John Jay’s got the singles that are ready to mingle. Also, food and beautiful views.

Location: 519 W. 114th Street, New York, NY 10027

Nearby Dorms: Hartley, Wallach, and Ruggles.

Nearby Stores and Restaurants:  John Jay Dining Hall, JJ’s Place, Strokos, NY Basics, and ButCaf.

Cost: first-year standard $8,718/year


  • Bathrooms: Shared single-stall bathrooms on every floor.
  • AC/Heating: No AC (unless you’re on the 15th floor), but there is heat (for everyone).
  • Kitchen/Lounge: Each floor has a lounge with a table, couches, and a microwave, but there are no kitchens.
  • Laundry: Free laundry in the basement.
  • Fire Escapes/Bike Storage: None.
  • Computers/Printers: Two printers by the door. There’s also a computer lounge in nearby Hartley.
  • Intra-Transportation: Two slow elevators. One goes to the 13th floor, and the other goes to the 14th floor. Residents on the 15th floor get a flight of stairs.
  • Hardwood/Carpet: Rooms have hardwood floors. Halls have carpeted floors.
  • WiFi: Yep
  • Room Variety: Most rooms are 100 sq. ft. singles. On each end of each hall, there are two doubles: a walk-through (composed of two ~100 sq. ft. singles) and a traditional double (~200 sq. ft.). The 15th floor is in the attic, so ceilings are sloped and rooms are much larger (~130 sq. ft singles and ~240 sq. ft doubles).
  • Bonus: You’ll also be living in the same building as two popular dining halls, JJ’s and John Jay.

Bwog Recommendation:

Anyone living in John Jay is ready to gush about how much they love living there. The mix of having a single (your own space!) and being surrounded by other first-years (so many friends you can make!) makes it a perfect blend of social and private. Although many floors end up becoming friends, there is no pressure, since after all, you do have singles, so you can always retreat to your own spaces. Bathroom cleanliness depends on your floor, but they are all single-stall (that means you have a shower, toilet, and sink in one room, just like you would at home). Note that the elevators are notoriously slow, and sometimes hallways have poor ventilation (since hallways only have a few windows). John Jay houses two big dining halls (John Jay and JJ’s) and is connected via hallways to nearby dorms Wallach and Hartley, so during the cold winter months, the need to go outside is reduced. Overall, people party in Carman, they study in Furnald, they tolerate Wallach, they commiserate over Hartley, but people love John Jay.

Resident Opinions:

  • “If you get John Jay, especially a single, you essentially win freshman housing.”
  • “Living above JJ’s is a blessing, believe me.”
  • “Amazing views on the higher floors.”
  • “Food and a single? Amazing”
  • “You can shower for as long as you want.”
  • “Perfect for introverts trying to make friends.”
  • “I didn’t bond much with my floor but having a single was KEY.”
  • “Living in John Jay, gives you the opportunity to socialize on your floor and bond with everyone, not just your suitemates! You inherit 40 friends instead of 4.”
  • “John Jay initially comes off as fairly high-school-dorm-y in that it’s one long hallway, has too few bathrooms to share, has no air conditioning, and most of the time, smells a little funny. But over time, you’ll learn to love the little things, like the privacy, the chats across the halls, the gatherings in the lounge, and the option to crash in other people’s rooms. It’s a love hate relationship that is essential to the Columbia relationship. Plus you can’t beat being able to go to JJ’s in your pjs.”


Image via Bwarchives