Room Swaps

In the fall term, there is no deadline for students to complete a room swap. In order to complete a room swap for the spring term, students must contact their Hall Directors to initiate the process by December 6. Requests received after December 6 will need to be resubmitted at the start of spring term. Room availability may be limited at that point.


Students that are experiencing difficulty in their living arrangement should contact their RA or Hall Director for support and resources. Residential Life staff can assist in providing strategies for navigating various challenges and can offer support services, including roommate mediation conversations. If, after receiving support from Residential Life, two students still wish to swap room assignments, each student should contact their respective Hall Director to schedule a meeting to discuss further. Students can ask their RA for their Hall Director’s contact information.

Both residents must sign a new Occupancy Agreement in the Housing Portal corresponding to their new assignment.

  • A Columbia student may not swap with a Barnard student, regardless of where the rooms are located.
  • Swaps must be approved by Residential Life and Housing, and both departments reserve the right to deny swaps.
  • Students must be in the same class standing.
  • Only one swap per academic year is allowed. 
  • Room keys should not be exchanged between students participating in a room swap. Key exchanges can only take place at the Hartley Hospitality Desk.
  • Students who fail to return their key will be charged $15 for key replacement and $50 for a lock change.
  • If students offer or solicit a room for reward, gain, or through coercion, the swap or transfer will be voided and students will be subject to Dean’s Discipline.
  • Students must occupy the rooms for which they have contracted and sign their Occupancy Agreement. If either student fails to sign an Occupancy Agreement following a swap approval or does not physically move within 24-48 hours of signing the new Occupancy Agreement, the swap will be voided.
  • Students who have cancelled their housing application cannot participate in a room swap.
  • There will be no room swaps scheduled during Winter Break. All moves must take place before or after the Winter Break period.
  • Students should contact their hall director(s) (HDs) to set up a meeting and discuss their desire to initiate a room swap.
  • The HD(s) will meet with the students to understand their desires to swap.
  • If the room swap request is approved, Housing will send instructions to the students for relocating and signing updated occupancy agreements.