What are 2020-21 meal plan costs and considerations?
|Plan Type||Annual Cost||Notes|
|Blue||Block of 265 meals + $150 DCB||$3,053 per semester||Required for incoming students, sophomores and juniors; default plan for residential students|
|Gold||Block of 185 Baker meals + $75 DCB or Block of 125 Baker meals + $300 DCB||$2,634 per semester||Alternate option for seniors.|
|Apartments||Block of 75 meals + $350 DCB||$1,684||Available to residents of campus apartments/houses with in-unit kitchens|
How many meal equivalents do the Blue and Gold plans offer? What is the price per meal?
A lunch selection at Jitters or BAC averages about $7 for an entree, side and beverage. At that cost:
- $150 in DCBs adds an additional 21 retail meals to the blue plan option for a total of 286 meals in the semester, or 20 meals a week on average
- $75 in DCBs adds an additional 11 retail meals to the first gold plan option for a total of 196 meals in the semester, or 14 meals a week on average
- $300 in DCBs adds an additional 43 retail meals to the second gold plan option for a total of 168 meals in the semester, or about 12 a week on average
- at the $3,053 semesterly rate, 286 semester meals averages a retail cost of about $10.66 each and at $2,634 196 semester meals averages a retail cost of about $13.50 each.
- the 2020-21 DCB cost of a Baker breakfast is $6.60, lunch is $10.30 and dinner is $12.40
- the average retail DCB transaction at Jitters and BAC in 2019-20 was just over $4
How can I change my meal plan?
Meal plan selection takes place on Eagle's Nook. The Office of Residential Life provides instructions for 'how to change your meal plan' here: How to Change Your Meal Plan
Were students consulted in designing plans for 2020-21?
Yes, student voices were incorporated in a number of ways. But circumstances related to COVID-19 and limitations on meal service and protocols from the PA Department of Education created essential changes over which institutional control is limited. Administrators worked with student leaders and class officers last year to consider options and incorporate student preferences into the final range of plans offered. Additionally:
- just over 600 students responded with feedback about their experiences with dining services and preferences for meal plan design in Fall 2019. This was additional information that contributed to progress and priorities in comparison to a May 2019 survey in which 300 students gave feedback,
- students’ selection of and use patterns of current plans were considered,
- the culinary committee of students that meet regularly and discuss issues and ideas related to dining was consulted
Do plans include guest meals?
Students may use DCB, cash, or credit to purchase access for guests.
Where can I use my DCB?
Just as has been the case in prior years, DCB can be used at all retail operations. DCBs remaining from fall semester roll over to spring semester; DCBs remaining at the end of the academic year expire.
I am a commuter. Do I have to buy a plan?
If you are a commuter and do not live in a residence owned by the College, you do not have to purchase a meal plan. Commuters may elect a meal plan, however, because we know commuters often end up wanting to stay into the evenings for activities, to study, to participate in athletics, and the like. The Apartments plan is available for commuters and provides them the ability to participate more fully in College life without dining constraints.
I am a student teacher. Do I have to buy a plan?
Student teachers may elect for any of the available plans – Blue, Gold or Apartments - or may elect to use DCB at the point of sale during their term of student teaching. DCBs may be added at the Business Office.
I'm having trouble affording this. What can I do?
As always, we encourage those experiencing financial hardship or distress or who have questions about options to visit the Dean of Students office or the Office of Student Financial Planning to discuss remedies, options, and strategize support.
What if I don't have time to eat in Baker? Can people grab and go from Baker?
If your class schedule, work commitments or schedule limits your ability to dine in Baker, you can pick up a meal and take it with you. Block meals can be exchanged for retail items at Jitters and BAC during lunch hours to afford additional flexibility. Students who have a need to pick up food and take it with them will have options to do so.
Can I use my unlimited plan at retail operations (Jitters, Café Ala Carte, Brewed Awakenings)?
Retail operations accept meal swipes during lunch hours through an exchange equivalent, as well as DCBs, which are included with meal plan options. Retail operations also accept cash and credit purchases.
How can food insecurity possibly be an issue at a school like Juniata?
Juniata students arrive on campus from all walks of life, and family incomes for many students are modest. Virtually every student on campus receives financial aid, including grants and scholarships funded by alumni and friends of the College who realize the lifelong value of a Juniata education and seek access for the best and brightest students without regard to financial need. Students and families, as well, make sacrifices and choices to fund attendance. The receipt of financial aid and employment on or off-campus, however, does not always sufficiently insulate students from issues of hunger.
National data has drawn more attention to issues of food insecurity among college students (Dubick, Mathews & Cady, 2016). Research shows clearly that a considerable number of students sacrifice quantity and quality of food, and the result is diminished educational opportunity. Hunger detracts from biological processes that accommodate learning; anxiety about securing food resources disrupts educational engagement; time spent working additional hours and jobs, and applying for and receiving food assistance, detracts from educationally purposeful activities; the result of individual food insecure students has ripples that disrupt learning for peers and others with whom they live, learn, and interact.
Research also underscores that participation in a meal plan doesn’t eliminate food insecurity: 43% of food insecure students were meal plan enrollees on limited or restrictive plans. Further, food insecurity was associated with other factors that impact and complicate retention and graduation rate, creating multiple possibilities for marginalization for students who are first generation, from lower income families, or underrepresented by race.
Data collected by the College affirms that the experience of Juniata students reflects these national trends, and students struggle, visibly or invisibly, to find enough food to meet basic needs. Some of these hungry students are meal plan enrollees. The College has and will continue to assist food insecure students and others through individualized contact, targeted support, intentional programming, and College policy and practice.
The shift towards an inclusive and unlimited meal plan that serves more students more broadly is a policy and practice opportunity to reduce food insecurity dramatically. The plan will provide wide access to fresh and nutritious food made available in numerous service locations for 16 hours per day. Just as our campus housing requirements assure that students have safe, secure, and appropriate living environments that support their academic engagement and reduce housing insecurity and student homelessness, the revised meal program will provide far greater assurance that students have access to adequate food resources.
I love to cook and I want to be independent and learn life skills like shopping, budgeting, and cleaning up after myself.
The Office of Residential Life may be able to provide or suggest housing options that incorporate more independence and kitchen access, such as residency in Pink, Mission or other campus apartments or houses. We know demand for these types of spaces exceeds our ability to fully provide them. To that end, some kitchen and food preparation space is available in many or most traditional halls, although the infrastructure of those facilities could not support the volume of use that would be required if meal plan access was not universal. Some students who want the kind of full independence that off-campus living provides will not be able to experience it until after they leave Juniata.
I eat frequently at Global Village. Can I get the lower meal plan?
Residency in Global Village does not enable students to opt for the Apartments rather than a Blue/Gold meal plan. However, the Global Village does benefit from students' election of the Blue plan, and some of the ingredients formerly sourced externally are now acquired through dining services and help contribute to a stronger and more vibrant Global Village program.