Frequently Asked Questions

Dining Halls

What forms of payment do dining facilities accept?

Board Meals Flex Points, Obie Dollars, Student/Faculty Charge Cash Guest Meal Tickets Other Options
Stevenson F.A.S.T. Program
Dascomb F.A.S.T. Program
Lord/Saunders F.A.S.T. Program
Wilder Decafé
Science Center Cart
Azariah's Cafe (No Flex) Guest Card (machine accepts $1, $5, $10, $20 bills)

Guest Meal Tickets can be purchased at the Wilder Student Union Desk, the Office of Admissions, and the Office of Residential Education and Dining Services. The following prices apply to both paper meal tickets and meals purchased with Flex Points, Obie Dollars, or Student/Faculty/Staff Charge. For more information, see the Visitor Meals page.

Breakfast Lunch/Dinner
Adults 13 and over $4.50 $7.50
Children 6 - 12 $2.00 $4.50
Children 5 and under Free Free

Can I take food out of the Dining Halls?

At our "all-you-can-eat" dining halls (Stevenson and Lord/Saunders), students are free to take a piece of fruit, cookie, or ice cream cone with them at the conclusion of a meal. Entrées must be consumed in the dining hall. At Dascomb Dining Hall, you may purchase food and then either consume it there or take it with you. See the Dascomb Reusable Container Program for related information.

I want to treat a friend to a meal. Can any part of my meal plan pay for this?

Board meals cannot be used to purchase meals for guests, but you may use Obie Dollars, Student Charge, cash (where accepted), or the Flex Points that come with certain meal plans.

Meal Plans

How do Meal Plans work?

All students are required to be on a meal plan for the duration of their time at Oberlin.

Board meals can be used at any dining hall that accepts board meals. You can only use one board meal on your card per meal period (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night), regardless of location. If you run out of board meals, you can pay for additional meals using Flex Points or Obie Dollars; refer to the information below.

Please see the Meal Plans page for the different meal plans and their rates. Students with at least 4 semesters in residence, and students who live off-campus or in Village housing, are eligible for meal plans with fewer meals per week.

Which plan should I choose?

Students with at least 4 semesters in residence have a choice of meal plan. When choosing a meal plan, first assess your eating habits. Meal plans with more meals per week work well for students who eat meals regularly and consistently; meal plans with fewer meals work well for students whose meal schedules vary from day to day and week to week. Meal plans with fewer meals also come with more flex points, which enable students to eat meals at a greater variety of dining facilities.

The Meal Plan Calculator can help you choose a meal plan based on how many meals you consume per week.

Can I change meal plans if I made the wrong choice?

Students with at least 4 semesters in residence are able to switch meal plans during the first two weeks of each semester. Requests can also be made during Summer or Winter Term that will take effect at the beginning of the upcoming semester.

Students switching between OSCA and CDS may do so every two weeks during the semester, pending acceptance into/release from a co-op.

For more information and specific deadlines, please see the Meal Plan Changes page.

Why are meal plans more expensive than purchasing meals separately?

All students are required to help pay for the cost of the dining program, as part of the educational experience of a residential college. The charge includes fixed costs (labor, utilities, maintenance) of running dining halls, as well as variable costs (food, supplies) of what students consume.

Obie Dollars and Flex Points

What are Obie Dollars?

Obie Dollars is a debit account built into your ID card that can be used instead of cash at CDS dining facilities, copy machines and printers across campus, select campus offices, and at designated downtown merchants. Money may be added to the Obie Dollars account at the ID Card Office in Stevenson-Biggs, at a card dispenser in any of the four campus libraries, or with a credit card on the ID Card Office website.

Do Obie Dollars roll over between semesters?

Yes, Obie Dollars roll over from year to year and you can use them at any point during your academic career at Oberlin College. If you have any remaining balance when you leave Oberlin College, you will be refunded all monies above any college term bill liabilities.

What are CDS Flex Points?

The Flex Points program is a debit account built into meal plans (1 flex point = 1 dollar). Flex Points may be used to purchase food at our à la carte dining facilities or additional meals at other CDS dining facilities. Please refer to the Meal Plans page to determine how many Flex Points come with each meal plan.

Do Flex Points roll over between semesters?

CDS Flex Points roll over from Fall semester to Spring semester, but not between academic years. Any Flex Points left in your account at the end of Spring Semester will be lost.

How are Flex Points allotted over the course of the school year?

Flex Points are deposited to your account near the beginning of each month on dates listed on the Flex Points Schedule. As long as you remain on a CDS meal plan, Flex points continue to accumulate until the end of the Spring Semester.