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WKU students frustrated with new Flex plan

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Finances are a common struggle for most college students.

However, affording lunch is one predicament many never expected to encounter.

Starting this fall, Western Kentucky University students will face a hefty bill, and it's one they can't avoid.

This has led to senior and history major Kayla Fleming becoming frustrated.

Fleming's frustration stems from WKU's new mandatory meal plan.

This meal plan, or "Flex Plan" will cost students 150 dollars per semester.

For commuters, one issue is the expense of driving long distances to class daily.

The greater concern though is if they choose to eat at home, they're still forced to pay for the plan.

The plan will ask students to pay 300 dollars this fall, 150 for both semesters.

Then in the fall of 2019, it doubles to 600 dollars for the year.

Unfortunately, it will rise to 650 dollars in 2022 and 700 dollars in 2026.

Below is a statement from Mike Reagle, the Executive Director for Housing and Dining regarding the plan.

"In June of 2017, WKU entered into a 20-year agreement with Aramark Educational Services in order to have Aramark provide dining services for the Bowling Green Campus. As part of this agreement, Aramark agreed to make substantive investments in the dining program and venues on WKU's campus. In exchange for these investments in the program and the facilities, WKU agreed to require all full-time students to participate in a WKU meal plan. All first-year students under the age of 21 living on campus at WKU are required to participate in a WKU meal plan of 10 meals per week or greater. All full-time undergraduate students enrolled in 12 credit hours or more, who do not select a traditional meal plan, will participate in the Flex Plan program. The Flex Plan of $150 is charged to the student's account automatically when the full-time criteria (12 hours) is met in the fall and spring semesters. This Flex Plan is designed to supplement a student's campus dining needs and can be used at all WKU Restaraunt Group dining locations. Flex Plan purchases receive 11% off all applicable items in retail dining locations and save $1 off the door price when used in the Fresh Food Company, providing students considerable savings."

Fleming, a commuter student from Tennessee, still hopes the university will reconsider the plan.

"I feel like they should rethink this. I think it's not fair to students. People keep telling us you're college students, act like an adult. No adult would appreciate this and we as students certainly don't."

She is also worried about her brother, who plans to attend next year when the plan rises to 600 dollars for the year.

Reagle says this plan is not in place to cause even more financial distress for any WKU students.

For more information on this and other WKU meal plans, click here.

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