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New Student Dining Plans

Fall Term 2017

A Quick Guide to Dartmouth’s Dining Plans

Introduction to Dining Plans at Dartmouth

Watch this brief video tutorial to learn about your our various plans, payment options and more.




Dining Plan
Meal Swipes
per week
per term
dining plan
Fall Term
dining plan
Total Cost


Orientation Dining

First Year Orientation meal plans cover Orientation Week dining at '53 Commons and begin on Thursday, August 31st.

Fall Term dining plans (including dining plans for returning students) begin on September 9th.

Fall term dining plans will expire after dinner on Wednesday, November 22nd.

Fall Term Dining

All members of the Class of 2020 are automatically enrolled in the SmartChoice20 dining plan for their first term.  This plan provides 20 meals each week and includes $200 of DBA. The DBA will be available starting August 31st.

First year students must have the SmartChoice20 meal plan during their first term on campus. After fall term 2017, you can request a different meal plan for all of your subsequent terms on campus.

Dining Plan Billing

Dining plans are billed along with your tuition.  The orientation dining program will show up on statements from the College as $225 for orientation dining, and fall term dining will show up as $2,005 for the SmartChoice20.

A quick note on dietary restrictions

Dartmouth offers halal, kosher, vegetarian, vegan and other options. If you have food allergies or other restrictions, please contact our staff dietitian Beth Rosenberger, RD with any questions or concerns you may have. 

Components of the Meal Plans

Meal Swipes: Each meal swipe is designed to give you access for one meal at the Class of 1953 Commons, Dartmouth's all-you-care-to-eat dining hall.

Meal swipes can also be used in exchange for the daily special at Collis Café, Courtyard Café or Novack Café. The daily special is an inclusive meal including an entrée and beverage.

SmartChoice meal swipes reset prior to breakfast on Mondays.

Meal Swipe Equivalency Exchange: Although the best value will be to use meal swipes at '53 Commons or for the daily special at one of the cafes, a meal swipe can be exchanged for a set value towards any purchase at Collis Café, Courtyard Café, Novack Café, the East Wheelock Snack Bar ad the New McLaughlin Snack Bar in Goldstein Hall. The dollar equivalencies are $5.25 for breakfast, $7.75 for lunch, $10 for dinner, and $5.25 for late-night.

DBA (Declining Balance Account): Dining DBA is part of the meal plan designed to supplement the meals. DBA is accepted at Collis Café, Courtyard Café, Novack Café, the East Wheelock Snack Bar and the King Arthur Flour espresso bar. Although it is a better value to use a meal swipe, DBA can also purchase all-you-care-to-eat meal at '53 Commons.

Up to 100 dollars of DBA can rollover to the next term within the same academic year.  DBA carried forward from a previous term will be available during the subsequent academic terms as an addition to the meal plan. Any amount of DBA carried forward will not alter any meal plan pricing or requirements. Any unspent DBA will expire with the end of spring term meal plans on Commencement Sunday.

Any DBA rolled over from the previous term will be available anytime meal plans are active, including a leave term. Unused DBA from a leave term will continue to roll forward until the end of the academic year. All unused DBA expires on Commencement Sunday regardless of spring term enrollment.

For example: a student has $105 in DBA left at the end of summer term. $100 would rollover and be added to the DBA included with the fall term dining plan. The same student then ends fall term with $75 in DBA and is not taking classes or living on campus during winter term. This student would have $75 of DBA available during the leave term for visits to campus. If the student does not use any of the $75 during the winter term, that $75 would again rollover to the spring term meal plan. If that student had any DBA left at the end of spring term, it would expire on Commencement Sunday.

Other Forms of Payment

DDS Charging: DDS Charging is an additional account available to students through which they can make purchases not covered by their dining plans. If the term's allotment of DBA is exceeded, DDS Charging can be used for any additional dining purchases.   This account also works at the Collis Market, the on-campus convenience store, which is not part of the dining plan.

The amount students owe to their DDS Charging accounts is applied to their college bills each month.

Dash Discretionary: DASH Discretionary is an all-purpose spending account that is part of the Dartmouth ID card. Students choose when, if, and how much to deposit into this account. DASH can be used to pay for a diverse range of services across campus, such as laundry, printing, vending machines, tickets and computer supplies. While this account is not part of the dining plans, it can be used at any DDS dining facility, at King Arthur Flour, and at Collis Market. Dining locations use meal plans by default, so if you would like to use DASH, please tell the cashier before the purchase. Dining locations use meal plans by default, so if you would like to use DASH, please tell the cashier before the purchase.

Cash/Credit: Students as well as outside visitors can make cash purchases at any DDS dining facility, at King Arthur Flour and at Collis Market. Visa and MasterCard are currently accepted at '53 Commons, Novack Café, King Arthur Flour and Collis Market.

Tracking Your Spending

GET, a service of the Dartmouth Card Office, allows you to track spending and account balances on all of your ID Card accounts, just as you would with an online banking service.  GET Mobile is also available as an app for Android and iOS devices.

When setting up your GET account, The Dartmouth Card Office recommends that you use your email account for easier tech support.


Last Updated: 8/25/17