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Beatrice Shlansky / Columbia Daily Spectator

With the housing process underway, you might get a little confused about the differences between In-Person Group Selection and Online Selection. Not to worry though, we’ve got you covered. Here’s an overview of the specific differences between the In-Person Group and Online Selection processes.

In-Person Group Selection (April 2-5, April 8-9)

The In-Person Group Selection process is meant for groups of two to eight individuals who wish to live in doubles or suites. If you want a single, this process may not be for you.

If you are a senior or a junior and wish to do this selection process, you must select a room that accommodates exactly the number of people within your group. This means that you cannot select multiple doubles if you have a large number of people. Groups of only sophomores, on the other hand, are able to split up a larger group and select for doubles during in-person selection.

Once the registration period is over, you will receive your lottery number and a date and time for the in-person selection of rooms, which will take place in John Jay Lounge. Make sure that all members of your group are present at this time and that everyone has their CUID on them!

If you can’t be there on the day of the room selection, you can send a proxy on your behalf. Make sure that you note that you will have a proxy on the Housing Portal before your Room Selection appointment time. Keep in mind, though, that whatever the proxy chooses can’t be undone, so make sure you communicate this with your proxy if you choose to send one.

If you decide on the day of in-person selection that for some reason that you don’t want to have or are unable to select a double or suite anymore, you will drop to the Online Selection process. You will keep your lottery number and get a new time and date for room selection. However, make sure that everyone in your group wants to drop to Online Selection; if one person drops, the whole group will drop as well.

If juniors in junior-only groups and seniors in senior-only groups don’t find an appropriate suite for their size or don’t pick one during the in-person selection, they can form new groups with other juniors and seniors (respectively) in the Junior and Senior Regroup processes. This enables upperclassmen to get suites that match their new group.

Online Selection (April 15-18, April 22-24, April 29-30)

Online Selection is the room selection process for those who want singles or who have dropped down from In-Person Group Selection. Those who choose to pick rooms online will select their rooms at a later date than the groups who picked in person. Instead of physically going to John Jay Lounge, those who choose Online Selection simply have to log into the Housing Portal at their designated date and time in order to pick their rooms.

You can choose to form a group for Online Selection, which means every person in your group gets the same lottery number. However, unlike the in-person selection, the rooms you choose with this group don’t have to be doubles or suites. For example, if there are rooms open, the members of your group can individually select singles. In fact, members of your group can choose to be in different buildings as well!

Finally, if you wish to enter the housing process as an individual, you must go through the Online Selection process.


Now that you understand the differences between the In-Person Group Selection and Online Selection processes, make sure you decide what option best suits you and act quickly, as the Room Selection registration closes on Thursday, March 7 at 11:59 p.m.

Still confused about the timeline for housing? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered on that front too; check out this article.

Want more info on housing in general? Check out The Shaft.

Spectrum Trainee Abhishek Hariharan can be contacted at Follow Spectator on Twitter @ColumbiaSpec.

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