First-Year Dining Plans

Making Sure You're Well Fed At Columbia

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Required for First-Year Students

All First-Year students at Columbia College and SEAS are required to enroll in one of three First-Year Dining Plans.

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Building Community

Available to First-Year CC/SEAS students only, these plans are specifically designed to encourage community building among new undergraduate students.

First-Year Plan Highlights

Each First-Year Dining Plan includes*:

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Flexible Meal Options
  • 15 or 19 meals per week, which can be redeemed at John Jay Dining Hall, Ferris Booth Commons, JJ's Place, Chef Mike's Sub Shop, Chef Don's Pizza Pi, or Faculty House. These meals expire each week and reset each Sunday.
  • 10 - 15 floating meals per term that can be used at the dining halls. Use floating meals when your exceed your weekly allotment, at any time within the term.
  • 6 guest meals per term for when family and friends come to visit.
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Dining Dollars

Most plans include Dining Dollars, which can be used just like cash at any of our on-campus dining locations. Dining Dollars are tax free, rollover year-to-year, and expire upon your graduation.

  • All plans include 25 - 125 Dining Dollars per term.
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Some plans include Flex in addition to or instead of Dining Dollars. Flex allows you put money into an account that you can spend using your University ID card at all Columbia Dining locations, as well a number of other merchants on- and off-campus and for online food delivery.

  • Plan 3 Flex is the only First-Year Dining Plan that includes Flex.
  • Plan 3 Flex includes the lowest number of Dining Dollars but also includes a credit of $50 per term to Flex, which will roll over year-to-year if unused. 

*The specific number of meals, Dining Dollars, and Flex vary depending on the Dining Plan selected.

First-Year Plan Comparison AY 23-24

First-Year Plan Comparison AY 24-25*

*Academic Year 2024-25 costs are a projection. Final rates pending.

Select or Review Your First-Year Dining Plan

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Sign-Up Through the Housing Portal

First-Year Dining Plans are selected within the Columbia Undergraduate Housing Portal over the summer. Dining Plan selection typically becomes available in July. Once your Dining Plan has been selected, there are no cancellations.

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Dining Plan Changes

Students have the opportunity to change their Dining Plan during the Dining Plan Change Period, typically the first two weeks of each term. 

You can review your plan selection on our Dining Plan Selection site.