Hey Curious Campus, What’s the difference between Bevo Bucks and Dine-In Dollars?

Jasmine J. Thekkekara

Since 2002, Bevo Bucks and Dine In Dollars have dominated the UT currency game. 

Whether they’ve been used for a snack from Kin’s Market or a sweater from the set-up shop in Jester, both Bevo Bucks and Dine-In dollars have been students’ go-to choice to pay for meals and merchandise on campus.

So, when one of our readers asked us, “What’s the difference between Bevo Bucks and Dine In Dollars?” we looked into it as part of Curious Campus, our series where we answer reader-submitted questions every week.

The main difference between the two currencies lies in the fact that Bevo Bucks are only available to students and can be used at various on- and off-campus vendors. Dine-In Dollars can be used by faculty, staff and students and can only be used at on-campus dining locations. 

Cynthia Lew, assistant director of marketing for University Housing and Dining, said she finds vendors for Bevo Bucks through an online poll. 

“We have a website where students can go and suggest new merchants, and then we reach out to those merchants and ask them that they’re interested in participating in the program,” Lew said. “It’s driven by students’ requests.”

Journalism junior Christina Martinez said she spends most of her Bevo Bucks at Starbucks and Wendy’s and most of her Dine In Dollars at Jester City Limits, so she can grab a quick meal on the go. Even after having the on-campus meal plan for the last three years, she doesn’t feel that it is sufficient.

“It’s difficult to be able to afford (fresh fruits and salads) because they weigh them,” Martinez said. “Luckily I can go to Target, and stay healthy…. but it’s hard when a hamburger is a lot cheaper.”

University Housing and Dining director Rene Rodriguez said Bevo Bucks and Dine In Dollars are generally given to students based off where they have spent their money in the past. 

For the current academic year, students received $1,800 Dine In Dollars and $200 Bevo Bucks. However, for the upcoming academic year, University Housing and Dining is moving towards an unlimited swipe system for all-you-can-eat facilities for campus and commuter meal plans. 

“We found that on average, if a student was really looking out for budget purposes, they spent about $600–$700 of the $1,800 in (coffee and convenience stores),” Rodriguez said. “With the new plan, they can reload dollars … but swipes into all-you-can-eat facilities are unlimited … We don’t ever want a student to be without food.”