Off-Campus Housing

While the majority of Barnard students do live on-campus, some students may choose to commute from home or find an apartment off-campus.

Note: Housing options like The Bayit and International House are not considered part of campus housing nor part of the Barnard/Columbia Housing Exchange. Student who live in these locations are considered to be living off-campus.

Important Links for Commuting Students:

Looking for Off-Campus Housing

Columbia's Off-Campus Housing Assistance (OCHA) office assists Barnard & Columbia students in their search for rental housing in non-College-owned buildings located in the metropolitan area. OCHA manages a database of available rooms and apartments known as the Housing Registry and provides information on the rental real estate market in New York City. In addition, OCHA offers one-on-one housing search counseling and is supported in these efforts by our cooperative relationships with two New York City real estate/relocation agencies. OCHA is located at 401 West 119th Street (between Amsterdam Avenue and Morningside Drive) and can be called at 212-854-2773.

Impact on Financial Aid

Students who choose to live off-campus are packaged as a "commuter" instead of as a "residential" student by the Financial Aid office (which can result in up to $11,000 less available aid). Students who are thinking of living off-campus are strongly encouraged to contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss how it could affect their financial aid package.

Impact on Barnard Housing Guarantee

Barnard students only have a guarantee of housing for the following academic year if they are currently living in campus housing.  Students who live off-campus are not eligible to participate in Room Selection (i.e. pick a room in the Housing Lottery, live in CU Greek housing, apply for a Special Interest Community, apply for a Disability Housing Accommodation, or be a RA- or ODS pull-in).  Students who wish to apply for campus housing (after living off-campus or cancelling housing) may only do so as part of the Non-Guaranteed Wait List.  Please note that students who live off-campus will be prioritized for assignment after incoming Transfer students & students applying for readmission to the College.

Meal Plan Requirements

Commuter students are required to enroll, at minimum, in a Convenience Meal Plan (the same as continuing students who live in a residence hall outside floors 2-8 of the Quad).  For more information about available meal plans and prices, please visit