Crunching Numbers

Imagine spending five dollars on a meal. Now imagine taking that meal and throwing it straight into the trash can. That’s basically what I’m doing about ten times a week on campus. I’d like to go one day without feeling guilty when a mealtime passes and I haven’t used my allotted meal.

I have a 21 meal per week plan which costs me $1783, a semester. That boils down to $106 a week and about $5 a meal. Not such a bad price–if I didn’t miss about half of the meals that I’m paying for. College students are busy people, myself included. I am taking 14 credit hours and work about 25 hours a week. Add to that about 15 hours of homework and you got yourself a full schedule, and I’m not even the busiest person out there.

With the amount of time I spend dedicated to school and work there is not always a possibility for me to run off to use my meal before it expires. Three out of five weekdays I start work at 7 a.m. That eliminates 3 meals a week for breakfast. On two days I work through lunch. There goes two more meals. I’m lucky if I am able to get one meal during the weekend. I’m sorry but I’m not going to plan my weekend activities around my campus meal plan. The inconvenience of using my meals is just inconceivable.

Overall, I average about 11 meals a week that I’m able to use. That means that I’m losing out on ten of my meals a week, or about $50. That adds up to $800 a semester and $6,400 if I were to stay at that rate for my four years here. I don’t even want to know how long that will take me to pay off in future loan payments.


About sambates

UNK student, Mormon, Vegetarian View all posts by sambates

4 responses to “Crunching Numbers

  • skylardyan

    When I moved off campus I thought about getting a meal plan. But when they took away the block meal plans that idea went out the window. I think if they would just compromise with students they would notice a huge increase in students buying meal plants again.

  • natebski

    I like how you did the math and broke down all the numbers. It’s crazy to think that much of people’s money is going to waste!

  • jeffbabl

    LOVE your post Sam! Its crazy to think that the student loan you and I both took out went to pay for meals that we unable to consume because we were busy students (I also am taking 14 credits and working 25+ hours a week). Another update as to why food service is so bad here happened to me yesterday Feb 18th. The price of a soda at Loper Express is $1.60 and so if you do the math you should be able to get three sodas at $4.80 with 70cents leftover, BUT they limit you to only two bottles of soda per transfer, EVEN THOUGH it’s covered by my meal plan.

  • jeffbabl

    As I make my student loan payments in a few years, I wish I could be thinking about the quality education that UNK gave me, but instead I will be thinking about how this payment contributed nothing to my education because of Chartwells.

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