How school college students get probably the most meals out of their meal plans

College students line up at dining hall salad bar

Picture: Justin Sullivan (Getty Photographs)

After I was in school, chocolate delicate serve was my college eating corridor’s solely redeemable meals choice. After just a few weeks spent choking down soggy fries and off cereal, my pals and I developed a Robin Hood–fashion distribution plan to deliver delicate serve to the plenty. These of us with on-campus meal plans have been charged by the “swipe,” with every swipe into the cafeteria counting as one meal on our campus-issued eating corridor playing cards. Not lengthy into my freshman yr, we discovered to swipe our playing cards, eat our meals, after which fill three or 4 giant styrofoam soda cups with delicate serve. We’d sneak the delicate serve again to our pals who didn’t have meal plans and/or preserve them for ourselves as they melted into rudimentary milkshakes in our dorm rooms. It was a bulletproof system.

Now, with tailgate season across the nook, school youngsters are flocking again to campuses. We right here at The Takeout determined to embrace the event to discover how at present’s kiddos are hacking their meal plans. Seems, they’re manner savvier than me and my soft-serve-hoarding pals. Learn on to listen to their ways, from dastardly disguises to catlike heists.


“My roommate and I each dwell out [note: this means they’ve moved out of their fraternity house and into an off-campus apartment], however we’re nonetheless on the meal plan. So I’ll go as much as the chef and say I’m getting a plate for my roommate, after which simply eat each of them. He does the identical. I additionally generally flip my hat round and put on a special COVID masks to attempt to get seconds. Very intricate techniques.” —Thomas, College of Kansas; Lawrence, KS

“I used to [swipe in] for groceries. I’d [swipe] for milk, cookies, chips—all that good things! I additionally know of somebody who would go to the plastic utensils part and seize, like, 20 forks, knives, and spoons for the week. One other certainly one of my pals would take cookies from the eating corridor, and it acquired to the purpose the place he’d take your entire tray. I don’t know when you’re allowed to say that.” —Kayla, James Madison College; Harrisonburg, VA

“The best hack me and my pals would do with meal plans is sneak one another into eating halls. One in all my pals had a meal plan, and the remainder of us didn’t. The one with the meal plan would swipe in after which the remainder of us would stand on the emergency exit and they’d allow us to in one after the other. One time we virtually acquired caught, and a employee got here as much as us and requested if we swiped in. We simply performed dumb and stated sure.” —Tori, James Madison College; Harrisonburg, VA

“My roommates and I’d take like half a gallon of milk jug and fill it with lemonade or soda; we do this even with our water bottles. Sadly the meal plans—not less than at my college—are a ripoff. They’re simply good for comfort. Another choice is getting a to-go container and consuming one meal [in the cafeteria], then bringing again the container with meals [for another meal] whereas solely paying for one swipe. All these methods are undoubtedly regarded down upon, however screw it, trigger they’re overcharging for medium high quality meals.” —Will, Catholic College of America; Washington, D.C.