Room Selection FAQs
For 2021-2022 Housing
How do I sign up for Housing for the 2021-2022 academic year?
You may sign up any time between January 1 and March 6 at housing.cornell.edu. Signing up for housing does not commit you to a contract or a room; it only gives you the option of participating in General Room Selection, or of signing a housing contract if you’re accepted to live in a Program House, in the Language House, in a University Co-op, or through your community’s Continued Occupancy process.
Who should – and who may – sign up for Housing?
Anyone who wants the option of living in on-campus housing next year, including those applying to live in a Program House, in the Language House, in a University Co-op, or for Continued Occupancy (C/O) in their current upperlevel community.
Does it matter when I sign up for Housing?
You may sign up any time between 10:00am, January 1 and 11:59pm, March 6. Timeslots will not be randomly assigned in each class code until after 2pm on March 8, 2021, so there is no benefit to signing up earlier in the process rather than later. However, signing up earlier will help the housing office better understand this year’s demand for on-campus housing, and allow us to give more informed guidance to students at the Room Selection System Q&As at dates/times TBA.
Is assigning of timeslots fair?
Yes. All timeslots are randomly generated within class codes by a computerized system. Individuals and every block have the same chance of getting an early timeslot within their class code as they do a later timeslot. The earlier your timeslot, the better your chances of securing your top choice housing.
What happens if my class code is listed incorrectly?
When you sign up for housing, the housing portal will show your current class code (freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior) as assigned by the Registrar’s Office. If you are classified incorrectly in the housing portal, please contact the housing office immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 255-5368. If you do not let us know that your class code is incorrect, you will have to keep the first timeslot you receive. (If you are a current first-year student with enough credits to change your class code, please contact us by February 19. Note that if we reclassify you as a current sophomore, you will lose your guarantee for on-campus housing.)
How can I find out more about my housing options?
Visit Upperlevel Undergraduate On Campus Housing. Navigate to the individual community webpages for full descriptions and photographs. We also encourage you to tour buildings to learn more about the different communities.
What is General Room Selection? Are there different room selection processes?
General Room Selection (March 15-17) is the online process through which most current undergraduate students will select their rooms – and their roommates/blockmates (if applicable) – in a West Campus House or an upperlevel residence hall for the next academic year, and then electronically sign their housing contracts. You may only participate in General Room Selection if you have received a Room Selection timeslot by applying for housing.
Individual community-specific room selection processes also exist for those who have been accepted to live in a Program House, in the Language House, in a University Co-op, or in their current community through C/O. These processes take place before General Room Selection (and also require signing up for Housing).
If I sign up for Housing, do I have to participate in General Room Selection?
No. If you are unsure of your plans for next year, you should sign up for Housing and get a Room Selection timeslot to give yourself as many options as possible. If you are selected to live in a Program House, in the Language House, in a University Co-op, or in your current community through C/O, your room selection process will be handled individually by each community, and you will not need to participate in General Room Selection; simply do nothing during your timeslot. Similarly, you do not have to do anything during your timeslot if you decide not to live in on-campus housing next year.
When will my Room Selection timeslot be?
You will receive your exact timeslot after 2:00pm on March 8, 2021 for one of the following periods:
Rising sophomores: Monday, March 15, 5:00pm-10:40pm & Wednesday, March 17, 5:00pm-8:20pm
- Rising juniors and rising seniors: Wednesday, March 17, 9:00pm-10:40pm
University-owned Cooperative Houses (“Co-ops”) are considered on-campus housing. Fraternities and sororities are considered off-campus housing.
Which housing options are available during General Room Selection?
During General Room Selection, you may select a room (if spaces are still available during your timeslot) in one of the West Campus Houses or in one of the Upperlevel Residence Halls. Some Program Houses may also have spaces available during General Room Selection, although most spaces will already be reserved through the Program House application process, which precedes General Room Selection.
How many students receive each Room Selection timeslot?
It depends on how many people sign up for General Room Selection. In March 2019 there were approximately 60 students per rising sophomore timeslot, 50 students per rising-junior timeslot, and 20 students per rising-senior timeslot.
Can I trade Room Selection timeslots with another student? Or let another student use my timeslot if I’m not going to use it?
No. Students will only be able to log in to the housing portal once their own Room Selection timeslot begins. A timeslot can only be used by the student to whom it was issued. Unused timeslots simply go unused.
What happens during General Room Selection?
At the beginning of your timeslot, go to housing.cornell.edu to sign in to the housing portal and pick your room, and your roommates/blockmates if you plan to live with friends. NOTE: Please do NOT attempt to log in before your timeslot begins, or log in from more than one computer, as multiple attempts may result in system failure. Once you select a room (or rooms, if you’re blocking with friends), you will be asked to electronically accept the housing Terms and Conditions and sign your housing contract. Please note that all signed housing contracts are legally binding.
How should I prepare ahead of General Room Selection?
Follow the steps listed on the Room Selection Instructions page. We also recommend that you attend a Room Selection System Q&A (January 21, 2021 3:00 - 4:00pm, or February 18, 2021 7:00 - 8:30pm). Watch the Guide to General Room Selection video (40 min.). Before your timeslot, refer to these resources in the Housing Portal: Bed Availability Report and Floor Plans. Look carefully at all three types of documents: the Bed Availability Report, the Bed Availability by Room Report, and view Floor Plans.
How do I live with my friends?
“Blocking” allows you to live with one to five of your friends, for a total group of up to six students. When you sign up for General Room Selection, the Block page will allow you to create or join a block. Each block has one designated block leader that is responsible for assigning everyone in the block to any space within the same building. If your block consists of three or more students, at least one person in your block must be assigned to a double (i.e., two students blocking together may select two singles, but three or more students blocking together may not select all singles).
Who can be in my block?
All students must have a housing application to be eligible to join a block. Rising sophomores can only block with other rising sophomores. Rising juniors and rising seniors can only block with other rising juniors and rising seniors. To join a block, all potential roommates and blockmates must have signed up for Housing by March 6. All blocks will need to be formed by the March 6 deadline.
How can we change a block leader if necessary?
The block leader can reassign block leader responsibilities to another student in the group through the portal at any time before General Room Selection begins.
Are you able to change blocks once you have joined?
A student may remove themselves from a block via the portal through March 6. After this time, students are no longer able to remove themselves from a block to join another block. After timeslots are released, your block timeslot is your timeslot even if you do not wish to continue with that block of friends. You may only be in one block at a time.
Can I live with someone of a different gender?
Yes, you can share a room or suite with someone of a different biological sex, gender, or gender identity. When you sign up for General Room Selection, you may opt in to mixed-gender housing after viewing a video and agreeing to the rules. Note that everyone wishing to share a room or suite with someone of a different gender must opt in when signing up for General Room Selection. Students participating in Program House selection, Language House selection, and C/O processes are also able to select mixed-gender housing.
What happens if I decide that I no longer want mixed-gender housing?
If you opt in to mixed-gender housing when you apply, you will be able to change your opt-in status through March 6, 2021. If you opt in to mixed-gender housing and change your mind after March 6, you must contact the Housing Contracts Office to have your status changed.
What happens if our block selects mixed-gender housing, but during General Room Selection we do not fill the suite/ double / quad / triple and there is a vacant space?
That vacant space can/will be taken by another student who has also selected mixed-gender in the system. This student could be of any gender.
Are rooms / suites pre-designated for male and female students?
During General Room Selection, rooms / suites are pre-designated as male (“M”), female (“F”), or dynamic (“D”). A dynamic room / suite has its gender designation changed to male or female based on the gender of the first person who reserves a bed in the room / suite. Rooms / suites are available to any student, regardless of biological sex, gender, or gender identity, through the mixed-gender options described in the previous question.
Which room configurations are available for blocking?
Each building is a blocking section. You may block any combination of beds/rooms in a single section, but cannot block beds/rooms located in separate sections. Blocking sections will be viewable before General Room Selection through the Bed Availability Report and Bed Availability by Room Report during General Room Selection.
When blocking with friends, can we choose all single rooms?
If your group consists of three or more students, at least one room in your block must accommodate more than one person (i.e., two students blocking together may select two singles, but three or more students blocking together may not select all singles). Please keep in mind that singles are popular and go quickly during Room Selection, so there may not be any available during your timeslot.
When blocking with friends, do we have to “fill” each of the rooms, or the suite, that we block?
No. You may leave vacant beds in any room or suite, which will become available for other students to select. We do encourage you to fill it if you are able, especially if you are blocking mixed-gender.
What if I’m not planning to live with a friend, or block with a group?
You can choose a single (if any are still available during your timeslot), or choose a free bed in a partially occupied room, or choose a bed in an empty room (understanding that another student can select the remaining bed in your room).
Can I select a free bed in a room or suite in which other beds have already been reserved?
Yes. You may select any free bed that’s available to your gender during your timeslot. If blocking with friends, you may assign - or be assigned to - any free bed in the same blocking section as your friends’ beds.
How much time do I have to choose a room?
You may sign in to the housing portal as soon as your timeslot begins, or any time afterwards until General Room Selection ends (Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 11:00pm). You have until the end of General Room Selection to choose your room. But once you choose your room, you must reserve your room within four minutes of choosing it, and sign your contract within five minutes to confirm and reserve your room choice. Please keep in mind that every 20 minutes, a new group of students will have access to the housing portal to select their rooms, so it is to your advantage to choose your room and sign your contract as early as you can.
When do I sign my housing contract?
As soon as you select your room online, you must accept the Terms and Conditions and electronically sign your housing contract. If you do not sign your housing contract within five minutes, the room will NOT be held for you, nor will rooms for any roommates/blockmates who you may have assigned. If you are assigned by another student, you will receive a confirmation email as soon as your block leader assigns you to a room/bed and signs his or her contract. Within two hours of this email being sent, you must log in to the housing portal at housing.cornell.edu to electronically sign your own housing contract. If you do not, your room will NOT be held for you. Please note that all signed housing contracts are legally binding.
Can I view the Terms and Conditions of my housing contract before I sign my contract?
We encourage you to read the Terms and Conditions before Room Selection by visiting Rates, Amenities & Contracts. When you choose your room, you will be asked to accept the Terms and Conditions (also viewable in the housing portal during General Room Selection) before signing your contract. Your signature on the contract indicates knowledge and acceptance of the stipulations listed in this instructional booklet and in the Terms and Conditions for Single-Student Housing, Academic Year 2021-2022.
Can I view the floor plans of buildings I’m interested in before Room Selection?
Floor plans will be viewable before and during General Room Selection through the Bed Availability Reports and in the Floor Plan report in the Housing Portal. For the security of our residents, we do not post floor plans online for the general public to view.
What happens if you run out of rooms during General Room Selection?
Any rising sophomore who signs up for General Room Selection, but finds no more on-campus beds available during their timeslot (an extremely unlikely possibility) can be placed on the Guaranteed Wait List, and is guaranteed an offer of on-campus housing for 2021-2022. Other rising sophomores, plus rising juniors and seniors, can be placed on the Regular Wait List, and we may be able to make you a housing offer (although we cannot guarantee it) as spaces become available through the spring months due to students changing their plans. While we do our best to accommodate your preferences when making housing offers, please be aware that options will be limited and you may not get your top choice.
What if I don’t like any of the rooms left during my timeslot?
You may decline to choose a room during General Room Selection, and may instead sign up for the Regular Wait List to see what rooms become available through the spring semester and summer months. Rising sophomores: If rooms are still available during your timeslot and you do not select a room, you will be placed on the Regular Wait List instead of the Guaranteed Wait List, and will forfeit your right to guaranteed housing. NOTE: Historically, housing offers are only made to 10-15% of students on the Regular Wait List.
What happens if I forget to sign up for Housing?
If you do not sign up for Housing by March 6 at 11:59pm, you will not be able to participate in General Room Selection OR be pulled in as a roommate/blockmate during General Room Selection, and rising sophomores will lose their guarantee of on-campus housing. But you may sign up for the Regular Wait List.
What happens if I’m not available during my General Room Selection timeslot?
You may sign in to the housing portal to choose your room any time after your timeslot, as long as it’s before Room Selection ends (Wednesday, March 17, at 11:00pm). Or you may have a friend serve as your proxy to choose your room for you during your timeslot, after which you will have 24 hours to log in to the housing portal to electronically sign your housing contract.
How does the housing Wait List work?
Sign up for the housing Wait List between March 18 at 10:00am and March 28 by 12:00pm noon by visiting housing.cornell.edu. Please read below to find out whether you qualify for the Guaranteed or the Regular Wait List.
Guaranteed Wait List: Any rising sophomore who signs up for General Room Selection but finds no more on-campus beds available during their timeslot (an extremely unlikely possibility) will be placed on the Guaranteed Wait List, and is guaranteed an offer of on-campus housing for 2021-2022. Order on the list is determined by your Room Selection timeslot. Note that you must accept the first housing offer you receive from the Office of Housing & Residential Life or forfeit your right to guaranteed housing.
Regular Wait List: Rising juniors and rising seniors, in addition to rising sophomores who did not select an available space during their Room Selection timeslot, will be placed on the Regular Wait List. Order on the list is determined by Room Selection timeslot, followed by students without timeslots (those who did not sign up for the General Room Selection) in order of Wait List sign-up.
What happens if I sign a housing contract for a room, and then decide I don’t want the room? Or my plans change, and I won’t be on campus next semester/year?
All housing contracts are legally binding. As a general rule, contract releases will not be granted, so you will have to keep the room you chose. However, exceptions are made for students who will be studying abroad, studying in absentia, graduating, or taking a leave from the University. The Housing & Dining Contracts Office must approve all contract releases. All leaves are verified by the Colleges and/or University Registrar. If you are studying abroad, studying in absentia, or taking a required leave from the University next year, and you inform the Office of Housing & Residential Life of your plans by July 1, 2021, you will be released from your housing contract free-of-charge. If you inform us after July 1, you will be released from your contract with a cancellation fee. If you are taking a voluntary or non-required leave from the University next year, and you inform the Office of Housing & Residential Life of your plans by August 1, 2021, you will be released from your housing contract with an $800 cancellation fee.
Are meal plans required for residents of any communities?
Meal plans are not required, except for those residents living in the West Campus House System (Alice Cook House, including Language House, 625 University Avenue, and 109 McGraw Place; Hans Bethe House; Carl Becker House; William Keeton House; and Flora Rose House), which includes a commitment to purchasing the House Meal Plan. You may sign up for the House Meal Plan during Room Selection, or by visiting Meal Plans & Rates. Those who will be living in the House System who have not signed up for a meal plan by July 1, 2021 will automatically be assigned the House meal plan.
I have a disability or medical issue for which I need special accommodations. How do I apply?
First, we recommend that you sign up for Housing in the event that you don’t get approved for disability/medical housing. Next, complete the registration process with Student Disability Services for special housing needs by the SDS deadline; visit sds.cornell.edu for details. (If you currently have a disability record on file with SDS for the 2020-2021 academic year, you must renew it with SDS for the 2021-2022 year.) If approved for disability/medical housing, you will be offered a room to accommodate your needs. If you choose not to accept the assignment you are offered, you can decline to participate with friends in General Room Selection. However, you will not be offered another room if you are not able to contract during selection. SDS will not honor roommate requests as an upperlevel student.
I’m interested in living in the West Campus House System. What are my chances of securing a room – or a suite – in one of the Houses?
There are 1,851 beds in the House System: 1,244 in the five newer buildings, and 615 in the nine associated Gothic buildings, 625 University Avenue and 109 McGraw Place. Approximately 1,035 of these beds will be available during Room Selection; the rest will be allocated to accommodate transfer students, upperlevel students taking part in the Houses’ Continued Occupancy processes, and students assigned housing through Student Disability Services. Historically, rising sophomores have had approximately a 50% chance of securing a room in the House System during General Room Selection. Please see our room reservation statistics. Rising juniors and rising seniors who currently live in the House System have the chance to maintain their occupancy through their House’s Continued Occupancy (C/O) process. Other rising juniors and seniors have only a very small chance of living in the House System in 2021-2022.
What are the differences among the West Campus Houses? How many suites are available?
Programmatically, the Houses are all similar in that they are faculty-led with high student engagement. Physically, each House has its own dining room, programming spaces, and accommodations for about 350 student residents (Keeton House is smaller with about 300 students). Becker House and Keeton House are each made up of a single main building. Cook House, Bethe House, and Rose House are each made up of a main building plus affiliated Gothic buildings, plus 625 University Avenue and 109 McGraw Place.
There are 152 suites spread among the new buildings on West Campus: Cook House has 16 suites; Becker House has 45 suites; Bethe House has 38 suites; Keeton House has 37 suites; and Rose House has 16 suites. The vast majority are 5-person suites with 3 singles, 1 double, a bathroom, and a sitting area, although there are also a handful of suites accommodating 4, 6, 7, and 10 students. Not all of these suites will be available during General Room Selection; many will be reserved through the Houses’ Continued Occupancy processes.
Can I continue living in my current residence?
The West Campus Houses and the Upperlevel Residence Halls hold their own In-House / In-Hall processes for Continued Occupancy (C/O) before General Room Selection to allow a percentage of current residents to live in the same building the following year. Applications and deadlines are available from your Residence Hall or House leadership. You must also sign up for Housing (January 1-March 6) so your information is in our system, and because you will sign your housing contract in the housing portal. Those who are selected for C/O choose their rooms and sign their housing contracts during their building’s individual room selection events. The West Campus Houses hold their room selection events on February 22 and 23, 2021; Upperlevel Residence Halls on South Campus hold their room selection events on February 24, 2021.
I’m a rising junior or rising senior. What are my chances of securing on-campus housing for 2021-2022?
If you want to live on campus next year, it is highly recommended that you participate in your current residence’s Continued Occupancy (see previous question), or apply to live in a Program House or a University Co-op (see questions at the top of this page). If you participate in the General Room Selection process, it is likely that most – and possibly all – on-campus housing options will already be filled by the time you go to select a room. If no beds are available during your General Room Selection timeslot, you can be placed on the housing wait list and we may be able to make you a housing offer, although we cannot guarantee it.
I’m interested in living in a Program House. How do I apply?
You should start by signing up for Housing (January 11 - March 6) so your information is in our system, although the actual application and selection process for Program Houses is handled individually through each house. Next, submit a Program House application – indicating the house(s) in which you have interest – by February 16, 2021 (extended from February 8). If you are offered a spot in a Program House and choose to accept the offer, you will select your room and sign your housing contract during Program House Room Selection (March 3), and will not need to take part in the General Room Selection process (March 15-17). (Some Program Houses may still have rooms available after Program House Room Selection; these rooms will be made available through General Room Selection.) To learn more about the Program Houses, visit Upperlevel Undergraduate On Campus Housing or send email to email@example.com for ways to get involved.
I’m interested in living in the Language House. How do I apply?
Applications for Language House, part of Alice Cook House in the West Campus House System, are due February 1, 2021. Visit the Language House website for more information.
I’m interested in living in a University Co-op. How do I apply?
First, sign up for Housing (January 1 - March 6) so your information is in our system, and because later in the process you’ll sign your Co-op housing contract online. The actual application and selection process for Co-ops is handled individually through each house. To apply to a Co-op (or Co-ops), please contact the house(s) in which you have interest – contact information can be found at housing.cornell.edu/cooperatives. To learn more about the Co-ops, take part in Co-op Mosey Open House which will be held on Feb. 21, 2021 from 1:00pm - 5:00pm through a virtual fair in CampusGroups.
What happens if I’m not available during my Online Room Selection timeslot?
You may sign in to the housing portal to choose your room any time after your timeslot, as long as it’s before Room Selection ends Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at 7:00pm. Or you may have a friend serve as your proxy to choose your room for you during your timeslot, after which you will have 24 hours to log in to the housing portal to electronically sign your housing contract.
What is a proxy, and how do I submit a proxy request?
A proxy is a person who can act in your place during Room Selection, if you are unavailable during your timeslot due to academic reasons. To submit a proxy request, you must meet with the Undergraduate Housing Coordinator prior to 12:00pm noon on Friday, March 5. If approved, you will be given special instructions for your proxy to use durning your timeslot. Note that proxies may pull in other students as roommates in their room, but may not block multiple rooms.