Meal Plans & FAQs

William Paterson University offers a meal plan that fits every student’s needs, and the plans 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 encouraged to participate in the program that is designed to offer an elevated campus  dining experience that is only available at WP’s newly renovated Dining Hall featuring a variety of cuisines and international flavors, seven days a week.  Having a meal plan makes that 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 available, 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: Weekly Meal Plans and Block Plans.

  • Weekly Plans 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. 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.  Weekly Plus Plans offer added value and flexibility.
  • 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 mealtimes, 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.

As an example, if a purchase was made in a participating retail dining location totaling $8.25, a meal equivalency (or cash value) of $5.25 may be used in exchange for a meal swipe. The account holder may then process the remaining $3 balance with their meal plan’s Pioneer Express balance, cash, or credit.


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

More About Our Resident Meal Plan Options


This plan provides access for up to 19 meals a week in Wayne Dining Hall and is ideal for students who will be joining us on campus 5-7 days a week.

The recipient will be guaranteed a meal swipe for all breakfast, lunch, and dinner periods during the week and our Brunch and Dinner services on the weekend (Saturday – Sunday). Students can also utilize a meal swipe and access Late Night meal service Sun-Thu, at WDH from 8pm-10pm and at The W Store from 10pm-12 midnight.  They will also have the ability to swipe in up to 1 guest per period until all their 19 meals have been utilized.  

This plan also comes with a one-time deposit of $300.00 of Pioneer Express which may be utilized at all dining locations and, where advertised both on and off campus.

Plan highlights

  • Students will be able to use 2 meal swipes per meal period.
  • For example, you can use a swipe at WDH; and another in the Food Court on your way to class as a snack allowance.
  • Perfect for students that anticipate being on campus seven days a week = 3 Meals Mon-Fri 2 Meals Sat-Sun.
  • Plan meals must be utilized in the semester they are purchased. They do not rollover.  PE funds that remain will rollover from Fall to Spring and must be used by their expiration date of June 30.

This plan provides access for up to 19 meals a week in Wayne Dining Hall and is ideal for students who will be on campus 7 days a week and are active on campus, participating in campus activities and sports.

The recipient will be guaranteed a meal swipe for all breakfast, lunch, and dinner periods during the week and our Brunch and Dinner services on the weekend (Saturday – Sunday). Students can also utilize a meal swipe and access Late Night meal service Sun-Thu, at WDH from 8pm-10pm and at The W Store from 10pm-12 midnight.

Standard plans allow the ability to swipe in 1 guest per period, however the plus plans – 19 plus & 15 plus - provide up to 2 guests per period until all meals allowed in the week have been utilized.

Just like the traditional 19 Meal Plan, the 19 PLUS also comes with a one-time deposit of $300.00 of Pioneer Express (campus cash) which may be utilized at all dining locations and where advertised both on and off campus.

You will also receive an additional $300.00 of Pioneer Express ($600 total) with a bonus of $50 included, to be used exclusively at on-campus dining locations.

Plan highlights

  • Perfect for students that anticipate being on campus, all 7 days and are actively working as student employees and/or participating in campus activities and sports.
  • The Weekly 19 Plus plan allows students to use 3 meal swipes per meal period.
  • An upgrade to the traditional 19 by providing an additional $300 of Pioneer Express for use at campus dining locations for only an additional $250. $50 bonus PE funds.
  • Plus Plans add additional funds for students who want PE for Dining and who utilize multiple swipes allowed during meal periods.
  • Meal swipes included in purchased Meal Plans must be utilized during the semester the plan was purchased in. PE funds that remain will rollover from Fall to Spring and must be used by their expiration date of June 30.

This plan provides access for up to 15 meals a week in Wayne Dining Hall and is ideal for students who will be joining us on campus 4-5 days a week.

The recipient will be guaranteed a meal swipe for all breakfast, lunch, and dinner periods during the week. They will also have the ability to swipe in up to 1 guest per period until all their 15 meals have been utilized.

This plan also comes with a one-time deposit of $400.00 of Pioneer Express which may be utilized at all dining locations and where advertised, both on and off campus.

Plan Highlights

  • It is also the default plan if you do not select one as a resident and traditionally the most common meal plan.
  • Perfect for students that anticipate being on campus 4-5 days a week.
  • Plan meals must be utilized in the semester they are purchased. They do not rollover.  PE funds that remain will rollover from Fall to Spring and must be used by their expiration date of June 30.

This plan provides access for up to 15 meals a week in Wayne Dining Hall and is ideal for students who will be joining us on campus 5 days a week.

The recipient will be guaranteed a meal swipe for all breakfast, lunch, and dinner periods during the week. They will also have the ability to swipe in up to 2 guests per period until all their 15 meals have been utilized.

Standard plans allow the ability to swipe in 1 guest per period, however the plus plans – 19 plus & 15 plus - provide up to 2 guests per period until all meals allowed in the week have been utilized.  

Just like the traditional 15 Meal Plan, the 15 PLUS also comes with a one-time deposit of $400.00 of Pioneer Express (campus cash) which may be utilized at all dining locations and, where advertised both on and off campus.  You will also receive an additional $250.00 of Pioneer Express ($650 total) with a bonus of $50 included, to be used exclusively at on-campus dining locations.

Plan Highlights

  • Perfect for students that anticipate being on campus 5 days a week actively working as student employees and/or participating in campus activities and sports.
  • The Weekly 15 Plus plan allows students to use 3 meal swipes per meal period.
  • An upgrade to the traditional 15 by providing an additional $250 of Pioneer Express for use at campus dining locations for only an additional $200 in cost. $50 bonus PE funds.
  • Plus Plans afford additional funds for students who want PE for Dining and who wish to utilize multiple swipes during meal periods.
  • Plan meals must be utilized in the semester they are purchased. They do not rollover.  PE funds that remain will rollover from Fall to Spring and must be used by their expiration date of June 30.

This plan provides access for up to 10 meals a week in Wayne Dining Hall and is ideal for students who will be joining us on campus 3-4 days a week and frequently visit our retail dining locations.

The recipient will be guaranteed a meal swipe for all breakfast, lunch, and dinner periods during the week. They will also have the ability to swipe in up to 1 guest per period until all their 10 meals have been utilized.

Where this plan stands out is it comes with a one-time deposit of $800.00 of Pioneer Express which may be utilized at all dining locations and, where advertised both on and off campus.

Plan highlights

  • Perfect for students that are casual users of Wayne Dining Hall.
  • The plan offers the most PE dollars allowing greater flexibility maximizing the usage of Pioneer Express both on and off campus.
  • Plan meals must be utilized in the semester they are purchased. They do not rollover.  PE funds that remain will rollover from Fall to Spring and must be used by their expiration date of June 30.

This plan will provide the recipient with access to 175 meals in Wayne Dining Hall which may be used as a declining balance throughout the duration of the semester. Perfect for upperclassmen students that have become accustomed to the dining program on campus.

They will also have the ability to swipe in up to 1 guest per period until all their 175 meals have been utilized.

This plan also comes with a one-time deposit of $350.00 of Pioneer Express which may be utilized at all dining locations and, where advertised both on and off campus.

Please note: Since meals on this plan are a one-time deposit, it is not recommended for new students or those unfamiliar with our campus dining program.

Plan highlights

  • Perfect for upperclassmen students that have become accustomed to college life managing an academic and dining schedule.
  • Allows for students to pick and choose when they would like to utilize their meal swipes at their own leisure.
  • Not recommended for new students who may run out of swipes earlier in the semester and have to rely on Pioneer Express until the end of term.
  • Plan meals must be utilized in the semester they are purchased. They do not rollover.  PE funds that remain will rollover from Fall to Spring and must be used by their expiration date of June 30.

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.                   

More About our Voluntary/Commuter Plans


  • A plan designated for commuter and graduate students as well as apartment residents.
  • Perfect for students who have access to a kitchen for some meals and need the flexibility of using their Pioneer Express for on-the-go meal purchases at retail dining locations and, where advertised both on and off campus.
  • This meal plan does not contain a designated number of “meal swipes” into Wayne Dining Hall. Students will have to pay the door rate at entry but can use their PE to do so.
  • A great option for commuter students that would like to sample the campus’s meal plan program at the popular WDH.
  • The intro plan is economically priced. After 10 swipes (or equivalencies) they can opt to upgrade to a higher plan.
  • Plan meals must be utilized in the semester they are purchased. They do not rollover.
  • A great option for commuter students that would like to sample the meal plan program at the popular WDH and are on campus at least 2 times a week.
  • The basic plan offers a good value at WDH and flexibility of utilizing PE at all dining locations and, where advertised both on and off campus.
  • After 25 swipes (or equivalencies) they can opt to renew or change to another plan.
  • Plan meals must be utilized in the semester they are purchased. They do not rollover.  PE funds that remain will rollover from Fall to Spring and must be used by their expiration date of June 30.
  • A great option for commuter students that are slightly familiar the campus’s meal plan program at the popular WDH and are on campus at least 3 times a week.
  • The Convenience plan offers a great value at WDH and flexibility of utilizing PE at all dining locations and, where advertised both on and off campus.
  • After 50 swipes (or equivalencies) they can opt to renew or change to another plan.
  • Plan meals must be utilized in the semester they are purchased. They do not rollover.  PE funds that remain will rollover from Fall to Spring and must be used by their expiration date of June 30.
  • The recommended option for commuter students that routinely utilize the campus’s meal plan program at the popular WDH and are on campus at least 4 – 5 times a week.
  • A great option for apartment residents that would traditionally select the graduate debit plan that also tend to eat primarily on campus.
  • The Advantage plan offers the best value at WDH and the most PE funds offering the flexibility of accessing all locations both on and off campus where PE is accepted.
  • After 75 swipes (or equivalencies) they can opt to select another plan.
  • Plan meals must be utilized in the semester they are purchased. They do not rollover.  PE funds that remain will rollover from Fall to Spring and must be used by their expiration date of June 30.
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 Hospitalityservices@wpunj.edu.