Other Circumstances and Exceptions

This section addresses special circumstances and options that may apply during the Room Selection process. Students should read this section for information about Senior and Junior Regroup Processes, Sophomore Pair-Up, living with Barnard students, Room Selection participation for Study Abroad students, and using a Proxy.

Students should read this section carefully; it answers the most frequently asked questions. If additional questions arise, please visit the Housing office in 118 Hartley, or email Housing.

Senior Regroup Process

Held after all Seniors complete In-Person Group Selection, Senior Regroup is a process by which CC/SEAS rising seniors in groups comprised only of 30-point members are eligible to reconfigure with other 30-point rising seniors who do not select a suite at their appointment time. Senior Regroup may result if there are no remaining suites that match a group’s size or if the group decides not to select from suites available at their appointment time. Seniors in this category have the option to form a new group and are assigned a new lottery number that is valid only for the Regroup period. Seniors in mixed-point groups are not eligible to participate.

During Senior Regroup, newly formed groups are given a numbered lottery ticket upon supplying a group list. After all group lists are received, lottery tickets are drawn to determine the order in which groups will select rooms from remaining suites. Groups may only select from suites that match the group size and cannot sub-divide after the process has begun. Groups can only reconfigure once. At the end of Senior Regroup, any seniors who have not selected a suite default to Online Selection, using their original In-Person Group Selection lottery number.

Barnard College students are not eligible for Senior Regroup. If 30-point CC/SEAS members of a group containing Barnard students decide to participate in Senior Regroup, the BC student(s) default to BC Room Selection.

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Junior Regroup Process

During In-Person Group Selection, CC/SEAS rising juniors in groups comprised of only 20-point members are eligible for Junior Regroup. Junior Regroup has the same protocol and restrictions as Senior Regroup, and takes place after all 20- and 30-point mixed groups have selected.

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Sophomore Pair-Up

During In-Person Group Selection, members of groups with a point value of 10 that contain only rising sophomores have the option to break into pairs and select from available corridor doubles during their appointment. Because low seniority is a determining factor in the housing options available to sophomores, we strongly advise sophomores to form even-numbered groups of two to eight students and register for In-Person Group Selection.

Read the following scenarios to understand this suggestion:

  • Suppose that a student is a rising sophomore and they register for Online Selection as an individual. They were hoping for a single, but no single rooms remain at their appointment time because students with higher point values selected them. They have no choice but to select a half-empty double, rooming with someone they do not know. Had they chosen to participate in In-Person Group Selection, they would have been able to live with a friend for the upcoming academic year instead.
  • Suppose that a student is a rising sophomore and they select In-Person Group Selection with a friend. They received an amazing lottery number, and s/he and their friend decide to try for singles. They are allowed to skip their In-Person Group Selection appointment time and automatically drop to Online Selection. They will receive an Online Selection appointment time based on their shared lottery number and can select individually.
  • If a student and a group of friends want to live together in doubles on the same floor, s/he can form a group but choose from corridor doubles at their appointment time. 

Spaces Excluded from Lottery

Annually, select spaces that are reserved for RA and RA Riders, Residential Life, Disability Services and other needs are excluded from Room Selection. Housing provides a list of these spaces every spring in advance of Room Selection.

Note: All space withheld may be subject to change. Any space listed as held out will not be available during Room Selection.

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Proxy Rules

Students unable to make their In-Person Group Selection appointment time can designate a proxy to select on their behalf. A fellow group member or a student outside the group who can be present at the designated appointment time may serve as a proxy. This choice must be indicated on the registration step in the Housing Portal prior to the Room Selection appointment time. Any decision or action made by a proxy is binding to the student s/he represents. Because proxies cannot sign occupancy agreements, once a proxy has chosen a room, the student s/he represents must log in and sign the occupancy agreement.

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Sophomore Waitlist

Because first-year space is reserved prior to summer cancellations, Columbia Housing projects that some rising sophomores with high lottery numbers may not be able to choose a room during Room Selection. In the event that all available space is chosen before a student’s appointment time, s/he must complete the Sophomore Waitlist application, available on the Housing Portal after there are no rooms available. To maintain guaranteed housing status, this application must be completed no later than the final day of Room Selection. Students on the sophomore waitlist are assigned over the summer as space becomes available, following cancellations (often late August). Students who fail to complete the Sophomore Waitlist application will lose guaranteed housing and will have to reapply to be considered for assignment.

Students should not skip their appointment or fail to pick a room during Room Selection in hopes of being placed on the Sophomore Waitlist.

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Living with Barnard Students

At Columbia

  • Rising senior Barnard students may participate in Columbia Room Selection only as members of a group during In-Person Group Selection. At least 50% of the group must be comprised of eligible Columbia students and the class standing of Barnard participants must be greater than or equal to the lowest class standing of his/her prospective Columbia suitemates. 

Note: BC students who register as part of a group for CU In-Person Group Selection must also register for BC Room Selection; otherwise they will not be eligible to take part in CU In-Person Group Selection and will not be eligible for housing at Barnard.

  • There is a cap on the number of rooms exchanged with Barnard. It is equal to the number of CC/SEAS students who sign up for Barnard Housing during Barnard's Group Selection and the number of eligible Barnard students assigned to a sorority. If the number of Barnard students assigned to a sorority is less than the number of Barnard students signed up for Barnard Housing then some Barnard students will be eligible to apply through Columbia Room Selection, in order to balance the number of rooms exchanged. Barnard students who have not yet selected with their CU group when the Exchange Cap is reached will be automatically removed from the group (if the Barnard student has registered for Barnard Room Selection, she will be able to select a room at Barnard). The group's point value will remain unchanged and their lottery number will stay the same, but the group must drop to Online Selection. Barnard students are not eligible for Senior and Junior Regroup, regardless of their class year.
  • Barnard College students who are guaranteed housing are eligible to live with CC and SEAS students in select SICs and Greek housing.  BC students cannot make up more than 33% of a SIC or house (i.e. a group of six must comprise at least 4 CC/SEAS students).  The following are the maximum BC capacities for each SIC and organization approved through the CU/BC Housing Exchange:  Metta House - 2; Pan African House - 2; Casa Latina - 2; Community Health House - 2;   Q-House – 2; IRC - 4;  DG - 5, KAT - 5, AXO - 2, SDT - 5 and ADP – 7.

At Barnard

  • A CC or SEAS student who is eligible to participate in CU Room Selection may register for Barnard's Room Selection in order to be "pulled-in" by a BC group to select a BC suite (CU students who register will not receive their own BC lottery numbers, nor may they select into BC housing as individuals). Groups with CU students are eligible to select into Plimpton Hall, 601 W 110th Street, 600, 616 or 620 W 116th Street or Cathedral Gardens.  
  • Groups with CU students may select into co-ed suites regardless of sex, gender, or gender expression, as part of the Open Housing program in Cathedral Gardens, 601 W 110th St, and 600, 616, and 620 W 116th St. Co-ed groups will be required to sign the BC Open Housing Agreement/Contract; see the Open Housing section of Barnard's Room Selection Guide for more information.
  • CC and SEAS students are eligible for BC Room Selection only if they meet Columbia's eligibility requirements and perform the following tasks:
    • Form a Group - The group must be at least 50% BC students. All CU members of the group must be eligible for CU Room Selection. The group may only select a suite that matches the number of students in the group (ex. a 5-person group may select a 5-person suite, but not a 6-person suite).  Please note that the class year of the CU student(s) DOES affect when the group may select (see #3 below).
  • Register for Room Selection - CU students who wish to participate in Barnard Room Selection must register online during the Barnard Room Selection registration period.

Any CU student who intends to participate in Barnard Room Selection MUST still register for Columbia Room Selection. S/he must select "Individual - CU Living at Barnard" on the Category Declaration page.  Any CU student (or his/her proxy) who participates in Barnard Room Selection may not later participate in Columbia's In-Person Group Selection or be part of a group in Online Selection. In the event s/he does not get into a Barnard suite or decides not to select with his/her group during Barnard Room Selection, the CU student will automatically be entered into CU's Online Selection as an individual only.

  • Check Selection Time - CU students will not receive an individual Barnard lottery number, but they will be able to see their group's appointment date/time on the BC online registration page (see Room Selection Calendar for dates on which the appointments will be posted).  The group's appointment time is determined by the "best" lottery number within the group.

If all of the students in a group, including the CU student(s), are the same class year, the group will select on that class year's Selection Day.

If a group is comprised of students of different class years (including the class years of the CU students), the group will select on the class year Selection Day of the group member(s) with the lowest class year.  For example, a group comprised of rising juniors and rising sophomores will select on Sophomore Selection Day, but using the best rising junior’s lottery number (in effect, choosing in between all-junior and all-sophomore groups).

Please see the BC Room Selection Guide for more information.

  • Choose A Room - BC Room Selection takes place in the Lewis Parlor (Brooks Hall, 1st Floor).The CU student(s) must be present (or must have a designated proxy present with a signed copy of the BC Proxy Form) at the appointment time in order to be "pulled-in" with a group to select a suite. A CU student may not select a room as an individual during BC Room Selection. A CU student who selects a room at BC Room Selection will be asked to sign both a BC housing contract and an Occupancy Agreement online at a later date.

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Study Abroad

Study Abroad for Fall Term or the Full Academic Year

Students who plan to be away for the fall term or full year must still register for Housing, stating their intent to study abroad in their Category Declaration during registration. While they are abroad, students intending to return in the Spring must complete a Housing application online, indicating their intent to reside on campus during the spring term. After eligibility is confirmed, spring assignments will be made based on seniority, the date the application is received, available housing, and the preferences indicated. Room assignments will be emailed in mid January.

Study Abroad for Spring Term

Students on approved study abroad leave in the spring term who are guaranteed housing must register for Room Selection for the following year. They can either select a proxy to choose a room for them during In-Person Group Selection or choose their own room during Online Selection. Failure to register for Room Selection and select a room will result in a loss of guaranteed housing.

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Non-Guaranteed Waitlist

Students who lose their right to guaranteed housing (See Undergraduate Assignment Policies for reasons) are not eligible to participate in the Room Selection Process. Non-guaranteed students must submit a Housing Application for every semester that they are requesting housing. Applicants are prioritized on a Waitlist according to class standing, proximity to campus and date of application. Waitlist applicants are assigned to vacancies once all guaranteed students are assigned as rooms become available, either prior to or after the start of the semester. Housing availability for non-guaranteed students is generally not known prior to the start of the academic year. Availability will be assessed over the course of the summer.

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