Starting in July 2018, GC Dining Services will cancel its Dining Dollars program and make Bobcat Card funds known as CatCash an optional policy unconnected to GC meal plans.
The University System of Georgia instituted a new policy, effective in the summer of 2019, which says that USG universities are not allowed to require automatic deposits into accounts, such as Dining Dollars or CatCash, as part of a meal plan purchase. GC is beginning this system early to lower the cost of meal plans for students.
“As part of restructuring, we decided to eliminate the Dining Dollars program altogether since those funds were limited and could only be used for on-campus food purchases,” said Greg Brown, director of Auxiliary Services.
In the past, GC freshmen students were required by the GC First Year Student Policy to purchase a meal plan, along with the requirement to live on campus. GC Dining Services currently offers three traditional meal plans that which include a set amounts of Dining Dollars and CatCash. Students of all class levels can also add CatCash to their Bobcat Cards online.
The Dining Dollars program allows students to purchase food from any on-campus dining venue, while Cat Cash allows students to purchase other items anywhere that accepts the Bobcat Card as payment. This includes printing, laundry, copying and off-campus restaurants and stores.
Due to the variety of purchase options with CatCash, this program will continue as an option, not a requirement. GC Dining Services still suggests that parents and students put money into a CatCash account for their students to be able to use where only Bobcat Cards are accepted, not debit cards, such as the printers or copiers.
Students welcome a change to the dining plan.
“The meal plan is very expensive, so knowing that I was also paying for money that could be used at other restaurants was nice,” said senior Ashlee Cordero, an exercise science major.
“I think making it strictly CatCash is a positive thing because you can still use CatCash at places that you would normally use dining dollars.”
Students who currently have Dining Dollars in their accounts will keep those until they are used up or the student graduates from GC. They cannot be turned in to CatCash or transferred elsewhere.
Other students who used Dining Dollars more often than CatCash also see the change as a positive because CatCash can still be used at places that used to take Dining Dollars.
“I never found CatCash very useful, but I liked Dining Dollars because I was able to eat on campus,” said junior Ansley McDaniel, a biology major. “Combining them will be a win-win for people who want to eat on or off campus.”