Suite Selection and General Selection may be over, but thanks to Summer Transfer and Fall Transfer, the Housing season at Columbia never really ends. You’ve still got questions, and we’ve still got answers. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave your housing-related queries in the comments!
Q: Bwog, I had a really bad lottery number in General Selection and there was nothing good left by the time I got to pick. Some of my friends I’m actually really lucky because of “summer transfer.” How do I do that?
A: All’s not lost if you have a terrible lottery number and ended up picking into some a room that wasn’t exactly your first choice. All you have to do is log into your housing application and click on the “Summer Transfer of Fall Assignment” step (which should be at the bottom of your “Academic Year 12–13” application). Then, over the summer, Housing will try to place everyone who applied for summer transfer into a new room that fits their preferences.
The key to summer transfer is that Housing does the transfers in reverse-lottery number order, so people with high lottery numbers get transfered before people who have lower lottery numbers. Seniors are still placed before juniors and juniors before sophomores, but within each class, higher lottery numbers are better.
Unfortunately, Summer Transfer isn’t going to be of much help to sophomores in General Selection, the vast majority of whom couldn’t pick into housing and were placed on the Sophomore Waitlist. Summer Transfer only works if you already have housing for the Fall and want to change it; if you never got housing in the first place, you’re not eligible for it. You can still apply for Fall Transfer, but very few people—particularly underclassmen—will get Fall Transfer. You’d have much more success with a Room Swap, a one-on-one room trade between you and a willing partner.
On the other end of the spectrum, Summer Transfer doesn’t include the incredibly nice University Apartment Housing dorms. Last year, these incredible apartments were given away a little haphazardly; Housing announced in August that interested seniors should email directly. This year, the UAH dorms may be offered through the Summer Transfer process, but in regular lottery number order, meaning lower lottery numbers pick before higher ones. That said, it’s not clear whether UAH dorms will be offered to undergraduates at all; Housing will gauge demand and make a final announcement later this summer.