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Meal Plan Frequently Asked Questions

Otis College Meal Plans, Dining Dollars and Owl Dollars

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions around meal plans, dining dollars, and owl dollars. If you have additional questions or want more details regarding the answers below, please reach out to B. McKinney directly. B's office is located in Elaine's or she can be emailed at


The entire Bon Appetit team want to make your dining experience enjoyable! If you have questions, comments, feedback, or suggestions, please let any Bon Appetit staff know!

  • How will students dining services be modified in order to maximize safety?

    Bon Appetit, our dining services partner, is preparing a dining experience that supports health and well-being, safety, and physical distancing guidelines. Students will have access to GET Foods App, which allows users to view menus and pictures of food items and order meals for delivery, and pay with campus dining funds.

    During the campus closure, Elaine’s Dining will continue to take online orders and have pre-packaged food for purchase for our residential students. Food delivery will be carried out by dining staff. Residents living in Ascent and Park West will be able to receive their orders in a commons space drop off location which will be shared by residence life staff.

  • How will the meal plan work with these changes?

    Meal plans will be converted to a declining balance. Students will be able to use the declining balance to purchase food or grocery items throughout the fall semester. An exhaustive list will be provided to students who have purchased a meal plan.

  • Can I still purchase a commuter meal plan?

    With the changes for this semester, we will not be offering a commuter meal plan in the fall. Students can purchase food through Bon Appetit while on campus with cash, card, or Owl Dollars. 

  • Am I required to have a meal plan?

     All Residential students are required to have a meal plan while living on campus. First year students are required to have at least a 14-meal plan and returning students are required to have at least a 10-meal plan.

  • I do not live in housing but would like to purchase a meal plan. What do I need to do?

    At this time, students who are not in housing are encouraged to put Owl Dollars on their OneCard. Owl Dollars can be added online by logging onto your account through GET. Owl Dollars are accepted at both dining facilities on campus.

  • How do the meal plans work?

    The number of the meal plan selected is how many meals a student will receive each week. Meals last from Sunday through Saturday. If a student selects the 14 meal plan, they will be able to swipe a meal 14 times between Sunday through Saturday. The meal number will reset every Sunday.

  • What are the hours?

     Students have the ability to use only one meal swipe during set time frames for each meal period.

    • Elaine’s Dining Commons is open:
    • Monday through Friday between 7:00 am – 10:00am and 11:00am – 7:45pm.
    • Saturday and Sunday between 10:30am – 7:45pm
    • Otis College Café is open:
    • Monday through Friday between 7:00am – 10:00pm
  • Is there a place where i can check out the menu each week?

    Menus are available weekly on Bon Appetit's website

  • I have a special diet, Can the dining hall make accommodations?

    On the bottom of Bon Appetit's website there is a space where you can request to talk to a dietitian. You can also meet with the Chef and General Manager to make arrangements. There is a vegetarian option offered daily at the Classics Station, vegan options available at the deli, vegan desserts options (including ice cream!), and more are available in Elaine’s daily.

  • Can i purchase prepackaged food or beverages with a meal?

    Meals cannot be used to buy prepackaged foods, but may be purchased with Dining Dollars or Owl Dollars. The Café does allow a meal to be used for prepackaged food during the Meal Exchange periods.

  • What is the mean exchange program in the Cafe?

    The Meal Exchange program allows students to use a meal swipe in the Café when Elaine’s is not open (10:00am – 11:00am & 7:45pm – 10:00pm). The meal swipe includes one entrée, two sides, and one beverage. More details about what is included in the Meal Exchange program are listed at the Café and on Bon Appetit's website.

  • What are Dinning Dollars

    Dining Dollars are bonus money added to a students’ ID card when they purchase a 17, 14, or 10 meal plan. Students who purchase a 14 or 17 meal plan will receive $150 dining dollars each semester. Students on the 10 meal plan will receive $100 dinning dollars a semester. Dining Dollars only work in Elaine’s and the Otis College Café.

  • What are OWL dollars?

    Owl Dollars can be loaded onto a student’s OneCard and work like a declining balance account. Funds added to your account do not earn interest. Owl Dollars can be used for purchases in both Elaine’s and the Otis College Café. Residential students can also use Owl Dollars to pay for their laundry. In the next few months, Otis College will be implementing Owl Dollar purchases at the Graphaids Store, campus vending machines, and print center/labs. More information about Owl Dollars can be found online.

  • What is the difference between Dining Dollars and Owl Dollars?

    Dining Dollars are added to your student OneCard with the purchase of a meal plan that can be used in the two on-campus dining facilities. Owl Dollars is added to your student OneCard by you or a family member that can be used in the dining facilities, but also around campus such as for doing laundry in the residence hall.

  • Where can I check how many Dining Dollars I have?

    You may retrieve your OneCard transaction history and view account balances by logging onto your account at GET or by asking the cashier as you checkout.

  • Can i add more money to Dining Dollars?

    No additional money can be added to your Dining Dollars account. Money can be added as Owl Dollars, though, which can be used in the Café and Elaine’s.

  • Is there a refund on any unused Dining Dollars?

    There will not be a refund on any unused Dining Dollars.

  • Do the Dining Dollars expire?

     Dining Dollars will carry over from a student’s first semester in housing, to the second semester in housing as long as they are consecutive semesters. If a student leaves housing, but remain at Otis College, the dining dollars will expire once they move out of housing.

  • Can I add more money to Owl Dollars?

    Add Owl Dollars onto your OneCard by going to GET and paying with a credit card or go to an Add Value Station (AVS) located in both the Student Life Center and the 2nd floor of Ahmanson Hall and pay with cash. No change is given from an AVS. Deposits made online or at an AVS will be available immediately on your account. The minimum amount of Owl Dollars you can place per transaction is $10.00 and the maximum is $500. The maximum total amount of funds a student can have on their OneCard is $2,500.

  • Where can I check how many Owl Dollars I have?

    You may retrieve your OneCard transaction history and view account balances by logging onto your account at GET.

  • Is there a refund if i do not use all of my Owl Dollars?

    Once Owl Dollars are loaded onto your OneCard, these funds remain on your OneCard until they are spent, or until you are no longer enrolled as an Otis student. Refunds are not permitted while you are enrolled, so carefully consider how much money you place on your card. Unused funds roll over from semester to semester as long as you are enrolled as an Otis student. A refund of Owl Dollars can only be processed if you have more than $10 on your OneCard and you are no longer an Otis College student (due to graduation or withdrawal/leave of absence). If you meet these requirements, please complete a OneCard Refund Application. The Business Office will review the Application and, upon approval, move the amount to your Student Account. The funds will be used to pay any outstanding charges on your Student Account. If a credit balance remains once all charges are paid, we will issue a refund within 2-4 weeks. Applications must be received within 90 days of graduation or withdrawal/leave of absence from Otis College.

  • Is there a way to offer suggestions or provide feedback to Bon Appetite?

    Bon Appetit is new on Otis College’s campus and wants your feedback and suggestions! The best way to provide this information is contacting Amanda Noble directly. On the bottom of Bon Appetit's website there is also a space where you can leave a Café Comment or Fill Out a Satisfaction Survey.

  • Can I change my meal plan?

    You are able to change your meal plan options beginning the first day of class through the first two weeks of each semester. Residential students can only increase their plan not decrease to a smaller plan. This window of time should allow you the opportunity to determine if you are signed-up for the correct meal plan once you have had a chance to dine in Elaine’s. Once the second week of school has passed, you will not be allowed to change your meal plan until the next semester. To change your meal plan option, please visit the Office of Residence Life and Housing.

  • Is there a refund offered if I do not use all of my meals?

    Any meals not used each week for forfeited. Meals do not carry over from week to week. If you elect to move out of housing or are dismissed/removed from housing but remain enrolled at Otis College, you are required to maintain your meal plan level for the remainder of the semester that you left housing. No changes or refunds will be permitted. If you take a leave of absence or fully withdraw from the semester, you will be granted a refund based on the last meal date. The day that students move out of housing will determine the student’s last meal. A refund will be issued based on the remaining days left in the board plan.