JONESBORO – A new meal plan option called Campus Choice is available this fall for Arkansas State University students, assistant vice chancellor Craig Johnson announced this week.
The Campus Choice plan allows undergraduate students who live on campus where a meal plan is currently not required, and those who commute regularly to campus, the opportunity to access the A-State dining options through using Flex dollars.
The $150 per semester flex plan was approved earlier this year, and goes into effect for fall 2023 for qualified students.
“Aside from the convenience, one of the big advantages for students is any purchase at the on-campus retail locations like Starbucks or Chick-fil-A using flex dollars is tax-free,” Johnson said. “That can be a savings of more than 10% on prepared food.”
Because the prepaid flex plan is not subject to traditional sales tax, students who have the Campus Choice plan will not pay sales tax at on-campus food or convenience store locations.
Students who qualify for the plan will receive email notices of the plan in the upcoming days, and if they wish to opt out of the plan, they can do so. Currently, only A-State undergraduate students who are paying regular student tuition rates for at least one class qualify.
“That’s why we’ve called it Campus Choice,” Johnson said. “If students want to not participate this fall or this spring, they can click on the link in the email we’ve sent out. They’ll be missing out on the tax-free savings and convenience, but we want to give students the option.”
Students who opt out before Aug. 1 will not see the charge on their accounts. Students can still opt out until the start of the fall semester. For those students, they should see the plan removed from their student account within three to five business days.
“We know that students and their families are looking for ways to stretch their dollars, and for students who are already using their debit or credit cards to purchase food or drinks on campus, the tax-free aspect will provide some savings,” Johnson said.
Unused flex dollars from the fall semester will automatically roll over to the spring, and students have until July 31, 2024, to utilize all their Campus Choice flex dollars.
Johnson said he expects some students may want to add money to their plans, or reload them during the academic year.
“We’re working on the system to have the ability to add to the Campus Choice flex plan for later this year,” he said. “We’re also looking at ways that other groups like graduate students or employees might have the chance to participate.”
To learn more about Campus Choice, go to AState.edu/Dining or contact Johnson at crjohnso@AState.edu.