Dining plan agreements are legal contracts between you and the university of pennsylvania. Dining plan contracts are binding for the entire academic year or summer session(s).

By signing the 2023 - 2024 dining plan contract or confirming your online dining plan selection, and/or participating in the dining program, you agree to accept all of the terms and conditions of the dining contract.

Dining Plan Terms & Conditions

Dining plans are binding for the entire Academic Year or Summer Session(s) (as appropriate). Students may make one change to their dining plans during the Fall and Spring Change Periods, as outlined below, from their current plan to another plan for which they are eligible.

First-Year and Second-Year Undergraduate Student Contract
The University of Pennsylvania requires that all First-Year and Second-Year undergraduate students enroll in a dining plan.


Incoming First-Year Students (Non-Transfer)
Incoming First-Year Students are required to enroll in one of the following plans: the First-Year 296 (FY296) Plan or the First-Year 187 (FY187) Plan.  Students who do not choose a dining plan will be assigned the FY296 Plan, with the option to change during the Fall Change Period.


Second-Year Students
Incoming and Rising Second-Year students are required to enroll in a dining plan during their second year.  Second-Year students are eligible to enroll in the Second Year 156 (SY156) dining plan or choose from one of the two First Year plans.  Second-Year students that do not select a dining plan will be assigned the SY156 plan, with the option to change during the Fall Change Period.


Transfer & Exchange Students
First-Year transfer students and exchange students are required to enroll in a dining plan.  Second-Year transfer students may also be required to enroll in a dining plan, based on previous housing and dining participation.   Transfer students with Second-Year standing can choose between the SY156 plan or one of the two First-Year plans.  Transfer students with Third-Year standing can choose from any available undergraduate plan.  Students who are required to enroll in a dining plan but do not choose a dining plan will be assigned the SY156 Plan, with the option to change during the Fall Change Period.


Third and Fourth-Year Students
Third and Fourth-Year students are eligible (but not required) to enroll in any of our available dining plans.


Graduate Students
Graduate students are eligible (but not required) to sign-up for the Grad Plan, available only to Graduate students, or any of the undergraduate plans.


Summer Plans
Eligible students have the opportunity to purchase a dining plan—Flex 25 or Flex 45—for Summer 2023 Sessions I and/or II.


Please note: Penn Dining reserves the right to alter dining plan offerings, structures and/or usage restrictions.  Plans may be added, amended, or removed as deemed necessary by Penn Dining.

Contract holders are billed each semester for dining plan charges (for one-half of the total academic year cost). First-year students will be billed an additional charge in the Fall for New Student Orientation.

If any additional purchases are made (additional swipes and/or Dining Dollars), a monthly bill will be sent.

2023-2024 Days of Service
Dining plan service begins for all dining plan holders on the first day of New Student Orientation (August 23, 2023) and continues through the last day of finals in each semester. During school breaks (see below) dining services may be limited or curtailed:

  • Thanksgiving Break (modified services)
  • Winter Break (closed)*
  • Spring Break (modified services)

Dining Dollars can be used through Commencement Day (May 20, 2024) and swipes can be used through final exams each semester.

*May re-open in January prior to start of Spring 2024 classes.  Penn Dining reserves the right to open on a limited schedule or remain closed through Winter Break.  Dining will open on January 17, 2023 evening at the latest.


Summer 2023

Summer dining plans begin on the first day of Summer Session I (May 22, 2023) and are valid through the last day of Summer Session II (August 4, 2023).

Summer hours of operation are more limited than the Academic Year, but will have available offerings for 19 meal periods per week.

All cafés will be closed for Memorial Day (May 29, 2023) and Independence Day (July 4, 2023).


Meals and Services Offered
Our dining program comprises a variety of services: All-you-care-to-eat meals offered at five residential dining cafés and one Kosher dining café, Meal Exchange, Grab & Go meals, a la carte retail food options, convenience stores and micro-markets

Please note: Meals and services offered vary by location. Visit www.upenn.edu/dining for hours of operation.


Dining Locations/Hours of Operation
The University provides dining services to students in a number of locations deemed most convenient for the greatest number of students. The University reserves the right to close any existing dining service location, move the location where any particular type of food service is offered, or alter the hours of operation of any café at the University’s sole discretion, at any time during the term of this agreement.

Visits or Meal Swipes
All dining plans (with the exception of the Dining Dollars Only and Grad plans) include visits, also known as meal swipes, which allow students to visit our residential cafés. Each time you eat in a residential cafe, one visit is subtracted from your semester visit allowance.  Visits that are allotted with your initial dining plan do not carry over from the Fall into the Spring semester.  Unused visits in the Spring expire on Commencement Day (for Academic Year dining plans).  All visits are non-refundable.  Dining plan holders can use two swipes per meal period (e.g. breakfast, lunch/brunch, dinner, late night).


Dining Dollars
All dining plans include Dining Dollars, which are credits toward a la carte retail food purchases or additional all-you-care-to-eat visits at the dining halls. Students may add Dining Dollars to their dining plans at any time by going online to Campus Express. Dining Dollars are non-refundable and expire on Commencement Day (May 20, 2024, for Academic Year dining plans.)


Add-on Visits
Students may add additional visits to their dining plan at any time by going online to Campus Express. Add-on visits (or swipes) may be purchased in quantities of 15, 25, 50, 75, or 100. These additional visits are non-refundable and cannot be removed from a plan once added. All visits including add-on visits will expire on the last day of finals.  Any add-on visits purchased in the Fall semester will carry over into the Spring semester.  Add-on swipes purchased during the Summer will only be valid through the end of Summer Session II.


Guest Visits
All dining plans (excluding the Dining Dollars Only, Grad, and Summer dining plans) come with up to 20 guest visits per year (10 in the Fall and 10 in the Spring), allowing students to host family and friends in the residential dining cafes.  Guest visits can be used one at a time, or all ten at the same time.  When using a guest visit, simply tell the cashier, and they will deduct the visit from the guest visits balance.


Guest visits can also be used for personal use once all regular visits have been exhausted. When using a guest visit for personal use, simply tell the cashier that you are using a guest visit. Additional guests are always welcome, provided they pay the meal period rate at the door. Students may also charge additional guest meals above the 20 allowed per year to their Dining Dollars, PennCash or SFS accounts. Guest swipes are included in the total swipe balance for each plan.

Example: FY296 Plan = 296 swipes per semester (286 regular swipes +10 guest


Please note: Funds purchased during the prior Academic Year do not roll over into the Summer.  Similarly, all unused funds from Summer dining plans expire at the end of Summer Session II.

Special Dietary Needs

Penn Dining includes designated items for students who have religious dietary requirements or prefer vegetarian/vegan foods, or foods made without gluten containing ingredients, in addition to the 8 major allergens. We will try to accommodate other special dietary needs upon reasonable advance notice.

Penn Dining currently serves many students with food allergies or dietary needs and our registered dietitian nutritionist is here to assist students with any dietary questions or concerns they may have.

Requests for accommodation based on a food allergy or special dietary need is referred to our registered dietitian nutritionist, who will work with the student and Student Disabilities Services (SDS) to determine an appropriate accommodation within the dining program. In the case where a reasonable accommodation cannot be made, a waiver of the dining plan will be considered. Please note that all students making an accommodation request will be contacted by SDS and until a final decision is reached, all students will be responsible for their University dining contract.

Please review the Health & Wellness section of our website or contact Penn Dining at (215) 898-3547 or dining@upenn.edu for further information.


Sick Meal Needs
If you are sick and cannot get to a café, you or a staff member can request that meals are picked up for you. Details regarding ordering sick meals will be listed on the Penn Dining website. Any dining plan holder can participate.

Dining Plan Participants
Dining Plan participants who wish to dine at Falk Dining Commons (kosher dining cafe) will be charged an additional fee  along with their swipe. This fee may be paid for with Dining Dollars, PennCash, SFS credit or cash. In order to ensure seating, we recommend that anyone with a dining plan who would like to dine at Falk Dining Commons during weekends make an advance reservation. An advance reservation will be required for all high holiday meals. Additional fees may apply for Passover meals only.

Dining Plan Changes

All students may make ONE change to their dining plan during the Fall/Spring Change Periods:

  • Fall 2023 Change Period Dates: Aug. 29 - Sep. 19, 2023
  • Spring 2024 Change Period Dates: Jan. 18 - Feb. 8, 2024

Dining Plan changes are allowed ONCE in the first three weeks of each semester (excluding the Summer). The new balance after a dining plan change will depend on the usage of the previous plan. Any visits or Dining Dollars used over and above what came with an individual’s original dining plan will be charged in addition to the regular cost of the new dining plan. If the usage is less than what is allotted with the new dining plan, the amount of visits and Dining Dollars used with the original dining plan will be deducted from the amounts allocated with the new dining plan.


Changes made at the start of the Fall semester are effective for the full academic year.  Changes made during the Spring 2024 semester will only affect the Spring 2024 semester plan.  Any Dining Dollars carried over from the Fall semester will remain regardless of whether or not a change is made.  Meal swipes do not carry-over from the Fall semester.


All dining plan changes must be made via Campus Express Online during the appropriate Change Period. Inquiries regarding all dining matters must be directed to the Penn Dining Office – change requests sent to Student Financial Services are NOT valid.


Please note: Any additional charge or refund due as the result of a dining plan change will be based on the current rates regardless of whether the initial sign-up was during a promotional period.

Cancellation / Termination of Agreement
Cancellations are not permitted unless you are leaving the University for one of the following reasons: Leave of Absence, Withdrawal, Study Abroad, Graduation, Fall Exchange Students (cancellation for Spring semester portion of dining plan only), or those who applied for housing but did not receive housing.

If you are leaving the University and need to cancel your dining contract, please email Dining at dining@upenn.edu to advise of your change in status.

  • If you live in on-campus housing, please complete the Request for Early Termination for your housing contract found at MyHomeAtPenn.upenn.edu. When completing the request to terminate your housing contract, you will also be able to indicate that you have a dining plan to cancel and both requests will be processed jointly.  Please note: a voluntary cancellation of a housing contract does not guarantee a cancellation of a dining contract.
  • If you only have a dining contract to cancel or are unable to complete the Request for Early Termination for housing, please email dining@upenn.edu.

If you are a junior or senior who applied for housing and a dining plan during the MyHomeAtPenn process in the Spring, and are subsequently advised by the University that housing is not available for you, Dining will email you to advise you of your options for your dining plan (including cancellation).

Reminder: a voluntary cancellation of a housing contract does not guarantee a cancellation of a dining contract.

The dining program is not affiliated with any decision concerning financial aid to students.  We cannot consider any financial matter as an acceptable reason for requesting a dining contract cancellation.  The cancellation needs to be approved by the University of Pennsylvania prior to issuance of any credit.


The University reserves the right to terminate this agreement for failure to pay University fees, for violation of University or Penn Dining policy, or when you are no longer enrolled as a Penn student.


If a credit is due as a result of cancellation or termination of this agreement, the refund will be sent by Penn Dining to Student Financial Services (SFS). Penn Dining does not issue refund checks. Students may check the status of their account on Penn InTouch. Students expecting a refund should contact SFS, after the dining plan credit appears on Penn InTouch.


No refunds are provided in the case of termination due to failure to pay fees or comply with policies. Refunds will be prorated based on the number of visits and Dining Dollars used and will be calculated based on the price per visit of the dining plan in which the student is participating.

Non-Transferal of Dining Contracts
Contract meals are for the exclusive use of the contract holder and are not transferable.  Regular meal swipes can only be used to purchase food for the plan holder.  Guest swipes and/or Dining Dollars may be used to purchase meals for guests. Persons found using a PennCard other than their own will be considered in violation of University Policy and subject to disciplinary proceedings.


Removing Food from the Dining Halls
Our dining plans were designed to provide maximum flexibility for students to enjoy our cafés.  In addition to offering a variety of dining options, our residential cafes help foster a sense of campus community by allowing students to dine together.  Accordingly, food is meant to be enjoyed within the café, and is not permitted to be removed.  However, should you need to, there is a take-out option in the dining cafes through our Green2Go Program.

More information can be found at www.upenn.edu/dining. Dining plan holders may use meal swipes for Meal Exchange at available locations. A maximum of two regular swipes can be used per meal period. All meals purchased using regular meal swipes are for the sole use of the dining plan holder. Guest meal swipes and Dining Dollars can be used to purchase meals for the plan holder’s guests.  Any coordination to violate these policies represents a violation of Terms & Conditions of the dining plan and can result in further action, as outlined below (see: ‘Student Conduct’).


Lost Card Policy
Students must have their PennCards to enter the dining cafes. Students who have lost or misplaced their PennCards may enter the dining cafes by first completing a Lost Card Voucher obtained from the cashier. The visit will be deducted from the student’s dining plan.


Student ConductStudents are expected to comply with all rules and regulations of the University while in a Penn Dining cafe. All rules, policies and procedures of the University and Penn Dining Services, including those published in the PennBook, University Policies and Procedures, official publications and bulletins, and the University and Penn Dining web pages, are incorporated in this agreement. Students found in violation of University and/or Penn Dining Policy may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.