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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the common questions and answers about meal plans.

Why can't I use my Multi-Swipe Meal Plan (Block Plan), or Carte Blanche to swipe my friends in?

Meals on a person's account are to be consumed by the person on the ID card. Purchases for others using these meals are not part of the plan.

I added some extra funds to my Dining Dollar account, but I don't see my Bonus Dining Dollars reflected in my account?

The additional Dining Dollars are appearing on the Bursars account now but the 20% Bonus will not appear until Saturday August 28 at dinner when meal plans become active.

From now until the first ten days of class, all meal plan participants are eligible for the 20% bonus for additional Dining Dollars. 

What is a Meal Credit?

When you purchase a meal plan, you have the added benefit of meal credits that you can use at a variety of retail locations across campus. 

How Does It Work? A Meal Credit is a cash value applied to your food purchases at retail locations on campus for those times when you don't eat in Rathbone, Cort @ Lower UC and Brodhead. This increases the flexibility of your meal plan. In exchange for a regular meal swipe you receive a credit toward the total cost of your retail purchase. The balance of your purchase can be paid with Gold Plus, Dining Dollars or cash. 

There are some restrictions depending on meal plan selection. Please refer to the description of each plan for details. 

Meal Credit Amounts:  Breakfast $3.50; Lunch & Dinner $4.50


Meal Credit Times:

Breakfast.......................7:00 a.m. - 10:29 a.m.

Lunch............................10:30 a.m. - 4:29 p.m.

Dinner...........................4:30 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 4:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Why can't I use a Guest Pass to swipe my friend in?

You can. Guest passes are to be used for precisely that purpose. However, guest passes are not included in all meal plans. Dining Dollars and GoldPLUS can also be used to purchase guest meals.

Are breakfast and continental the same meal period?

Yes. We have three (3) meal periods Monday - Thursday: Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. Hot Breakfast begins at 7am at Cort at Lower U.C. and 7:30am at Rathbone and Brodhead, and resumes until 10:00am at all locations. Continental Breakfast (bagels, cereals, muffins, etc.) is held between 10:00am and 10:30 a.m. Hot Breakfast and Continental Breakfast are both considered the same general meal period, even though the meal selection changes.

Where can I add Dining Dollars?

Dining Dollars can be added at the Dining Dollars desk, located in room B 017 in the University Center, or you can call 610.758.6179 or online here:

Select Housing and Dining Self Service

Log in using Lehigh username and password

Select Dining Dollars from the top menu bar

Add funds to your account and hit submit

Why do I have to leave the Dining Room at 10:30am if I already paid for breakfast?

10:30 a.m. begins the lunch period. Students must swipe in during each meal period.

What do I do if I lose my ID?

Report your lost or stolen card to the GoldPLUS/ID Office at (610) 758-6169 located in the LU Ideal Office at University Drive and Taylor Avenue. If the office cannot be reached, the voicemail will explain what to do after hours or on weekends.

Who do I talk to if I want something catered?

The Catering Office can assist you in placing your order at (610) 758-4512.

Where can I eat with a Meal Plan?

Meal Plans may be used at all three student restaurants (Cort @ Lower U.C., Rathbone, and Brodhead), as well as at select retail outlets (depending on the options included in your specific meal plan).

Where can I use Dining Dollars?

Any Lehigh University Dining Service location will accept Dining Dollars. Even the Füd Truk accepts Dining Dollars.

Why do I have to remove my ID from my key chain or lanyard?

Key chains and lanyards must be removed in order to prevent damaging the card reader or cash register.

What happens to meals if I don't use them?

Weekly plan (19 meals per week) reset every Friday in the morning, and any unused meals from the previous week are lost. However, Carte Blanche and Block Plan balances are available for use during the entire semester until they are gone. Dining dollars carry over from Fall to Spring semester ONLY.

What if I need assistance with getting and carrying my food to a desired seating area?

Ask any of our staff at any dining location across campus, and we will be happy to assist you with whatever you need.

What if I don't live in Brodhead, but I wish to have access to dine at Brodhead House?

You can complete the form on our Brodhead page of our web site to be granted access. 

What is the difference between Block Plans and Carte Blanche?

Carte Blanche allows unlimited use in Student Restaurants. The Carte Blanche plan includes seven Meal Credits per week. Meal Credits reset on Friday morning and can be used at the following locations Lucy's Café, EWFM Lounge, Iacocca Cafe, Global Café, Upper UC Food Market, Pandini's, and Hawk's Nest.

Block Plans are limited by number of meals in Student Restaurants. Meal Credits may be used in the following retail locations Lucy's Café, EWFM Lounge, Iacocca Cafe, Global Café, Upper UC Food Market, Pandini's, and Hawk's Nest.

Where do I pick up my birthday cake?

Students can pick up their birthday or celebration cake at Pandini's in the University Center. Pandini's is located on the 2nd floor of the UC next to the bank. 

I am sensitive to certain food and on a special diet. Who should I go to for help?

Lehigh Dining has a full time Registered Dietitian on campus to navigate your best dining options on campus. Carrie Gerencher will gladly meet with you to share the best food options for you. Rathbone Dining Hall offers Simple Servings, which offers a complete meal minus the seven top food allergens plus gluten. Simple Servings was developed to address the growing number of students who arrive on college campuses with special dietary needs. Simple Servings' plain and simple wellness-promoting foods also appeal to guests who are focused on ingredients and/or portion sizes for weight control, blood sugar control or other health reasons. You can contact Carrie at or by phone at (484) 357-2258.

How can students give feedback to dining services?

Comment cards are available at all locations. Students may ask for a manager at all locations. You may also submit a feedback form online here. 

What happens if I fall sick or if I am seriously injured? Can I still get my meals?

Yes. With authorization from the Health Center, please contact dining services at 610.758.5169 or 610.758.0701 (Cort at Lower U.C.) or Rathbone Dining Hall at 610.758.4169 or 610.758.1530 (Rathbone Student Restaurant) to arrange meal pick up.

If I move off campus, can I drop my Meal Plan? Will I be reimbursed?

Meal Plan refunds after the start of the semester for students who register and/or purchase meals on a Meal Plan but withdraw from the University or move off campus will receive a meal plan refund prorated according to the number of unused weeks remaining on the plan. Dining Dollars are non-refundable. Any student suspended or expelled from the university will not be granted a meal plan refund. A student suspended may receive a prorated meal plan credit based on the week following the last meal purchased, which will be used toward the purchase of a meal plan the semester immediately following the period of suspension.

Where can I reserve space at the Dining Hall for a private meeting?

Please contact University Center Reservations at (610) 758-4163 or Mountain Top Reservations at (610) 758-5306.

I live in the Residence Halls but work a lot and miss some meals... What options are available to me? What Meal Plan would be appropriate for a first or second-year student in my position?

As a first-year student, you have the option of Category 1 (19 Meal Plan, 225 Block Plan or the 200 Block Plan) and Category 1A (Carte Blanche). The 19 Meal Plan resets every Friday morning, and unused meals are lost.

The Carte Blanche,  225 Block Plan, and 200 Block Plan are per semester and may be a more flexible option for a busy student. Upperclass student meal selection depends upon where you live (Categories 2, 3, 4, and 5 exist). Please visit our Plan Options page for more information on meal plan options.

If I add Dining Dollars to my account, how long must I wait before they can be used?

If you stop by the Dining Dollars Office Monday - Friday between 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., or call at (610) 758-6179, Dining Dollars will be added instantly. You can also add Dining Dollars online by visiting and following these steps.

2. Select Housing and Dining Self Service 
3. Log In using your Lehigh username and password 
4. Select Meal Plan and Dining Dollars from the top Menu bar 
5. Highlight Select/Change Meal Plan 
6. Select the Term (Fall 2016) and submit 
7. Click on Select Dining Plan 
8. Select the desired plan and hit submit.

How can I check my meal balance or dining dollar balance?

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Lehigh University | Dining Services | 29 Trembley Drive | Bethlehem, PA 18015 | tel. (610) 758-4166 | Contact Us