The Housing Lottery
How does housing work at Barnard? All first-years who live on campus live on the Quad, four interconnected dorms on Barnard’s campus. These dorms are corridor-style (long hallways) with doubles, triples, or quads, meaning that 2, 3, or 4 people live together in a room. Everyone on the hall shares a bathroom and kitchenette, both cleaned twice daily by facilities.
After your first year, there are a variety of housing options available for students, ranging from corridor-style or suite-style (and within that, choosing a single or double). As a rising sophomore, junior, and senior, you must go through the spring housing lottery to select your housing. The first step towards choosing housing is to form a group; students can form groups ranging in size from one person (just you) up to groups of six people. The housing lottery happens by group size: on the first day, 4-person groups pick, the next day 5-person groups pick, and so on until everyone has had a chance to select housing.
Once your group size has been determined, your group is assigned a lottery number. Lottery numbers are assigned by seniority. So on the 4-person housing day, groups of 4 seniors pick for housing before groups of 4 juniors. You can rearrange your group after a lottery day ends. For example, my friends and I formed a 4-person housing group this year. When it was time for the 4-person lottery and our number was called, we didn’t like any of the options left. We re-strategized by forming a group of 6 and went through the 6-person lottery to get the suite of our choice.
Barnard guarantees housing for all four years for entering first-year students. Although, sometimes, people are unable to pick their housing for the next school year during the housing lottery. These students go on a guaranteed housing list. Students on the guaranteed housing list receive housing assignments over the summer as students leave for study abroad, choose to move off campus, etc. As more space becomes available, students on the guaranteed housing list will be notified of their housing placement.
The housing lottery is a bit of a game of strategy. You need to figure out your group, where you want to live, a back-up plan, and a back-up back-up plan. It can be a hectic and chaotic experience, but there’s no better feeling than securing a sweet suite for the upcoming year.