Dining Policies & FAQs
Below you will find answers to frequently asked questions pertaining to meal plans, Flex Dollars, and Student Dollars
Meal Plans 101
How do meal plans work?
Your meal plan is connected to your Student ID card. Each time you enter the Caf, you'll tap your ID card on the card reader at the front desk to deduct 1 meal. You must present your ID card to use your meal plan. If you are on a weekly plan, such as the 15 Flex, you can use your plan up to 15 times each week at the Caf. Most meal plans are bundled with Flex Dollars for you to use at your discretion for extra meals, snacks, etc. at any of our dining venues.
What's the difference between a weekly plan and a block plan?
The main difference between the two meal plan types is the frequency of when your meals become available for use. When you select a weekly plan, you're choosing how many meals you'd like to be available each week. Every Sunday, a new set of meals is ready for use on your ID card. When you select a block plan, you're choosing to receive all your meals at once and use them at your discretion over the course of the semester.
What does 'Flex' mean?
Flex Dollars are a Stored Value account linked to your ID card. They are only available with the purchase of eligible meals plans. This tender type is for dining only and is accepted at all Food Service locations. Balances expire at the end of Spring Semester, or upon cancellation of associated meal plan.
What happens when I run out of Flex Dollars?
Flex Dollars are downloaded onto your ID card once a semester, or whenever you add a meal plan that comes with Flex. If you use all your Fall semester Flex, you won't get any more until the start of Spring semester. You may, however, choose to add Student Dollars to your card at any time.
What are Student Dollars and how are they used on campus?
Student Dollars are a campus tender that you can load onto your Biola ID card. It's a convenient alternative to carrying around cash or a credit card. Student Dollars are accepted as tender at all dining locations, the Biola Store, Pharos-enabled printers and copiers, and the Print Shop. As an added perk, if you pay for your dining purchase with Student Dollars, you'll receive a 10% discount off your purchase. Student Dollars do not expire and will remain on your Biola ID card until you've used them up.
What is the difference between Flex Dollars and Student Dollars?
While Student Dollars are a campus-wide tender, Flex Dollars are a dining-only tender that comes bundled with certain meal plans. Depending on the meal plan selected, you may begin each semester with $50 or $150 Flex dollars.
What if I still have Flex Dollars left at the end of the semester?
As long as you retain a Fall and Spring meal plan, Flex Dollars left over from Fall semester will roll over to Spring. All meal plan Flex Dollars expire on the last day of the Spring meal plan, Saturday of finals week. Be sure to use your Flex Dollars by the last day of Spring term as they are non-refundable.
Are there Meal Plans for students living in Graduate or Married & Family Housing?
Residents of Biola Graduate or Married & Family Housing are not required to purchase a meal plan, however, some may find having a meal plan adds convenience to their busy schedules. Such students may choose from any of the available meal plan options as well as adding Student Dollars to their ID cards.
Changes to Meal Plans
How do I add or change a meal plan?
*Note, students have the opportunity to choose a meal plan during the Housing Application process. The instructions below assume that the Housing Application time frame has already been completed and you're making a change or doesn't apply due to commuter status.
DIY Meal Plan Changes: Fall and Spring meal plans are managed online via MyHousing. Go to My Housing Self-Service and login with your NetID and password combo. There is a navigation menu along the top of the page. Click 'Dining' and then the option to select or change a meal plan. Chose the term you wish to modify (ex. Fall 2020). Choose your new plan. Your student account will be billed per any changes made online.
Summer meal plans: Add or modify them online by filling out the appropriate online form.
Admin Assisted Cancellations: Meal Plans cannot be canceled in the MyHousing app. If you wish to cancel a meal plan please e-mail email@example.com or call our office at 562-903-4872. We are available Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm.
A note about billing: Each time you select a dining plan in My Housing, it is recorded in your billing history. Even if you cancel the plan or make several changes throughout the school year, the old plans will always appear in your dining and billing history.
Is it too late to change my meal plan?
On-campus resident students generally have seven weeks from the start of the semester to test-drive their meal plan and make sure it is the right fit. Dining plans may be upgraded at any time, but there's a deadline to reduce them each semester. Please see the Housing Handbook for the applicable dates for each semester.
Apartment residents and commuter students on voluntary meal plans may increase or decrease their meal plan at any time. After the 7-week cutoff you will require the assistance of an administrator to perform the meal plan change. Contact Dining Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 562-903-4872.
Change your meal plan online in My Housing Self-Service.
What happens to my Flex Dollars if I change or cancel my meal plan?
If you switch between meal plans that have the same amount of Flex Dollars, you will not notice a change in your Flex net balance. However, if you switch between plans with different amounts of Flex, your balance will change to reflect the difference as well as any dollars you've already used. If you cancel your meal plan, the Flex Dollars will also be canceled. Commuter students wishing to dine exclusively with Flex should purchase Student Dollars instead.
I live on campus. Can I have a meal plan that is only Flex Dollars?
We currently do not offer a board plan for resident students that is only Flex Dollars. We offer several meal plans that are bundled with $150 Flex dollars and one plan that is meals-only to our residents.
I have food allergies and a restricted diet. What dining options are available to me?
Students with special dietary needs may be eligible to enroll in our Special Diet Accommodation program. Participation requires approval from the Learning Center, medical documentation, and personal consultation with our food service provider, Bon Appetit. Learn more about this program.
Regardless of program eligibility, Cafe Biola routinely offers a wide array of menu choices including global cuisines, vegetarian entrees, vegan entrees, a gluten-free food bar, and made-to-order food prep stations allowing patrons to customize their meals on the spot.
ID Cards and Dining
I'm graduating this semester. What happens to the Student Dollars left on my student ID card?
If you have Student Dollars remaining on your ID card at the time you withdraw from the university you may request a refund by e-mailing email@example.com. Be sure to include your ID number and a contact phone number. Alternately, you may choose to have the funds transferred to an Alumni card. Alumni cards are available by request. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or come to the ID Card Office in the Student Services Building.
I've misplaced my ID card. How do I use my meal plan in the meantime?
If you've misplaced your ID card you may leave a good faith $5.00 deposit at the Caf front desk before you enter. After you've found or replaced your ID card you can return to the Caf for a deposit refund and the meals will then be deducted from your meal plan. Deposits not claimed within 1 week shall be forfeighted.
Alternately, if you have Flex Dollars or Student Dollars on your ID card, you can pay for your meals electronically through our mobile ordering app Grubhub.
Lost ID cards can be replaced for $20 in the ID Card Office located in the Student Services Building.
I'm in the process of Late Enrollment and my ID card isn't working. What do I do?
Student ID cards are only functional upon completion of the enrollment process. As a result, ID cards will not work for dining, building access, printing, etc. until enrollment is complete. Students in the process of completing Late Enrollment may utilize the following procedures:
For on-campus residents: use the security phone near the entrance of your residence hall to dial '0'. An officer will be dispatched to open the door for you.
For meal plan holders: leave a $5 deposit each time you dine in the Caf. Upon completing enrollment, return to the Caf desk to have your deposit returned. Deposits not claimed after 1 week shall be forfeighted.