U of M students unhappy about losing end-of-semester dining plan refunds

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — University of Memphis student Alex Widner is proud of his tattoos. He’s also proud of how he paid for some of them.

“I told myself whatever I don’t spend now, I can spend later,” Widner said.

At the end of each semester, Widner said he would use money refunded to him from the unused portion of his student dining plan — the $300 automatically charged to each student each semester.

Under U of M’s old “Dining Dollars” program, students could count on refunds at the end of each semester for whatever they didn’t spend at campus restaurants.

“I loved it my freshman year because whatever I didn’t spend, I got back,” Widner said.

But this year, when the university replaced “Dining Dollars” with the “Tiger Eat$” program, the refunds went away.

According to U of M’s website, unused funds from the fall will roll over to the spring semester, but if they’re not used by the last day of the school year, they’re gone, and the money isn’t refunded.

“I’ve seen random people, and it’s like, ‘Hey, I’ve got, like, $70 left. You want me to buy you some Chick-Fil-A?’” Widner said.

Other students are also struggling to find ways to spend their dining plan funds on campus because they can no longer count on a pre-Christmas refund.

“It’s around the holiday season, so it would be nice to get your $300 back, instead of not getting it,” student Shawnya Jackson said.

“Give me my money back. I like getting that refund,” Widner said.

WREG reached out to U of M for comment but hasn’t heard back.

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