Meal Plans


In designing meal plans, we try to consider the eating habits of the average Reed student, including the volume of food purchased per meal, the frequency with which meals are eaten, and how often one takes advantage of dining outside of "regular" meal hours.

Since meal plans are designed to keep the cost of the plans at a reasonable rate, some students may want to add dollars to their individual plan.

Board plan prices for the 2024–25 year can be found here.

Plan Selection Base Cost/ Semester Purchasing Value/ Semester Total Cost / Semester
Plan A $1,779 $2,526 $4,305
Plan B $1,840 $2,265 $4,105
Plan C $1,894 $1,946 $3,840

See explanation of base costs

All meal plan dollars remaining at the end of the spring semester will expire and are not refunded.

Plan A

Plan A is designed for the student who will eat almost every meal on campus and will often take advantage of late night dining hours.

Plan B

Plan B is designed for the student who will occasionally miss meals in Commons and who may take advantage of late night dining.

Plan C

Plan C his designed for students who do not plan on eating all their meals from Commons.

The plans operate on a declining balance or debit system. In accordance with the plan selected, students begin each semester with a set amount of board points (meal plan dollars) electronically added to their balance. Students then pull from their balance as they purchase food using their student ID card as their board card. If a student runs out of board points they can add additional points to their board card. Students can view their current balance on their most recent receipt or by asking a Bon Appetit cashier. Students can reference the “Suggested Weekly Cash Balance” sheet near the cash register kiosks which provides a general guideline of what a student’s suggested balance should be at the start of each week of the semester.

The objective of the college's board program is to provide a full service, high-quality, and cost effective meal plan for students. The College operates the program to break even annually.

Base Cost Explanation

The cost of the meal plan is allocated between the base and board points. The base is used to maintain Commons, Canyon Café, and The Marketplace, including utilities, interior and exterior maintenance, repairs, renovations, custodial services, food equipment maintenance, repairs and replacement, dining furniture, dishes, and administrative overhead support (accounting, payroll, insurance, etc). The board points are largely used to cover labor, food preparation and food grocery costs. Annual increases are used to cover increasing costs of food, salaries, wages, and benefits for Commons personnel employees.

Board Coverage

For the purposes of calculating weekly usage rates, fall semester board begins with dinner on Monday, August 21, 2023 and ends with lunch on Friday, December 15, 2023. Spring semester board begins with dinner on Sunday, January 21, 2024 and ends with lunch on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. The board plans are designed to provide meals for only the approximate 15 weeks that classes are in session each semester.

Students on campus before classes commence may use their board plans starting August 21, 2023. Students who are on campus during winter break and Paideia can use their board points during the limited dining hours that Commons has during those breaks. However, be aware that this will affect the ability to ensure their board points last through the end of a semester.

Purchasing additional food dollars

Students can track their board point balance on IRIS. Should a student run out of board points during the semester, they can purchase additional points by:

Students purchasing additional board points will receive a 10% bonus from Bon Appetit, which is added as additional board points to their board card.

If a student depletes their board points before the end of the semester and are unable to purchase more points please contact the Financial Aid Office for more information.

Students may also obtain additional board points by acquiring them from another student.

Commuter Commons Cash

Off-campus students, staff, or faculty may purchase Commuter Commons Cash at any time during the semester at the cashier’s window in Eliot. Commuter Commons Cash does not expire until the cardholder leaves Reed. A 10% bonus is added to all Commuter Commons Cash purchases by Bon Appetit.

Transferring board points between students

Students are permitted to transfer board points from their account to another boarding student’s account with the following stipulations:

  1. Both students must be on a board plan.
  2. A minimum of $25 can be transferred and a maximum of $500, per semester.
  3. Transferring board points can be done via email. Students can email Ken Blanchard, director of dining services, both students involved in the transfer must be on the email, must provide their ID numbers and should specify the dollar amount and who is receiving points.
  4. The College and Bon Appétit will only assist in the electronic transfer of board points from one student’s card to another and not in the collection or distribution of the points.

Transferring board points between semesters

Meal plan dollars that are not spent in the fall semester will carry over to the spring semester, provided the student purchases a board plan for the spring semester. Students in the apartments who opt not to sign up for a board plan or who petition and are approved to break their contract for the spring semester will forfeit any board points remaining from the fall semester. All meal plan dollars remaining at the end of the spring semester will expire and are not refunded. Commuter Commons Cash is active for students until the student’s graduation.

Petitioning off the board plan

Petitions off the board plan are exceptionally rare and are usually related to medical or religious needs that Bon Appetit is unable to meet. More information can be found here.

If a student successfully petitions off the board plan and has remaining board points the business office will issue a pro-rated refund (for the base portion) and the board points will be deleted. A student does not receive a refund for unused board points regardless of when they file a petition. Exceptional circumstances should be appealed to the Director of Residence Life for Housing.

Refunds for students who take a leave from Reed

If a student goes on leave during the middle of the semester, they will receive a prorated refund of the base and the remaining board points. If the student has already paid for the board portion of the upcoming semester, but the semester has not yet begun, they will receive a refund for the amount of the semester. The business office calculates the daily prorated amount to be refunded, based on the initiation date of the leave.