Dining is an integral part of residential life at Carleton and it’s expected that students will eat most of their meals in campus dining halls unless their place of residence allows for a reduced meal plan. Carleton offers flexible meal plans that give students options to eat at East Dining Hall or Burton Dining Hall, or order a la carte at Sayles Café, Schulze Café, or Weitz Café.

As announced last May, as part of Carleton’s continued efforts to combat food insecurity on campus, and in conjunction with the opening of the first phase of new townhouses on campus in the fall of 2024, all on-campus students from the Class of 2027 on will be required to register for one of several dining meal plan options. This change does not impact rising juniors and seniors. Student Financial Aid will continue to include dining costs in students’ financial aid awards.

To find out what your meal plan options are, visit Meal Plan Options by Residential Location and find your residence hall or house. If you are a rising Junior or Senior and your residence does not require a meal plan, it is designated “off board.”

Meal plan features and prices can be viewed at 2024-2025 Meal Plans.

Meal plans may only be used by the student whose name is on the OneCard; they are not transferable. There are no reimbursements for remaining balances at any time. Meal plans are active only when students are enrolled full time on campus.

Summer Meal Plans

We offer summer meal plans that are primarily for students living on campus during the summer, but any student in or around Northfield or employee may purchase them. More information on plan options will be available in Spring 2024.

Meal Plan Selections

First Year Students

All first year students are required to be on the 20 meal plan for the year.

Returning and Transfer Students

If your housing assignment allows for a choice of the 20 meal plan or the 15 meal plan (please see Meal Plan Options by Residential Location), you will automatically be assigned the 20 meal plan following Room Draw for all terms that you will be on campus. Should you prefer the 15 meal plan, please go to the Hub to change your meal plan prior to noon on the fifth day of the term. If you will be living in a location with only one option (5 meal plan, 7 meal plan or off board), you will be assigned the plan required according to your Class. You may always select a larger meal plan if you prefer. Please consult the Hub at any time to verify your meal plan assignment or to make a change.

If you wish to have a meal plan other than the plan assigned, please make the change as soon as possible to have your Room and Board billing reflect the correct billing amounts. The deadline for meal plan changes is noon on the following dates:

  • Fall Term: September 20, 2024
  • Winter Term: January 10, 2025
  • Spring Term: April 4, 2025

After a term has begun, any student who consumes meals using a Carleton College meal plan and then changes to the No Board option before the meal plan change deadline will be billed the full cost of each meal eaten. 

Meal Plans and OneCard

Students must present their OneCard at Burton or East Dining Hall to authorize the use of their meal plan. Visit the OneCard website for information about this and all other uses of the OneCard. If you lose your OneCard, please report it immediately to avoid having your meals used by someone else.


Students who believe their special dietary requirements cannot be met by Dining Services must complete a Meal Plan Exemption Request Form. Meal plans will not be adjusted for any reason other than medical.