WDBJ7 Blacksburg Reporter
6:07 PM EDT, May 4, 2012
Many colleges and universities require that students living on campus, purchase some sort of pre-paid meal plan.
For lots of students, this may be their first hand at working a budget.
It's the end of the school year and some students still have money in those prepaid accounts.
We got a tip from some students who said that dining halls at Virginia Tech were selling cases of drinks for more than $40.
At Virginia Tech's West End dining hall, right next to the registers, we found signs advertising a case of sodas selling for $39.60. A quick call to a retail store that sold the same soda for $7.
A case of water being advertised for the same price $39.60
The same list showed a case of Starbucks coffee selling for $46.20.
''I mean its a trade-off. I have extra money left to use so I'm happy. its convenient.," one student said.
Virginia Tech officials turned down our request for on-camera interview for this story, but did say that the dining plans are set up like debit accounts. For many students, this is their first time at working a budget.
The dining plans are prepaid. Virginia Tech says the plan is for students to use all their money on the prepaid meal plan and not have money left over. Otherwise they have to do a flex dump. where they buy anything to zero out their account.
Other students we spoke with say they don't like dumping cash at the end of the year.
''I feel like it is jacked up to get rid of all the money on our card since they're going to get it anyway," a student told us.
Virginia Tech says it runs a dining program, not a convenience store and its prices are set at the start of the school year and cannot change.
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