College meal plans may save students money

Education group says opting for a college meal plan can save students money versus eating off campus.

July 9—Selecting a meal plan at college may be a cost-saving measure, according to the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.

Many colleges require students to have a meal plan, especially if they live on campus. Meal plans vary among colleges, but most will give students a certain number of dining hall meals per week and the option of adding flex dollars that students can use at the campus food court or other locations. The larger the school is the greater flexibility students may have. 

Most often, the meal plan will come out of students' financial aid or their parents' money if they're footing the bill. Funds will be loaded on a card students then swipe at on-campus cafeterias and restaurants. 

Students can waste a lot of money eating off-campus and even rack up credit card debt by charging food. Most on-campus meals are already paid for through the meal plan, so students should eat on-campus as much as possible. 

The Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority is a public, non-profit agency established in 1966 to improve students' access to college.