The benefits of off-campus housing for students usually outweigh staying in the residence halls but with the perks come the extra responsibilities, such as buying and cooking your own food. UO Housing looks to change that by offering a new plan for off-campus students starting this year.
“We were looking at what we were offering our students and faculty, and we wanted to see how we could expand our options even more for other students,” said UO Housing Marketing Director Lauren Miller.
The UO is the first university in the state to offer a meal plan designated specifically for off-campus students. Meal plans range from 10 to 100 meals per year.
The 10-meal plan can be purchased for $65, 25 meals for $156, 50 for $300 and 100 for $600. Miller says that the meal plan is designed to save a student an average of $2.50 a meal if they were to buy a meal without the plan. For example, if you were to buy the 25 meal option at $156, that would come out to being $6.25 per meal instead of the $8 average.
Even though the meal plan might save some money when it comes to eating at any of the nine university dining venues, some students say that the price is still relatively costly for the amount of food you get in return.
“It sounds good, but at the same time, paying 600 bucks for 100 meals kind of seems pricey if you think about that $600 being what I pay in like 4 months for groceries,” said UO senior Anna Morehouse.
Like many students, Morehouse lived on campus when she was a freshman and has been living off campus since her sophomore year. She said she likes that the plan offers students easy access to food on campus, but the price is too much for her. For sophomore Jeremy Mosier, the accessibility to the plan is enough for him to sign up.
“I actually signed up for the 50 meal plan on Tuesday,” Mosier said. With his hand-me-down bike as his only mode of transportation, Mosier doesn’t plan on going back and forth from the university and his apartment on 24th Avenue, especially with his schedule.
“I’m taking like 16 credits or something like that, and I work over at the Rec Center and the hours there can be anything between 6 a.m. and midnight,” Mosier said. “I don’t think it’s that expensive. I mean I’d probably be eating lunch somewhere on 13th and paying even more if I didn’t do the plan.”
The 100 meal plan comes with the “golden mug” deal. The golden mug deal gives students unlimited refills on coffee and soda.
“The plan is getting a lot more people signing up sooner than we expected,” Driscoll said. “I think we’re at 80 applicants right now since Monday.”
Those interested in applying can find the application on the dining page under meal plans on UO’s housing website.