Frequently Asked Questions

Below is a list of frequently asked questions. We hope this information assists you with preparing to dine on campus!

If you are looking for housing information, please visit


Students dining at Akers


When do spring semester dining plans end?

Summer semester plans end on Thursday, August 15, at 3 p.m.


What are the current dining rates?

  • Public rates for all-you-care-to-eat locations:
    • Breakfast: $9 plus tax
    • Lunch/dinner: $13 plus tax
    • Children, ages 2-9: $6.75 plus tax
    • Children under 2: Free
      Tax does not apply to MSU students
  • Grab & Go for Holden Dining Hall and Holmes Dining Hall: à la carte
  • Dining plans:
    • On-campus dining plans for 2023-24 (first-year residents): $3,450 for Silver, $3,600 for Gold, $3,750 for Platinum
    • On-campus dining plans for 2023-24 (second-year residents): $3,226 for Silver, $3,376 for Gold, $3,526 for Platinum
    • Off-campus dining plan: $9 per meal (no tax)
    • Faculty/staff dining plan: $9 per meal plus tax
  • If you are an off-campus student and you would like to purchase a Silver, Gold, or Platinum plan, please call 517-355-2274.
  • Residential dining halls are cashless operations. Retail locations continue to accept cash.
  • Mobile ordering is included with Silver, Gold, and Platinum dining plans. Guests paying with Spartan Cash or debit/credit card in the Transact Mobile Ordering app pay an à la carte price structure. Mobile ordering will not be offered on certain holidays; please see for details.


Brody Hall from the outside


Where can I find the current hours of operation?

Visit for current hours of operation. Please be mindful that they change from time to time due to staffing circumstances or university holidays. The top of the page outlines recent changes and calls attention to any important updates.


Are hours different for mobile ordering?

When you open the Transact Mobile Ordering app, you can see what locations accept orders and the options menu. 

Mobile ordering is currently available Monday-Friday at Holden and Holmes. Please note that the availability of mobile ordering is impacted during university holidays.

Visit for current hours of operation and learn more about mobile ordering at



Combo-X-Change example


What is Combo-X-Change?

  • Combo-X-Change is commonly referred to as CX or combos.
  • This dining plan benefit allows students, faculty, and support staff to grab a meal on the go from various locations across campus.


Who can use CX meals?

Silver, Gold, or Platinum Dining Plan

  • CX meals are included with Silver, Gold, and Platinum dining plans (they don’t cost anything extra).
  • All three plans (Silver, Gold, and Platinum) include 12 CX meals per week from Sunday through Saturday.
  • Students can use more than one CX meal per day. They do not carry over to the next week, but the count of 12 will reset every Sunday.

Off-campus Student or Faculty/Staff Dining Plan

  • If you have an off-campus student or faculty/staff dining plan, you can use each meal access to enter an all-you-care-to-eat location OR as a Combo-X-Change meal.


Where can CX meals be used?

Combo-X-Change locations are listed below. Visit our dining hours page to note which locations are open.

  • Starbucks at 1855 Place and the Main Library
  • Takeout from all-you-care-to-eat dining halls
  • Sparty's mini-markets
  • Sparty's Market at 1855 Place
  • Kellogg Market at Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center
  • The International Center food court
  • The Workshop at STEM
  • MSU Concessions (select venues at Spartan Stadium and the Breslin Center)
  • Panera Bread at Minskoff Pavilion
  • Strange Matter Coffee at the MSU Union
  • Holden and Holmes dining halls (Grab & Go)
  • Mobile ordering (included with Silver, Gold, and Platinum plans)


How many Combo-X-Change meals can I use?

Silver, Gold, or Platinum Plan

  • 12 CX meals per week, Sunday through Saturday.
  • Login online to check your balance. The number displayed under the "Week" heading for "Meals Remaining" is your remaining balance.

Off-campus Student or Faculty/Staff Dining Plan

  • Any meal access can be used as a CX. Each time a CX is used, one meal access is deducted from your dining plan balance.
  • Login online to check your balance. Your balance displays as a USD amount because we use the same system for Spartan Cash. That is the number of meals you have remaining. For example, if it shows 7.00 USD, that means you have 7 meals left.


Can I use more than one CX per day?

Yes, you can use more than one CX meal per day. Please note that if you are attempting to use more than one in a short timeframe, there is a 10- to 15-minute delay between CX transactions. If you are trying to use multiple CX meals in a short timeframe, you may have to wait a little bit between swipes!

Combo-X-Change color codes

How do I identify CX options?

We have color-coding at our locations, so you can quickly identify options. A is for beverages, B is for entrées, and C is for sides/snacks.


What are examples of CX meals?

Here are a few examples of Combo-X-Change meal options offered at participating locations. There are many more options - these are simply examples! If you have trouble identifying eligible items, look for our color-coding by item/letter or ask a team member. Please note options reflect the 2023-24 school year; they are subject to change.

  • Starbucks at 1855 Place (Main Library location opening soon): Any tall handcrafted beverage on the menu paired with a bakery item or breakfast sandwich
  • The Workshop at STEM: Turkey cheddar panini with an apple and a bottled beverage
  • Sparty's Market at 1855 Place: Personal pizza with a side of fruit and bottled water
  • Subway at Crossroads Food Court in the International Center: 6" veggie sub with 2 cookies OR chips with a fountain drink
  • Woody's Oasis at Crossroads Food Court in the International Center: 6 oz. chicken shawarma and 6 oz. rice with a beverage
  • Panda Express at Crossroads Food Court in the International Center: Orange chicken with fried OR steamed rice and a fountain drink or bottled water
  • Panera Bread at Minskoff Pavilion: ½ Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt, Toasted Frontega Chicken or Bacon Turkey Bravo with choice of side and a fountain drink
  • Strange Matter Coffee at MSU Union: Flavored latte and a sprinkled doughnut
  • Grab & Go (Holden Dining Hall): Vegetable grain bowl with an MSU Bakers cookie and a beverage
  • Grab & Go (Holmes Dining Hall): Sweet and sour shrimp with a vegetable egg roll and a beverage
  • MSU Concessions (select venues at Spartan Stadium and the Breslin Center): Hot dog OR veggie wrap hot dog with popcorn OR chips and a bottled water


Can I use CX for takeout from the dining halls?

Yes, you can use a Combo-X-Change meal to get takeout from any all-you-care-to-eat location. Simply let the entrance host know you are using a CX for takeout before having your ID card scanned and they will provide you with a ticket.

  • Provide your takeout ticket to the team member at the venue you have selected.
  • You may select any options from that venue (entrée and sides).
  • You may also get a soup or salad and a dessert from venues where they are served.
  • Please note bags are not provided.


Grab and go meal example


What is Grab & Go dining?

Spartans can also enjoy Grab & Go dining, which is a Combo-X-Change option. We have chef-made meals at Holden Dining Hall, Holmes Dining Hall, and retail spots like Sparty’s Market. Grab & Go locations offer hot and cold menu selections that are prepackaged and ready for you to select.


Where can I find Grab & Go options?

  • Holden Dining Hall
  • Holmes Dining Hall
  • Sparty's mini-markets in Brody and Case
  • The Workshop at the STEM Teaching and Learning Facility
  • Sparty’s Market at 1855 Place

Visit our dining hours page to note which locations are open.


Are the dining halls in Holden and Holmes different from the other dining halls on campus?

Yes, the dining halls in Holden and Holmes are not all-you-care-to-eat. They offer enhanced grab & go options, serving as a convenient option for campus diners.

During the fall and spring semesters, both locations feature an array of hot and cold menu selections that are pre-packaged and ready for guests to choose.

Menu items can be combined as a Combo-X-Change (A = beverages, B = entrées, and C = sides/snacks). Guests without a dining plan can pay à la carte for grab & go items.

Dining room seating in Holden and Holmes is also available for eating, studying, and other activities. Guests can use the space even if they are not grabbing food.


Mobile order location


How do I access mobile ordering?

Learn about our mobile ordering option at Mobile ordering is available Monday-Friday at Holden and Holmes. Mobile ordering will not be offered on certain holidays; please see for details.

During the fall and spring semesters, orders are accepted up until a half hour before the location closes for the day. This ensures that our team has time to fulfill all orders submitted before they close.

Follow the instructions below to get the mobile app ready on your phone!

  2. Open and search for MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY
  3. Sign in using your MSU LOGIN credentials (MSU email and password)
  4. Select LOCATION, ORDER and PAY with an on-campus dining plan, Spartan Cash, or debit/credit card
    • To use Combo-X-Change, make sure you have "Mobile ComboX" selected as your payment method. You can order one entrée, one side and one beverage to complete your CX meal.


What options are available in the mobile app?

We offer various options, including breakfast bowls, omelets, a build-your-own burger selection, a build-your-own pasta bowl, salad selections, wraps, and more!


What locations offer mobile ordering?

Holden Dining Hall and Holmes Dining Hall offer mobile ordering Monday through Friday during the fall and spring semesters.



Students dining at The Gallery


How do I know which dining plan I have?

Students living on campus can check their My Housing account to verify their dining plan selection. Dining plans can be downgraded in between semesters; however, once plans have been activated for the semester they can no longer be downgraded.


How do I use my dining plan?

Bring your MSU ID with you to a residential dining hall or retail location. Your card provides access to all-you-care-to-eat locations and allows you to use Combo-X-Change meals. Do not give your ID card to anyone else, as they are non-transferable. We will confiscate the ID if we find you are using someone else's ID card. Your MSU ID is required to use your plan, bring guests into the dining halls, and redeem Spartan Cash. If your card is lost or stolen, you should report it immediately. See the MSU ID Office website for information on reporting. You can request a temporary dining pass until you get a new ID. Simply ask our entrance host at any dining hall.


How do I get my student ID card?

Please see the ID Office website for information on their hours of operation.


How do I change my dining plan?

If you live on campus and have questions regarding your plan selection, please contact the Housing Assignments Office at 517-884-5483 or Dining plans are non-refundable. Dining plans can be downgraded in between semesters; however, once plans have been activated for the semester they can no longer be downgraded. For students living on campus, dining plan adjustments are made in the student's My Housing account.


When does my dining plan begin and end?

Spring semester dining plans will end on Friday, April 26, at 3 p.m. We will provide fall semester dates closer to that time frame.


Where can I use my dining plan?

Silver, Gold, and Platinum dining plans provide unlimited access to all-you-care-to-eat locations. This means you can visit as many times as you’d like during open hours! You also have 12 Combo-X-Change meals to use at participating locations throughout the week, from Sunday through Saturday. The Combo-X-Change meals are in addition to your unlimited access. They do not cost anything extra. Using these meals does not impact or take away from your unlimited access.


How do I check the remaining CX meals, Spartan Cash, or guest passes on my account?

Login to the Transact Campus system to check your balance. We also have a helpful video available that explains how to check your balance using the Transact eAccounts mobile app.


Are there options for students needing assistance?

Please see the MSU Student Food Bank website for information about how our campus is helping those who face food insecurity. In addition to details about eligibility and distribution, their website serves as a resource for those who wish to donate and support the efforts of the food bank.

If you need accommodations, please contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities. They will work with our dining team to assist any students in need.


Faculty and staff dining at Akers


Where can I purchase a dining plan?

  • Online:
  • MSU ID Office: International Center, Room 170 (no cash purchases)
  • By phone: 517-355-2274 (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.)
  • MSUFCU account:
    • Login to ComputerLine, select the Manage menu and choose the MSU Dining Plans option under MSUFCU Services


How much do I save by having a dining plan?

You save up to $4 per meal compared to our standard door rate. Meals can be used to enter all-you-care-to-eat locations or as a Combo-X-Change!


How does my off-campus or faculty/staff dining plan remain active?

Dining plans remain active if used once between July 1 and June 30 each year.


How do I check my remaining balance of meals?

Login with your MSU NetID and password online. Please note the same system is used for Spartan Cash. Therefore, the remaining meals are displayed similarly to a dollar amount (e.g., 10.0 = 10 meals).


Can I use my meal accesses for other people?

Yes! Meals can be used to bring guests with you to dine at all-you-care-to-eat locations. Please note you must accompany the guest(s), as your ID card cannot be provided to another person.



Students wearing masks at an event


If I become ill, can another student pick up a meal on my behalf?

Students who are sick should not pick up their meals to avoid spreading illness to the campus community. Additionally, they should never provide their ID card to anyone, as they are non-transferable.

MSU Culinary Services has a sick meal pickup arrangements process in place. The ill student can complete the Sick Meal Pickup Arrangements form and provide a completed copy (printed or electronic) to the person picking up their meal.

The individual designated to pick up the meal needs to show a paper or electronic copy of the completed form to the entrance host at a campus dining hall. The location they visit needs to be in the same neighborhood where the ill student is residing. This includes all-you-care-to-eat dining halls and Grab & Go dining halls in Holden and Holmes. The individual picking up the meal will be asked to show their MSU ID as well. For your safety, store to-go meals in a refrigerator until eaten.

Please note that a separate form is needed for each meal requested. Copies of the form will be available at the entrance host stands, service centers, and on the website for students to access.