Point Values, Lottery Numbers & Selection Appointments

The order in which students get to select housing during Room Selection depends on the lottery number they receive following registration. The lottery number is dependent on the total number of points the student has, either individually, or as part of a group.


Point Value

Priority in the Room Selection process is determined by a point-value system based on seniority. Priority is based on the year a student entered Columbia and the number of terms they have resided in on-campus housing. Priority does not benefit students who graduate early. 

Priority is assigned as follows: 

  • Rising Seniors: 30 points

  • Rising Juniors: 20 points

  • Rising Sophomores: 10 points

  • Group point value is the average value of all Columbia group members (only rising Barnard College seniors are eligible, and they will receive 30 points.)  

  • Every group member receives the same lottery number. 

Lottery Number Categorization 

After the registration period is over, each individual or group is assigned a randomly selected, computer-generated lottery number. Groups share one lottery number.  

Lottery numbers will be categorized by class seniority, so it’s easier to understand your ranking:

  • Seniors (30 points): Lottery numbers 1- 1000 

  • Mixed point groups (20.1 – 29.9 points): Lottery numbers 1001 – 2000 

  • Juniors (20 points): Lottery numbers 2001 – 3000 

  • Mixed-point groups (10.1 – 19.9 points): Lottery numbers 3001 – 4000 

  • Sophomores (10 points): Lottery numbers 4001 – 5000 

Appointment Times

Each individual or group is then assigned a specific appointment date and time to choose their room/suite, determined by individual/group point value (first) and lottery number (second).

Students’ lottery numbers and appointment dates/times are posted in the Housing Portal after registration has closed. Students may find their lottery number and appointment time within the Registration Summary step of their housing application. 

Rooms can be selected any time between your assigned appointment time and the end of Room Selection. However, we encourage you to select as early as possible in order to have the most options to choose from.