Point Values, Lottery Numbers & Selection Appointments

The order in which students select housing during Room Selection depends on the lottery number they receive following registration. The lottery number is determined by the point value assigned to individual students or groups.

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. 

Point Value

Students are assigned a point value based on seniority. 

Priority is assigned as follows: 

  • Rising Seniors: 30 points

  • Rising Juniors: 20 points

  • Rising Sophomores: 10 points

  • Group point value is the average value of all Columbia group members (rising Barnard College seniors are assigned 30 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. 

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.  

A higher point value indicates greater priority, and individuals or groups with more points are assigned a lower lottery number. Lottery numbers are typically assigned as follows:

  • Seniors (30 points): Lottery numbers 1- 1000 

  • Mixed-point groups (20.1 – 29.9 points): Lottery numbers 1001 – 2000 

  • Juniors (20 points): Lottery numbers 2001 – 3000 

  • Mixed-point groups (10.1 – 19.9 points): Lottery numbers 3001 – 4000 

  • Sophomores (10 points): Lottery numbers 4001 – 5000 

  • Every group member receives the same lottery number. 

Lottery numbers are emailed to students and posted to the Registration Summary page of the Housing Application 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, suite or apartment.

Students’ and groups' appointment dates and 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 you to select as early as possible in order to have the most options to choose from. 

Please see the Housing Calendar for appointment time and selection dates.