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Cornell University

First-Year Undergraduates On-Campus Housing

First-Year Undergraduates

As a first-year student, you'll be part of a community of more than 3,000 new Cornellians living in residence halls and Program Houses on North Campus. You decide whether to live in a Program House or residence hall, and indicate room type preferences. You do not need to research and rank residence halls; our staff will assign your residence hall based on the preferences you indicate. Most students do not have a roommate when they apply for housing, but you may request a particular roommate and we will attempt to fill your request.

Cornell has a 2-year residential requirement for our first-year and second-year students, including a required meal plan. Cornell implemented this requirement for all first-year students who began enrollment in the Summer of 2021 and beyond. 

Studies indicate that students who live on-campus experience increased academic achievement, improved social-emotional adjustment, and develop a stronger ability to build cohesive community versus those who live off-campus during this transformative time in personal development. During this time, students also maintain a meal plan while living on-campus to ensure they have access to proper nutrition to sustain overall well-being, and to safeguard against food insecurity, which has increased for students at colleges across the country. The programmatic model of Cornell’s residence halls creates a place where staff and community are invested in the safety, security, and growth of residents at this crucial developmental point in their lives.

Students transferring to Cornell who had two years of an on-campus residential experience at their previous institution, or who are matriculating as a junior or senior, will not be subject to the residency requirement.

Program Houses: Program Houses are themed communities based on shared identities and interests or cultural backgrounds. These communities are open to first-year, transfer, and upper-level men and women. 


First-Year Residence Halls: 

Cornell's first-year residence halls are friendly and supportive communities where residents live, learn, socialize, and study together. All are coed with the exception of Balch Hall for first-year female-identified students. 


Both options offer live-in staff support, opportunities for faculty interaction, cultural and educational programming, and social activities. As a part of your new North Campus neighborhood, you'll also find the Carol Tatkon Center for first-year students, two active community centers, three dining rooms, two cafes, a convenience store and grill, two athletic facilities, basketball and tennis courts, and a sand volleyball court. And all within a short walk to academic buildings on central campus!

Visit the Service Center website for student mail and package information.


Apply for Housing