How the Dining Plans Work
Our dining plans are designed so that you can choose when, where, and what you want to eat in a way that best fits your schedule and dining needs. Your dining plan and DineXtra dollars, our declining balance program, are encoded on your Carnegie Mellon ID card, so you have easy access to your account wherever you go.
You can purchase traditional or community plans, which include blocks/meals (an entrée, side, and beverage) and a declining balance, called flexible dollars. You can also purchase DineXtra dollars along with a meal plan or just as DineXtra dollars alone.
Meals or Blocks
Graduate students who purchase a traditional or community dining plan are able to use their meals or blocks at any dining location. There are four meal periods per day - breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night. You can use one block/meal during each of these periods. Meals/blocks normally consist of an entrée, side dish, and a drink. When you are paying for your meal, the default order for payment is meals/blocks, flexible dollars, and then DineXtra and PlaidCash. Please inform the cashier if you would like to use a different order.
Flexible Dollars and DineXtra
Flexible dollars and DineXtra are extra cash that can be used at any point during the semester. Flexible dollars are built into your meal plan, whereas DineXtra is additional funds that can be purchased on top of your meal plan. Both can be used to upgrade your meals/blocks with special options like premium entrées or to purchase items a la carte at any of our dining locations. Flexible dollars and DineXtra can also be used at Entropy, our campus convenience store, to purchase grocery items and other sundries. In addition to dining on campus, we also partner with some popular off-campus dining locations.
Unused flexible dollars do not roll over to the next semester. DineXtra balances do roll over from the fall to the spring semester, but your account expires at the end of the spring semester.
Two guest meals are included in the green, blue, and red Traditional Plans each semester. They are not included with the community plans. You can use your guest meals on visitors or as an additional meal during one block. Guest meals can be redeemed at any time during the semester.