Dining Services

Residence Dining Account

First-year students living in the residence halls are required to purchase one of three RDA dining plans as part of their housing and dining contract each semester.

If you are a sophomore in standing or above, and have at least one year of attendance at WSU, you are not required by the Freshman Live-in Rule to live in approved University housing. If you continue living in a residence hall, participating in an RDA plan will become optional.

RDA plans provide maximum flexibility—they do not provide a fixed number of meals per week. Instead, you control your spending for the semester.

Your RDA plan uses your CougarCard like a prepaid debit card. You will receive your RDA dollars at the beginning of each semester, and it is up to you to decide how to budget your account. With this flexibility comes the need to manage your RDA dollars responsibly.

Each time you access your RDA account, it will be debited for the amount of your purchase and the remaining balance will appear on the cash register display and on your receipt.

RDA plans have a base charge of $900 and a balance of RDA dollars. The base charge covers utilities, maintenance, repairs, mortgage payments, and a portion of the labor needed to support the food service program. The base charge is not part of the spendable RDA dollars.

Dining Plans

RDA Level Base Charge RDA Dollars Total Cost:
RDA 1 $ 900.00 $ 970.00 $1,870.00
RDA 2 900.00 $1,250.00 $2,150.00
RDA 3 900.00 $1,480.00 $2,380.00

Important Information:

  1. 1. You can add dollars to these plans anytime in the semester.
  2. 2. You can change to a different RDA plan until the 8th week of classes.
  3. 3. You receive a 40% discount when you use RDA to purchase food in the dining centers. This is the best way to make your RDA dollars go further. 
  4. 4. You can also spend RDA dollars in the markets, espresso bars, Carlita’s, Freshens, Einstein Bagels and Flix Café. You will receive a 10% discount at these locations.

Planning your RDA Spending

Click here for a chart that shows your expected RDA balance for each week in the semester. 

You can also estimate your RDA needs using the following graph, which shows the projected average check per dining location for 2019-2020 school year. It is based upon last year’s RDA buying habits and the projected Consumer Price Index (CPI) for 2019/2020. Since it is based on check averages, it may not reflect your particular buying habits.

Returning Students

All returning students, sophomore standing and above, have the option to purchase an RDA plan, but are not required to do so. If you are a returning student, here are some things to consider when deciding whether to repurchase an RDA plan:

  • • Having an RDA plan is convenient – you can purchase diverse, ready-made meals at many on-campus dining locations when it best fits your schedule.
  • • You don’t have to worry about finding time to grocery shop or cook while trying to balance time studying.
  • • You receive a 40% discount at all three of the dining centers and a 10% discount at many other on-campus dining locations.
  • • You don’t have to worry about budgeting for food while living on a tight college budget. Once you choose the dining level that fits your individual lifestyle needs, the RDA dollars associated with your plan level will be available to spend throughout the semester.

Access your housing and dining contract to add or change your RDA plan. Click here to read more about the reasons students purchase an RDA plan.


If needed, there are several ways to add dollars to your RDA accounts:

  1. 1. From your phone! Download the GET Food app on your phone and use the Funds management functionality. All you need to know can be found on the GetFood pages.
  2. 2. Add RDA dollars online through the CougarCard Center.
  3. 3. In person at the Cougar Card Center – located in the Compton Union Building on campus.
  4. 4. In person at Housing and Dining Financial Services – located in Streit Perham Hall on campus.