Meal Plans & Dining OptionsThompson Dining Center

The meal plan at Western Illinois University is one of the most cutting-edge programs in the country. Students at WIU pay for what they eat. They do not subsidize other students' meal programs and they do not pay for missed meals. Think about it...when you go to your local grocery store, you don't swipe when you enter and get docked "1 meal" even if you just want to pick up some milk. At WIU, you get access to a cash meal plan in which you pay for what you eat. Let's say you want to grab a bowl of cereal, a banana, and some coffee to jumpstart your day. You only pay for your bowl of cereal, banana, and coffee--you are not subsidizing someone else's meal. 

Because our program is consumer driven, our dining staff members plan for and respond to trends in student dining. Our students have a variety of hot meals to choose from and many opportunities to purchase the prepackaged foods they are accustomed to having at home. Our dining program requires that our students budget their own purchasing power and remain conscious of the costs associated with their dining.

Meal Plan Options

Basic Meal Plan

All residents buy into the Basic Meal Plan*. If additional purchasing power is needed, students can either purchase one of our optional plans initially or add purchasing power to their plan anytime throughout the semester.

*Starting Fall 2014, residents of Lincoln and Washington Hall will not be required to purchase a meal plan. 

Optional Meal Plan Additions:

  • Adding Option 1 to the Meal Plan adds $150 more in purchasing power during the semester. Students who occasionally dine in the University Union, visit residence hall C-stores and eat regular meals throughout the week and on the weekends might need Option 1.
  • Adding Option 2 to the Meal Plan adds $300 more in purchasing power. Students who frequently supplement their meals with higher priced food selections may need Option 2.

Student Living Off-Campus

Students who live off campus have the option of purchasing a Meal Plan via STARS as well. There is a minimum first-time $100 buy-in (annually). You can use this money at any dining location and it will be billed to your student account. The convenience of charging your meals to your student account make this option for off-campus students worth every cent.

How do the plans work?

Every student living on campus is required to have a meal plan. Plans are billed at a rate dependent on the guaranteed rate assigned at the point of acceptance to the university (i.e. Plan L, M, N, etc). The student is given this billed rate as "purchasing power"--loaded on to the student ID card--each semester to spend on food at the dining centers. Students purchase individual food items (a la carte style) in the dining centers and are only charged for what they eat. The prices of the food items are deducted from their purchasing power. Each time a student goes to the dining center, he/she will see his/her meal plan balance at the register.

Our students are able to eat wherever they want on our campus. They are able to use their meal plan in any food establishment (such as the Union food court) and dining centers on campus.

Meal Plan Refund

At the end of the academic year, purchasing power of $250 or less left on each student’s account will be refunded. The refund will be applied to the student's account and any credit remaining will be refunded.  (The $250 is based on a student attending both semesters:$125/semester.)

Rocky Dollars

All WIU ID Cards have been set up with a Rocky Dollars account. Rocky Dollars is a debit-like account that is accessed using your WIU ID Card. After you deposit money into your Rocky Dollars account, you can present your WIU ID Card as a form of payment to purchase goods and services on campus.

Quick Links

Adding to your Meal Plan

Adding money to your meal plan is easy and is automatically billed to your University Account. 

  • Log-in to STARS
  • Select "UHDS: Add Meal Plan Money and Rocky Dollars" from the drop-down menu
  • Choose an amount between $10 and $100 to add.
  • Money will be available 20 minutes after your purchase for use on your meal plan. 

**Parents/Guest can add money via STARS only after a student authorizes access.