Frequently Asked Questions

Am I required to have a meal plan?

All residence hall students are required to have a meal plan as part of residence hall living. Students that live off-campus or commute may also sign up for a meal plan.

For more information, see Meal Plans.

What are the meal plan choices? We have options for students living in the residence halls, commuter students and faculty & staff. Learn about Meal Plans that fit your needs.
Where do residents eat?

Residence hall students use their NIU OneCard to enter the dining areas and may eat in any of the residential dining service outlets on campus. Meals are served cafeteria style on an All You Care To Eat basis in New Hall, Neptune Hall, Gilbert Hall and Stevenson Hall. In Gilbert's East Side Café, Neptune's Trident and Stevenson's Dog Pound Deli, food items are served on an à la carte basis and are purchased with Dining Dollars, Flex Dollars or Huskie Bucks.

For more information, see Where to Eat and Meal Plans.

I have a special diet. Where can I eat?

We offer a variety of menu items to accommodate most special diet needs. If you have dietary restrictions or food allergies and would like some help navigating our dining locations, please contact our nutrition and allergy support staff located in Neptune Central 225 by phone at 815-753-9556 or by email at Our staff will be glad to meet with you to discuss your dietary needs and provide guidance. If you require a special diet you should contact Health Services for help in securing accommodations.

What's the difference between Flex Dollars and Huskie Bucks?

Flex Dollars can be used at any residential All You Care To Eat locations, residential Residential À la Carte Locations, and non-residential Residential À la Carte locations. The funds are allocated once per semester and rollover from week to week. Dollars not used by the end of the semester will be forfeited.

Huskie Bucks are separate from your dining meal plan. Your Huskie Bucks account is a pre-paid debit account that can be used anywhere on campus to purchase meals as well as various services like laundry and copying/printing. Huskie Bucks can also be used at many local restaurants.

For more information, see Meal Plans and Huskie Bucks.

When will meal service begin?

Some dining locations are open before classes start. On-campus students will be able to use plans starting on move-in day. See Where to Eat for the latest dining schedules.

For the spring semester, the first meal served under the room and board rate will be breakfast on Monday of the week that classes begin.

Can I change my meal plan?

If you would like to change or cancel your meal plan, please send an email from your student Z-ID email account to or

Deadlines to Change a Plan

  1. If you added your meal plan before the semester started, you have ten business days from the start of the semester to upgrade, downgrade or cancel your meal plan. After those ten buesiness days, you can still upgrade or refill, but you can't cancel or downgrade your plan.
  2. If you added your meal plan on or after the first day of the semester, you have ten business days from the date you added your plan to upgrade, downgrade or cancel it. After those ten days have passed, you may still upgrade or refill, but you can't cancel or downgrade your plan.
If I lose my OneCard, how do I suspend privileges to it?

Residence hall students have the option of getting a temporary meal plan card by visiting any of the residential dining center offices. This temporary card suspends your lost OneCard so that it cannot be misused and then it will allow you to access your Huskie Bucks or Meal Plan. If you lose your OneCard outside of residential dining's regular business hours, you may suspend your OneCard online.

Learn more about reporting a lost or stolen OneCard.

Does Campus Dining Services offer event catering?

Yes, we offer breakfast, lunch and dinner catering for events on campus including seminars, camps and weddings. Learn more about catering.

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