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Information for Summer Orientation Students

Welcome to the College of Charleston!

Now that you are joining the campus community you will need to obtain an official College of Charleston ID card, known as the Cougar Card. Before attending orientation, you should submit a photo of your own choosing via the Online Photo Submission Process.

The first Cougar Card is provided to you at no charge.

You will pick up your Cougar Card at orientation check in. Be sure to have valid government issued identification.

What does the Cougar Card do?
The Cougar Card is used in a variety of ways on campus. You can access your meal plan, access the George Street Fitness Center, check out materials at the Addlestone Library, ride any CARTA bus for free, and add money via Cougar Cash or Dining Dollars to use on campus. For a full list of things you can do with your Cougar Card, consult the Students page.

The Cougar Card becomes a personal debit card when you open a Cougar Cash Account. The Cougar Cash Account allows you to draw on pre-deposited funds to purchase products and services on campus. To make a purchase, simply present your Cougar Card at any participating location and the funds will be withdrawn from your account. You can access your balance and 60 days of transaction history on MyCharleston on the My Accounts tab or obtain a complete account statement at Cougar Card Services. To open a Cougar Cash Account simply make a deposit using any of the methods found on the Student Cougar Cash page. 

Are you getting a meal plan?

The Cougar Card is your key to meal swipes, Dining Dollars, and Cougar Cash. Cougar Card Services oversees all meal plan selections, changes, and cancellations.

Freshmen living on-campus are required to have one of the three freshman resident meal plans. When you select your housing via MyCharleston using the My Housing/Dining tab, you will also be prompted to select a meal plan.


Commuter students and non-freshman can choose from additional voluntary meal plan options. Make your selection via MyCharleston using the My Housing/Dining tab.

For more specific information on term-specific dates, deadlines, and policies, please visit the Meal Plans page.

Dining Dollars and Cougar Cash carry over to the next semester, Meal Swipes do not.