Greetings, Warhawks!

All students, at some point in their time here at UW-W, ask “What’s the difference between Purple Points and Dining Dollars?” Often times you get various answers from friends and peers, but here are the facts, brought to you directly from The HawkCard Office: the one-stop shop for Dining Dollars, Purple Points and Meal Plans.

We’ll start off introducing Dining Dollars because anyone who has ever been required to have a meal plan has had them:

Dining Dollars are loaded to your HawkCard in values of $50 or $100 at the beginning of each semester, in congruence with the weekly meal plan. Unless you have the “Dining Dollar Meal Plan”, where you will have $935 Dining Dollars to budget over the semester.

But what are they?

Dining Dollars are essentially cash, with the perk of getting a 15% discount at dining halls and a 10% discount at all other dining locations on campus. You are eligible to get Dining Dollars with ANY meal plan, including MyMeals. Dining Dollars expire at the end of each academic year though.

How are Dining Dollars different than Purple Points?

Well, you see, Purple Points are available to all students whether they have a meal plan or not. They roll over year-to-year until you graduate UW-W or leave for any other reason. Money deposited in this account can be used to buy supplies at the UW-W Bookstore; to pay for beverages or snacks from campus vending machines; to pay for services at the Health Center; to make purchases at food service locations; even to purchase Dining Dollars with at the HawkCard Office.  Many off-campus merchants in the area around campus accept Purple Points as well. A list of those merchants can be found at:

Are Dining Dollars or Purple Points better?

Now there’s no good answer for that one… They’re both conveniently located in one place: your HawkCard. Both Purple Points and Dining Dollar deposits are valued dollar-for-dollar. For example, that means if you deposit $5 in Purple Points, you will have 5 Purple Points. If you’re eating off-campus a lot (at places like Culvers, Cozumel, Subway, etc.): you would probably want Purple Points to avoid bringing your whole wallet! If you already have a meal plan, but find yourself eating in the UC during lunch time when weekly plans are not accepted: get Dining Dollars! Still not sure? Get both! The best way to fully understand all of the benefits of Purple Points and Dining Dollars is trying them out yourself. We always welcome your questions at the HawkCard Office, located in the UC room 250, open Monday – Friday, 8am – 4:30pm. You can also visit our website: for additional information.