What Is a Meal Plan and How Does It Work?

A meal plan is a pre-set number of meals purchased in advance for an academic semester at a discount off of the walk-in price. With your meal plan, you will be free to eat when and where you want, with some limitations, throughout the semester. A meal plan is required for all first-year students living on campus, as well as returning residence hall students not living in a room with a University-supplied kitchen. 

You will utilize these meals by presenting your Iowa One card to a cashier who will swipe it at the register. This swiping action deducts one meal from your balance and is called a meal swipe. The two types of swipes offered in our meal plans are Market Place meals and Flex meals.

Market Place meals—available only at our all-you-care-to-eat Burge Market Place, Catlett Market Place, and Hillcrest Market Place

Flex meals—available at all market places and at eight retail locations: River Room Café, Street Hawk Food Truck, Union Station, Food for Thought Café, Grand Avenue Market, Pat’s Diner, Mayflower Market, and Clinton Street Market.


Check Your Meal Plan Balance

Meal Plan Options

The meal plans offered for the 2018 - 2019 school year are:

Meal Plan Name Market Place Meals Flex Meals Guest Meals Cost per Semester
Gold Unlimited 75 8 $1,850.00
Black 145 75 8 $1,672.00
Hawkeye - 75 - $725.00
Herky Booster Pack - 25 - $245.00

All residence hall students in rooms without a kitchen must select either the Gold or Black plan. Residence hall students in rooms with a University-supplied kitchen may also select the Hawkeye, Gold, or Black plan. Fall 2018 meal plans can only be purchased until August 31, 2018 by logging back into the housing application at www.liveon.uiowa.edu. Should you not select a meal plan, you will be assigned a Gold meal plan.

Purchase a Meal Plan


Corner Wok Photo Shoot

Guest Meals

All Gold and Black meal plans include 8 additional guest meals per semester. You can use these meals to treat a friend to a meal in either Burge, Catlett or Hillcrest Market Places. Unused guest meals expire at the end of each semester.

Walk-in Pricing

For those customers without a meal plan contract, Burge, Catlett and Hillcrest Market Places accept the follow forms of tender: UI Charge, Hawkeye Dollars, Visa, MasterCard, or Discover.

Breakfast: $7.50
Lunch & Dinner $10.50

Hawkeye Dollars

Hawkeye Dollars are funds – available to you with your room contract – that may be used at all of our campus dining locations,  laundry services, and at vending machines in the residence halls. You will receive $100 Hawkeye Dollars added to your account at the beginning of each semester you live in the residence halls. These funds are available to you until graduation.

How To Use Your Meal Plan