First year housing

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First year housing at Columbia is assigned to incoming CC and SEAS undergraduates on the basis of indicated preferences.

First year housing is considered to be among some of the best housing available to Columbia students. Most sophomores live in mediocre doubles, and most juniors live in small but decent singles. Only by the time you become a senior will you be more or less guaranteed to get better housing than first years. However, if you are unfortunate in the housing lotteries for soph, junior and senior housing, you may never end up in as nice housing as your first year. Enjoy it while you can.


When submitting your request for first year housing, you need to rank the housing options (see below) in order of preference. The application may be completed here starting April 1, 2008. 75% of students get their first choice and 90% get their second choice.

Roommate assignment

On your housing request, you also need to answer a few questions, which, if you're assigned a double, will be used to pick a roommate for you. The survey has only a few questions about sleep habits, cleanliness, etc. Up until 2007, roommates were then allocated automatically using a matching alogrithm. Starting with the class of 2008, allocation is done by hand, with the computer as a guide.

According to someone on CollegeConfidential, every year there's some meathead guy who writes on his application "please just don't put me with some fag", and this guy is then assigned a gay roommate. According to the forum user, this is not a coincidence. Furthermore, apparently a very high percentage of freshman roommate pairings are interracial, which again isn't a coincidence. It seemingly all depends on who in the housing office is assigning people to rooms.[1]

Housing options

There are 7 options in 4 buildings:

Each residence hall is located directly on the main Morningside Heights campus around South Lawn and Van Am Quad. Each has a distinct atmosphere with its own advantages and disadvantages. While each dorm has an overriding stereotype, they aren't necessarily entirely accurate.