Frequently Asked Questions
- 121st Street is now part of the Housing Lottery, featuring 4- and 5-person suites (many with all-singles).
- Lottery Selection Times are no longer limited to 30 minutes. Students may pick anytime after their Selection Time starts (as long as there are still spaces to select). Students are encouraged to pick as soon as their Selection Time starts so they don't miss out on spaces they want. Note: the Res Life office will only be open 9am-5pm to provide assistance.
- The experimental SR Lottery from last year is not continuing (see below for more information).
Last year as an experiment the College tested adding a "Senior Lottery" to give rising-Senior individuals & 2-/3-person groups the chance to pick before the 4, 5, and 6 Lotteries (i.e. like letting Seniors do the 123 Lottery first).
This was tested in part because much of 110th Street was not available in the Lottery due to the College's lease renewal process.
The SR Lottery is not being continued because it prolonged and added an entire week to the Lottery timeline. And thanks to the purchase of the new 121 Street residence hall (which has many all-single suites), there are now additional options for rising-Seniors to pick.
Will be posted at https://barnard.edu/reslife/room-rates once announced by the Board of Trustees.
Eligibility & Registration
Students may no longer live in Barnard campus housing after starting the Columbia portion of a dual-degree because they technically become Columbia students at that point.
- For students in a 4+1 program, the Columbia portion would start in year 5.
- For students in a 3+2 program, the Columbia portion would start in year 4.
Please come to the Residential Life & Housing office (110 Sulzberger), call Residential Life & Housing at 212-854-5561 or email firstname.lastname@example.org ASAP.
Please register well in advance of the deadline! If you wait until the last minute, the Residential Life & Housing office may not be available to assist you.
Some room / suites may not be available in the Lottery for the following reason:
- They were assigned to Resident Assistants (and/or their Pull-Ins)
- They were assigned by CARDS as part of the Pre-Lottery Accommodation Process (and/or their Pull-Ins)
- Rooms with accessibility features (ex. strobe alarms) may be reserved for later CARDS housing accommodations.
- Space may be reserved to balance the BC/CU Housing Exchange.
- Space may be reserved to cluster assignments for new First Year or Transfer students.
If your current room is available to pick when your Selection Time starts, you may pick it. However, there is no method for automatically claiming the same room before the Lottery.
Note: If you pick the same room for next year you still need to completely move out in May and may not leave any belongings behind over the summer.
Note: First Years are not able to return to the same rooms on FY floors in Brooks, Reid, Sulzberger, or Hewitt.
- Gender Inclusive: 2, 4, 6, and 8th floors
- Women-Only: 3, 5, & 7th floors
- Gender Inclusive: 10, 12, 14, & 16th floors
- Women-Only: 9, 11, 13, & 15th floors
- Gender Inclusive: the bathroom closest to rooms numbered 1-10
- Women-Only: the bathroom closest to rooms numbered 12-21
In all locations, students are welcome to use neighboring bathrooms as needed.
Students pick into room/suites differently each year. Where the rising-Seniors pick first determines what's still available for Rising-Juniors to pick next, etc.
A general rule of thumb is that suites made up of all singles tend to get picked before suites made up of singles & doubles, and those suites tend to get picked before suites made up of all multiples (although this varies as older students may pick based on building location instead of room sizes).
Similarly, corridor singles tend to be picked before corridor multiples.
Sulz Tower and the higher floors of 620 w/ suites of all singles tend to be picked first and fill up before all rising-Seniors have picked.
There are usually more students who wish to live in singles than the number available to pick during the Lottery.
Typically more groups form for the 4, 5, and 6 Lottery than the number of available suites. That means that not every group will be able to pick a suite. Groups who are not able to pick a suite can then reconfigure to take part in a later Lottery (including the 123 Lottery).
Additionally, there usually are more students taking part in the 123 Lottery than the number of available spaces. This is because:
- Many students will pick rooms at the Lottery and then cancel housing to move off-campus, study abroad, take a leave of absence, etc.
- Some rooms need to be held from the Lottery to reserve space to balance the BC/CU Housing Exchange, to hold rooms with accessibility features (ex. strobe alarms) for later CARDS housing accommodations, and/or to cluster spaces for incoming first year & transfer students.
This means that all the spaces available to pick during the Lottery will "run out" before every student get a change to pick. Each year there are around 125-1750 rising-Sophomores whose Lottery Selection Time starts after all available rooms have been picked.
There are also usually more students who wish to live in singles than the number available to pick, so students are not guaranteed to be able to pick into a single. This is why students are encouraged to form 2-person groups for the 123 Lottery (to give them the ability to choose a double together if there are no singles available).
Students who are not able to pick a room (or do not want to pick from what's available) will sign up for the Guaranteed List. They will fill out a form to provide housing preferences in order to be assigned over the summer.
Lottery numbers & Selection Times are non-transferable and cannot be traded between students or groups.
No, students in a 2- or 3-person group receive one shared Lottery Number & Selection Time, which is generated in random order by class year just like for Individuals.
Students must completely fill any room they wish to pick during the Housing Lottery. Individuals may not pick into Doubles or Triples by themselves in the 123 Lottery.
This is why students are encouraged to form a 2- or 3-person group for the 123 Lottery. Students in a 2- or 3-person could pick singles if available, but only students in a group would be able to pick into a Double or Triple if there are no singles available.
You will likely receive a new roommate. Spaces that open up over the summer will be assigned to students on the Guaranteed List and/or Non-Guaranteed Wait List (ex. incoming Transfers, students returning after a leave of absence, commuters).
Spaces that open up during the academic year will likely be filled by room changes or assignments to new Spring students.
While the College always hopes to alert students to a new assigned roommate with as much advance notice as possible, students with vacancies in their room must keep the space open and ready for assignment to another student at all times.
Students who graduate mid-year or plan to study abroad for the Spring must submit a Housing Cancellation Form by December 1, in order to avoid a cancellation fee.
Students who cancel their Spring housing for any other reason (to move off campus, take a leave of absence, etc.) will be charged cancellation fees.
Groups who do not pick during the 4, 5, or 6 Lottery may form a larger Group (ex. add a student to turn a 4-person into a 5-person Group, etc.) to get another Lottery Number & Selection Time for a later Lottery stage OR participate in the 123 Lottery.
Individuals or 2- or 3-person Groups who do not pick during the 123 Lottery would need to sign up for the Guaranteed List in order to receive a room assignment over the summer.
New Lottery Numbers & Selection Times are generated for each stage of the Housing Lottery.
For example, if you do not pick during the 4 Lottery and then add a 5th Group member to take part in the 5 Lottery, you will be generated a new Lottery Number & Selection Time for the 5 Lottery.
All selections are binding and final. Once you pick a room or suite, you may not change your selection during the Lottery.
Additionally, once you choose a room or suite, you may not cancel that room to be on the Guaranteed List instead.
Only rising-Seniors may request room changes over the summer. Rising-Juniors & Sophomores may apply for the Studio Single Wait List or a 1-for-1 Room Swap over the summer.
Yes! Students who might study abroad for the Fall should still participate in Room Selection to have a room for the Fall in case they do not end up going abroad.
If you pick a room and then get into a Study Abroad program, you will need to submit the Housing Cancellation Form (before May 11, 2020 to avoid cancellation fees).
If you return to campus for the Spring, you may submit a Housing Application for Spring assignment. If you are abroad for the full year, you would take part in next year's Room Selection to pick housing for the following Fall.
See also question below: If I will be studying abroad for the Fall, can I pick into a suite with a group of friends and get into that room when I return in the Spring (after cancelling my Fall housing)?
Class year standing for a group is determined by dividing the total of the individual class year points by the size of the group. More Information.
Each group will have a Group Leader designated on the Housing Portal. Only the Group Leader is able to log in and pick rooms when the group's shared Selection Time starts.
If your Group Leader is not free for the group's shared Selection Time, they should pass leadership to another group member on the Housing Portal. This should be done BEFORE the Selection Time starts so your group doesn't miss out on being able to log in and select.
During the 4, 5, & 6 Lotteries, groups may only pick suites that match the size of their group (ex. a 5-person Group may only pick a 5-person Suite).
However, 2-, 3-, 7- and 9-person suites are part of the 123 Lottery and may be picked into by individuals and 2- & 3-person groups. There may also be spaces leftover to pick in RA suites and suites where CARDS Pre-Lottery housing accommodations were made.
No, groups may only select suites (or rooms) that have the same number of spaces as group members.
Students who are currently not enrolled or who live off-campus may not be part of Groups for the Housing Lottery. If they apply for the non-Guaranteed Wait List, they will be assigned over the summer (space permitting).
For example, a group of 5 students would only be able to pick a 5-person suite (they can't pick a 6-person suite and hold an open space for another student).
Students who may study abroad for the Fall are encouraged to go through Room Selection and select a room as a backup in case they do not end up going abroad. However, if you select into a suite with a group of friends and then cancel your housing assignment to go abroad, that room will be assigned to a student from the Guaranteed List (or a Fall transfer, student requesting to return from a Leave of Absence, etc.) as a full-year room assignment.
Res Life will not force that student to move out of the room to make a vacancy for you in the Spring. The space you picked cannot be kept empty for the Fall semester for you to return to in the Spring.
Your best bet is to find a friend who is planning on studying abroad for the SPRING. That student could be in a Group with your friends to pick a suite (and you can choose a backup room elsewhere on your own or sign up for the Guaranteed List in case you don't go abroad for the Fall). Then, you can request on your Spring Housing Application to be assigned to that suite when you return (into the vacancy created by that other student leaving to study abroad for the Spring). However, please note that requests to be assigned to a specific room cannot be guaranteed.
The Group Leader is responsible for assigning rooms within the suite to each group member during the group's Selection Time.
Please make sure that your group discusses in advance who wants to live together in doubles, the size or arrangements of rooms, etc; because you will not have a lot of time to finalize those decisions during your Selection Time.
After the Group Leader assigns the rooms during the Lottery, those assignments cannot be changed until the Summer Room Swap Request process.
Students may request 1-for-1 room swaps (see Summer Swaps for the request deadline).
If someone in your group is planning to cancel housing and you want to have their room, you must both complete the 1-for-1 room swap request BEFORE they cancel their housing. Students cannot swap a room with another student after they have cancelled.
For groups made up of students from different class years, a Group Point Average will be calculated to determine priority for Lottery Numbers & Time Slots. More Information.
No. If you wish to pick as an individual during the 123 Lottery, you do not have to form a 1-person group.
Note: students are encouraged to form 2-person groups for the 123 Lottery. Because students must fill any room they wish to select during the Lottery, only a group of 2 could pick into a double. But a group of 2 could also pick two singles if available, so being in a 2-person group would give you more flexibility.
Housing Exchange (BC@CU and CU@BC)
Barnard students may live at Columbia (and vice-versa) through the Barnard / Columbia Housing Exchange. Each school must exchange an exact equal number of students for the exchange to work.
This means that if more Barnard students register for the Columbia Lottery than CU students register for the Barnard Lottery, the number of Barnard students allowed to pick with groups at Columbia will be "capped." For example, if 15 Barnard students register for the Columbia Lottery and only 8 Columbia student register for the Barnard Lottery, the maximum number of Barnard students who will be allowed to pick with groups at Columbia ("the cap") will be 8. This number varies from year to year and cannot be predicted prior to the end of Room Selection Registration.
Students who live on the other school's campus as part of the BC/CU Housing Exchange will be eligible to go through their Room Selection process again for the following year. However, students who cancel housing to move off-campus or take a leave of absence would cease to have a guarantee of housing and will not be eligible to participate in Room Selection.
Groups with CU students may not be able to select if there are no suites more available when the group's Selection Time starts.
Note: Columbia students may only participate in the 4, 5, and 6 Lotteries and may not take part in the 123 Lottery.
Yes. For more information, please visit barnard.edu/reslife/reslife/room-selection/lottery#group-point-averages