Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, some students started wondering if the expense of meal plans was worth what they were getting. This topic was something I thought about a lot when I came to EMU. I did some research and math that helped me and might help you as well.
To start, a really critical aspect of this decision is where you reside. As a commuter, you wouldn't benefit from a meal plan since your time on campus is limited. Nonetheless, if you live on campus, you may want to consider a meal plan due to the convenience of being able to grab meals without worrying about the cost at the time. Also, residing in campus dorms makes it require for you to have a meal plan. So this kind of makes the decision easier. However, if you commute you need to consider some other factors before you make your decision.
Secondly, money. Yeah, meal plans are helpful, but if you are planning to save some money then I wouldn't suggest it. If you do the math, cooking your own food or buying individual meals can save you a great deal of money instead of grabbing food from the eateries or the commons. Plus, some of the time you cannot choose exactly what food you want.
In the end, I believe that cooking for yourself is such a practical skill. This will save you tons of money not only during your college years but also after graduating. Meal plans still represent the right choice for some students. It just depends on your situation and cooking skills!