By: Lainah Mangwiza

Easing into college life for students goes beyond reducing academic stress. The basis of debit-card like funds such as Dining Dollars and Purple Points is to ensure an ease in a student’s ability to access additional meals, snacks, beverages and more. While enrolled in a meal plan, students can take advantage of the vast Dining Dollar perks available only on campus. For students without meal plans, similar meal related benefits can be secured with the purchase of Purple Points. Here are a few ways to maximize your use of either or both Dining Dollars and Purple Points.

On-campus, Dining Dollars are the undisputed perk King. Dining Dollars offer a 10-15% discount when used at campus dining locations. When utilizing Dining Dollars, you unlock additional savings for food purchases on campus. These savings could be a 15% discount at Drumlin sandwich shop or dining hall complimented by an additional 5.5% sales tax exemption. The saving opportunities are endless. For example, tight school schedules that leave you with minimal time to trek to the dining halls often find students looking for a quick meal in the UC. Enjoy the flexibility brought on by the ability to use Dining Dollars at campus favorites such as Einstein Bros Bagels. In this simple transaction you manage to dodge the 2pm meal swipe traffic, get to class on time, and get a 10% discount. After 2pm, purchase your meals using your meal plan then employ Dining Dollars to upgrade the meal. In any event, Dining Dollars will provide you with some sort of satisfaction.  

However, Dining Dollars are only accessible to those enrolled in a meal plan. Available to all students regardless of a meal plan are Purple Points. Purple Points are similar to Dining Dollars in the sense that Purple Points are a dollar for dollar, debit-card-like account. Superior to Dining Dollars is that Purple Points offer versatility by being accessible on-campus and off-campus. This means with just your HawkCard you are able to take a break from campus cuisine and indulge in McDonald’s, Domino’s and other beloved chains that can be found on the HawkCard website at Off-Campus Purple Points Locations . On campus, Purple Points can also be used for the vending machines. By utilizing Purple Points for food purchases, students are exempt from the 5.5% sales tax. The championing features of the Purple Point account is the fact that parents/guardians are able to add Purple Points for a student by making a Guest Deposit through the Online HawkCard Office . Additionally, Purple Points do not expire until graduation or withdrawal. This is beneficial for students who overestimate the funds they anticipate they would have used. Hence, Purple Points can be used continuously to make purchases on and off-campus for food year-round.

I hope you can use your newfound in-depth understanding of Dining Dollars and Purple Points to optimize the use of either one or both of these accounts. Further information on both accounts and other information regarding the HawkCard can be found at the HawkCard Website .