Students react to Temple’s meal plan price increase after the Philly Soda Tax

As if dorms weren’t expensive enough

When the Philadelphia soda tax went into effect on January 1st, we were all worried about the cost of craving an iced tea. However, we never had to worry about the cost of purchasing a meal plan.

While the soda tax was implemented with good intentions of supporting Pre-K education and limiting the consumption of sugary drinks—students at Temple University will see an increase in their cost in meal plans.

Temple’s Chief Financial officer, Ken Kaiser, reports “the total impact of the new tax is estimated to be $400,000 per semester.”

This tax brought the price of the most basic meal plan up about $90 to $1,444.

Mayor Kenney’s office reports they are skeptical of the ties between the soda tax and the increase in the prices of Temple’s meal plans. The office stated that it is known that universities around the country are constantly raising the prices of their meal plans and they also questioned the relationship between the price increase and Temple’s proposal to build a new football stadium.

The increase in meal plan prices also takes a toll on students considering on-campus housing. If students decide to live on campus, it is required with their housing they select a meal plan. With the increased price in meal plans, a traditional dorm in Johnson and Hardwick residence hall will cost $10,940 for the year, and $14,452 for a suite-style room in Morgan Hall.

The Tab reached out to Temple students, with and without meal plans, to see how they felt about a price increase for meal plans.

Amanda Lewis, Junior, Psychology Major with a minor in Cognitive Neuroscience 

“I understand why Temple had to raise the prices for meal plans and I’m not mad at them for that. I’m mad about the soda tax and how they are supposed to be going towards helping the cities education services and instead the tax is creating a barrier between college students and their already expensive meal plans instead of helping decrease the prices.”

Gail Vivar, Sophomore, Journalism Major

“I think it’s ridiculous this city beverage tax could affect Temple students. As an out-of-state student, college is already too expensive for my family and I. We shouldn’t have to pay more, and now I’ll be more broke than before!”

Dave Kagan, Senior, Accounting Major 

“Even though I am in favor of the soda tax, I am not in favor of Temple raising the price of meal plans to compensate for the soda tax. If the reason really is related to the new stadium, I wouldn’t be surprised at all. I’m sure that’s part of it.”

Veronica Landis, Sophomore, Economics Major with a minor in German 

“Temple has the right to do what they need to do to not lose money, so it does not bother me that they’re raising prices. The soda tax itself is ridiculous and is an infringement on my rights as a free citizen to choose what I want to eat and drink, so don’t even get me started.”

Temple University