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Frequently Asked Questions about Room Selection

Last updated: March 20, 2014

General Questions

Registration Questions

Room Availability Questions

Housing Lottery Questions

Registering at Columbia / Pulling CU students into the Barnard Housing Lotteyr



How much will the rooms cost for the 2014-2015 academic year?
Room rates for 2014-2015 are posted are posted here.
 
Am I eligible to participate in Room Selection if I currently live at International House or the Bayit?
No, neither International House or the Bayit are considered on-campus housing, which means that students who live in these locations are not eligible for Room Selection.
 
What if I forget to register for Room Selection (1pm on March 5 through 1pm on March 12, 2014)?
Unfortunately, you will not be able to participate in Room Selection, nor can we guarantee your housing for the 2014-2015 academic year. You may apply for housing on the Non-Guaranteed Housing Wait List and assignments (if available) will be emailed in mid-August.
 
What do I do if I try to register for Room Selection and I get an error message? (or it doesn't give me the option of registering?)
Don't panic! No system is foolproof. If you have any problems trying to register, please come to the Residential Life & Housing office (110 Sulzberger), call Residential Life & Housing at 212-854-5561 or email housing@barnard.edu. 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.
 
Why are some rooms showing up as selected (or "Held for Later Assignment") before Room Selection even begins?
Rooms/suites may be assigned before Room Selection due to RA assignments (and RA pull-ins), disability housing assignments (and pull-ins), and the Social Justice House.  Additionally, some rooms/suites are marked as "Held for Later Assignment" in order to have space to balance the BC/CU Housing Exchange, to hold rooms with accessibility features (ex. strobe alarms) for later disability housing assignments, and/or to cluster spaces for incoming transfer students.
 
Why are some rooms in the same line at 110th St. singles vs. doubles on different floors?
Barnard rents the apartments at 110th Street and does not own the building. The landlord dictates the occupancy of each space according to contracts which were signed in different years, which is why some rooms in a line may be singles on one floor and doubles on another (ex. 4J1 & 7J1 are doubles, but 5J1 is a studio single).
 
Can I trade Lottery Numbers with another student?  If a friend is not planning to pick at the Lottery, can I use their number instead?
Unfortunately, lottery numbers are non-transferable and cannot be traded between students.
 
If I pick into an empty double, can I "buy-out" the other side of the room?
No. Doubles that students may pick into as individuals (ex. corridor-style rooms in Hewitt / Elliott / Sulz Tower or spaces in suites made available for individuals to select into may not be "bought out." All spaces are selected by the end of Room Selection. Any spaces that open up will be assigned to students on the Guaranteed Assignment List and/or Non-Guaranteed Wait List or to Transfer and/or Readmitted students over the summer.

Spaces in doubles that open up over the summer or during the course of the year will be available for assignment or room changes. Due the anticipated number of students living in on-campus housing, "buy outs" are not expected to be available in the Fall or Spring semesters.
 
If the person(s) I picked into a multiple occupancy room (corridor or suite) with cancels, what happens to me?
You will receive a new roommate. Spaces that open up over the summer will be assigned to student on the Guaranteed Assignment List and/or Non-Guaranteed Wait List or to incoming Transfer or Readmitted students. Spaces that open up during the academic year will likely be filled by room changes or assignments to new Spring students. "Buys out" of double rooms are not expected to be available.
 
If I'm in a group of 5 students, can we pick a 6-person suite and get assigned a 6th person from the wait list?
No, groups may only select suites that have the same number of spaces as group members (in this case, a 5-person suite for a 5-person group).

Note: Some suites may be broken into smaller clusters for selection by smaller group sizes (ex. a 7-person suite, which is broken down into 2 doubles selectable by a group of 4 and 3 singles that can each be selected by an individual). Groups / individuals can only select these spaces as predesignated in size on the list of Available Spaces.
 
If I'm in a group of students, can we pick suite and hold a space for a student who is being readmitted to the College or who currently lives off-campus?
No, groups may only select suites (or clusters) that have the same number of spaces as group members (in this case, a 5-person suite for a 5-person group). Students who are currently not enrolled in the College or are not eligible for Room Selection because they live off-campus may not be part of groups for the Housing Lottery. If they apply for housing, they will be assigned over the summer (space permitting).
 
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 canceling my Fall housing)?
Probably not. We do encourage students who may be studying abroad for the Fall 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 once you confirm your Fall study abroad, that room will be assigned to a student from the Guaranteed Assignment List (or non-Guaranteed Wait List, or a transfer, or a readmitted student, etc.) as a full-year room assignment (i.e. Residential Life & Housing would not force that student to move out of the room to make a vacancy for you in the spring).

Your best bet is to find a friend who is planning on studying abroad for the SPRING. That student could select into a suite with your friends (and you can choose a backup room elsewhere on your own or sign up for the Guaranteed Assignment 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).
 
I'm graduating in February or planning on studying abroad for the Spring semester. If I have to sign a housing contact for the entire academic year, will I have to pay to cancel my housing for the Spring?
We require students to sign an entire academic year contact so that you're covered for housing in case your graduation is pushed back or you cancel your Spring study abroad plans.

Housing will be automatically cancelled at no charge for students studying abroad for the Spring (after submitting the Notice of Study Leave).  Students who graduate mid-year 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, to withdraw from the College, etc) will be charged cancellation fees.  For more information, please visit http://barnard.edu/reslife/policies/housing/cancellations
 
What if I have class during my appointment time or can't make it for another reason?
We don't want you to skip class! You can select another student to serve as your Proxy and select for you.
 
What do I do if I missed my appointment time!
Individuals: If you miss it, come late. We will be able to let you select from the remaining rooms after the last lottery number has been called (or, you can fill out the Guaranteed Assignment List form). If you do not come, we will not be able to give you a guarantee of housing for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Groups: Groups may not select unless all members (or their designated proxy) are present. If you (or your proxy) are not present at your appointment time, your group may only select if they drop you from the group.
 
If I sign up for a suite with a group, which room within the suite am I going to live in?
The assignment of rooms within a suite is entirely up to the group members. When you select the suite, you and your group must assign the members to the particular rooms within the suite. It is important for your group to have a conversation beforehand about who wants to live in singles vs. doubles, the size of rooms, etc; because you will not have a lot of time to make those decisions when your appointment time comes.

If you have another group member serve as your Proxy because you are unable to attend group selection, please make sure that you have communicated all your choices and needs to that person, because the Proxy's choice is a binding assignment.

After your group has selected the rooms within the suite at Room Selection, we may not change them. Rising-Seniors only may request room changes over the summer through the Senior Summer Room Change Process. Rising-Sophomores and rising-Juniors must wait until the Fall Room Change process.
 
After I choose a room/suite, can I change my selection later? (or sign up for the Guaranteed Assignment List instead?)
All selections are binding and final. Once you choose a room or suite, you may not later change your selection. Additionally, once you choose a room or suite, you may not cancel that room to be on the Guaranteed Assignment List instead.
 
What is "the Cap?" How many Barnard students will be able to pick at CU (and vice-versa)?
The way that Barnard is able to have some students live on the Columbia campus (and vice-versa) is through the Barnard / Columbia Housing Exchange. Each campus must exchange an exact equal number of students.

This means that if more Barnard students register for Columbia Room Selection than vice-versa, the number of Barnard students allowed to pick with groups at Columbia cannot exceed the number of Columbia students registered for Barnard Room Selection. For example, if 15 Barnard students register for CU Room Selection and only 8 Columbia student register for Barnard Room Selection, the maximum number of Barnard students who will be allowed to select with groups at Columbia shall not exceed 8. This number varies from year to year and cannot be predicted prior to Room Selection Registration at both schools being completed.
 
If I pick with my friends at Columbia Room Selection, do I lose my ability to go through Barnard Room Selection next year?
No. As long as you pick into a Columbia residence hall through the Columbia Undergraduate Room Selection process and continue to live on campus for the entire academic year, you will be eligible to go through Barnard (or Columbia) Room Selection for the following year. If you cancel housing to move off-campus or withdraw from the College, you will cease to have a guarantee of housing and will not be eligible to participate in Room Selection.
 
If I pull one or more Columbia students into a Barnard group, is it guaranteed that we'll be able to select together?
Unfortunately not. Groups who want to pull in CU students at Barnard Room Selection may not be able to select a suite together if a) no more suites match the desired group size or b) there were more CU students who registered for Barnard Room Selection than vice-versa and the "Cap" (see above) on the number of CU students who may select at Barnard has been reached.

New questions & answers will be posted to this page as we receive them.