Anne Barton, associate director of financial aid, was quoted in the Aug. 15 Democrat and Chronicle story “College costs can blindside you.” The article was about costs, such as phone bills, travel, and meal plans that parents are not expecting or don't know which option to choose.
“Very often people are paying so that the student can have three meals a day, seven days a week,” Barton said. “The reality is, students don't eat like that. Food service on almost every campus now is buffet style, all you can eat. And there is no student who is going to eat three buffet meals every day. If they do, they are going to come home 100 pounds heavier at the end of the semester. So parents are paying for something students are not really using. I always tell people to go with the standard meal plan. If your student calls home and says, 'I'm starving, I'm not getting enough to eat,' you can always up the meal plan or add snack points to it.”