Skip to main content

Cornell University

Changes to the Forthcoming Housing Selection Process

'You Belong Here' campaign banner

Undergraduate Housing Selection Changes

As the 2022-23 academic year comes to a close, we are thrilled to announce many exciting changes to the on-campus room selection process. Thanks to YOUR feedback from focus groups and surveys conducted this year, we are making significant improvements to simplify processes, which we’ll continue to roll out in the months ahead. To give you a preview of what to expect:  


    For the first time ever, we’ll be launching the room selection process for our upper-level students during the fall semester, which means that you will get first choice in the Room Selection process. The adjusted timing also ensures you have the best understanding of your on-campus and off-campus options, allowing you to make informed decisions for the 2024-2025 academic year.

    We’ll keep you updated on exact dates later this summer. 

    Being an upper-level student should have perks, right?  You asked for more singles, Townhouse Apartments, West Campus rooms and access to newer buildings… you got them. Plus, with the reopening of Balch Hall in Fall 2024 all classes will be eligible for this newly renovated, all-female hall. 

    In addition to new options being available, the new process will have more freedom of movement to other locations. Students are not limited to selecting in the area they are currently living in. Check a new location off of your Cornell bucket list! 

    If you will be living on campus this coming fall and want to keep your same room and have the opportunity to pull in preferred roommates, we’ll help make that happen.

    Please note that some buildings are designated for specific class years, such as first-year or second-year students. Students living in these halls will not be able to participate in the Same Room process. 

These changes are just the start. We’re still reviewing the focus group and survey results from the past few months, and there will be more exciting changes to the on-campus room selection process coming your way.  


Questions and Answers 

What is changing? 

Prior to fall 2023, our upper-level on-campus room selection process included a continued-occupancy process in February, which allowed a small number of students to select a room in their same building. Those students who did not have a chance to select could participate in General Room Selection. However, in this process upper-level students selected after rising sophomores, which meant that they had fewer options to choose from. 

Our new process moves upper-level student selection to the fall, giving our rising juniors and rising seniors the opportunity to make their housing selections first. In most situations, upper-level students will now be able to retain their room or participate in a selection process that is inclusive of all upper-level housing (South Campus, West Campus House System, Program Houses, Townhouse Apartments). 

Why are we making these changes? 

During the fall of 2022 and the spring of 2023, we conducted focus groups and administered surveys to get feedback from current and former residents. The feedback we received was that juniors and seniors wanted to live on campus, but our selection process was too late and there were not enough options available. By aligning the timing of our upper-level selection processes with the off-campus rental market, our goal is two-fold. Upper-level students will now be able to make better-informed decisions, with all options available at the same time. In addition, with more students taking advantage of on-campus housing, we hope to alleviate some of the strain on the local housing market. 

Who does this apply to? 

Students who will be sophomores and juniors during the 2023-2024 academic year. 

When will we hear more? 

The full process will be rolled out at the start of the Fall semester. Additional information will be shared over the summer as it is confirmed. 

Which locations will be available to rising juniors and rising seniors?

Upper-level selection includes similar locations as the past, but you will have more options available thanks to the change in the timing of the process.  

Which buildings can I keep my same room in?  

We are revising this list and will announce a building list later this summer.  

Am I guaranteed housing as a junior or senior?

While we are unable to guarantee housing to juniors and seniors, we are committed to accommodating as many students as possible given our available spaces on campus.  

How does this change affect Program Houses selection? 

We believe students who want to live in a program house should be able to live there. We are simplifying the application process by eliminating essays and removing financial barriers by eliminating program house fees. Additionally, the upper-level selection period will occur in September and October. 

What about West Campus?  

We are working on details of the west campus process and will release more details over the summer.

What if I want a sophomore as a roommate? 

Any space not filled during upper-level room selection will be made available to rising sophomores. Remaining spaces can also be filled during the summer swap period.  

What about Meal Plans? 

We are exploring options to create different meal plans for juniors and seniors or students living in apartments. Data collected in the Spring 2023 survey will inform these discussions. More information will be available later this summer.