Fall Welcome Dining

Dining Dollars

Dining Plan Logistics

Allergies, Food Intolerances, Special Diets

General Questions

Terrapin Express

Anytime Dining Information

Back to top



How does Fall Welcome dining work?

Students admitted to the university who have accepted housing with Resident Life are automatically enrolled in a pre-semester event known as  “Fall Welcome.” Fall Welcome access is an addition to the dining plan that provides access to dining during this orientation period, before semester access opens.

Dining Dollars logo_128px


Dining Dollars

Why would I want Dining Dollars?

  • To change things up
    • Grab a quick lunch or some Starbucks in one of twenty cafés located in classroom buildings.
    • Stop by one of two campus food courts — Chick fil-A, Sbarro, and Subway in the Stamp Student Union or Subway, Taco Bell, and E+M Café in Glenn Martin Engineering.
    • We serve great food at 42 stations in three dining halls, but an occasional change of pace is a good thing.
  • To grab a meal on the go
    • If there are days you know you would not make it to the dining halls at lunchtime, or if you’re away from campus in the middle of the day, you can use Dining Dollars to pack a meal on the go from one of the convenience stores, cafés or franchise locations.
  • To stock up on snacks, supplies,  etc. for your room
    • Six campus convenience shops accept Dining Dollars. Grab some favorite snacks to eat in your room.
    • Also available at the Shops – toiletries, school supplies, and much more!
    • Shops are open long, long hours. The 24 Shop is open around the clock while school is in session!

Is there an advantage to Dining Dollars?

  • Yes – of course there is !
    • You access Dining Dollars through your UMD ID card.
    • When you buy Dining Dollars you always get a discount.
    • When you use Dining Dollars you never pay sales tax.
    • Depending on how many you buy, you can net a 5 to 21 per cent discount! Buy more; bigger discount.
    • Dining Dollars go on your Student Account and can be included in a Terp Payment Plan. .
  • We absolutely take cash, credit and debit cards everywhere but you get great value with Dining Dollars

How do I get Dining Dollars?

  • When you enroll in a Resident Dining Plan, select one of the dining plan upgrades to get two, three or four hundred Dining Dollars.
  • If you’re not a resident, go to dining.umd.edu select “Account” at the top right, and follow the prompts to purchase a block of Dining Dollars.

How many Dining Dollars do you recommend?

  • All the plans are great – the plan we believe fits most students’ needs is the Preferred Plan.
  • The Preferred Plan, with 300 Dining Dollars per semester give you about 15 – 20 Dining Dollars per week for the Cafes, Shops and Food Courts.
  • The Preferred Plan, with 300 Dining Dollars and 4 extra guest passes costs $264 more than the Base Plan.
  • Dining Dollars don’t roll over but there’s no need to lose them – stop by a C-Shop and get dorm room supplies or snacks for next semester.

I already signed up for a Dining Plan but I didn’t buy Dining Dollars – What do I do??

  • You can upgrade your Fall Resident Dining Plan anytime between the opening day and September 21 (Spring between the opening day and February 21)
  • Go to dining.umd.edu, select “Account” at the top right, and follow the prompts to upgrade your dining plan.

Can I add to my Dining Dollars account?

Students with a 7-Day Anytime Dining Plan can upgrade to an option with more Dining Dollars, but they must do so before the posted deadline (“Dining Plan Calendar”). Students who have purchased an optional block of Dining Dollars can make one second purchase (each student can purchase two blocks of Dining Dollars per semester).

When will my Dining Dollars balance be available online?

You can view your Dining Dollars balance for the current semester online. If you’ve purchased Dining Dollars for an upcoming academic semester, about two weeks before classes start you can verify your purchase. As soon as your dining plan is live, your balance will appear.

Add flexibility and spending power to your Dining Plan

  • Upgrade your Dining Plan to a Plus, Preferred or Premium plan!
  • Each of these three upgraded plans included discounted Dining Dollars to use in Dining Services  cafés and shops.The upgrade plans also include additional dining hall guest passes for you to bring guests into your campus dining hall.


Dining Plan Logistics

Is a dining plan required?

As part of participating in the on-campus living experience, students in traditional housing (on-campus room without a private kitchen) are required to have a dining plan. The determining factor is on-campus residence type: not academic program, class standing, proximity to permanent residence, dietary preferences, or any other circumstance.

Why is a dining plan required?

Traditional halls and suites do not have the equipment required for students to cook their own meals, remove the food waste, or maintain sanitary conditions. There is equipment for occasional cooking but not enough for routine use. Students who reside in traditional halls or suites as defined by the Department of Resident Life are required to have a resident dining plan.

What are the exceptions to this policy?

When you decide to live on campus in traditional housing, one part of that decision is the decision to participate in the on-campus community by purchasing a seven-day dining plan. The primary reason for release from the dining requirement is release from the traditional residence hall contract (either moving to a resident apartment or complete cancellation of the contract). Your key must be returned before Resident Life will cancel your housing contract. You then bring your receipt of housing contract cancellation to the Dining Plan Office in the South Campus Dining Hall in order to cancel your dining plan.

On rare occasions, an exemption is made for medical or religious reasons. In either case, you must meet with a Dining Services representative to discuss your request. Any adjustment will be made based on the recommendation of the Dining Services representative. Most times, we discover that the dining plans can satisfy the student’s dietary needs. A Dining Services representative will take the time to understand your situation, research, and evaluate your request. We ask that requests be reasonable and have a sound basis.

I don’t live in “traditional campus housing.” Is there a plan for me?

YES !! While students who do not live in traditional on campus housing are not required to purchase a seven-day dining plan, you can select any of our Connector Dining Plans – a seven-day anytime dining plan, a five-day anytime dining plan, blocks of all-you-care-to-eat meals or blocks of Dining Dollars at a discount (5% discount upon purchase and no sales tax when used (6%)).

How do I pay for my dining plan?

You will receive an invoice from the Bursar’s Office indicating the amount of “board” due. You should send payment directly to the Bursar’s Office.

How and when can I change my dining plan?

Fall dining plans may be changed the opening day through the third week of classes. Exact dates are posted on the Dining Services Calendar. Changes are made using Online Services or in person at the Dining Plan Office in the South Campus Dining Hall. We will need your name, UMD ID number, and name of dining plan you want.

I just moved off-campus–how do I cancel my dining plan?

You must request cancellation in writing (in person or using Online Services). Once we verify the cancellation of your housing contract, we will cancel your dining plan. We will need your name, student ID number, and reason for cancellation.

When will my Dining Dollars balance be available online?

View your current semester dining dollars balance online. If you’ve purchased a plan for an upcoming academic semester, about two weeks before classes start you can verify that you have purchased a plan. As soon as your dining plan is live, your dining dollars will appear.

Where is the Dining Plan Office and how do I contact them?

1109 South Campus Dining Hall
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Phone: 301-314-8068
Fax: 301-314-9234

Allergies, Food Intolerances, Special Diets

What if I have an allergy or another special dietary requirement?

Contact our nutritionist at 301-314-8058, or by email nutrition@umd.edu. She can assist you in determining what food items do and do not meet your needs. If indicated, she can introduce you to the dining hall managers who will prepare special meals for you.

Each of the three dining halls offers students a variety of nutritious vegetarian meals and, this year, each features a dedicated vegan station. All of our cafes offer vegetarian and vegan items and the convenience shops carry vegetarian and vegan groceries.

A full kosher meal plan is offered through The Maryland Hillel Center.

I want to keep kosher; Do I still have to buy a University Dining Plan?

New students who plan to live on-campus housing must select one of our dining plan options when they request housing. If you prefer a kosher meal plan, contact the Maryland Hillel Center and sign up for a Platinum Kosher Plan. Before the start of every semester, the Hillel sends us a list of students who have contracted for a Platinum Kosher Plan. As soon as we receive this information, we cancel the contracts and credit the accounts of students who are using the Hillel as their full-time dining room.

Will my kosher meal plan work outside of Hillel?

Kosher Meal Plans are only good at the Maryland Hillel Center.

General Questions

Can I bring guests to the dining halls?

Yes, you may. Anytime Dining Plans include dining hall guest passes. If you have used all your guest passes, you can purchase additional guest passes in our office for $9 or you can use Terrapin Express, cash, or credit at the door.

Are there dining plans available during the winter or summer terms?

Presently, we recommend Terrapin Express for dining during winter and summer term.

What happens if I lose my UM ID card?

The quickest way to freeze any account is to go online and report your card lost or stolen. Replace your card by going to the Mitchell Building during business hours. Once replaced, please call our dining Plan Office to reactivate your dining plan account.

How do I order a cake from the Maryland Bakery?

Place your order for a decorated or gourmet bakery cake at one of nine campus locations: The South Commons Shop, The North Convenience Shop, The Union Shop, The 24 Shop, Rudy´s Café, Applause Café, E&M Café, Footnotes Café, and The Maryland Dairy. Fax order form and menu are available online through our Pick It Up at the Shops program.

Terrapin Express

What are the benefits of Terrapin Express account?

Terrapin Express is an alternative to carrying cash or debit cards. Terrapin Express is easy to open, easy to increase, and easy to use. You can use Terrapin Express at dining and non-dining locations across campus, including WAM labs for pay for print and the Library to photocopy. The balance will stay active as long as the patron is part of the university.

How do I open and maintain a Terrapin Express account?

Open a Terrapin Express account and add money to it by calling or stopping by the Terrapin Express Office during business hours. You can use Terrapin Express at dining and non-dining locations across campus, including WAM labs for pay for print and the Library to photocopy.

How do I check my Terrapin Express balance?

There are three ways to check your balance: ask any Dining Services cashier for a receipt, call the Terrapin Express Office, or go to Check Your Balance on the Terrapin Express website.

Can I transfer dining dollars to Terrapin Express?

Dining dollars may not be transferred to Terrapin Express.

We got a Red Terrapin Express card at Orientation and there’s some left. Can I still use it?

Yes, there is a way to still use the funds. Because those cards were event-driven, they have some limitations (they are time sensitive and will not work in most non-food locations). If you bring your card to the Dining Services Contract Office, we can verify it and have the funds added to your personal Terrapin Express account!

Anytime Dining

Tell me about Anytime Dining

In the fall of 2015, we sent the National Association of College and University Food Service (NACUFS)  satisfaction survey to every UMD resident student. Over 2,250 students responded (about 26%), providing us feedback and hundreds of comments. Students told us in no uncertain terms that the old retail dining plans did not provide enough food for the whole semester, and that a significant number of resident students were worried about having enough to eat – or simply did not have access to enough healthy food to get through the semester.

“Anytime Dining” shifts us from a business model to a service model. Instead of selling individual food items, we provide the food, the services, and the experiences resident students want and need throughout the semester. No resident student has to worry about having enough points to buy their next meal. Every resident student is assured unlimited access to meals and snacks in the dining halls throughout the entire semester.

Anytime Dining improves student experiences and increases satisfaction

Six focus groups, repeated internal customer service surveys, the NACUFS survey mentioned above, two consultants, and the RHA and SGA agreed that we needed to make a dramatic shift in our operating framework to increase student satisfaction. Our old program provided many great experiences but it did not provide a sense of belonging, demonstrable financial advantage, or places to relax and feel at home. Additional themes that appeared in student feedback include a strong desire for more variety, value and healthy options –all focus areas addressed by Anytime Dining.

Anytime Dining is more sustainable

In order to make these changes to Anytime Dining, we eliminated carryout from the dining halls. Dining Services has been a leader in sustainability initiatives and shares the University’s vision of a fully sustainable campus, and yet students in our two a la carte dining halls used over 6.3M pieces of disposable product every year. These items could be seen discarded in trash cans in academic buildings and resident halls – as well as in dumpsters on campus. This burden has been removed from the waste stream.

Anytime Dining enhances the Maryland community

We will continue to upgrade the campus dining experience. Dining halls include convenient areas for groups to gather for study or socializing. There is seating for smaller groups and for individuals. There are television viewing areas. In response to your suggestions, we have added a quiet room in each dining hall that is self-monitored by students who are using the space for study or quiet dining. Our long-term vision includes amenities like charging stations, gaming stations, and lounge areas.