Ferris provides many practical-priced dining options that work well for every student.
There are four meal plans which include 14 traditional, Crimson, Gold, and Platinum. Another option Ferris offers for students is express meals.
Meal plans are a huge part of your tuition bill and eliminating that one cost saves thousands of dollars which is a high priority for college students.
The difference in price between the meal plans and the express meals are so different, and it makes students wonder what really goes into setting those prices.
Scott Rosen, director of dining services, made it easier to understand why those prices are so high and different from each other.
“One consideration is our average cost per meal, per student,” Rosen said. “With an “all you care to eat” plan, we consider the average amount of times a student will come to eat in a given week or day.”
With this only being one aspect behind the prices, there are many more like costs for operations, repairs, and replacements for the building and equipment and paying the staff at an hourly rate.
Another aspect is the meals plan prices at other universities that are similar to Ferris to make sure they do not under or over charge students.
As for the express meals, each student is paying for an exact number of meals. When others who have a meal plan are paying unlimited meals or a reset of 14 meals every week.
“The meal plans vary in cost to the express plans because of quantity differences,” Rosen said. “Outside of the 14 traditional, we do not know how many meals students will use.”
Ferris offers many options so that students can choose the best fit for them regarding price and number of meals.
Gold and Platinum meal plans offer unlimited swipes, dining dollars, and guest meal swipes. While 14 Traditional offers a student 14 swipes a week and Crimson offers unlimited swipes.
“Through careful budgeting, Ferris has minimized cost increases to keep dining options more affordable and in some cases cheaper than other institutions,” Rosen said.
Emma Lentz, social work major and sophomore, had a meal plan her first year at Ferris. She got rid of it this year because she is now living off-campus and she found it cheaper and more convenient to buy her own groceries.
“I just thought it wasn’t the best idea for me, I only have classes three days a week so I’m not on campus every day,” Lentz said. “And I don’t think I would want to drive to campus just to eat so this year, I didn’t think it was worth it.”
Being a student is busy and sometimes it is hard to find the time or motivation to cook. Having a meal plan can really come in handy, and saving money is a viable option here at Ferris.
“I don’t always want to cook, as college students we have crazy schedules,” Lentz said. “[Cooking is] really time-consuming and usually when I get home, I just don’t have the energy to make something good. So, I do miss the meal plan in that aspect.”
If a student does not find a meal plan fit for them, they still have the choice of buying express meals for much cheaper.
“I think the express meals are definitely a better idea, especially if you’re a sophomore and you live off-campus,” Lentz said. “Or even if you live on campus, and you know that you just won’t use the meal plan as much as you did when you were a freshman.”
Express meals are convenient for students who are on and off-campus throughout the week. They are a good alternative to having a meal plan.
“I’m definitely thinking about getting expressed meals because when you’re on campus in between classes, it’d be perfect to not have to run home and prepare yourself some food,” Lentz said.
With all these options, students are not limited to all or nothing and can choose what works best for them instead of having to settle.