1. For more information, visit Meal Plan Terms and Conditions.
  2. All University Housing residents must have a meal plan while living on campus.
  3. Incoming students (freshmen and transfers) that have electronically signed their University Housing and Food Service Contracts are automatically assigned the Open Access Meal Plan. 
  4. Returning students living on campus will automatically be assigned the Base 14 meal plan.
  5. Meal plans begin at the beginning of each term when the dining centers open.
  6. All dining centers feature trayless, buffet-style and all you care to eat dining.
  7. Students may stay in a dining center throughout an entire meal period; however, one may not leave and re-enter that or any other dining center during the same meal. The only exception is for any student on the Open Access Meal Plan. 
  8. A "meal" is designated by each time a student uses their Wildcard to enter the dining center. 
  9. Cat Cash can be added to any meal plan at any time.
  10. Cat Cash purchases made by students are tax-exempt. Please tell the cashier that you are a student when making your Cat Cash purchases. 
  11. Cash and Credit Card purchases are charged taxes for faculty, staff, and guests.
  12. Students may also purchase items at designated retail locations using Dining Dollars or Cat Cash.
  13. There are five meal periods offered in dining centers. Please refer to Hours of Operations for more detailed information.
  • Breakfast and Lunch are offered Monday through Saturday.
  • Dinner is offered every day.
  • Brunch is offered on Saturday and Sunday in select locations.
  • Late-Night is offered Sunday through Thursday in select locations. 
  • When signing up for the commuter meal plan, you are signing up for the entire academic year.
  • You will be billed each quarter for 50 additional meals and $50 Dining Dollars at the approved rate. 
  • Unused meal swipes and Dining Dollar balances for the Commuter Meal Plan will rover from one quarter to the next as long as you are signed up for a meal plan.
    • If you cancel your plan for the following quarter, you will lose the remaining balance of meal swipes and Dining Dollars. 
    • This rollover feature is only available if students stay enrolled in the meal plan.
    • You can always upgrade to a larger meal plan without losing your remaining balances.
  • Unused meal swipes and Dining Dollars for all plans are non-refundable or are not transferable. 
  • All meal swipes and Dining Dollar balances will expire on the Friday before commencement at the end of the academic year.
  • When changing meal plans at the quarter your remaining balance of Dining Dollars will roll over to your new plan, in addition to what that plan already provides. 
  • Off Campus students, faculty, and staff are able to purchase any regular meal plan. 
    • It is your responsibility to monitor your meal plan usage.
  • Off Campus meal plan cancellations will be processed at the end of the quarter. 
  • There are no refunds for unused meals or Dining Dollars. 
  • Cat Cash requests made via the the Cat Cash Online Request Form are available immediately and are billed to your CAESAR account.
  • To cancel your Cat Cash Debit Account Plan, please use fill out our Cancellation Form, and mail, fax or email the form to the Food Service Office.
  • Cat Cash may be used for purchases in any dining hall or retail location on Evanston or Chicago campuses.
  • Cat Cash requests made via the Credit Card Online Form are not available for immediate use. Please allow up to three business days for credit card Cat Cash requests to be available for use.
  • Cat Cash purchases made by students are TAX-EXEMPT.
  • Cat Cash purchases made by Faculty and Staff will be charged taxes.
  • Cat Cash Debit Account Plans are encoded onto the University Wildcard ID.
  • The initial deposit requirement for individuals is $25.00, thereafter, additional funds may be deposited in open dollar amount increments.
  • Lost or stolen id cards must be reported to the University Food Service Office immediately so that the account balance may be placed on hold until a replacement card and number is issued.
  • The University is not responsible for losses to account balances due to the fraudulent use, theft, or ID loss.
  • Funds deposited into the Cat Cash Debit Account Plan do not expire until you leave the University.
  • Faculty, staff, and graduate student accounts do not expire as long as you are employed by the University.
  • The Auto-Refill option for undergraduate students is only to be offered when using the online form that bills to your CAESAR Account. Account balances, including those of inactive accounts, expire upon date of graduation and are forfeited.
  • Cat Cash Debit Account Plan balances of $26.00 or more may be refunded upon written request, to the University Food Service Office. There is a $25.00 processing fee to get your refund. Balances are not transferable and it may take up to two weeks for the credit to appear in your student account.

Please review our brochure for information regarding meal plan pricing and rates.

To change your meal plan, please print and complete the Meal Plan Change Form by the designated date, then either scan and email the form to Northwestern Dining or bring the completed form to us at 600 Haven St., Office J147, Evanston, IL 60201.
Applicable taxes will be applied when entering a dining hall using Cash or Credit Card. Students entering Dining Centers using Cat Cash or Dining Dollars, will not be subject to taxes.
With Wildcard: Breakfast $7.75 | Lunch 9.95 | Brunch $12.15 | Dinner $12.15 | Late-Night $8.95
Without Wildcard: Breakfast $8.05 | Lunch $10.30 | Brunch $12.60 | Dinner $12.60 | Late-Night $9.25
Arrangements for meal contracts are made with the Food Service office on Northwestern University's Evanston Campus. Contact us directly here:
Food Service Office
Evanston Campus
600 Haven St., Office J147
Evanston, IL 60201