Are meal plans too expensive

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Maggie Brown

mbrown245@radford.edu

Radford University has a couple different meal plans available to its students. There are ones that offer 19 or 15 meals per week, while another offers $594.00 per semester for the student to spend and keep up with on their own, and then there is one specifically made for commuters. All of these meal plans are for the benefit of the students living on and off campus, but are they too outrageously priced?

For students living on campus, they already have to pay $2,563.50 dollars to live in standard living residence halls, then they have to purchase a meal plan every semester, and those prices vary on what kind of meal plan they buy. The 19-plus plan gives the student 19 meals per week in Dalton Dining Hall and $150.00 per semester for retail food locations on campus. This meal plan costs $1,992.00 per semester. Then there is the 15-plus plan; this meal plan gives the student 15 meals per week at Dalton. This plan costs the students $1,938.00 dollars per semester. Then last, but certainly not least, there is the RU Flex Plan. This particular meal plan gives the student $594.00 dollars for both retail food locations on campus and the all-you-can-eat dining halls, it also comes with $30.00 dollars vending machine money.

I have the RU Flex Plan for my dining needs and it works great for me. I am allowed to balance my money and I do not feel limited to a certain place on campus, it is also the cheapest meal plan Radford University offers. I do not know of anyone in my hall that does not have the RU Flex Plan, it is widely popular among the students at Radford University. When asked if she thought that the meal plans were overpriced, Brooke Shamblin, a freshman at Radford University responded, “Yes, yes I do. When you do the calculations, you will notice that Radford is only giving you 32.2% of your money to go towards your meal plan. So, yes I do think that the meal plans at Radford University is incredibly overpriced.”

In my opinion, if students are forced to pay for their meal plans, why make them so overpriced? I do think that we pay too much for our meal plans here at Radford University because the quality of the food is so poor, it is not worth the amount students are forced to pay. It would be different if having a meal plan on campus was optional, but it is not. It is hard enough to have money as a college student as it is, why make us pay so much for something we cannot live without?