Off-Campus Housing

Barnard students are not required to live in campus housing (with the exception of visitors from Spelman and students in the VISP program).  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 the metropolitan area. OCHA manages a database known as the Housing Registry which includes available rooms and apartments in non-Columbia-owned buildings and sublets of units in Columbia-managed housing. Prospective roommates can also post and search profiles on this site. In addition, OCHA offers housing search counseling and is supported in these efforts by their 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.  More info at

Note: Barnard students are not able to apply for Columbia campus housing through Columbia Undergraduate Housing Services.

Other options for off-campus housing may include:*

* Barnard College assumes no responsibility or liability in connection with any rental agreement or services provided by the listed resources. The listing of any resource does not constitute an endorsement of the service or guarantee of availability.


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


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 may result in up to $12,500 less available grant 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. Incoming transfer students who do not receive campus housing may submit new housing applications to be on the non-Guaranteed Wait List for subsequent semesters.