For Parents

Campus Card Information

The UMBC Campus Card is an integral part of campus life. Every student is eligible to receive their first Campus Card free of charge! Students can even submit their favorite selfie for their Campus Card photo. The Campus Card is valid for a student’s entire time at UMBC – no renewals or updates are necessary. However, should a replacement be needed due to loss, theft, or damages, our staff is available to provide replacements Monday – Friday between 8:30AM – 4:00PM. A replacement fee of $20 is assessed for all lost cards. In addition to being the official UMBC Identification Card, the Campus Card provides the following capabilities:

  • Room Key/Access Card – Provides access to swipe controlled buildings, labs, and classrooms – including residential buildings and rooms
  • Payment Card – The UMBC Campus Card can contain Meal Plans and other funds that may be used both on- and off-campus
  • Transit Card – Allows access to the UMBC Transit shuttles and buses to quickly travel around campus and the surrounding area
  • Gym Card – Allows access to the UMBC RAC (Retriever Activities Center)
  • Library Card – Allows access to the library and allows for the borrowing of books and other items from the library
Deposit Funds to the Campus Card

Adding money to the UMBC Campus Card is a quick and easy process. Money can be added to two different accounts within the Campus Card: Retriever Dollars and Food Fund. Each account functions differently, click on the account names below to learn about each.

Retriever Dollars (Click here to add funds now via credit card)

Retriever Dollars can be used all across campus to pay for tuition, food, textbooks, apparel, stamps, event tickets, as well as pay for printing services. This fund may also be used in all vending machines on campus and can even be used at select locations in the surrounding neighborhoods. Money added to Retriever Dollars may only be refunded at the conclusion of the Academic Year. Adding Retriever Dollars to a student’s account is easy! Simply click here, enter the student’s Campus ID number (Ex: AB12345), and the amount to deposit!
 
Funds may be added with cash at the following locations on campus:

  • Commons Information Center – Commons Building, Main Floor
  • Student Business Services – Administration Building, 3rd Floor

 
Funds may be added by check here at the Campus Card & Mail Services department. Hand-deliver the check during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30AM – 4:00PM) or mail the check to UMBC Campus Card & Mail Services, 1000 Hilltop Circle, University Center 112, Baltimore MD 21250. Please note the desired account (Retriever Dollars or Food Fund) as well as the Campus ID number (Ex: AB12345) on the memo line.

Food Fund (Click here to add funds now via credit card)

Food Fund is, as its name suggests, a fund dedicated for food purchases only. Food Fund can be used on campus at any available dining location but may not be used in vending machines. This money may also be used at the select off-campus merchants in the surrounding neighborhoods. Money added to Food Fund may only be refunded at the conclusion of the Academic Year. Adding Food Fund to a student’s account is easy! Simply click here, enter the student’s Campus ID number (Ex: AB12345), and the amount to deposit!
 
Funds may be added with cash at the following locations on campus:

  • Commons Information Center – Commons Building, Main Floor
  • Student Business Services – Administration Building, 3rd Floor

Or, you may choose to ‘eat now and pay later’ by clicking here to purchase funds now and have the charge placed against your UMBC E-Bill!

 
Funds may be added by check here at the Campus Card & Mail Services department. Hand-deliver the check during normal business hours (Monday – Friday, 8:30AM – 4:00PM) or mail the check to UMBC Campus Card & Mail Services, 1000 Hilltop Circle, University Center 112, Baltimore MD 21250. Please note the desired account (Retriever Dollars or Food Fund) as well as the Campus ID number (Ex: AB12345) on the memo line.

Meal Plan Information

UMBC provides a variety of meal plans to ensure each individual student’s needs are met. Meal Plans come in two types: Recurring and Block plans. A Recurring Meal Plan is a plan that provides a designated number of meals per week for every week of the semester. These plans reset meal counts on Monday mornings. Any unused meals do not carry over from week to week. On the other hand, Block Meal Plans, are plans that provide a designated quantity of meals for the semester and do not reset on a weekly basis. Any unused meals at the end of the semester are nonrefundable and do not carry forward to the next semester. See below for more information about each Meal Plan:

Recurring Meal Plans

The Ultimate + $80.00 Flex + 5 Guest Passes

The Ultimate plan allows unlimited access to UMBC’s Dining Hall, True Grits. With this meal plan, you can go in and out of True Grits as many times as you wish in every meal period. But you are not restricted to eating at only this location. If you wish to dine at any retail location on campus, you are entitled to one meal per meal period. With this plan, your first action during a meal period determines how you can utilize the plan for the remainder of the meal period. For instance, if you go to True Grits for breakfast, you may return as often as you’d like within that meal period. However, you cannot go to a retail location in the same meal period if you’ve already spent a meal at the dining hall. The reverse is also true. If you spend a meal at a retail location during the breakfast period, you have used your equivalency for that period and must wait until the next meal period to use another meal.

Flexible 14 + $85.00 Flex + 5 Guest Passes

The Flexible 14 meal plan allows up to 14 meals per week for every week of the semester. This meal plan also allows multiple meals at any dining location on campus.* Essentially, you could spend all 14 meals within one meal period, but then you would’ve exhausted all your meals for the week. Typically students choose this meal plan if their schedule conflicts with the one meal per meal period rule. Because of scheduling conflicts and extracurricular activities, some students find that it is necessary for them to eat at the beginning and end of the same meal period. *The only dining locations that do not allow multiple meals per meal period are the Retriever Markets located in the Commons and True Grits.

Savvy 16 + $105.00 Flex + 5 Guest Passes

One of our newer meal plans, the Savvy 16 allows up to 16 meals per week for each week of the semester. Only one meal can be used per meal period at any dining location. This is an ideal plan for students desiring a higher count of meals per week and a larger allowance of Flex dollars for the semester. Any unused meals will expire on Monday morning and will not carry over into the next week. In addition to 16 weekly meals, this plan comes with $105 Flex to be used throughout the semester.

Flexible 10 + $90.00 Flex + 5 Guest Passes

The Flexible 10 meal plan provides 10 meals per week for every week of the semester. *You also have the ability to use multiple meals per meal period at any dining location on campus. The is the smallest (least amount of meals) plan available to mandatory (dormitory) students. Generally, students who select this plan do not require a large allowance of meals per week but still enjoy visiting the on campus dining locations relatively frequently. *The only dining location that does not allow multiple meals per meal period is the Retriever Markets located in the Commons and True Grits.

Terrific 12 + $90.00 Flex + 5 Guest Passes

The Terrific 12 provides 12 meals per week for every week of the semester but only allows one meal per meal period at any location on campus. This is the most cost efficient meal plan available to mandatory (dormitory) students. This may be an ideal plan for those will be using community kitchens to prepare meals or for those who may not intend to spend weekends on campus.

Flexible 5 + $60.00 Flex

The Flexible 5 provides five meals per week for each week of the semester. *Multiple meals per meal period may be used at any dining location on campus. This is an ideal plan for commuter students who visit campus multiple times per week or for apartment students who like to occasionally eat on campus. *The only dining locations that do not allow multiple meals per meal period are the Retriever Markets located in the Commons and True Grits. Students living in a traditional residence hall (Chesapeake, Erickson, Harbor, Patapsco, Potomac, and Susquehanna) are not eligible to sign up for this plan.

Block Meal Plans

Super 225 + $100.00 Flex + 5 Guest Passes

Super 225 Block provides 225 meals to be used throughout the entire semester. This meal plan does not reset weekly; the meals are allotted on a per semester rather than a weekly basis. However, this does not mean that any unused meals at the end of the semester will roll over into the next; all unused meals will expire. Having a block of meals versus recurring weekly plans can be beneficial for those who frequently travel off-campus during the weekends or are otherwise find it difficult to eat a specified number of meals every week. The Super 225 averages out to approximately 15 meals per week and works similarly to The Ultimate in that you may use multiple meals per meal period at True Grits but only one meal per meal period at any other dining venue.

Mega 50 + $25.00 Flex

The Mega 50 provides a block of 50 meals to be used throughout the semester. You may choose to have multiple meals per meal period at True Grits or one meal per meal period at any other dining location on campus. This plan is ideal for commuter students or apartment students who will prepare most meals themselves, but would still like the option to purchase a handful of meals on campus each week. If you purchase a Mega 50 Block and find that sometime during the semester you’ve run out of meals, you can purchase another Mega 50 – or any other meal plan of your choice. Students living in a traditional residence hall (Chesapeake, Erickson, Harbor, Patapsco, Potomac, and Susquehanna) are not eligible to sign up for this plan.

Mini 25

The Mini 25 provides a block of 25 meals to be used throughout the semester. You may choose to have multiple meals per meal period at True Grits or one meal per meal period at any other dining location on campus. This plan is ideal for commuter students or apartments students who will prepare the majority of meals themselves, but would like to occassionally purchases meals on campus throughout the semester. If you purchase a Mini 25 and find that sometime during the semester you’ve run out of meals, you can purchase another Mini 25 or any other meal plan of your choice. Students living in a traditional residence hall (Chesapeake, Erickson, Harbor, Patapsco, Potomac, and Susquehanna) are not eligible to sign up for this plan.

Meal Plan Lingo Explained

Flex?? Meal Periods?? Equivalencies?? Is your head spinning? Don’t worry, we’ve taken the time to define these terms to better help you understand how the UMBC meal plans work. Select the term below you’d like to learn more about:

Flex

Flex is a predetermined amount of money that comes with most meal plans. Each plan has a designated allotment of Flex that is available for use throughout the semester. Since Flex is part of the meal plan, and is incorporated into the initial cost of the meal plan, additional Flex may not be added. However, Flex will expire at the end of each semester – be sure to use it so you don’t lose it! Flex can be used to make small food purchases at any dining location on campus, such as a cup of coffee or piece of fruit. Flex can also be used as a declining balance if the total cost of your items exceeds the meal equivalency amount. A meal plan “swipe” will cover $6.90 of your purchase. Suppose your items total $7.50, then the meal plan will cover $6.90, leaving a balance of $0.60 to be paid. This remaining balance can be paid by Flex instead of by cash or credit card.

Hot Tip: When visiting True Grits dining hall, one meal swipe is all that’s required to enjoy the many selections at this all-you-care-to-eat establishment – no Flex needed! Most other dining locations offer ‘Meal Deals’ which are predetermined selections of food covered by a $6.90 Meal Equivalency (meal swipe).

Related Definitions: Meal Equivalency, Meal Deal

Guest Passes

Some meal plans come with five free Guest Passes that can be used throughout the semester. These Guest Passes are not ‘extra’ meals for the student – they are meal “swipes” that the student can use to treat family and friends to breakfast, lunch/brunch, or dinner at True Grits dining hall. Guest Passes may not be used at any other location on campus. Additional passes cannot be purchased.

Hot Tip: Treat your family, friends, or significant other to a meal at True Grits without paying out-of-pocket!

Related Definitions: Meal Equivalency, Flex

Meal Period

Each day is broken down into four distinct Meal Periods: Breakfast, Lunch (or Brunch), Dinner, and Late Night. The hours for each of these Meal Periods is listed below. Some meal plans will provide the ability to use multiple meal equivalencies – or “swipes” – in a given Meal Period while other meal plans are limited to just one meal “swipe” per Meal Period. Some meal plans even combine these rules to allow multiple meal “swipes” at certain locations while restricting the user to just one “swipe” at other locations per Meal Period.

  • Breakfast: 6:00AM – 10:59AM
  • Lunch: 11:00AM – 3:59PM
  • Dinner: 4:00PM – 7:59PM
  • Late Night: 8:00PM – 1:59AM

Hot Tip: No meal plan will provide the ability to use multiple meal “swipes” at the Retriever Markets located in the Commons and True Grits. These are the only locations that are an exception to the multiple meals per Meal Period rule.

Related Definitions: Meal Equivalency

Meal Equivalency

A Meal Equivalency is the same as a meal “swipe”. The Meal Equivalency value for the current Academic Year is $6.90. Meaning, each time a meal “swipe” is used, it covers $6.90 of the total cost of the items purchased. If the value of all items exceeds the equivalency amount of $6.90, then the remaining amount must be paid with either Flex, Retriever Dollars, Food Fund, cash, or credit card. Most dining locations offer Meal Deals which is a predetermined offering of items that equal a Meal Equivalency. If the items purchased do not deviate from the Meal Deal offerings, then one meal “swipe” will cover the entire cost and no additional payment is necessary.

The only location that does not adhere to the $6.90 Meal Equivalency is True Grits dining hall. One meal “swipe” at True Grits is equivalent to the door rate which is much higher than the $6.90 equivalency amount making True Grits the location providing the greatest value for each meal. True Grit’s door rates are below:

  • Breakfast: $8.32 + tax
  • Lunch: $12.02 + tax
  • Dinner: $13.19 + tax

Hot Tip: Meal Deals are only applicable with a meal plan. For example, at Chick-fil-a, a Meal Deal may consist of an original chicken sandwich, regular sized waffle fry, and regular sized fountain beverage, all for one Meal Equivalency of $6.90. A person without a meal plan purchasing the exact same items are not entitled to a Meal Deal, and therefore must pay the individual retail price for each item. In this example, that comes out to be $8.97 plus tax!

Related Definitions: Flex, Meal Equivalency, Meal Deal

Meal Deal

A Meal Deal is a predetermined offering of food that, when purchased with a meal plan, equals one Meal Equivalency (meal “swipe”) of $6.90. Meal Deals will always consist of an entrée, choice of side, and a beverage. Most locations on campus offer Meal Deals – click here to see the Meal Deal options at the various on-campus dining locations. If desired, additional items may be added to the purchase, however any items outside of the Meal Deal must be paid for with Flex, Retriever Dollars, Food Fund, cash, or credit card.

Hot Tip: When visiting True Grits dining hall, one meal swipe is all that’s required to enjoy the many selections at this all-you-care-to-eat establishment – no Flex needed! Most other dining locations offer ‘Meal Deals’ which are predetermined selections of food covered by a $6.90 Meal Equivalency (meal swipe).

Related Definitions: Meal Equivalency, Flex

Helpful Links

  • Contact Us – Have questions? Contact us here!
  • Campus Card Terms & Conditions – Review the Terms & Conditions of the UMBC Campus Card
  • Add Money to Campus Card – Add money to either Retriever Dollars or Food Fund online with a credit card
  • Campus Card Photo Upload Guidelines – Provides instruction on how to upload a photo for the UMBC Campus Card and provides acceptable photo samples
  • Off-Campus Merchants – Spend Retriever Dollars and Food Fund at these merchants located in the communities around UMBC!
  • Frequently Asked Questions – Answers to commonly asked questions about our office, Campus Cards, and Meal Plans
  • Meal Plan Terms & Conditions – Review the Terms & Conditions of meal plans for the current Academic Year
  • Dining Locations & Hours of Operation – Detailed information about the various on-campus dining locations and hours of operation
  • Meal Deals – Information regarding the Meal Deals offered at the various on-campus dining locations
  • myMeals Assistant – Not sure which meal plan to select? Complete this short questionnaire to see which meal plan may work best for you!