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].  

Dining Cash is used as the primary funds for a meal plan. For example, the first-year dining program adds $2,300 per semester in Dining Cash to a student’s account at the start of the fall and spring semesters. Read below for more details.

  • Requirement: Dining Cash plans are required (per the GW Undergraduate Housing License Agreement) for all undergraduate resident students and are the primary funds for GW’s dining plan. Dining plans are billed to the Student Account each semester along with housing and tuition charges. 
  • Plan Levels: Dining Plans are assigned based on whether or not the student lives in a residence with or without a kitchen. Students may purchase a dining plan of higher value, but they can not purchase a less expensive plan. All dining plan changes must be made in person at the GWorld Office within the first 2 weeks of each semester.
  • Deposits: Dining Cash plans are deposited in full at the start of fall and spring semester. Dining Cash is a declining balance account that will count down based on each purchase made. Additional deposits can be made any time during the year. 
  • Permitted Purchases: Dining Cash can be used to purchase food at over 105 Dining partners. These partner locations include restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, vending machines and Mount Vernon on campus dining venues. 
  • Restricted Purchases: Dining Cash cannot be used to make purchases at non-dining GWorld merchants such as the GW Bookstore, the Colonial Health Center, and salons. Students can add Colonial Cash to make purchases at these GWorld service and retail merchants. Colonial Cash and Dining Cash may not be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco, or gift cards. GWorld funds can not be used to pay your Student Account (tuition bill).
  • Printing & Laundry Purchases: Dining Cash may be used for campus printing and residence hall laundry facility purchases when a student runs out of their 
  • Remaining Balances: Any unused funds left over at the end of term roll over from semester to semester and year to year. Having a remaining balance does not decrease the amount of the Dining plan that will be deposited next semester. 
  • Refunds: Dining Cash is non-refundable and non-transferrable. Per the GW Undergraduate Housing License Agreement, students waive the right to a refund for any unused GWorld funds while they are a student at GW. Students who withdraw from their housing assignments within the first 4 weeks of the semester (check the GW Undergraduate Housing License Agreement for specific dates) may be eligible for a prorated housing refund and a refund of unused Dining Cash. Any refund amount will not exceed the Dining Cash Plan assigned for the given semester. Students are not eligible for refunds of GWorld monies left over from previous semesters under any circumstances. 
  • Expiration: Colonial Cash and Dining Cash will not expire unless your account remains inactive (no deposits or charges) for a consecutive 36 month period.
  • Online Account Management: Via GET, an online system and mobile app, students can log on to check their balance, view their transactions, make deposits, make mobile orders from select GWorld merchants, and report their lost card.
  • Savings Opportunities: Students can use Dining Cash to take advantage of meal deals, promotions, specials and discounts available through their dining plans at GWorld locations. From more information on budgeting and money saving oppurtunities visit our Programming and Events page. 
  • Social Media: Follow @GWDining on Twitter, follow @GWDining on Instagram and like us GW Dining on Facebook to stay up to date on Dining partners and specials.

Dining Cash is used as the primary funds for a meal plan. It can be used at all of our 105+ dining partners

Colonial Cash is a voluntary account that can be used in addition to Dining Cash. It can be used at all GWorld merchant locations, including dining and grocery partners as well as with on-campus and off-campus retail partners, like the campus bookstore, or for services like parking, laundry and printing.

  • Am I required to participate in the meal plan?

All GW undergraduate students who live in GW residence halls are required to participate in the meal plan. Plans are determined based on the availability of a kitchen in a student’s residence hall.

  • Do Dining Cash and Colonial Cash rollover? 

Yes, all Dining Cash and Colonial Cash funds rollover from semester to semester and expire only after 35 months of no account activity.

  • How do I add Dining Cash or Colonial Cash? 

Both can be added onto your GWorld card by check, cash or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) at the GWorld Office (located on the ground floor of the University Student Center) or via the GET app. 

  • What if I want more Dining Cash than the dining plan minimum? 

Students should visit the GWorld Office, located on the Ground Floor of the University Student Center to purchase a higher value dining plan. The deadline for submitting dining plan changes is 2 weeks after the start of the semester.

  • How can I adjust my dining plan mid-semester? 

We recommend that if you opt in prior to the beginning of the semester to opt in to a higher value dining plan visit the GWorld Officeto purchase. However, if mid semester you would like to add more funds, you can add funds to your GWorld by check, cash, or credit card via the GET app or at the GWorld Office. 

  • How do I manage my account? 

You can manage your account via the GET app. You can also manage your funds in the Budgeting App. The Budgeting App is located within the GW Mobile App under the Dining Option. 

  • 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

  • I need help budgeting my GWorld funds. What should I do? 

If you are struggling with your GWorld balance here are some ways to maximize your funds. We highly encourage you to take advantage of Supermarket Sunday and other discounts at our dining partners. Supermarket Sundays gives students the opportunity to get a $10 GWorld refund when you spend $40 on meal prep groceries at either Whole Foods or Safeway. In addition, students should take advantage of our 40+ 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. 

The Store is a student-run food pantry at GW that is managed by the Store student organization and the Division for Student Affairs providing resources and support for students living with food insecurity. For more information on how to access visit The Store's webpage

The Abrahms Family Fund is a grant designed to provide Colonial Cash on an emergency basis to full-time undergraduate students who have exhausted their allotment of food money for the semester. A student may request funding to increase or add Colonial Cash. 



  • How do I find where to eat? 

We have more than 105 dining and grocery partners throughout D.C. that support nutritional preferences, tastes and range from fine dining, grab-and-go, late night, delivery, coffee, snacks, food truck vendors and more. You can check out a complete list of partners or use the GET mobile app to explore your extensive dining options.

  • Where can I eat late at night?

A full list of our dining partners and their business hours can be found on the GET app and under the "Where to Eat" tab. Some of our most popular late night dining spots include: 

  • The Grill at Pelham Commons

    • Monday - Thursday: 11:30 am - Midnight 

  • Gallery Cafe

    • Monday - Wednesday: 6:30am - 2:00am 

    • Thursday - Saturday: 6:30am - 3:00am 

    • Sunday: 6:30am - 12:00am 

  • Carvings

    • Sunday - Wednesday: 7:00am - 12:00am 

    • Thursday: 7:00am - 1:00am

    • Friday - Saturday: 7:00am - 3:00am

  • Crepeaway

    • Sunday - Wednesday: 11:30am - Midnight

    • Thursday - Saturday: 11:30am - 4:00am 

  • Wawa 

    • Open 24 hours! 

There are also many vending machines that offer a variety of snacks and beverage options, located in most common spaces of residential and academic buildings. If you have a request for a vending machine location please email [email protected]


  • I want to explore more of Washington, D.C. Are there dining options off campus for students?

Our open dining plan gives students the flexibility to explore dining options beyond our campus limits. We have dining partners located in Foggy Bottom, Fox Hall, Georgetown, and Dupont Circle. The dining options range from sit down restaurants like Bodega in Georgetown, to fast casual spots like Wawa in Dupont Circle. You can search all of our dining partners based on location under the "Where to Eat" page, using the campuscard interactive map. 

Washington, D.C. has ranked the second most walkabe city in the US. The friendly streets are perfect for exploring and we encourage GW students to take advantage of all the city has to offer. We encourage exploration not only by foot, but also by use of the robust public transportation system that DC offers. The Foggy Bottom Metro Station (servicing the blue, silver and organge lines) is located right at the heart of our campus. Visit the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority webpage for more information on transit lines and routes throughout the DMV area. 

The DC Circulator provides public transportation to the District’s main attractions and most lively neighborhoods for business, culture and entertainment at a cost of only $1. The circulator has stops on the Foggy Bottom Campus that can take students throughout the city. In addition, Safeway at 1855 Wisconsin Ave NW that is on our GWorld Card Program has a circulator stop located right in front. See below how to use the circulator to get to Safeway: 

How to Use the DC Circulator: On the Union Station to Georgetown Route  

  • Head to the corner of Pennsylvania Ave. NW / 22nd St.to get on the Circulator. Look for the bus stop sign with the DC Circulator logo on it. 

  • Have your Metro Card ready and loaded to swipe upon getting on the bus. (All trips cost $1) 

  • Ride the Circulator to the Wisconsin Ave. NW / 34th St. stop. (Safeway is located right behind this stop)

For more information about in-service times and other routes the circulator services throughout the city visit dccirculator.com


  • I can’t seem to find anything to eat to meet my dietary needs, what options do I have? 

The George Washington University recognizes that students come to GW with a variety of nutritional needs and food preferences.  It is the goal of the university to provide you the offerings to meet your individual nutritional needs.  

If, however, you have a chronic medical condition that necessitates the provision of specific accommodations beyond what is available through the GW Dining program, there is a process that the university will follow to determine if such accommodation is reasonable.  Please fill out and submit the Dietary Needs Requiring Accommodations: Student Request Form(.pdf) and have a medical professional fill out the Dietary Needs Requiring Accommodation: Health Care Provider form(.pdf). These forms should be sent to GW’s Disability Support Services as noted in each form. It is important for you to provide the information requested and fill in all information fields.  You should also explain your individual dietary needs in detail so that we can understand and work together with you to meet your needs.

  • I’m a resident of the Mount Vernon Campus and could use some assistance getting my dietary needs met. Is there anyone I can speak with? 

At Mount Vernon Campus Dining we take your health and nutrition needs seriously and hope to partner with you to make your dining experience at GW safe and enjoyable. We recommend that you get to know our dining managers, as they will be your best resource for allergen identification and special needs accommodations on an ongoing basis. 

If you have allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, shellfish, soy, wheat, tree nuts, dairy, gluten, or have been diagnosed with such conditions as celiac, lactose intolerance, diabetes, etc. we are equipped to help. 

We offer a variety of meats, fish and poultry daily that can be prepared with no added ingredients.  Nearly all of our proteins and vegetables can be prepared gluten-free, so please ask. Within each dining venue, foods are labeled with nutritional information and major allergens.

  • I’d really like to speak with a dietician and get some nutritional advice, where can I go? 

If you are interested in an individual nutrition consultation please contact the GW Student Health Center



Did You Know? 

In an effort to further enhance the student dining expierence 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

Meal Prep Guide

The GW Dining Meal Prep Guide 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! Click here for a pdf version. 


Supermarket Sundays

Looking to save dining cash? Supermarket Sundays is for you! Supermarket Sundays is a program designed to encourage students to meal prep and grocery shop as means to budget dining cash. When you spend $40 on meal prep groceries during designated Supermarket Sunday hours, you can receive $10 back in dining cash on your GWorld Card. For more information about specific Supermarket Sunday dates and how to particpate please click here


5 Ingredients or Less Cookbook 

The 5 Ingredients or Less cookbook 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! You can find a pdf version here and a printed version in all residental hall community kitchens across campus. 

budgeting app

Dining Cash 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! 


The Store 

The Store is a student-run food pantry at the George Washington University (GW) that is managed by the Store student organization and the Division for Student Affairs providing resources and support for students living with food insecurity. Students who would like to access the pantry should log in to the Store application and complete the prompts.