Housing: So Many Questions, So Many Answers

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We know that rising sophomores everyone needs a little help with housing.  The system is confusing and it’s unclear who you ought to talk to if you have specific questions about how to get things done.  Thankfully Bwog is full of housing curiosity and we’ve been working hard over the last few weeks to compile a list of questions that will suit(e) your needs!  On top of that, feel free to look back over our 2014 housing reviews and also check out the housing website, where much all of this article’s information was found.  If you have any more questions you’d like answered, feel free to email us at Take note: below, sophomores means rising sophomores, and the like.

Who lives where, from Columbia Housing
Dorm occupancy by class: find your buddies!

Can juniors go in as a group of four and pick doubles next to each other in, say, Watt? What about singles in suites?

No, that’s an option only for sophomores, who can do “sophomore split” and break their group down into pairs to pick individual doubles.  Juniors and Seniors must either go in separately or pick into a suite with the exact number of people there are in the group.  Similarly, you can’t pick into a single room within a suite.

Wait, what’s “sophomore split?”

Basically, as a sophomore you go in with a group but every group should consist of several pairs.  If you can’t get a suite (which you can’t because sophomore housing is ass and almost everything is corridor style), then you split up into pairs and, if your number’s good enough, you can pick into adjacent doubles.  We really hope all sophomores registered in even numbered groups, unless you’re trying for a 7-person Claremont suite.

But what about junior/senior “regroup!?”

Since juniors and seniors must pick into suites that are appropriate to their group size, students are sometimes unable to pick into suites that are the right size because they’ve all been taken up.  In that case, after room selection is completed, students are allowed to form new groups with whoever else is in their point value (20 or 30, no mixed groups) and get a new lottery number to pick from the remaining suites.

At Barnard, can I pick into a suite if I’m not in a group?

Not usually. Suites are filled by appropriately sized groups.  That said, the 600 A suites (which are seven-person) are filled by a group of four, a group of two, and then one last individual, so you could go that route.

How do I know what constitutes a suite?

Go look at the floor plans on the housing website, suites usually share a letter or are outlined in some color.

What floors are getting renovated in McBain?

That would be 7 and 8, dear freshperson.  That said, 2 got a renovation last year so it’s not so shabby either.

Is Harmony far?

As fuck.  But most people who live there get over it; you will too.

Everyone got their lottery numbers today, how do I find mine?

Go for it.

What does my lottery number/point value mean?

Your lottery number assigns the order in which you will pick your housing.  Your first value is your point value, which is assigned based on who (sophomore, junior, senior) is in your group and your second is your assigned pick within that, sophomores are 10, juniors are 20, seniors are 30 with in-betweens representing mixed groups. The picks go from 1 to 3000 but do not cover each one.  This year’s highest sophomore picks are 10/8 and 10/17, for instance.

When do I pick my housing? When do I know when I pick my housing?

Appointment times will be assigned this Thursday for in-person housing.  Once you have that in order, you go to the lobby of John Jay at your selected time and pick your housing unless you’ve designated a proxy to go in your place.  In-person housing starts April 1 and ends 9. Online selection times will be available on April 11, and it runs on April 14 and 17, as well as April 23-May 2.

Do I pick in person or online? Was that already decided?

You selected in-person or online when you first registered with your group.  That said, groups can drop from in-person to online, so feel free to do so if you think you can get singles.  Sophomores, a word to the wise: if you get a suite sweet room number you may want to consider this drop down in order to grab yourself a sexy single.

What if I’m a sophomore and I get a terrible pick?

Don’t fret!  Sophomore waitlist is a great option that can lead to some pretty dope housing… you just wont know where you’re living till the summer. Basically, if you go into your housing appointment and there’s nothing left, they ask you to fill out an application and then you go!  You’ll probably get a single, you lucky ass.

Can I pick into a single in a suite like in Ruggles if I am in online selection?

Nope. Suites are only for in-person selection, except Nussbaum’s “suites.”

Very helpful information from the Columbia Housing page

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  1. Pinkman  

    It seems that this year different groups can get the same lottery number, as evidenced by groups of 9-10 UNIs having the same number. Can anyone confirm?

    • nervous 5-person senior group  

      Actually though...Bwog follow up would be sincerely appreciated <3

      • Claire Friedman  (Bwog Staff)  

        A forwarded email from Housing:

        Dear Student,

        Please be advised that due to a processing oversight during the generation of Room Selection lottery numbers, a small number of In-Person Group Selection participants were assigned identical lottery numbers. Your group is among those affected by this duplication and as a result, you have the same appointment time as another group. We regret this error and apologize for any confusion it may have caused. Following an analysis of affected groups, we have established that the group that shares your lottery number and appointment time has a different number of members. This duplication will not have any impact on your selection. Your group will select its housing assignment concurrently with the other group.

        If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly or visit the Housing Office at 118 Hartley Hall.

  2. Pinkman  

    There are 12 juniors with the lottery number 543 for example

  3. wait

    is lottery number not linked to your appointment time? if I have a better lottery number but I pick at a later time than someone with a worse number, what's the point of the number at all?

  4. 2900+ Rising Senior  

    Hey Bwog, can you explain summer transfers? The process, where we might end up, if we have to break groups...

    • Sarah Faith  (Bwog Staff)  

      If you don't get a room that you like, you fill out an extra step in in the housing portal after selection detailing what type of room you want. Pretty easy. Students with the highest lottery numbers have their requests processed first, and it again goes from senior to junior to sophomore. Housing really likes to stress that limited space is available for summer transfer, and that people will only be placed into rooms if it meets their specifications. Because of that—though it's not explicitly outlined—it seems that there is no guarantee that groups of students would stay together. A duo would seem to have a better chance of getting singles on the same floor, though, than 5 people would for getting an entire EC 5-person highrise suite (that's not going to happen).

      For you, summer transfer is probably worth it if you aren't satisfied, since you'll be among the first to pick. You can read more about it here: transfer

      • Lucky Junior  

        It is actually possible for a group of 5 to be summer transferred to a full EC Suite.

        Last year I was a member of a group that was the first 24 point group to not get an EC Highrise and we all got transferred as a group to EC over the summer. It can happen but its very unlikely.

  5. Sophomore  

    If we're in a group of 6 people with a good number, can 4 of us pick into doubles during in-person and the other 2 drop into online? Or do we all have to do either in-person or online?

    • Anonymous

      Yeah you can. You just tell the housing people on that day that only you two want to drop. Everyone (including those who want to drop down) needs to attend the in-person selection though (you can't just not show up that day because every person needs to be present for the other 4 to pick into the doubles).

    • Anonymous

      Also I can't tell if you mean sophomore as in rising sophomore or current sophomore but this only works for sophomore pair up. If you're all going to be juniors, you guys will have to wait for junior regroup to do that.

  6. na

    Can mixed junior/senior groups pick into singles in Broadway/Schapiro/etc during in-person, or only in regroup?

  7. Does anybody know  

    If the spectator counter thing takes into account the duplicates?

  8. :/  

    So as a rising sophomore with the lottery number 2961, am I screwed for housing? Should I just go on the waitlist? And what kind of housing does the waitlist give?

    • SEAS '15  

      I know people who have gone on the summer waitlist (but as rising juniors, not sophomores) and got great rooms. Remember, there's a pretty distinct possibility that you might be put in a room with a random roommate. If you went in as a single, then that would be your fate anyway, and it's worth a try. If you went in as a double, then it's worth a try as well, because if you don't get any of the options you listed you get to keep your old housing.

      LIST REALISTIC OPTIONS. Do not list "Watt Studio Single", because you won't get shit. List something like McBain single, and you might luck out. They will ONLY give you the options you have listed. That's it. So do not over extend yourself because you won't get it.

      Good luck!

    • Sarah Faith  (Bwog Staff)  

      As SEAS '15 says, you're definitely not screwed, and are actually in a pretty good position if you play it smart. I'd also recommend putting down a Schapiro or Wien single. And you still have to show up to your appointment time--they'll just more than likely tell you that nothing is left. Good luck!

  9. Senior  

    How many seniors take EC 5-persons over Hogans? Whats the likelihood of getting one or the other?

  10. 2900+ rising senior  

    does anyone know how many six person suites drop to regroup or general selection because they don't want to live in a suite with a double?

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