Humboldt State University

The J at Lunch Time

Dining Services

Our Dining Hall

Our Dining Hall: About J Points

Paying for your meals with J Points

When you purchase a meal plan, you are given a certain amount of J Points. J Points are a form of on-campus currency and can be used to purchase food at locations all over campus. You select a meal plan (and a certain number of J Points) when you complete your HSU housing and dining license. You can also purchase meal plans directly at the Housing and Dining Cashier.

After you purchase a meal plan, J Points are loaded on to your HSU student ID card (also known as your C Card). If you find that you need more J Points, you can add them to your account at a penny per point. The only exception to that rule is the Mini Meal Plan, to which no extra points can be added.

Here are a few questions and answers that explain the J Points system in greater detail:

How does a meal plan work?

When you purchase a meal plan you receive J Points. The number of J Points you receive is based on the type of meal plan you select with half being allocated to each semester. You purchase food on campus using your J Points, which are electronically deducted from your account in an á la carte, declining-balance point system. Think of it this way: it's like paying for things using a debit card—except, in this case, your debit card is your Student I.D.

At Humboldt State, you are only charged for the items you select and not for meals you missed.

The residence hall cafeteria is similar to a co-op, in that each resident pays the same share of the fixed operating costs. Fixed operating costs consist of staff wages, benefits, supplies, rent, insurance, utilities, paper products, office costs, cleaning supplies, etc. The fixed operating costs go towards operating the J.

back to top ↩

What are the advantages of the J Point system over an all-you-can-eat meal plan program? Our point system offers:

  • More variety in food choices;
  • Allows a higher quality of food;
  • Enables you to take food to go; &
  • Light eaters do not subsidize heavy eaters.

Remember, you do not lose J Points for missed meals.

back to top ↩

How much do I pay per J Point?

You pay a penny per J point, excluding the initial payment of the fixed costs. You can also purchase additional J Points at a penny per point. Fixed costs are paid only once when the meal plan is opened.

back to top ↩

How are items priced in The J?

A typical entrée is priced at the cost of the ingredients divided by the number of servings, taking into account a waste factor. Pre-packaged items are priced at our costs with consideration given to spoilage and breakage.

back to top ↩

Why do we have the Giant's Cupboard mini-mart?

The Giant's Cupboard is offered as a convenience to the on-campus residents -- especially during late hours when The J is closed -- and is not meant to take the place of a meal plan. The products sold in the Giant's Cupboard add flexibility to your busy schedule. The meal plans are designed for students to spend the majority of their J Points at The J.

back to top ↩

I ran out of J Points—why did that happen?

It is not possible to design a meal plan that will fit everyone's needs. If you've run out of points, perhaps you may need a larger meal plan or you may tend to select the higher-priced entrées on a regular basis. You can save on J Points by drinking fountain drinks and cafeteria-prepared items rather than prepackaged foods and bottled drinks.

The director of Dining Services, Ron Rudebock, is available to meet with you and help you budget and plan the most economical way of using your J Points. Ron can be reached at (707) 826-3451 or via email at

back to top ↩

Can I change my meal plan?

We do offer opportunities to change meal plans each semester. Please change your meal plan by September 6, 2013 for the fall semester or by January 31, 2014 for the spring semester for the 2013-2014 Academic year.. We suggest you review your balance at the end of the first semester to see if you need to change plans .

back to top ↩

Can I Get a Refund?

Refunds for unused J Points are allowed when the student provides proof of withdrawal from the University prior to the end of the semester. Unused J Points at the end of the fall semester will roll over to the spring semester; any unused J Points at the end of the spring semester will not be refunded.

back to top ↩

Who do I contact if I have questions about the meal plans?

Ron Rudebock, Director of Dining Services, can be reached at (707) 826-3451 or via email at, and welcomes any feedback you would like to share.

back to top ↩

How do I purchase extra points?

Extra J Points can be purchased by calling (707) 826-5510 or visiting the Housing Cashier between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. You can also purchase points on-line at My J Points Account.

back to top ↩

Where is my account value stored?

Our computer system stores your account value. There is no value stored directly on your student ID card, instead the number encoded on the magnetic stripe on the back of your ID card accesses your account in the system.

back to top ↩

Can I have a cashier key in my ID number instead of using my card?

No. You must present your HSU student ID card to use your J Points.

back to top ↩

My card stopped working—why did that happen?

The most common reason for a card to stop working is failure of the magnetic stripe on the back of your card. However, the message displayed at the register may indicate why your card is not working. These are the messages that the registers will display:

  • LOW BALANCE: You do not have enough funds available.
  • PATRON NOT FOUND: An account does not exist in the point system that matches your ID number. Please see the Housing and Dining Cashier or the HSU Bookstore for assistance.
  • BAD ISSUE or INVALID CARD NUMBER: The number encoded on your ID doesn't fully match your account information in the J Point system. Please see the Dining Services Cashier for assistance.
  • CARD LOST: This card has been reported lost to the J Point system. Please see the Dining Services Cashier for assistance.
  • ON HOLD FOR VEND: This message is displayed when a sale at a vending machine did not complete correctly. This status should clear itself within 10 minutes.

back to top ↩

What is my HSU ID number?

Your HSU ID number is the nine-digit number generated by HSU to identify students, staff and faculty. If you don't know your number, contact the AIR Center at (707) 826-4101. It is also available on our Web Information System under Personal Information.

back to top ↩

What do I do if I lose my student ID card?

If you lose your HSU student ID card it is important to report the loss as soon as possible so that no one can use your card for fraudulent purchases if found. You may report your card lost by:

If you find your ID card, you must take it in person to the Dining Services Cashier's Office to be reactivated.

In the mean time, to obtain a Temporary Meal Voucher:

  • Go to the Dining Services Cashier after reporting your card lost and ask for a meal voucher.
  • Go to the J cashiers and ask for a meal voucher.

Meal vouchers can only be used at the J for the time allotted on the meal voucher. Generally the temporary meal voucher is good for 24 hours or up to 72 hours on weekends. If you haven't found your HSU ID Card then you will need to purchase a replacement card before you can access your points account. To obtain a replacement card:

  • Purchase a replacement student ID card from the HSU Cashier's Office or the Dining Services Cashier.
  • Take your receipt to the ID Office in the Library to have a new card produced
  • Your new card will work for the meal plans but if you live on campus you will need to have your new card encoded at the Housing front desk to work as your room key.
  • Your old student ID will no longer work.


Terms and Conditions of Usage:

You must purchase one of HSU Dining's Meal Plans before you will have a J Points account. Your points account will be good for one school year starting in the fall semester (August) until the following spring semester (May). Refunds for unused J Points are only allowed when the purchaser provides proof of withdrawal from Humboldt State University prior to the end of the semester. Unused points at the end of the spring semester will not be refunded. Cancellation of the meal plan license, in conjunction with the cancellation of the student housing license, will return to the student all unused prepaid points. Failure to give 30 days notice of intent to cancel the dining license will result in a pro rata charge for each day less than 30 days notice. Such notice shall be given by submitting, in writing, a request to vacate.

back to top ↩