freshmandining
Credit: Jean Chapiro

An online

Meal swipes can be used to gain access to cafeteria-style dining halls like 1920 Commons and Kings Court English House. Students can use Dining Dollars to buy a la carte options at retail locations like Houston Market and Tortas Frontera. 

Freshman students have three dining plans to choose from. The one with the highest number of meal swipes offers approximately 16 meal swipes per week and $100 in Dining Dollars. Given that the meal plan costs $2,624.50 per semester, each meal swipe adds up to be about $9.28. The conversion that Penn offers is $4.87 per swipe, which is nearly a 50 percent loss for students. 

In the other dining plans, a single meal swipe can be worth up to $16.

"This is simply robbery of students,"

petition to protest Penn's policy of disallowing students to cancel their Penn dining plans prior to the beginning of school. The petition received more than 200 signatures, but no changes were made to Penn's policies. 

In March 2016, The Daily Pennsylvanian also conducted an unofficial survey which found that nearly 80 percent of freshmen respondents wish they did not have to be on a Penn meal plan.

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