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Cornell University

Meal Plan FAQs

What is the meal plan week?

All meal plans run from Thursday to Wednesday each week. Changes take effect only on Thursdays.

Do unused meals carry over each week?

No, remaining unused meals do not carry over each week and must be used during the meal plan week, or they’re lost.

Can I use a meal swipe or BRBs for someone else?

No, meal swipes and BRBs are for the individual student’s use only. Each meal plan comes with 4 or 8 guest meals that may be used for guests. 

How can I change my meal plan?

For the Fall 2022 semester, you can change your meal plan by September 7, 2022 (February 8, 2023 for spring semester) for those students who are eligible. Click the Apply for a Meal Plan link. Follow the instructions and prompts to enroll in your new meal plan. First-year students may not change or cancel meal plans. Transfer students may reduce to the Bear Traditional plan only. Students living in the West Campus House System may not change or cancel meal plans.

How can I change after the deadline?

After September 7, 2022 (February 8, 2023 for spring semester) you can no longer reduce your meal plan, but you can upgrade at any time by emailing

How can I cancel my meal plan entirely?

Meal plan cancellations are accepted for new students only by February 8, 2022 for the spring semester. Email First-year and transfer students may not cancel meal plans.

Can I have a meal plan for just one semester?

All Dining meal plans are for a full academic year. Plans automatically renew for the spring semester.

Can I cancel my meal plan if I take a leave of absence?

Students taking a leave of absence should email the leave date to Your meal plan will be canceled and prorated based on either the last date of usage or your leave date, whichever is later. 

What if I change my room?

Meal plans may be changed for students who move into, or out of, West Campus. All students who move into the West Campus House System will be enrolled in a West Campus House Meal Plan. Students leaving the WCHS cannot cancel their meal plan, but may change to another meal plan.

How can I cancel my meal plan for the spring semester?

Meal plans for the spring semester may only be canceled by students who will not be at the University for the semester, for example for study abroad, internships, leave of absence, or graduation. Meal plans for the spring may be reduced until February 8, 2023 for those students who are eligible.

When are meal plan changes reflected on my Bursar account?

All cost adjustments will be applied to a student’s Bursar account within 7-10 business days after the change takes effect.

Will I get a full refund of my previous meal plan?

Credits for meal plan changes are prorated on a weekly basis.

How do debit meal plans work?

Debit meal plans offer a specific number of meals per semester (rather than per week) that can be used in any of the dining rooms, plus a specific value in Big Red Bucks (one BRB equals $1) that can be used at any Dining location on campus.

What are Big Red Bucks?

BRBs are a dollar-for-dollar, tax-exempt, declining debit plan. Each BRB equals $1.

Where can I use Big Red Bucks?

BRBs can be used at any Cornell Dining location on campus (but not at non-Dining eateries) and in many vending machines. BRBs can only be used for food purchases.

Do my Big Red Bucks carry over?

Unused BRBs carry over from fall semester to spring semester during the same academic year, and are available along with BRBs that come with the spring semester. Big Red Bucks do not carry over from academic year to academic year. Unused BRBs expire at the end of the spring semester.

How do I add BRBs?

Students may add funds to their Big Red Bucks account at any time, or ask a friend or family member to add funds, at, but should take care not to add more BRBs than they will use.

Can I have a refund for unused BRBs?

Big Red Bucks are non-refundable and non-transferable. Unused BRBs expire at the end of the spring semester.