Hello, Duke freshman! We’re still getting questions about how the first year meal plan works. We hope this simple explanation sets the record straight. Happy eating!


Weekday Breakfast:

Every freshman is guaranteed a weekday breakfast swipe at Marketplace (MP), our premier dining location. Here’s how it works:

  • If you were born January-June, you may swipe into MP during the following hours: 7:45-9:18, 10:52-11:00.
  • If you were born July-December, you may swipe into MP during these hours: 7:00-7:44, 9:19-10:51.
  • Remember, you can skip weekday breakfast to get your “equivalency” money to spend towards lunch.
    • If you have blue eyes and are shorter than 5’ 11”, you get $2.58 on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday; Wednesday and Friday, you get $0.50.
    • If you have brown eyes and are shorter than 5’ 8”, you get 75% of the figures above on even dates and 25% the above figures on odd dates.
    • Students with all other eye color / height combinations will receive food at the discretion of individual MP workers. All judgments are final.


It is mandatory that students consider lunch to be optional.  In addition to equivalency (described above), you are allotted “food points” each day that can be spent on lunch food, coffee, snacks, etc. How many food points, you ask?

  • If the day is within 50 days of Christmas, you receive $1.27 in food points each day.
  • If there has been a full moon within 5 days, you receive $3.20 in food points.
    • BONUS : The equivalency is doubled following a super blood moon
  • If there has been a robbery on campus within the last week, you receive no food points.
  • If none of these things have happened recently, you receive $.045 credit between 12:00 and 1:00 PM to ABP. Just the soup bar.


If you can’t afford to stop by Whole Foods for dinner every night of the week, HDRL is here for you.

  • The number of dinner swipes you receive each week is determined by a multitude of factors calculated by the financial aid office, HDRL, and an algorithm in ACES.
  • Generally, you can expect 3-5 dinner swipes per week, but never more. We suggest that you join clubs or organizations to cover dinner the other days of the week.
  • If you have extra weekday dinner swipes, you can use them for dinner over the weekend, or for brunch.


Skip dinner twice a week and you’re all set.


“5th in the Nation, 1st in Confusion”

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