Living off-campus doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all of the tasty on-campus dining options! Off-campus students are not required to purchase a university meal plan, but many students find that having the option to eat on campus is convenient and keeps them connected to campus!
Off-Campus Frequently Asked Questions about Dining
1. What are Freedom Dollars? Where can I use them?
a. ‘Freedom Dollars’ are dollars on your Mason ID that can be used at all restaurants on campus tax-free, and include a $2 discount at all resident dining halls. Freedom is a dollar-for-dollar declining balance meal plan and is great for convenience and value when dining at retail locations. Remaining dollars will carry over from fall to spring with the purchase of another meal plan (but will expire at the end of the spring semester).
2. What are Bonus Dollars and how are they different from Freedom?
a. Bonus Dollars work the same as Freedom Dollars – they can be used at any dining location on campus tax-free. Bonus Dollars are part of other meal plans which also include swipes for the resident dining halls, while Freedom plans only include dollars to spend in retail dining locations.
3. When do meal plans and Freedom Dollars expire?
a. Freedom Dollars and Meal Plans expire at the end of each semester, however, remaining balance does carry over from Fall to Spring with the purchase another meal plan. All dining balance will expire at the end of spring semester.
4. What happens if I have money or meal swipes left on my card at the end of the year?
a. At the end of the spring semester, all remaining dining balance will expire, so be sure to use your meal plan during the semester!
5. What are the benefits of purchasing a meal plan as an off-campus student?
a. Meal plans provide convenience and savings for dining on campus. Having a meal plan allows for tax-exempt dining as well as a discount on the door price at Mason’s all-you-care-to-eat dining halls, which are a great place to connect with friends and study between classes. Dining plans are loaded on your Mason ID, and can be purchased or upgraded at anytime by emailing masonID@gmu.edu.
6. How do I add and use my plan?
a. Purchase or upgrade your plan email the Mason Card Office (SUB 1 Room 1203, masonID@gmu.edu) with your G Number and the plan you want. You can do this anytime during the semester. Once the Mason Card Office has updated your information you swipe your Mason ID at our dining locations.
Off Campus Meal Plan Options
Meal plans for off campus students are designed to provide savings and convenience when dining on campus.
Off-Campus students are able to choose from all the meal plan options listed below. Based on your class schedule and dining habits, you might be interested in the Patriot Plans for access to sit-down restaurants or Freedom Plans for dollars to use anywhere. Liberty and Independence plans are also available if you will be eating on campus multiple times per day, each day.
Locations indicated in yellow are dining halls, which accept meal swipes. Freedom and Bonus dollars work everywhere on the map. If you do not have a meal plan, you can still purchase food at any of these locations (Note: some places might not accept cash)
If you have any further questions check out our Meal Plan page on our dining website.
Did you know that you can use the full-size refrigerator to store your lunch if you don’t want to purchase on campus? We even have a microwave for your use AND a Keurig with free coffee, hot chocolate, and tea. Sign up for our Mason Moment and check out Get Connected to stay in the loop about free food events throughout the semester as well!