Meal Plans & FAQs

William Paterson University offers a meal plan that fits every student’s needs and are available to ALL registered students at William Paterson University. For those residing in one of our traditional residence halls, having a meal plan is mandatory. Apartment residents and commuter students do not require a meal plan, but are welcome to participate in the offerings. Dining on campus is an experience designed to be enjoyed with others, and a meal plan makes it possible.

Meal plan options are affordable and designed to provide superior value for on-campus dining:

  • The plan is on your ID card- simply swipe your card and enjoy
  • We have all types of menus and service, from buffet-style to a variety of a la carte offerings and specials at our retail dining locations.
  • Meal plans save you money. There is no sales tax on food purchased with a meal plan.

 Our meal plans, can be categorized into two main plan offerings: Traditional Meal Plans and Block Plans.

  • Traditional plans will offer students a set number of meals each week. Meals that were used throughout the week will reset back to its original weekly meal count every Sunday morning. Our Traditional 15 Meal Plan is one of the most popular among new, incoming students.  Meals plans are utilized at each meal period through what our students commonly refer to as a “swipe.”  Meal periods include breakfast, lunch, dinner and late night.   So as an example, if the student were to attend a breakfast, lunch and dinner meal service, three swipes for the day would have been used.  For every time the card is swiped, one meal will be deducted from the account.  This process repeats until all swipes available in a week have been utilized.    

  • Block Plans offer students a set number of meals for the semester. Once all meals have been utilized, students will have the option of using their Pioneer Express dollars until the end of the semester. Block Plans are typically selected by students who have developed a good understanding of their daily eating patterns based on their academic and extracurricular activities.

All of our meal plans, come with a one-time deposit of Pioneer Express dollars, our campus currency. *

A notable feature about our meal plans is that if a student is unavailable to visit the resident dining hall during the meal-times, a "swipe" can be used at select on campus retail locations allowing the student to use their meal period swipe toward a $5.25 snack allowance.

Please click on the image below for more information.


* All meal plans come with Pioneer Express with the exception of the Commuter Intro Plan

Commuter Meal Plans

All of our meal plan offerings are accessible to all registered students. However, for those who may only be on campus for a few days a week but would like to have the convenience of having a meal plan, we now offer Commuter-friendly meal plan options.

We have several meal plan options from which to choose, most consisting of a combination meal swipes and Pioneer Express dollars that can be utilized throughout the semester. 

Currently we offer a Commuter: Intro Plan (10 Block),  Basic Plan (25 Block), Convenience Plan (50 Block) and an Advantage Plan (75 Block) option and a declining balance debit plan.

One of the main advantages of signing up for one of these plans is that the student will be able to use meal swipes for meal exchanges at designated campus dining locations just as a student with a traditional meal plan.

Please note that Pioneer Express funds are included with most of these plans.  For those without Pioneer Express, you may deposit additional funds separately.

Whether you are on campus two, three or five days a week, there is a block meal plan that will meet your schedule and dining needs!

If you would like to sign-up for a commuter meal plan, please click on the image below on the left and complete the enclosed form. For residential students, we have provided a link to your Res Center Portal. You may access that destination by clicking the image on the right.

Commuter Meal Plan Sign Up Graphic                   Commuter Meal Plan Sign Up

If you have any further questions regarding our Meal Plan offerings, please contact us via email at