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FAQs for your specific plan:
Freshman Year Dining Experience - FAQs
The following questions and answers should address most concerns and questions regarding the program. If you have additional concerns, please feel free to contact us.
Why are first-year students required to participate in Freshman Year Experience Meal Plan?
The Freshman Year Experience is part of the University's vision of making the University of Alabama a premier living and learning University. The Freshman Year Experience which encompasses the Freshman Year Experience Meal Plan is a result of the University of Alabama's commitment to providing its students with a comprehensive educational and social experience.
What are the advantages of having first-year students participate in the Freshman Year Experience Meal Plan?
Studies have consistently shown that for most first-year students, on-campus dining and living has numerous educational and social benefits. Along with assisting the transition from high school to college, some of the many benefits of on-campus dining include:
Meeting New Friends - Important parts of a student's total educational experience is making new friends and participating in the numerous activities offered by UA. Just by eating on-campus, students will have the ability to meet people from all over the United States and even the world. Many of the friendships students make while dining on-campus will last a lifetime.
Convenience - By participating in the Freshman Year Experience Meal Plan, students have the ability to easily walk from their residence halls to any of our dining locations throughout campus. This means students do not have to worry about losing parking spots on campus or fighting the traffic to get meals. In addition, it ensures students can eat great tasting and nutritious meals before, between and after class.
Value - The Freshman Year Experience Meal Plan allows students to easily budget dining funds. Because students know they have guaranteed meals on their Action Card, they don't have to worry about getting or carrying cash. In addition, meals provided in the Freshman Year Experience Meal Plan are sold at a discount. This rate is locked in and will not increase over the course of the school year.
An advantage - Studies of college students across the nation consistently show that students who eat and live on campus are more involved, have higher grade point averages, are more likely to graduate than students living at home or off campus and are more satisfied with their overall college experience.
Are there other Universities that have Freshman Meal Plans?
Yes, within the Southeastern Conference, 8 out of 12 universities participate in Freshman Meal Plans. In the Southern University Group, 25 out of 30 universities participate in Freshman Meal Plans.
What are the characteristics of Meal Plans?
Bama Dining has meal plans that fit every student's lifestyle. Instead of offering 'Traditional Meal Plans' that limit how and when students can eat, we are taking the approach of putting the student's needs first. Bama Dining has developed meal plans that allow greater flexibility and better value!
Students can use their meals on their schedule, not ours! With the use of Block Meal Plans, there are no pre-determined meal periods throughout the day. Students have the option of using their Block Meal Plan at Lakeside Dining Hall, The Fresh Food Company, Burke Dining Hall, Julia's Market, and Bryant Sports Grill (with Athletic meal plan or an additional fee).
In addition, we are also allowing the ability to roll over unused meals at the end of the fall semester. This means that if there are any unused meals on a student's meal plan at the end of the fall semester, they will automatically roll over into the spring semester, unless a student chooses to downgrade or not enroll for the spring semester.
Also, because Bama Dining understands that students like to eat with visiting family and friends, we are now including Guest Meals with each meal plan. Students have the ability to treat their friends or family for breakfast, lunch or dinner with their meal plans.
Where is the revenue generated from the meal plans allocated on-campus?
Revenues generated from Meal Plans go directly to The University of Alabama. Funds generated from food service operations are used specifically to renovate existing dining facilities, build new dining facilities for the growing campus and keep new and exciting dining options available for students, faculty and staff.
What if a student is exempt from housing but wants a meal plan?
All students are encouraged to participate in a meal plan. Bama Dining has a variety of meal plans to suit the individual dining habits of students, faculty and staff. Meal Plans can be purchased online through this simple order form or call 1-205-348-6816.
Where do I go to request an exemption from the Freshman Year Experience Meal Plan?
If a student has a meal plan exemption due to a housing exemption defined by the Office of Housing and Residential Communities, please visit the Residential Life website or visit their office located in Burke Hall East. All Students who are exempt from housing requirements are also exempt from the meal plan requirement.
If a student has special dietary circumstances and needs a Meal Plan Dietary Exemption Form, visit the Bama Dining office located on the 2nd floor of Lakeside Dining Hall or call 205-348-6816
Are Meal Plans for students participating in an on-campus organization's meal plan requirements available?
Students who will be participating in an organization such as a fraternity or sorority that requires its members to participate in its own meal plan of 10 or more meals per week have the option of choosing a reduced Freshman Year Experience Meal Plan, please click here for more information.