Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of our most frequently asked questions about our dining plans. If you have more questions or concerns regarding dining at GW, please email [email protected].

What are the Dining Plan Options?

Please visit GW's Dining Plan overview page for more information on dining plans.

What is the Difference between Dining Cash and Colonial Cash?

Dining Dollars are affiliated with GW’s Student Dining Meal Plans and are stored money (ie: 1 dining dollar is $1 cash dollar) on your GWorld card. Dining Dollars can be used to purchase food at participating GWorld Dining Partners both on- and off-campus. Dining Dollars can not be used for retail or service purchases (ie: barbershop/hair salons).

Colonial Cash is dual purpose. Students voluntarily load money on their GWorld card as Colonial Cash to use at laundry machines, printing kiosks and retail partners (barbershop/hair salon). Faculty and staff can voluntarily load money to their GWorld Card in the form of Colonial Cash and use their GWorld card as a form of payment at any of the listed GWorld Dining and Retail Store Partners.

Can I add more Dining Dollars to my meal plan/How to I manage my Dining Dollars account?

Use the GET mobile app to manage your GWorld Dining Dollars, download the app on Apple or Android. Once downloaded, select George Washington University as your institution, enter your username (ie: your GW email), create a password and a custom 4 digit pin that will be  used within the app. Once in the app you can check your balance on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. You can also use the app to add more Dining Dollars to your account anytime you want.

I need help making my Dining Dollars last all semester. What should I do?

Students should take advantage of our Meal Deals and Discounts with our dining partners. We also recommend that students take advantage of the Budgeting App to see how to manage funds weekly and daily.


I have received a scholarship and/or a financial aid package. Can I apply those funds to my dining plan?

For information on exactly what your scholarship or financial aid package covers visit the Office of Student Financial Assistance webpage.

Where can I eat on-campus using my Dining Meal Plan?

Where to Eat | GW Dining | The George Washington University (

Thurston Hall Dining - One of two dining halls on the Foggy Bottom Campus to visit for an all-you-care-to-eat experience. At Thurston, enjoy nine dining concept stations, including our made from scratch bakery and Pure Eats allergen station for students with food sensitivities.

District House Dining - Located on Foggy Bottom, District House dining will offer 5 different concepts where you order a ‘complete meal’ ie: entree, side and drink at one of the five stations.

Shenkman Hall Dining (Opening for Spring 2023) - One of two dining halls on the Foggy Bottom Campus to visit for an all-you-care-to-eat experience. At Shenkman, enjoy seven dining concepts, including a Teaching Kitchen where students will learn from trained Chefs.

Buff & Brew Coffee Shop - located in Ames Hall on the Mount Vernon campus, this GW-branded coffee shop serves…coffee!  Open for breakfast Monday - Friday during the academic year, the coffee shop also serves up a variety of teas, breakfast pastries and fruit cups.

Additionally, our on-campus GWorld Dining Partners include Panera, Beefsteak, Carvings, GW Deli and Point Chard.

Where can I eat off-campus using my Dining Meal Plan?

Off-Campus, you can eat at one of more than 80 nearby establishments through our GWorld Dining Partnerships including Captain Cookie, GCDC: Grilled Cheese Bar, Subway, Sweetgreen and many more.

Check out all of GWorld’s Dining Partners 

What happens to my Dining Dollars at the end of the semester?

All Dining Dollars will roll over until the student is no longer affiliated with the university.

I have a food allergy and/or special dietary need. What are my options?

We recognize that students come to GW with a variety of nutritional needs and food preferences. It is our goal to provide you with offerings to meet your individual nutritional needs.

Self-Identification Campaign

  • GW Dining promotes a program to encourage students with allergies to identify their specific dietary needs to our dining staff. Our Dine on Campus app and dining website have an allergen ID program, which allows students to fill out an informational card of allergen information, emergency contacts, and any medication specifics (such as carrying an epi-pen).
  • The GW Dining Staff is trained by the GW Dietitian to ensure students feel comfortable sharing their dietary needs for specific accommodations in the GW Dining Halls once a student informs them of their restrictions. Students are also encouraged to reach out to campus chefs and the campus dietitian for specific dietary needs.
  • A trained chef or sous chef will handle or direct any preparation that may be needed for the student's meal. Our management, culinary staff, and allergen handling associates will complete FARE Certified food allergen training, along with additional specific food allergy training for cross-contamination and meal prep. Our campus dietitian is your main point for all allergy or celiac-related issues.

Avoiding Contact

  • If you have a food allergy or intolerance and you're dining in any of our on-campus dining halls, be sure to take the following precautions if you are worried about cross-contact.
    • Ask the GW dining associate handling your food to:
      • Wash their hands and change their gloves.
      • Use a designated utensil for your meal.
      • Serve your menu items from the back of the house that have yet come in contact with the serving bar.
      • Be sure to review the allergen and ingredient information online or through our Dine on Campus App to ensure your safety and satisfaction.

Our Commitment: How We Can Help You

  • Our GW chefs and dining managers have completed the Food Allergies and Celiac Disease Training. The training we provide is reviewed and approved by FARE.
  • Our GW dining employees have completed and passed their allergy training. We have an open policy with our recipes and encourage students to request to view all product labels that are used within our recipes.
  • We support the Food Allergen Labeling requirements for the 8 major allergens.


    Did You Know?

    In an effort to further enhance the student dining experience more we have place our 5 Ingredients or Less Cookbook in all residence hall community kitchens. We have also distributed dish soap and scrub brushes to emphasize the importance of respecting community spaces by cleaning after cooking in your community kitchen. Tag us on Instagram (@gwdining) in your recipe testing from the cookbook!

    Other Food Related Resources: 

    Meal Prep Guide

    The GW Dining Meal Prep Guide (PDF) is a beginner's guide to shopping, preparing, and portioning out budget-friendly meals. This guide is designed to help students learn how to strategically grocery shop to prepare meals for the week. With grocery shopping lists, step-by-step cooking instructions, and planning tips, you will be sure to be a meal prepping master after reading!

    5 Ingredients of Less Cookbook

    The 5 Ingredients or Less cookbook (PDF) was curated with the college student in mind. Cooking in college can be challenging; this cookbook is designed to be a great resource for students looking to learn more about cooking. 5 Ingredients or Less is your new go-to for easy, healthy, and delicious recipes, as well as many tips and tricks on how to cook with a college schedule and budget! A printed version is available in all residential hall community kitchens across campus.


    Dining Dollars Budgeting App

    The GW Dining Budgeting App is located within the GW Mobile App under the "Dining" options. The app displays how much dining cash you have remaining on your GWorld card. In addition, the app will break down what your weekly and daily spending should be to stay on budget to have sufficient funds for the whole semester. This is a great tool to esnure that each week you stick to your budget and if you fall off track, the app is there to help you get right back on budget!