Table of Contents

 
 
 
 

Key Concepts and Definitions

  • Board of Regents (BOR): The State of Georgia’s University System (USG) serving as the managing and governing body across all Georgia public higher educational institutions.
  • BuzzCard: The Institute’s hosted card for campus access and use of funds deposited at the Institute at all on-campus and certain off-campus locations.  Funds are used on the BuzzCard by “swiping” or “tapping” the BuzzCard at each location’s BuzzCard reader (see buzzcard.gatech.edu for current and comprehensive information on daily use of the BuzzCard).
  • BuzzCard Funds: Pre-packaged funds with certain meal plans enabling students to use across campus in both dining locations as well as other retail/vending/laundry/printing/copying locations and certain off-campus dining locations (standard sales tax will apply).  These funds may also be deposited onto the student’s BuzzCard using cash/credit machine as well as online deposits via eAccounts (see buzzcard.gatech.edu).
  • Dining Dollars: Pre-packaged funds with certain meal plans and all Dining Dollar-only plans enabling students to use across campus in dining locations (no sales tax will be charged for use of these funds). 
  • Student Meal Plans / GT Student: Sales tax-exempt dining plans available only to GT students registered for courses in the semester for which the meal plan is purchased. Information on available meal plans is posted at dining.gatech.edu. A GT Student is defined as an individual whose principal purpose at the Institute is to pursue academic studies and who is enrolled during the current semester in one or more GT courses. Certain individuals may have both student and employee status. Eligibility for a student meal plan is governed by the individual’s primary status. Graduate Assistants, Research Assistants, and Student Assistants have primary student status. Visiting scholars, however, are considered employees for meal plan purposes. Scholars are ineligible to purchase a student meal plan but may purchase Faculty/Staff Dining Funds. Special program participants are ineligible to purchase a student meal plan but may purchase an Institute Guest Meal Plan.
  • Guest Meal Plans or Program Plans:  Special program participants (they may also be deemed student programs or “Institute Guests”).  Generally, special program fees include meal plan costs.  GT Departments may order Institute Guest Plans by contacting support@buzzcard.gatech.edu if the guest has a gtID.  If an Institute Guest with a gtID desires a guest meal plan but is not a participant of a special program that includes a meal plan, the guest may purchase an individual guest plan by visiting the BuzzCard Center.  These purchases will be processed by BuzzCard Center onto student guest cards (if temporary) or BuzzCards (if enrolled at GT in a future semester) and communicated to Tech Dining’s Meal Plan Administrator to ensure plans are charged and managed by Tech Dining.
  • Meal Pass Plans: Block-style plans which include a pre-designated quantity of meals using “meal swipes” provided by the student’s BuzzCard. Students may purchase multiple meal pass plans within the same semester. The plan purchases may be sequential or may overlap. Meal pass plans may be purchased throughout the semester until approximately 4 weeks prior to semester end. Purchase dates are posted at dining.gatech.edu.  These plans also include pre-packaged Dining Dollars and BuzzCard Funds. Unused meal swipes will automatically roll over from Fall to Spring, and Dining Dollars will automatically roll over from Summer to Fall to Spring until all plans and Dining Dollars expire at the end of the Spring semester.
  • Traditional Plans: Provide for unlimited All You Care to Eat (AYCE) access to the residential dining locations (Brittain, North Avenue and West Village) during operating hours using the student’s BuzzCard. Traditional plan offerings include the Everyday Plan (seven days per week) and the Weekday Plan (Monday-Friday).  These plans also allow for one (1) daily swipe that can be used to take a meal “to-go” using the Institute’s standard to-go container as well as pre-packaged Dining Dollars and BuzzCard Funds.
  • Dining Dollar Plans: Dining Dollars come pre-packaged with most meal plan types; however, “Dining Dollar Plans” refer to meal plans consisting solely of Dining Dollars. For a minimum Dining Dollar purchase, bonus Dining Dollars may be granted. Dining Dollar Plans are plans used primarily for retail food purchases on campus, although Dining Dollars may also be used in lieu of traditional meal plan swipes at campus dining halls. Dining Dollar balances roll over from Summer to Fall and then to Spring semester.  Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, Dining Dollars purchased but not used as of the end of the Spring semester will expire and are not refunded back to the student’s Bursar account.  Unused bonus Dining Dollars will not be refunded.
  • Sales Taxes: Meals purchased under student meal plans (including Dining Dollars) are exempt from sales tax. Meals purchased with other types of plans (BuzzCard Funds, Faculty & Staff Dining Funds and Guest Meal Plans) are not exempt.
  • Student Meal Plans - Guest Meals: Student meal plans are for the sole use of the student to whom the plan is assigned. Meal plans afford students the opportunity to purchase meals at GT Dining campus locations free of sales tax. This is a privilege not available to non-registered students. For this reason, a student may not use his or her meal plan to purchase a meal for a guest. However, limited complimentary guest meal swipes may be offered in connection with some plans. Full meal plan descriptions, including available guest meals, are posted at dining.gatech.edu.
  • Student Account: The student’s account of all semester charges managed by the Office of the Bursar.
  • Meal Plan Administrator:  Students should direct all meal plan purchase and exchange issues to the Meal Plan Administrator at dining@gatech.edu. Tech Dining staff monitor all incoming communications and make every effort to respond no later than the following business day. The Meal Plan Administrator coordinates with BuzzCard, Housing, Athletics, Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and/or Dining Operations when appropriate to resolve specific concerns prior to issuing an official, final response to the support ticket.
  • Dining Operations: Tech Dining is responsible for food preparation and delivery, menu design, and general operation of dining facilities. Dining Operations posts detailed information on meal plans, meal service, and dining locations at dining.gatech.edu. Students should visit dining.gatech.edu to learn more about menus, locations, hours of operation, and dietary information. Students should direct any concerns regarding allergies or other dietary restrictions to dietitian@dining.gatech.edu.  Tech Dining’s meal plan administrator will work with Georgia Tech’s nutritionists to finalize the student’s restriction requests.
 

Student Meal Plan Purchases, Returns* & Effective Dates

 
  • Where to Purchase: Student meal plans may be purchased online at mealplan.gatech.edu.
  • First-year students living on Campus:  See First-years Housing Residents below for mandatory meal plan requirements
  • Upper Classmen and First-years living off campus: Meal plan purchase is voluntary.  Beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year, a student’s initial meal plan purchase in the Fall will be selected for the entire academic year (the student is committing to one plan for both Fall and Spring), with the same amount being charged in the fall and spring semesters, respectively.  If a student purchases more than one plan in the Fall, only the first plan will be committed to for the Spring. 
  • Multiple Plans and Mid-Semester Purchases: A student may purchase multiple Dining Dollar or block-style (“Meal Pass Plans”) if additional meals or funds are needed. Students may purchase such meal plans throughout the semester through the posted purchase end date. Meal plan pricing and purchase dates are posted at dining.gatech.eduUnused meal swipes will automatically roll over from the Fall to Spring until all plans expire at the end of the Spring semester.  Beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year, a student’s initial meal plan purchase in the Fall will be selected for the entire academic year (the student is committing to one plan for both Fall and Spring), with the same amount being charged in the fall and spring semesters, respectively.  If a student purchases more than one plan in the Fall, only the first plan will be committed to for the Spring.  

  • Payments and Returns*: Meal Plans may not be returned*. Beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year:
    • Students canceling or downgrading their voluntary meal plan to a lower cost plan may do so before the first day of meal service (8/17 for UpperClass students as well as First-year students) in the Fall 2022 semester and receive a full refund with no penalty. Changes after these deadlines will not receive a refund. 
    • Students planning to cancel their Spring meal plan after the first day of Fall meal service and during the approved change window will receive a 75% refund.
    • Students downgrading their Spring meal plan between the first day of Fall meal service and the first day of Spring meal service will be charged a fee that equals 25% of the original base meal plan cost (the cost of the meal plan swipes).
    • In other certain exceptional cases, Meal Plans may be exchanged due to demonstrated need for exchange through dining@gatech.edu. Upon exchange (or return), former meal plan charges will be pro-rated for the period of time in which former meal plan was active.  Exchanges (and returns) result in an additional $30 change fee to the student’s account. Meal plan charges are posted to student (Bursar) accounts and are payable according to standard semester due dates for tuition and fees, as posted on bursar.gatech.edu. Any meal plan charges generated after the due date for tuition and fees are due and payable immediately. Unpaid charges will result in registration and transcript holds.
  • Effective Dates: Meal plan purchases are effective on the first meal service date of each semester as posted at dining.gatech.edu. All Fall and Spring Traditional meal plans expire on the last day of each semester. All Fall Meal Pass meal swipe balances rollover and expire on the last day of the Spring semester along with Spring Meal Pass meal plan meal swipes. Summer Meal Pass swipes do not roll over to Fall.  Special terms apply to Dining Dollars (refer to Dining Dollar section below). Plans purchased after the first meal service date are effective within one hour of purchase
     
  • *Cancellation and Refunds – Change in Policy related to COVID-19 Pandemic Note: For the school years ’21-’22 and ’22-‘23, no Covid-related exceptions are deemed necessary for meal plan requirements.  The Institute will assess a like case going forward and, in conjunction with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, determine appropriate action.

     

 

Dining Dollars (Students):

  • Dining Dollars come pre-packaged with most meal plans. Dining Dollar only plans may also be purchased.
  • Students canceling or downgrading their Dining Dollar plan may do so before the first day of meal service (8/17 for UpperClass students as well as First-year students) in the Fall 2022 and receive a full refund with no penalty. Changes after these deadlines will not receive a refund (posted at dining.gatech.edu).     
  • Dining Dollar promotional bonuses may apply and are effective over the same dates as the corresponding Dining Dollar plan purchase (available for use upon depletion of the paid Dining Dollar account). The bonuses are not accepted at food truck locations or vending machines.
  • Dining Dollar plans may be purchased through the purchase end date posted at dining.gatech.edu.
  • Summer and Fall Dining Dollar purchases (including those pre-packaged with meal plans) roll forward to the Spring semester. Dining Dollars purchased but not used as of the end of the Spring semester will expire and are not refunded back to the student’s Bursar account. 
  • Bonus (or promotional) Dining Dollars will expire at the end of every Spring semester and will not be refunded back to the student under any circumstances.

 

BuzzCard Funds:

Certain meal plans may come prepackaged with BuzzCard funds. BuzzCard Funds purchased with meal plans do not expire and are refundable upon leaving the Institute (refer to the “BuzzCard Stored Value Account Disclosure of Semesters and Conditions”, available at buzzcard.gatech.edu/buzzcard-terms-and-conditions, for additional information).

 

Faculty & Staff Dining Funds:

Faculty & Staff Dining Funds are stored value, declining balance account funds accessed from the employee’s BuzzCard.  Deposits may be made at buzzcard.gatech.edu under the Faculty & Staff menu (“manage your account” button), or via payroll deduction election.

  • Purchases may not be cancelled or exchanged. 
  • Faculty & Staff Dining Funds do not expire and are refundable upon inactivation of Faculty/Staff BuzzCard.  Additional information is available at buzzcard.gatech.edu/buzzcard-terms-and-conditions.
  • Faculty & Staff Dining Fund promotional bonuses may apply and never expire.  Unused bonuses have no value upon inactivation of Faculty/Staff BuzzCard.
  • Funds never expire! Bonus account funds are accessed automatically when funds in the main account are depleted.  Bonus funds are not accepted at food truck locations or vending machines.

 

Student Athletes:

Georgia Institute of Technology Athletes are encouraged to consult with their Coach or the GTAA Compliance Office prior to purchasing any meal plans at dining.gatech.edu.

 

First-year Housing Residents

 
General:

All First-year residents are required to maintain a meal plan as directed during their Housing application process.  First-year residents who applied for Housing after the StarRez(¹) meal plan selection closing date are pre-assigned an Everyday Meal Plan. The Everyday Plan may be exchanged for a Weekday Plan until the day prior to the first meal service date of each semester (refer to dining.gatech.edu for posted service dates). No change fee shall apply to these exchanges. Plans may not be exchanged after this date. (¹)Please consult with GT Housing for more information on the StarRez Housing application process for all GT Housing residents.

 

Exceptions to First-year Resident Meal Plan Assignments:

 

Greek New Members:

  • First-year housing residents joining a Greek fraternity or sorority are required to maintain a meal plan during the term of their housing contract. A Greek meal plan is available to students who have joined a Greek house and who have completed a Greek meal plan request through the Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life by the date published by that office. The Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life will confirm new member status after which the meal plan administrator will process the exchange. (Refer to IV. Plan Exchanges & Refunds below.)
  • All Greek meal plan enrollments will be effective on a specific, published date. Until that date, the student’s original meal plan will remain in force.  This standardized processing period may take up to three weeks.  A student’s original meal plan charge will be prorated and charged to the student’s account for this processing period.  The Institute is unable to accommodate exceptions to this policy due to the variable nature of the Institute’s broad and diverse Greek culture.  Students are encouraged to utilize their original meal plan during this processing period to maximize the value of the plan they are required to purchase
  • If a student cancels his or her Greek membership, the student will be reassigned the original meal plan (see “Meal Plan Exchanges” for additional terms and conditions). A prorated cost will be charged to the student’s Bursar account.
  • Meal plan change fees apply ($30 for the current academic year).
 

Student Athletes:

  • Athlete scholar first-year housing residents will be assigned an athletics scholarship meal plan by the Athletic Association. Scholar athletes should not self-enroll in a meal plan as this will result in a charge to their student account.  Scholar athletes may purchase an additional meal plan through dining.gatech.edu but are encouraged to do so only after they have consulted with their Coach or the GTAA Compliance Office.
  • Non-scholar athletes may be eligible for a reduced meal plan based on travel and training schedules. The meal plan administrator works directly with the GT Athletics Association (GTAA) Compliance Office at the beginning of each semester to identify needs and challenges unique to each team and to establish reduced service plans where appropriate. Students should not submit individual exchange requests to the meal plan administrator but should direct any concerns or inquiries to their assigned Coach or to the GTAA Compliance Office.
 

Plan Exchanges and Refunds*

 
General:

Beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year:

    • Students canceling or downgrading their voluntary meal plan to a lower cost plan may do so before the first day of meal service (8/17 for UpperClass students as well as First-year students) in the Fall 2022 and receive a full refund with no penalty. Changes after these deadlines will not receive a refund (posted at dining.gatech.edu). 
    • Students planning to cancel their Spring meal plan after the first day of Fall meal service and during the approved change window will receive a 75% refund (posted at dining.gatech.edu).
    • Students downgrading their Spring meal plan between the first day of Fall meal service and the first day of Spring meal service will be charged a fee that equals 25% of the original base meal plan cost (the cost of the meal plan swipes (posted at dining.gatech.edu).

Should students desire more than original purchased quantities, multiple Dining Dollar and Meal Pass Plan purchases are permitted throughout the semester. Sales of these plans are available through the end date posted at dining.gatech.edu.  Summer and Fall Dining Dollar purchases (including those pre-packaged with meal plans) roll forward through the Spring semester.  Dining Dollars purchased but not used as of the end of the Spring semester will expire and are not refunded back to the student’s Bursar account. Bonus Dining Dollars are not refunded to the student’s account as these bonus dollars have no value.

 

Housing Resident Assistant Upgrades:

  • Special rules apply to Resident Assistants desiring to upgrade the meal pass plan awarded in connection with their GT Housing employment:
  • Resident Assistants must request an upgrade of their meal pass plan through the Resident Assistatant's Coordinator’s Office prior to the day before the first meal service date. (Meal service dates are posted at dining.gatech.edu.) The administrator will coordinate with the Housing Office to upgrade requested plans.
  • A Resident Assistant upgrade request submitted after the day before the first meal service date) shall only be honored for Resident Assistants hired after the day-before-first meal cut-off.  For a late upgrade of the Resident Assistant Meal Pass Plan for a larger Meal Pass Plan, the Resident Assistant shall be refunded for the full cost of his or her original plan and charged for the full cost of the new plan. A meal plan change fee applies ($30 for the current academic year). The full quantity of new plan meals shall be added to the student’s BuzzCard and shall not be reduced for meals already consumed under the original plan. In addition to this new plan charge and original plan refund, the student’s account shall be charged for the value of meals consumed under the original Meal Pass Plan at the original per meal cost. For a late upgrade of a Resident Assistant Meal Pass Plan to a traditional plan, meals used semester to date shall be treated as having been consumed under the traditional plan. (The traditional plan constructs shall be applied retroactively.) (Refer to the “Meal Plan Exchange Rules” below for additional terms and conditions.)
 

Traditional Meal Plans may be exchanged under the following limited circumstances*:

  • Exchange requests initiated prior to the day before the first meal service date of the semester.  See meal service dates posted at dining.gatech.edu. The meal plan change Fee does not apply to pre-semester exchanges.
  • Greek New Members who are also first-year Housing residents and who have elected the Greek meal plan may exchange their first-year resident plan for the Greek plan (see First-year Housing Residents above for more information). Exchange elections must be made in accordance with the procedures and established deadlines promulgated by the Fraternity & Sorority Life Office in partnership with the meal plan administrator. The Fraternity & Sorority Life Office disseminates information to House Leadership. Students should contact House Leadership or the Fraternity & Sorority Life Office with questions concerning the exchange process or deadlines. Original meal plan pro-rated fees apply to all meal plans until the date Greek plan is active.  A meal plan change fee applies ($30 for the current academic year).
  • Greek New Members who are Upper Class students and have purchased a higher-priced meal plan before joining, will be allowed to switch to a Meal Pass 100,150 or 200 plan.  A meal plan change fee applies ($30 for the current academic year).
  • Student Athletes joining a team for which the GTAA Compliance Office has arranged meal plans:
    • For GTAA Athletes (Scholar and Non-Scholar) desiring to change a meal pass plan prior to the day before the first meal service date, no change fee will apply:
    • For GTAA Athletes (Scholar and Non-Scholar) desiring to change a meal pass plan after the the day before the first meal service date of the semester, a meal plan change fee applies ($30 for the current academic year).
    • Walk-on Student Athletes joining a team for which the GTAA Compliance Office has arranged reduced meal plans. The Meal Plan Change Fee does not apply.
  • Other Qualifying Circumstances: Other than as described above, meal plan returns or exchanges are permitted only under significant extenuating circumstances such as student withdrawals, off-campus internships, hardship or the death of a student. For such unusual situations, submit a support ticket to the administrator at dining@gatech.edu. The meal plan change fee will generally apply under these circumstances.

 

*Cancellation and Refunds – Change in Policy related to COVID-19 Pandemic:

Note: For the school years ’21-’22 and ’22-‘23, no Covid-related exceptions are deemed necessary for meal plan requirements.  The Institute will assess a like case going forward and, in conjunction with the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia, determine appropriate action

 

Withdrawals from Housing or from the Institute: 

The student must first follow regular Institute procedures to record his or her official withdrawal from Housing or the Institute and then students are eligible for a pro-rated meal plan withdrawal as follows (All Meal Plan Exchange Rules noted within these Terms and Conditions apply): 

  • Only First-year residents withdrawing from Housing on or prior to the Institute’s official withdrawal deadline will be allowed to cancel or change their meal plans due to Housing withdrawal. Students canceling their meal plan after the first day of Fall or Spring meal service and during the approved change window will receive a 75% refund.
  • All students academically withdrawing from the Institute on or prior the Institute’s official withdrawal deadline are allowed to cancel their meal plans with a pro-rated refund.

Off-campus Internships: It is the responsibility of the student to provide appropriate documentation of the Internship to the meal plan administrator for any refund or exchange request.

 

Meal Plan Exchange Rules:

  • Beginning with the 2022-2023 academic year:
    • Students canceling or downgrading their voluntary meal plan to a lower cost plan may do so before the first day of meal service (8/17 for UpperClass students as well as First-year students) in the Fall 2022 and receive a full refund with no penalty. Changes after these deadlines will not receive a refund (posted at dining.gatech.edu). 
    • Students downgrading their Spring meal plan between the first day of Fall meal service and the first day of Spring meal service will be charged a fee that equals 25% of the original base meal plan cost (the cost of the meal plan swipes (posted at dining.gatech.edu).
  • A meal plan change fee does not apply to exchanges requested prior to the day before the Fall’s first meal service date (see posted service dates at dining.gatech.edu).
  • Meal pass plan exchanges are effective immediately
  • Meal plan prices include an administrative fee ($105/semester for Academic Years 2022-2023). This fee covers Institute overhead costs associated with administering meal plan programs. In the event of a meal plan exchange, the Administrative Fee is charged only once per semester. The Administrative Fee is excluded from exchange proration calculations and is not refundable.
  • Meal plans may come with a pre-designated amount of Dining Dollars and/or BuzzCard Funds (complete meal plan descriptions are available at dining.gatech.edu). Dining Dollars and BuzzCard Funds are not prorated in connection with a meal plan exchange. Should a student exchange for a plan that comes with fewer Dining Dollars or BuzzCard Funds but the student has already spent more than the new plan dollars, the excess used will be charged to the student’s account in addition to the new prorated meal plan cost.
  • The administrative fee, Dining Dollars, and BuzzCard funds are deducted before deriving per meal or per week values used in proration calculations.
  • Applicable charges and refunds are posted to the student’s account and will be due or refunded according to the standard schedules posted on the Office of the Bursar’s website. For transactions made after the posted deadline for payment of semester charges, net charges are due immediately. 
 

Policy Administration

 
General:

Administration of this policy is governed by Tech Dining (“Meal Plan Administrator”). Direct any Questions to dining@gatech.edu.