First Year Dining Plans

Welcome to Penn!

Penn Dining welcomes you to campus. We are eager to share our dining cafés with you and demonstrate that we are a culture driven to create food that is alive with flavor and nutrition, prepared from scratch using authentic ingredients.

Freshmen are required to purchase a dining plan. We do this to ensure a sense of community among the Penn students, faculty and staff. Students can choose between three first-year plans with varying combinations of visits to the all-you-care-to-eat dining cafés and Dining Dollar$. You can add additional blocks of visits or any amount of Dining Dollar$ to your dining plan at any time by logging into your account on Campus Express.

First-year Transfer & Exchange students are also required to have a dining plan. Transfer and Exchange students can choose from any of our Upperclass Dining Plan options.

First-Year Dining Plans



New This Year - Dining Dollar$ Discount

New for Fall 2016 - enjoy a 5% discount at Houston Market, Gourmet Grocer, Mark's Cafe, New College House, McClelland Express, and Accenture Cafe when using your Dining Dollar$.

Need to Know Info

ATTENTION FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS: Freshmen students that do not select a dining plan by June 18, 2016, you will be automatically enrolled in the Best Food Fit (BFF) Plan, our most popular plan. First-Year Transfer and Exchange students will be automatically enrolled in the Best Food Fit plan in mid-August.

Fall 2016 Dining Plans begin on Tuesday, August 30th - the first day of class.

New students (freshman, transfer, and exchange) arriving for NSO on August 25th are provided with most meals through an NSO Dining Plan which is part of the New Student Orientation experience.

If you find you would like to change your dining plan, you may do so from August 30 - September 18, 2016. If you have questions, please contact:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Dining plans are listed by annual price, annual swipes to the all-you-care-to-eat dining halls and annual Dining Dollar$. Dining plan contracts are binding for the entire year. Billing is done in the Fall as well as in the Spring. Students receive half of their annual swipes and half of their annual Dining Dollar$ each semester.

How Do Dining Plans Work?

Semester Allowance

Use your swipes in any of our five all-you-care-to-eat, on-campus cafés (1920 Commons, Hill College House, English College House, Café at McClelland, and Falk Kosher Dining). Each time you eat in an on-campus cafe, one swipe is subtracted from your semester swipe allowance.

Dining Dollar$

Dining Dollar$ are funds on your PennCard used to purchase items at any Penn Dining location including our retail offerings: Gourmet Grocer and Starbucks (located in 1920 Commons), Rick Bayless' Tortas Frontera and the ARCH, Accenture Café, Houston Market in Houston Hall, Joe’s Café in SHDH, and Mark’s Café in Van Pelt Library. Each time you make a purchase, that amount is subtracted from your Dining Dollar$ account balance. You can add Dining Dollar$ to your PennCard at any time via Campus Express.

How Do I Know Which Dining Plan is Best for Me?

The students at Penn are diverse and so are our dining plans. With these varying options, you’re bound to find one that’s right for you!

Away From Kitchen (AFK)

This plan is great for the student who enjoys an all-you-care-to-eat option.  The AFK Plan offers 250 meals in the Fall semester and 250 meals in the Spring semester* – which averages out to 16 meals per week. In addition to the balance of meals, this plan comes with $100 Dining Dollar$ per semester to use in our retail locations.

Balanced Eating Naturally (BEN)

This plan has a good balance of Meals and Dining Dollar$, ideal for students who want larger meals but also want the flexibility offered by having $225 in Dining Dollar$ per semester to grab a snack on the go. On this plan you have approximately 11 meals a week.

Best Food Fit (BFF)**

This plan allows for a more flexible schedule, with more Dining Dollar$ and fewer Meals -- approximately 8 per week -- than some of the other options. It works well for students who tend to skip meals or have busy schedules that don't allow time to eat in the dining cafes on a regular basis.

**Note: Freshmen who do not sign up for a dining plan will automatically be enrolled in the BFF plan.

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