Point Values, Lottery Numbers & Selection Appointments


Room Selection appointments are determined by lottery and a student’s class standing.

  • Every student is assigned a point value. Group point value is the average of each individual group member.
  • Each individual or group receives a lottery number weighted to their point value.
  • Lottery numbers determine the order of Room Selection appointments.

Students with higher class standing have a higher point value and are assigned a lower lottery number and an earlier Room Selection appointment time.

Point values, lottery numbers, and selection appointments are assigned only to students with guaranteed housing status. Students with non-guaranteed housing are not eligible to participate in Room Selection. Learn more about eligibility

Point Values

Students are assigned a point value based on seniority so that rising seniors receive the highest point values.  

Priority is assigned as follows: 

  • Rising Seniors: 40 points

  • Rising Juniors: 30 points

  • Rising Sophomores: 20 points

  • Group point value is the average value of all Columbia group members (rising Barnard College seniors are assigned 40 points)  

Approved Leaves of Absence & Point Value

If a student with guaranteed housing takes an approved leave of absence, their point value may be impacted. You will see your point value during the Room Selection registration process. Please contact Columbia Housing if you believe your point value is incorrect. 

Mixed Point Groups

Mixed point groups refer to groups that are comprised of students from different classes. Groups are assigned a single point value based on the average point value of all individual group members. As mixed point groups have members with different point values, the group's point value falls between the assigned values for each class.

New for AY 24-25: Groups can only be comprised of students in adjacent classes (e.g., senior-junior; junior-sophomore).

Lottery Numbers 

After the registration period is over, each individual or group is assigned a randomly selected, computer-generated lottery number. Groups receive one lottery number. Individuals or groups with lower lottery numbers will have appointment times towards the beginning of Room Selection, whereas higher lottery numbers will have appointment times towards the end of Room Selection.  

Lottery numbers are typically assigned as follows:

  • Seniors (40 points): Lottery numbers 1- 1000 

  • Mixed-point groups of seniors and juniors (30.1 – 39.9 points): Lottery numbers 1001 – 2000 

  • Juniors (30 points): Lottery numbers 2001 – 3000 

  • Mixed-point groups of juniors and sophomores (20.1 – 29.9 points): Lottery numbers 3001 – 4000 

  • Sophomores (20 points): Lottery numbers 4001 – 5000 

  • Every group member receives the same lottery number. 

Students will receive an email when lottery numbers are posted in the Housing Portal. Please see the Housing Calendar for dates. 

Appointment Times

Each individual or group is then assigned a specific appointment date and time to choose their room. Groups will have one appointment time and selections will be made by the group leader.

Students’ and groups' appointment times are posted to the Registration Summary page of the Housing Application in the Housing Portal after registration has closed.   

Rooms can be selected any time between your assigned appointment time and the end of Room Selection. However, we encourage students to select as early as possible in order to have the most options to choose from. 

Students will receive an email when appointment times become available. Please see the Housing Calendar for dates.