Housing Lottery

New for 2019!

There will be a SR Lottery Stage (before the 4/5/6 Lottery) for rising-Seniors to be able to pick Singles & Doubles in Sulz Tower, Elliott, & Hewitt as groups of 1, 2, and 3-people.

Overview & Timeline

The Housing Lottery is the process for continuing students to secure campus housing for the following academic year. Students are assigned Time Slots to choose suites/rooms in a random order prioritized by Class Year.

Participating in the Housing Lottery does not guarantee the ability to pick a specific room or to be able to live with specific students, but it does guarantees that campus housing will be available for the upcoming academic year if students meet all the required deadlines.

The Lottery takes part in 5 Stages following the order below: (see also graphic calendar)

Stage Group Sizes What Can Be Picked Deadline to Form Groups Lottery Numbers Posted Time Slots for Selecting
SR Lottery Rising-Seniors Only:
Individuals, 2-, and 3-person groups
Corridor-style rooms only
(Elliott, Hewitt, Sulz Tower)
3/25 Mon, 10am 3/25 Mon, 5pm 3/27-29 Wed-Fri, 9-5pm
4 Lottery 4-person groups 4-person suites 4/1 Mon, 10am 4/1 Mon, 5pm 4/2 Tues, 9-5pm
5 Lottery 5-person groups 5-person suites 4/4 Thur, 10am 4/4 Thur, 5pm 4/5 Fri, 9-5pm
6 Lottery 6-person groups 6-person suites 4/8 Mon, 10am 4/8 Mon, 5pm 4/9-10 Tues-Wed, 9-5pm
123 Lottery Individuals, 2-, and 3-person groups Studio Singles & remaining Corridor-style & Suite-style rooms 4/12 Fri, 10am 4/12 Fri, 5pm 4/15-18 Mon-Thur, 9-5pm

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Lottery To-Do List

  • Register for Room Selection (before 1pm Wednesday, March 13, 2019)-- you may not participate in the Housing Lottery otherwise!
  • Attend an Information Session or Information Table to learn more about the Housing Lottery.
  • Look at the floor plans and list of the available rooms & suites.
  • Attend the Residence Hall Tours (Sunday, March 10, 2019) to see a sample room in each residence hall.
  • Read the Frequently Asked Questions page if you have questions.
  • Watch the videos & read the PDFs about how to pick rooms (see below) before your Time Slot.
  • Prepare an ordered list of locations you'd like to live, in case your top choices are not available when your Time Slot starts.
  • If you're in a group, discuss what your preferences & priority for housing are (so that you're not scrambling when your Time Slots starts). Discuss who wants to live with whom within doubles in a suite, etc.
  • If you (or your group) are not free to log into the Housing Portal during your Time Slot, you will need to designate a Proxy.
  • Plan where you will log into a computer during your Time Slot (and who will be the one person to log in if you are in a group). Consider using a campus computer lab or having a backup device in case your laptop battery dies or can't connect to the WiFi. Students are encouraged to use a desktop/laptop for the optimal experience, but a tablet/phone can be used if another device isn't available.
  • Do you anticipate applying for Winter Break Housing next year? Plimpton Hall is the only residence hall that will be open for approved students during Winter Break.
    Note: students must apply for Winter Break housing and approval is not guaranteed.

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Students who want to take part in the Housing Lottery must Register for Room Selection (between 1pm on Wednesday, March 6, and 1pm on Wednesday, March 13, 2019).

Students who do not register for Room Selection will not receive lottery numbers, will not be able to take part in the Housing Lottery, and will lose their guarantee of housing for next academic year.

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Forming Groups

After registering, students may form groups on the Barnard Housing Portal. The deadline for each group size and/or Lottery stage are posted above.

Students who want to pick as an individual do not need to form a group on the Portal (they will automatically be considered as a 1-person group).

Groups will share ONE Lottery Number & Time Slot. After each Lottery stage's deadline, groups cannot be modified for that Lottery stage (to add or change members). But if a group does not pick during its Time Slot, it will be unlocked after the end of that Lottery stage so you may form a group for following Lottery stages.

Students are encouraged to form 2-person groups for the SR and 123 Lotteries (so they can pick into a double if there are no more singles available to select).

Note: Rising-Seniors registered for the Columbia Lottery may only pick their back-up room at Barnard as an individual during the 123 Lottery or sign up for the Guaranteed List.  They will receive a random 123 Lottery Number within the range for rising-Seniors (i.e. not otherwise better or worse than would randomly be the case). They may not select during the SR, 4, 5, or 6 Lotteries (or as part of a group for the 123 Lottery).

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Groups with Columbia Students

Groups who wish to select with Columbia students must be made up of at least 50% Barnard students (ex. a group of 6 must have at least 3 Barnard students).

The Columbia student(s) must register for Barnard Room Selection (before the deadline) in order to be able to join a group for the Lottery.

Columbia students may only participate as part of the 4, 5, and 6 Lottery Stages (i.e. picking an entire suite that matches the size of the group). Columbia students may not particiapte in the SR or 123 Lottery.

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Gender Inclusive Groups (Open Housing)

Barnard Residential Life & Housing is pleased to take part in Columbia's "Open Housing" program, in order to allow students to choose into suites or rooms together, regardless of gender identity. The primary reason for such a policy is to provide housing options that take into consideration varying identities and preferences and to ensure a comfortable & welcoming environment for all students. For more information, please visit the the Columbia Undergrad Housing's FAQ about Open Housing.

Open Housing is not intended and is highly discouraged for romantic couples (room changes may not be possible if a couple breaks up).

Groups with CU students who identify as male may only select an entirely empty suite which matches the size of their group (during the 4, 5, or 6 Lottery).

All gender inclusive groups who select housing at Barnard will be required to sign the Open Housing Agreement Form (download above).

If a roommate/suitemate cancels their housing or moves out of the room for any reason, the remaining residents must identify an eligible student to fill the vacancy. Residential Life & Housing will define the time allocated to find a new roommate. This window of time will vary depending on time of year and the status of any waitlists for assignments or room changes. Typically, the suite will be allowed a minimum of 24 hours, but not more than one week to identify another eligible roommate/suitemate.

If another roommate(s) is not identified within the time period, that room(s) will revert to a same-sex assignment, to be filled by Barnard or Columbia housing. This means that any CU students who identify as male would be required to move out of the suite to a CU residence hall.

Students who are interested in selecting a suite with a gender inclusive group are strongly encouraged to speak to Matt Kingston, Associate Director for Housing, in advance of registering for Room Selection and/or their Lottery Time Slot.

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Lottery Numbers & Time Slots

Previous Year's Google Sheets

Calendar: When will Lottery Numbers & Time Slots be posted? When will Time Slots take place?

There will be different Lottery Numbers & Time Slots for each stage of the Lottery. These are generated in random order by class year seniority.

  • 4, 5, and 6 Lottery -- Each group will share one Lottery Number & Time Slot (based on the Group Point Average). If a group does not pick and reforms for a later stage, they will be generated a new Lottery Number & Time Slot. For example, a 4-person Group that doesn't pick during the 4 Lottery and then adds another member will be generated a new Lottery Number & Time Slot for the 5 Lottery, etc.
  • SR & 123 Lottery -- Lottery Numbers & Time Slots will run in random order by Class Year seniority for all students, regardless if they are an individual or in a 2- or 3-person Group (i.e. order is not determined by group size or if in a group). Each group will share one Lottery Number & Time Slot (based on the Group Point Average).

The start time for Time Slots will be spaced approximately 5 minutes apart. Time Slots will be valid for 30 minutes. Groups or individuals who do not pick a space within the Time Slot will have to take part in a later stage of the Lottery or sign up for the Guaranteed List in order to receive housing.

Below is an example of Time Slots by Lottery number. Each Time Slot is 30 minutes long, with the start time of the following Time Slot spaced 5 minutes apart. Five minutes after the Time Slot for Lottery #1 starts, the Time Slot for for Lottery #2 starts, etc. The earlier an individual or group logs in during their Time Slot to select, the fewer other people may be trying to select at the same time.

Example of staggered time slots

Class Year Standing

Class Year standing is determined by the anticipated graduation year (*with some exceptions), as recorded by the Registrar's Office.

Class Year Standing Anticipated Graduation Date
Rising-Seniors* February or May 2020
Rising-Juniors* February or May 2021
Rising-Sophomores* February or May 2022
  • Students who enrolled as First Year students in the Fall of 2018 will be automatically considered rising-Sophomores. Transferred credits (AP, IB, other colleges, etc) may not be used to classify current First Years as rising-Juniors for the Lottery.
  • Spring Transfer students who do not yet have an anticipated anticipated graduation year will be classified as rising-Juniors.
  • Students who graduate mid-year are classified by the Registrar's office as February Graduates. This means that a student who plans to graduate after the Fall 2020 semester would be classified as a February 2021 graduate and would be considered a rising-Junior (not a rising-Senior) for the Housing Lottery.
  • Registering as a rising-Senior is intended to give students priority for Room Selection for their final year or semester at Barnard only and students may only participate as a rising-Senior *ONCE* during their Barnard career. If your anticipated graduation year is 2020, but you anticipate needing to be in housing for Fall 2020 (or longer), please correct your anticipated graduation date with the Registrar and contact Residential Life & Housing ASAP. Students who participate as a rising-Senior and then continue to attend Barnard past the 2019-2020 academic year would be required to sign up for the Guaranteed List in order to receive campus housing for 2020-2021.

To verify your Class Standing for the Housing Lottery, log in to the Barnard Housing Portal and look on the home page. The Class Standing for a Group will depend on the Group Point Average.

If you need to update your anticipated graduation year, please email registrar@barnard.edu or visit the Registrar's Office (107 Milbank) no later than 4pm on Monday, March 4, 2019. Please note that requests to update your anticipated graduation year must be supported by the number of credits you have earned and may take several days to show up on the Housing Portal.

Lottery Numbers & Time Slots are non-transferable and cannot be traded between students.

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Group Point Averages (and Mixed-Class Year Groups)

All groups will have a Group Point Average, which represents the averaged class year standing of the group.

  • Rising-Seniors = 300 points each
  • Rising-Juniors = 200 points each
  • Rising-Sophomores = 100 points each.

The Group Point Average is the A) total number of points added together B) divided by the number of students.

A group made up of students with the same class standing will have a Group Point Average that equals the same as the individual's class year standing. For example, 4 rising Seniors would have a Group Point Average of 300 points (i.e. 300 + 300 + 300 + 300 = 1200 divided by 4 = 300 points).

A group made up of students with mixed-class year standings will have a Group Point Average that comes "in-between" those of groups that are all the same class year. For example, a group with 3 Rising-Seniors and 2 Rising-Juniors will be averaged as 260 points (300 + 300 + 300 + 200 + 200 = 1300 divided by 5 = 260 points).

Groups are prioritized for Lottery Numbers and Time Slots by descending order of the Group Point Average (i.e. 300 point Groups go first). This means that a mixed-class year group with 260 points like above would be prioritized for a better Lottery Number and Time Slot than a group with 2 Rising-Seniors and 3 Rising-Juniors (240 point average).

Important! Any group that has rising-Sophomores in it will automatically be prioritized for a Lottery Number that would come *after* those of Groups made up of all rising-Juniors. For example, a Group made up of 2 rising-Seniors, a rising-Junior, and a rising-Sophomore would have a point average of 225, but would receive a Lottery Number that comes *after* that of Groups made up of all rising-Juniors (200 points). This ensures that rising-Juniors will be able to pick before groups with rising-Sophomores start to pick.

Columbia Students: the Class Year standing of any Columbia students in your group will be calculated in the Group Point Average.

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Proxies for Time Slots

  • Proxy Form (PDF) -- to bring to Res Life office during Time Slot
  • Proxy Worksheet (PDF) -- for you & your Proxy to discuss your preferences

If no one in your group (or you if picking as an Individual) is able to log in to the Housing Portal during your Time Slot, you may designate a Proxy to pick for you.

Reminder: if you are in a group, only 1 person needs to log in during your group's shared Time Slot.

To designate a proxy, print & fill out a Proxy Form with the student who will act as your Proxy. The proxy must be a currently enrolled Barnard student.

Note: this form must have handwritten signatures (not just a typed name). If you are studying abroad, etc, and do not have access to a scanner or fax, you can use a website like http://pdfescape.com or an iPhone/Android app to fill in the PDF form electronically and then email it to your Proxy as an attachment -- please just make sure that you use the drawing tool to DRAW (not type) your handwritten signature on the form. Thanks!

Your proxy must bring the completed Proxy form and their Student ID to the Res Life office (110 Sulzberger) 5-10 minutes before your Time Slot starts. A staff member will log the Proxy into the Portal to be able to select for you (and your group, if applicable).

Please make sure you tell your Proxy the correct DATE and TIME for your Time Slot! Time Slots are only 30 minutes long, so if your Proxy does not come to the Res Life office before your Time Slot ends they will not be able to pick for you.

Any room/suite that the your Proxy selects for you is a binding selection. Res Life cannot and will not make any changes to your room assignment once your Proxy selects. Students may look for Room Swaps over the summer, but only rising-Seniors may request room changes over the summer (rising-Juniors & Sophomores would need to wait for the Fall Room Change Request process).

We encourage you to have a detailed conversation with your Proxy about your selection preferences (ex. desired residence halls, size of room, type of room, view, roommates/suitemates, meal plan, etc.). To help facilitate your conversation, print & fill out the Proxy worksheet.

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Groups may only pick suites that match the size of their Group (ex. a 4-person Group cannot pick a 5-person Suite).

If your Group does not pick during its Time Slot, it will be unlocked after the end of that Lottery stage so you may form a larger Group (ex. add another member to a 4-person Group to then take part in the 5-Person Lottery, etc). Students who do not pick during the 4, 5, or 6 Lottery (or were not part of a 4-, 5-, or 6-person Group) will then take part in the 123 Lottery (see below).

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The SR Lottery works similarly to the 123 Lottery in the video above.

During the SR & 123 Lottery, students must completely fill any room they wish to pick. A double may only be picked by 2 people (and a triple by 3 people). An individual who wishes to live in a multiple (instead of a single) would need to sign up for the Guaranteed List to request to be assigned over the summer (or form a 2- or 3-person Group before the deadline for that Lottery stage).

A 2-person Group may pick 2 singles and they do not have to be on the same floor or in the same building (but may not pick a single and half of a double). A 3-person Group may pick 3 singles or 1 Double & 1 Single (but not 2 doubles), etc.

Students are encouraged to form 2- or 3-person Groups in order to have more flexibility for selecting.

During the SR Lottery, only singles & doubles in Sulz Tower, Elliott, and Hewitt will be available. All remaining corridor- and suite-style spaces will be available in the 123 Lottery.

Seniors who take part in the SR Lottery and do not pick a room will then be able to join groups for the 4, 5, and 6 Lotteries.  Seniors who do not select during the 4, 5, or 6 (or SR 123 Lottery) will be able to take part in the 123 Lottery.

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Guaranteed List

Students who do not (or cannot) pick a room during any of the Lottery Stages will sign up for the Guaranteed List to be placed over the summer.

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