How much will the meal plan cost?

Students who are new to SAIC, will be charged $750.00 per semester. Students who are returning to SAIC, will be charged $500.00 per semester. In return, you receive $750 or $500 of Dining Dollars on your ARTICard (ID), respectively. The meal plan charges will be applied to your student bill at the same time as your housing charges.

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How are Dining Dollars different than ARTICash?

Dining Dollars are accessed through your ARTICard and can only be used at on-campus dining locations. They will expire at the end of the academic year. Dining Dollars are a part of the required meal plan, which is charged to your student bill with your housing charges.

ARTICash is money that you place on your ARTICard directly. It can be used for a variety of purposes including copy machines, laundry machines, vending machines, off-campus stores (e.g., Blick Art Supplies, CVS), off-campus dining locations (e.g., Chipotle), and at on-campus dining locations. ARTICash money will not expire.

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How does the meal plan work?

The meal plan is a declining-balance program; you will use your Dining Dollars to pay for what you eat. You will receive your Dining Dollars every semester to be used at on-campus dining locations. Select your meal and pay at the register!

In the fall, your Dining Dollars will be available the day you move into the residence halls. Your spring semester Dining Dollars will be charged to your student bill with your spring housing charges in late December. Any money you did not utilize in fall semester will carry over into spring semester. Money left on your account after the academic year will roll over to the next academic year continually until you are no longer enrolled at SAIC.

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Where can I use my meal plan?

You can use your meal plan for a variety of à la carte meal options at three dining locations located within the Columbus Drive Building, MacLean Center, and the Sharp Building.

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Can I use Dining Dollars to eat at local downtown places like Cosi and Chipotle? At vending machines?

You may not use your Dining Dollars at off-campus locations or at vending machines. Only money in your ARTICash account will work at these locations.

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How do I pay for meals?

After you have selected the meal of your choice, head to the cash register. The cashier will deduct Dining Dollars from your card equivalent to the cost of the food.

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Is there any way to opt out of the meal plan?

No. All resident students are required to have the meal plan.

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I have dietary needs that are very important (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, organic, kosher, etc). Will there be options for me?

Yes!! Our food vendor is excited to be a part of the SAIC community and is eager to ensure that all of our members have great dining options. Look for our vendor's decals to see special dietary needs addressed.

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To whom should I speak if I have special dietary needs that aren't being met?

If you have special dietary needs that aren't being met, please meet with our general manager. He will be happy to meet with you to discuss what you need and work with you to help you find great dining options. To schedule a time to meet with him, please email stulife@saic.edu.

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Will my meal plan last for a whole semester?

Every student will use their Dining Dollars in different ways. We would expect that your Dining Dollars will get you between 5-7 meals a week. Please remember that how long the meal plan will last is up to you and how you use your Dining Dollars.

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Who is required to have a meal plan?

Resident students, during fall and spring semesters are required to have the meal plan.

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Can students who are not living on campus be part of the meal plan?

Nonresidential (off-campus) students are welcome to add money to their ARTICash to be used at the on-campus dining facilities. They will have the same access to the great variety of à la carte food options!

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How do I sign up for a meal plan?

When you apply for housing, you are automatically registered for the meal plan. The signed housing contract submitted as part of the application for housing includes the costs and terms and conditions of the meal plan.

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If I live on campus over summer, do I have to sign up for the meal plan?

Summer resident students are not currently required to sign up for the meal plan. However, they may place money in their ARTICash account at any time to be used at the on-campus dining facilities.

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Are there to-go options? À la carte options?

Yes! SAIC students are very busy, so the food will always be presented so that students can "grab and go" or sit and enjoy.

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How much will meals cost?

A variety of food options will be available to you. These options will be available at many different price points, including meal options under $5 and $10.

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How will I know how many Dining Dollars I have left?

You will be able to check your Dining Dollars balance at any time at the ARTICard office, at the VTS deposit machines located around campus and online.

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What if I run out of Dining Dollars?

We recommend your check your Dining Dollars balance often to keep yourself on track for the entire semester. If it appears you are going to run out of Dining Dollars before the semester ends, we recommend that you place money in your ARTICash account.

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What happens if I don't use all my money?

Unused Dining Dollars from fall semester will carry over into spring semester. Any Dining Dollars that haven't been used by the end of spring semester will carry over to the next academic year.

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Can someone else use my card to buy meals?

No. Only you may use your ARTICard.

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If I move out of the residence halls, what will happen to my meal plan?

If you move out of the residence halls and remain in classes, your Dining Dollars will not be refunded. You may continue to utilize your Dining Dollars under the same conditions. If you move out during fall semester, you will not be charged for the meal plan in spring semester.

If you move out of the residence halls and withdraw from all of your classes, you will be refunded your unused Dining Dollars minus a $30.00 administrative fee. This unused Dining Dollars will be credited to your student account. If your move out during fall semester, you will not be charged for the meal plan in spring semester.

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If I leave school, what will happen to the remaining Dining Dollars I have?

If you withdraw from all of your classes and move out of the residence hall, you will be refunded your unused Dining Dollars minus a $30 administrative fee.. This unused Dining Dollars will be credited to your student account. If your move out during fall semester, you will not be charged for the meal plan in spring semester.

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Who can I talk to if I have questions or concerns about the meal plan?

If you have specific questions about the meal plan, please contact the Residence Life office at stulife@saic.edu or 312.629.6870 between the hours of 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. (CST).