Meal Charge Program

Columbia College Chicago's Meal Charge program is coordinated by Columbia Central. Students may use the Meal Charge program to purchase food through Columbia's food service operations on campus. The Meal Charge program is intended to provide students with affordable dining options on campus, with the convenience of using their Campus Card.

Note: The Meal Charge cannot be used at the Residence Life dining hall in the University Center. Meal Charge can be used at the Student Center starting October 1.

To participate in the Meal Charge program, you must complete the Meal Charge Authorization Form in your student portal during the sign-up date ranges listed below. If your Meal Charge is approved, the amount that is approved will be placed on your Campus Card for use at Columbia's food service operations. Your Columbia account will be charged for that amount.

Meal Charge Sign-up Dates

Fall 2019:
Meal Charge starts Friday, Aug. 23
Meal Charge ends Friday, Sept. 13

Spring 2020:
Meal Charge starts Friday, Jan. 3
Meal Charge ends Friday, Feb. 7

Requirements for Meal Charge

Please note, only students seeking a degree or certificate at Columbia College Chicago are eligible to participate in the Meal Charge program. Additionally, a Meal Charge can only be approved if a student is registered for the term in which the Meal Charge is requested.
  • Payment by Payment Plan

    Students who are not using any federal, state, or other third-party funding, and are paying their tuition charges with personal resources, are required to be enrolled in an active Columbia College Chicago payment plan for the semester to participate in the Meal Charge program. The amount of the requested Meal Charge, up to $750, may be added to the payment plan.

  • Payment by Financial Aid

    If the student's financial aid awards and loans are secured (meaning all required documents submitted) and the total amount of the student’s grants, scholarships, and loans exceeds the total account charges, the amount of the credit balance is eligible for the Meal Charge program, up to $750.

    If a student who receives financial aid does not have a credit balance, the student can still participate in the Meal Charge program if enrolled in an active Columbia College Chicago payment plan. The amount of the Meal Charge may be added to the payment plan.

  • Payment by Third-Party Benefit

    If the total of the student’s secured financial aid and third-party funds (meaning all required documents submitted) exceeds the total account charges, the amount of the credit balance is eligible for the Meal Charge program, up to $750.

    If a student receiving a third party payment does not have a credit balance, the student can still participate in the Meal Charge program if enrolled in an active Columbia College Chicago payment plan. The amount of the Meal Charge may be added to the payment plan.

Important Meal Charge Terms

To request a Meal Charge, a student must complete the Meal Charge Authorization Form. Upon approval, the Meal Charge is added to the student's Columbia bill and must be paid in full in accordance with Columbia's payment policy. The Meal Charge is advanced for use through the student's Campus Card. Therefore, if a student is requesting a Meal Charge, the student must have a valid Campus Card or obtain one prior to completing the Meal Charge Authorization Form.

A student may only submit one Meal Charge Authorization Form per term. Submission of this form does not guarantee approval. The student's request will be reviewed, and a reply will be sent to the student's official Columbia email account within 1-2 business days. 

Unused Meal Charge funds are non-refundable while a student is enrolled, but may be used at other campus locations where the Campus Card is accepted at any time during a student's enrollment at Columbia.

Below are the terms to which a student must agree when completing the Meal Charge Authorization Form:

  • I authorize the Meal Charge to be charged to my student account with Columbia.
  • I authorize Columbia to add the selected amount to my Campus Card.
  • I acknowledge that I am responsible for paying this amount, along with all other charges on my student account in accordance with Columbia's payment policy.
  • I authorize the use of Federal grants and loans to pay the Meal Charge on my student account.
  • I understand that I must be enrolled for the semester for which I'm requesting the Meal Charge funds.
  • I understand that it will take 1-2 business days to process this request, and that I am limited to one Meal Charge per semester.
  • I understand that unused Meal Charge funds will remain on my Campus Card while I am enrolled as a student at Columbia and may be used at any campus location where the Campus Card is accepted at any time during my enrollment at Columbia.
  • I understand that if I end my enrollment at Columbia and there are unused funds on my Campus Card, those unused funds will first be applied to any student account balance due to Columbia. If a credit balance remains after the funds have been applied to my student account, any remaining balance will be refunded to me according to my refund preferences/mailing address on file.
  • The maximum Meal Charge that can be requested for a term is $750.
Academic Dates and Deadlines