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 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.


Sophomore Pair-Up

During Room 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 ten students. 

Read the following scenarios to understand this suggestion:

  • Suppose that a student is a rising sophomore and they register for Room 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 a group of two, 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 a group of two with a friend. They received an amazing lottery number, and s/he and their friend decide to try for singles. During their appointment time, they will be able to pick two singles if there are any available. 
  • 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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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. At least 50% of the group must be comprised of eligible rising senior Columbia students.  

Note: BC students who register as part of a group for CU Room Selection must also register for BC Room Selection; otherwise they will not be eligible to take part in CU Room 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 FSL 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 before Room Registration begins: Pan African House - 2; Casa Latina - 2; Community Health House - 2; Q-House – 2; IRC/ICH - 4;  DG - 4, KAT -5, AXO - 2, SDT - 4 and ADP - 6. 
  • Organizations that do not submit the maximum of their approved BC capacity forfeit those spaces for that academic year. 
  • We do not have a new BC/CU exchange for the spring semester. A space occupied by a Barnard student in the fall semester who will not return for the spring semester must be filled with a CC or SEAS student.  

At Barnard

  • A CC or SEAS student who is eligible to participate in CU Room Selection may register for Barnard's Room Selection to join a group to select into a BC suite (or be pulled in as an RA or DS rider).  Groups for the BC Lottery must be 50% or more BC students.
  • Groups with CU students are eligible to select into Plimpton Hall, 601 W 110th Street, 600, 616, & 620 W 116th Street, and Cathedral Gardens (may not pick or be pulled into corridor-style housing).  
  • Groups with CU students may select into co-ed suites regardless of sex, gender, or gender expression, as part of the Open Housing program. 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.
  • CU students who wish to register for BC Room Selection must email housing@barnard.edu and ask to be added to the BC Housing Portal so they may log in to register before the Registration deadline.
  • Any CU student who intends to participate in Barnard Room Selection MUST also still register for Columbia Room Selection. S/he must select "Individual - CU Living at Barnard" on the Category Declaration page
  • Because of the limited number of suites matching each group size, CU students are not guaranteed to be able select into suites with their BC group. CU students who are not able to select at BC will be enrolled into CU's Online Selection process (as an individual only) to pick housing at Columbia.
  • View Barnard's Room Selection page for more information about the Barnard Room Selection process.

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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 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 join a group or choose their own room. 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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