The Shaft
Article Image
@cherlottapu / via Instagram

Even though housing selection is almost over, stick around with Spectrum and The Shaft to learn everything you need to know about online selection. Also check into the Whiteboard to see which rooms are still up for grabs.

Housing selection was dramatic. There were triumphs, and there were tears, dreams that came alive, and disappointments of ending up with McBain doubles.

However, it’s still not over for those who opted for online selection either when they registered or after they gave up in the Cage. In fact, if you decided to go online, you actually get your appointments today. The break from thinking about all things housing was nice, but it’s time to get back to it and begin strategizing. Here’s everything you need to know about online housing selection.

Aren't all the rooms gone? Which dorms can I pick into?

You may think you have no options, since sophomores had to start signing up for the waitlist around number 10/2800. However, even before in-person selection begins, Columbia Housing actually sets aside many rooms (mostly singles) to be picked into during online, so you’re not out of options, not in the slightest.

The rooms made available during online selection are generally singles in a hall (such as Wien or River) or singles in a large suite (such as Nussbaum). To know which rooms are specifically available, go to the Whiteboard—it’s all updated by now, and the only rooms that are still marked as available are those that will be open during online selection.

When do I get my appointment, and when does online selection start?

You get your appointment by the end of today (woo!) on the Housing Portal. Online selection goes from Wednesday, April 19 to Friday, April 21, and again from Monday, April 24 to Friday, April 28.

How do they determine the order in which you pick?

They also go by lottery numbers for online selection, and you can see yours on the Housing Portal. Generally, this is what you can expect:

  • Seniors: River (and everything below)
  • Juniors: Nussbaum (and everything below
  • Sophomores: Harmony, Schapiro, Wien, and Broadway

I really want to live with my friends though—can I go in as a group?

Yes, you can either keep your group during online or choose to fly solo. Those who decide to stay in a group are generally looking for singles in the same building or even on the same floor.

However, this doesn’t mean that you have to pick into where the rest of your group does. If they chose Wien, for instance, you can pick Schapiro if there’s an open room, even though you’re using the same lottery number.

What should I expect from online housing selection?

You won’t be allowed to visit the online selection page until it’s your appointment time. When the time comes, though, log in to the Housing Portal, and follow the steps on that page. Just like in the Cage, there will be a way for you to see which rooms are still available. Nothing fancy, piece of cake.

How will I know which dorm is for me, though?

Visit The Shaft. Of course, it has the Whiteboard, but we also have so many other resources to help you learn as much about the available dorms as possible. There are videos for most residence halls, cutoff information, and (probably most importantly), reviews on every single room type as possible. If you’re thinking, “Hm, I wonder what a Schapiro single looks like?” or “How much space will I really have in Wien?”, we’ve got you sorted.

Oooohh, example.

Online selection is pretty straightforward and is much more relaxed than in-person housing, so do the research and then be patient—you’ll end up somewhere good.

Have any other questions about in-person selection? Let us know on our Facebook, Twitter, or Snapchat @CUSpectrum.

Veronica Grace Taleon is Spectrum’s editor and a Barnard sophomore. As a Barnardigan, the concept of online selection is foreign to her. Reach her at

the shaft river harmony shapiro broadway nussbaum
From Around the Web