Questions about Flex, Meals, and Account Balances

Given the emergency conditions and subsequent campus closures last week, Columbia Dining responded quickly to ensure dining plan holders had continued service. Students may have questions about Flex, Meals, and Account Balances following the changes. Here are answers to common questions. 

May 08, 2024

On 4/30, Dining converted 8 meals to $80 Flex and transferred to student accounts for off-campus grocery, food, or delivery costs during campus closures. This transfer was made to all dining plan holders, regardless of dining plan type or account balance.

8 swipes for $80 Flex was not calculated as a per meal refund, but determined as an average price across the varying dining plans and taking into account fixed operating costs.

On 5/2 students who qualified (based on financial aid status, residence location, and account balance) received an additional conversion of meals to Flex. This amount varied depending on the student.

Check SSOL for to review your student account. If this doesn’t match your own accounting or if you have questions, please reach out to Columbia Dining to request a reconciliation.

In particular, students on term based plans (set number of meals for fall and spring term), should be aware of meal expirations and how rollover meals work

  • It should be noted that SSOL only shows a student's meal balance for the current term. In the case of students who are on term plans, unused meals expire at the end of the fall term.

  • As a courtesy, Dining rolls unused meal swipes over to the spring term. However, rollover meals won’t appear on a student’s spring term account balance in SSOL. They can still be used as meal swipes, but do not have a monetary value (in this case, to be converted to Flex) as they are expired meals.

With access restored to all Dining Plan holders on 5/8/24, we are unable to offer any additional meal to Flex conversions.