niche Pizza Co., Panda Express, Starbucks, Catering, and much more!

We understand that being a student comes first so we can definitely work around *most* class schedules.

Some of our units require all students to work a weekend shift, while other units are closed on weekends. It depends on the needs of each individual unit. Our employment application specifies the weekend requirements for all units.

Students are not expected to work on holidays/breaks, but they are more than welcome to if their unit will be open. With this being said — whenever you are planning on not being at work, you need to let your manager know, even if it is a holiday/break.

Unfortunately, it will not be. We are not a Federal Work Study employer. You will be given a pay check every two weeks instead.

All students start out as a “Student Employee”, but we encourage students to apply for our Student Management Program. If selected for a position, students can then become “Student Clericals”, “Student Supervisors”, and even “Student Managers”. So yes, there are promotions.