Last year, my little Frugal Scholar, Miss Em, decided to get the 50-meal/semester plan, rather than a larger one. If you do the math--and many do not--you will find that college meals are $7.00 to $9.00 each, depending on your college.
Here is the plan at University of Alabama. Prices are PER SEMESTER.
We thought that the smallest plan provided a lot of flexibility and assumed Miss Em would go out to eat a lot more than she had her first year. Frugal Son and I had a brainstorm about rice cookers (allowed in dorms; Miss Em has a room scholarship) and put together a bunch of recipes for the College Cook--short on time, space, money, know-how, transportation, and STOVES.
The cookbook gives you at least 2 weeks of meals made with 20 ingredients--things like rice, tortillas, tomatoes, and so on. No stove required: all can be made in the rice cooker or microwave. You can buy a pdf version above left or get a Kindle version on Amazon.
Doing this changed my cooking life--it is so easy, cheap, and NOT MESSY. I use my rice cooker all the time now and I HAVE A STOVE. College Cooking Crash Course!
Use some of your graduation money and get a rice cooker too.