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Cornell University

New Undergrad Application Process

On-campus housing is guaranteed, but not required, for all first-year students who meet the application deadlines. All of the housing options for first-year students are located on North Campus, convenient to several dining rooms, a café, a convenience store and many recreational spaces and support services. North Campus is in walking distance of most buildings where you will have classes. The TCAT bus system, which is free for first-year students, picks up at several locations on North Campus. Most first-year students do not bring cars to campus. It’s easy to get around by walking, biking or riding the bus.

Apply for housing by May 10, 2020 

Newly admitted students can apply for 2020-2021 academic year housing beginning April 1, 2020. You'll need your activated NetID to apply. Log in to the Housing Portal to apply. Here's a quick video that explains the questions in the housing application.

When you are in the housing portal you’ll have these options:

  1. Decide whether you want to live in a program house or a residence hall.  Program houses are living-learning communities that are either interest or identity based. Residence halls at Cornell vary in format, but all include support from staff and faculty. 
  2. Indicate room type preferences. First-year and transfer students may request to live in a single, double, triple, or quad. First-year students may also request a townhouse apartment. We will do our best to assign you to your preferred room type. 
  3. Tell us about yourself or your preference for a roommate. Complete a brief questionnaire about your lifestyle and habits to help us match you with a roommate; or you can provide a name of a particular student. We will attempt to fill your request but cannot guarantee it. Most students do not have roommates before they apply for housing.

In addition:

  • You may indicate your interest in a female-only community.
  • You may opt in to mixed-gender housing. First you’ll need to view a video and agree to the rules. Read more about gender-inclusive housing.
  • Transfer students may also indicate interest in the West Campus House System, or the Language House (a program house that is part of Alice Cook House in the West Campus House System). There may be some openings for new transfer students in cooperatives. 
  • Special Housing Requests: If you have an ADA disability and require a specific housing arrangement, we are happy to work with Cornell’s Student Disability Services to offer you a housing assignment that meets your needs. For more information, contact Student Disability Services at or 607.254.4545.

Unless you're applying to live in a program house, the decision about which residence hall you'll be in is determined by a random auto-allocation process, based on your preferences. The timing of your application does not influence the selection process; the auto-allocation is conducted based on all the applications received by the May 10 deadline.

Transfer Students


Transfer students who qualify as first-year students are placed in first-year housing. Transfer students who qualify as upperlevel students may express interest in the West Campus House System or an upperlevel residence hall in South Campus, in addition to the program houses. You will have plenty of peers and a strong support system. Almost 15% of new incoming students are transfers. Every effort will be made to accommodate applicants for on-campus housing on a first-come, first-served basis.

There is no fee to apply for housing

The housing costs will appear on the bursar bill. Students will be billed in July or August for fall-semester housing, and in December for spring-semester housing. Prices vary based on type of room. Read about housing rates.