What is Room and Board in College?

Marie-Antonette Bone

Room and board in college is defined as on-campus college housing that is accompanied by a meal plan. It is a convenient arrangement that allows students to live on campus with easy, accountable access to food. Some colleges require incoming freshmen to sign up for room & board for their first year or two of college, but it is often an option available for any student throughout their four years.

“Room” in Room and Board, means…

The “room” part can be taken literally; it’s basically your college bedroom, where you can sleep, study, and hang out with your friends. Your room typically furnished with the basics (a bed, desk, dresser), which can help you avoid the hassle of bringing your own big, bulky furniture. There are usually various rooming options, which can range from single-resident dorms to shared suite-style rooms.

Here’s what “Board” refers to…

The term “board” refers to the meal plan, which can take many forms to cater to the different ways that students eat. Schools may offer plans that have a set number of meals per day, an allotment of meals per week, or unlimited access to the dining hall. My college, for instance, provides a board plan with which students are given a set number of points at the beginning of the year. It’s then up to the students to budget their points for their daily meals, but they are given enough not to worry about running out! And as an incentive to opt in to a meal plan, my school made it cheaper to purchase food with dining points than with real money. Plans such as these are usually restricted to on-campus dining facilities.

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Things to Consider When Signing up for Room and Board: 

While you’re preparing to start your college career, consider signing up for room and board. Although it can be a bit pricey, it can be extremely convenient with many benefits. Staying on campus allows you to live close to your classes and the college community, giving you a strong, immersive experience of the college experience. What’s more, housing and dining plans allow you to rest easy knowing that you are guaranteed to have all your basic living/eating needs met. With room & board, your big transition to college feel just a bit easier!

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