Make your GWorld go the distance: How to spend smart in your first semester

Media Credit: Alexander Welling | Assistant Photo Editor

Find meal deals at University-sponsored dining vendors to get discounts on breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Once you arrive on campus, you’ll quickly learn that the GWorld system is both a blessing and a curse.

Managing your dollars can be difficult without a dining hall, especially as you transition from home-cooked meals to microwaveable eats and take-out. On the bright side, there are several ways to ensure your balance does not go overboard before the semester ends. Here’s everything you need to know to make your GWorld go the distance.

Get the GET app

Download the free GET app on your phone to help you keep track of your balance, add cash throughout the semester and order take-out from GW dining partners. You can register with your GW email address and connect your GWorld and Colonial Cash accounts to view the two balances. If money is running low and you need to add more cash to your account, you can also transfer money from your debit or credit card to your GWorld card. But the app is best used to set and manage a weekly budget.

Avoid food delivery

After getting the app, you’ll notice an option for food delivery from GWorld partners like Asia 54. Unless you are physically unable to pick up your food, avoid ordering meals because most places that offer delivery are only a short walk away. On top of the costly delivery and service fees from restaurants, vendors like Asia 54 and Flavors of India mandate minimum totals on orders, which forces you to buy more than you may want to chow down.

Ask for meal deals

Meal deals are your best friend, but it’s sometimes difficult to tell which vendors offer them. The GW-sponsored program allows students to purchase $6, $8 or $10 meals at some dining partners, but always ask a restaurant worker if they hand out meal deals because they are often not advertised on every storefront. Nearly 30 dining partners dole out discounted meals to GW students, including Burger Tap & Shake, Kin’s Sushi and Carvings. You can also snag 10 to 15 percent off discounts if you show your GWorld to eight different vendors, including Bertucci’s and Chop’t Creative Salad Co.

Go to on-campus events

The most care-free weeks of the semester are at the beginning, but you should still be careful with your GWorld. As student organizations get started, administrators make appearances around campus and welcome students back, and they may also offer you treats to take home. Take every bite you can get.

In your first week of classes, the Multicultural Student Services Center will hold an annual block party for students; religious student groups like Chabad GW, GW Hillel and GW Catholics will host welcome back dinners; and resident advisers in most residence hall rooms run events with free food to get to know their residents. If you play your cards right, you could walk home with an extra stash of snacks or a satisfied stomach for the evening without pulling out your wallet.

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