Housing strategies

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This page lists housing strategies that may help in the Room Selection process.

Contents

General

  • The best strategy is to sign up for Group Suite Selection in a group of friends, in order to get two shots at room selection:
  • First, you can pick a double or suite in Group Suite Selection.
  • Second, you can drop out of Group Suite Selection and pick a single in General Selection.
  • The best group size is probably 2.

Rising sophomores

  • It is especially important for rising sophomores to enter in a group, both in order to get two shots at room selection (see above) and because there won't be many good options left for sophomores in General Selection. If your group gets a good enough lottery number for a single in Furnald, you can drop into General Selection.
  • The best group size is probably 2 because there are many doubles. Also, even-numbered groups are better, so in the worst-case scenario you can split into groups of two and select doubles during general selection.
  • If you haven't picked anything, you automatically drop into General Selection. You and your group members can split up and choose from the doubles left over from Group Suite Selection. You can try to pick into one with a friend. Otherwise, these will be 'blind'; you will be with a stranger. Just be sure to pick something in General Selection, otherwise you might not get any housing at all. If you are unhappy with your choice, you can file for a summer transfer. These are processed by reverse lottery number, so you'll need a number from about 2500 to 3000.
  • Rising sophomores can also join a group of rising juniors and seniors looking for a suite. Having at least one upperclassman is a way to almost guarantee a 8-person suite in Ruggles - which is a wise choice for industrious rising sophomores.
  • Conversely, rising juniors and seniors often need rising sophomores to fill the double in the EC Exclusion Suites they're trying to get. They are able to recruit rising sophomores yet still have a good chance at getting the suite because they intend to invoke the EC Exclusion Rule. Under this rule, only the top three point values are used in calculating the group point value.

Rising juniors

  • Join a group of rising sophomores to get a 7-person or 8-person suite in 47 Claremont or Ruggles. Agree to get a single, while they take the doubles. They are not allowed to pay you money for this, but you could get them to agree to do the dishes, vacuum every week, etc.
  • Join a group trying to get an EC Exclusion Suite. The group will need at least one, if not two, seniors. Offer the senior the right to choose his room first.
  • Join a senior and go for a 1-bedroom apartment in Watt or a medium-demand apartment in Woodbridge.

Alternative strategies

  • A group can raise its point value by taking juniors and seniors who plan to study abroad. This is unethical, but if other people do it, you at least have the right to know that it gets done.
  • Apply for Barnard housing. They like to take Columbia students because then more Barnard students can live in Columbia housing (and there are many Barnard students who want to do so).
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