THE LOTTERY, 2012: Everything your number means, and everything you wanted to know
So far, we’ve given you dorm-by-dorm previews, a comprehensive calculator, and a quick breakdown of the number of available spots for every type of room in Suite Selection. Now it’s time to analyze things systematically and let you know exactly how we see everything shaking out.
Before we begin, we’ve got a couple of caveats. The first is that making exact predictions is really tough. We can use prior history and group sizes to try to predict what people are going to pick, but everyone has their own agenda and can make very unpredictable decisions. The second is that Housing can switch up everything on us. We often get to the first day of Suite Selection only to discover that certain suites have been held out of the lottery last minute, ruining all of our calculations. So any time you see a projected cutoff, if you’re anywhere close to it, be prepared for some potential disappointment. Finally, we’re going to hold off on trying to make any statements about General Selection, but we’ll have another preview of that once Suite Selection is over and we’ve figured out how many people have dropped down.
Six-person Groups: Last year was a really good year to be a group of six seniors, as there were townhouses available until the very end of the round. As was expected, this drove seniors to make more groups of six this year, with 44 such groups in total. Assuming that no seniors are willing to stomach Ruggles or Harmony, they will have 35 options for suites (since several of the 6-person townhouses are reserved for RAs and Special Interest Housing), meaning nine groups will have to drop to Regroup. The townhouses with a double will certainly be taken last, which would suggest a cutoff for the all-single suites of 30/1677 and cutoff of 30/2542 for six-person suites in general. This second number, however, is perhaps a bit too pessimistic, though. It seems fairly likely that some groups will be unable to convince two of their members to share the double and therefore drop to Regroup or General Selection instead, so a projection of 30/2636 or 30/2736 might be a little more reasonable. That’s not as good as last year, but still pretty solid. Finally, don’t forget about the seventh floor Hogan suite which will be taken here as well.
Five-person groups: This was a slightly less popular choice this year than it was last year—down to 41 groups of five from last year’s 47. These groups were gunning for the ten five-person suites in Hogan as well as the seven all-single suites in the EC Highrise. If no groups choose to drop before they need to, the last group to get into a suite with all singles will be 30/1091. However, last year, one of the all-single suites was held out of the lottery—if that happens again, 30/1067 will be the last one group in. If you’re hoping specifically for EC, we would guess that you’ll be okay as long as you’re lottery number is less than 700, but the relative popularity of the two buildings varies from year to year. Regardless, there will be about 25 groups who are left with the choice between an Exclusion suite, Senior Regroup, and General Selection. We’ll explore in more detail what we expect them to choose when we look at the mixed-point groups, but the majority of them will probably choose to swallow the double and take an ECX, possibly filling up the top couple floors of EC in the process.
Four-person groups: There are 55 groups of four seniors this year, just a smidgen less than there were the last two years. The four-person townhouses and four-person suites in Hogan figure to be taken first, with the last ones being taken by 30/1250 at the earliest and 30/1271 at the latest, assuming a few pick into a RA suite or Ruggles instead. The four-person Ruggles suites will go next (gone at 30/1455 or so), followed by the four-person suites in Claremont. It looks like all of the groups before 30/1900 may be able to sneak into a four-person suite, although the cutoff could theoretically be as early as 30/1548. Some of these groups though are presumably hoping to fill RA suites somewhere, so that could push these numbers up a bit. In general, it’s interesting that suites of four people are perpetually more popular than suites of six people, even though there are fewer of them, making them far tougher to get into. It’s tough to say whether these suites are actually more desirable or if it’s just easier to find three friends to live with than it is to find five.
Three-person groups: While there was just one group of three seniors last year, there are eight of them this year. It’s unclear what precipitated this dramatic increase—perhaps seniors looked at it as the only way to guarantee themselves a suite with no doubles. Whatever their thinking was, this strategy backfired for most of them. The five groups with lottery numbers above 2000 will have to drop to Regroup since among the three-person Claremont suites, only three are not reserved for RAs.
Two-person groups: As we mentioned in yesterday’s winners/losers post, pairing up was definitely the best option this year. The number of two-person groups dropped from 119 last year to 95 this time around. In addition, Housing added seven ultra-desirable apartments and a couple of spacious doubles in the brownstones. What does that mean for cutoffs? Well, the eleven UAH 2-bedroom apartments and the Watt 2-bedroom apartments will probably be taken first. With fifteen of these in total, the non-first floor apartments could be gone by 30/333 unless some pairs are aiming to fill an RA suite or particularly want to live in EC. With those taken care of, the three Woodbridge 2-bedroom apartments, the remaining UAH apartments, and the EC two-person flats will go next, lasting perhaps as long as 30/1952. High-demand Woodbridge lines will start getting taken early on the first day, but some will last until the very end of 30-point round or even into Regroup. Expect lots of medium- and low-demand lines to reach Senior Regroup—perhaps as many as 50 (compared to just 30 or so last year). Finally, a studio double or two from Symposium could get taken at some point as well as some of the 300 square foot doubles in the new brownstones.
Senior Regroup: Trying to predict what will happen in Senior Regroup is pretty much impossible, but we’ll try to do so nonetheless. Last year, the selections in this round were mainly ECXs, Woodbridge and Watt 1-bedroom apartments, and Symposium studio doubles. On the whole, there should be more people dropping to Regroup because of the increases in three-person and six-person groups, who will inevitably be left with no choice but to drop. (Although there are also fewer groups of two and five, they are never out of options in the 30-point round so are less commonly Regroup candidates.) Regardless, because we expect there to be so many appealing options remaining in Woodbridge, there will probably be far more than five groups (last year’s total) who decide to go there during Regroup. Additionally, there are many nervous 22- and 24-point groups who want to know how many ECXs will be taken during Regroup. Last year, there were a total of seven taken, so any guess between five and ten seems reasonable, but we’ll make a more precise prediction below. Finally, we can expect regroupers to knock off around five Watt apartments, as well as some rooms in Symposium and the other brownstones.
Eight-person groups: There are six groups with 21.25 points. Presumably they’re all groups of juniors who have promised the biggest single to a senior, thereby ensuring themselves a spot in Ruggles. A quick warning to the groups which may be considering the suites with four singles: some of the singles are really, really small. Just be aware of how small 81 square feet is before you sign up for it.
Six-person groups: Just one of these, probably headed for a six-person suite in Ruggles or, less likely, Claremont or Harmony.
Five-person groups: This is where we will once again try to answer the age-old question of what the ECX cutoff will be. Among the 38 mixed-point groups, three have 28 points, one has 26.67 points, nine have 26 points, seventeen have 24 points, one has 23.33 points, and seven have 22 points. Let’s deal with the 26.67- and 23.33-point groups first. The only way groups of five can have these point values is if they include Barnard students. As we mentioned in our post on pulling in Barnard students, groups that have less than 30 points will probably be cut off by the Barnard Cap. So it looks like those two groups will be out of luck and won’t be picking into ECX.
That leaves 36 groups vying for ECXs. The question is, how many of them will be around at the end of the 30-point round? As mentioned above, there will be 25 groups of five unable to pick into an all-singles suite. Will all of them pick into an ECX? No, definitely not. Some groups won’t be able to agree on who should take the double and will drop to Regroup or General Selection instead. Last year, there were 31 groups with this same dilemma and 24 of them chose to take the ECX. If we assume that this percentage stays constant, we’re looking at 19 ECXs off the board before Senior Regroup. Feel free to adjust that number a bit depending on your level of optimism.
So how many will be taken in Senior Regroup? This is harder to predict, but last year’s data is as good of a guide as any. Last year, seven ECXs were taken during Regroup. There are reasons to think that this number will go up (more people dropping to Regroup means they can form more groups) but also reason to think that it will go down (the Woodbridge options will be better than last year so groups will form aim for those, not EC). I find the argument for an increase more slightly more compelling, so let’s guess that nine ECXs will be taken in Regroup.
So there are 56 ECXs in total minus 19 taken before Regroup minus 9 taken during Regroup = 28 for the mixed point groups. Uh oh. That covers the 28-pointers, the 26-pointers, and all but the very last 24-point group. So should the group at 24/2895 despair? No—I’ve obviously made a number of estimates here which could wildly affect things. Reasonable arguments could be made for cutoffs ranging from 24/1730 to 22/1603. Additionally, there’s always a chance that one of the mixed-pair groups randomly decides to drop. This may seem like a strange move, but there were a couple of 22-point groups last year who went to General Selection instead of taking an ECX. Finally, the first group after the cutoff at the very least has a consolation prize: according to the floor plans, there’s going to be a five-person suite on the first floor of Claremont available in Suite Selection. So that’s something.
Three/four person groups: It looks like they will be out of luck and forced to drop to General Selection. Sorry guys.
Two-person groups: Everything that was good news for the 30-point pairs is also good news for the thirteen senior-junior pairs. They’ll be looking at anything Senior Regroup didn’t finish off, so mostly Woodbridge middle-demand lines, Watt 1-bedroom apartments, and Symposium.
Eight-person groups: With six of the Ruggles eight-person suites taken by mixed-point groups, there will be eight left for groups of all juniors That would imply a cutoff of 20/1059 with the groups at 20/1174 and 20/1222 hoping that some groups decide to drop. For instance, one of the eight-person suites is on the first floor, so some juniors may decline to pick into that one, especially given that they now have Junior Regroup as an option. Either way, eleven of these groups will be dropping to Regroup or General Selection.
Seven-person groups: This is the second straight year that there are five such groups. They’re all headed for seven-person Claremont suites, filling half of the ten available suites.
Six-person groups: There are eleven groups of this type who were hoping to snag a Ruggles six-person suite. Assuming that 21.667/2497 takes one, there will be seven left for these groups. The cutoff could be 20/1651, but that assumes that each group chooses Ruggles over the single six-person suites in Claremont and Harmony. While choosing Ruggles over Claremont or Harmony is usually a safe bet, the Ruggles versions have just two singles as opposed to four singles in the other two buildings. Whatever the order, it looks like only two groups will be out of luck. Not bad.
Five/four/three person groups: If our logic in the above section for right, there are going to be A LOT of unhappy juniors in groups of five. As in, 150 of them. Thirty(!) groups of juniors formed groups of five, hoping that last year’s cutoff would repeat itself and the ECX cutoff would be low enough to let them in. It looks like they’ll be out of luck and forced to drop to Junior Regroup (or General Selection). The same goes for the groups of four and the group of three.
Two-person groups: There are 76 junior pairs, the same total as last year. By this point last year, there were no 1-bedroom apartments available in Watt and only the luckiest one-third of juniors were able to pick into Woodbridge. This year, however, there will probably be at least a few 1-bedrooms left in Watt and the Woodbridge cutoff should be much higher, probably in the 20/1500 to 20/2000 range, the best cutoff in quite a few years. This late cutoff means that all 20-point groups will have a nice choice of Watt studio doubles—even the unluckiest junior pair should have half of all the studio doubles to pick from. In addition, it will be interesting to see how desirable the brownstones are considered to be. Symposium has always been a popular choice (and will be finished off during the 20-point round), but those rooms have private kitchens and bathrooms. The new brownstones, however, are less spacious and don’t offer kitchens or bathrooms. Nonetheless, some of them may be large enough to make up for that fact, and there will be people who prefer a brownstone setup over a corridor setup regardless of amenities. Expect most but not all of these doubles to be taken by juniors as well—there are some really small ones which could stick around. Finally, a few of the most desirable doubles in Nussbaum (i.e. the walkthroughs with private bathrooms) and the lone walkthrough double in River will be picked off here too.
Junior Regroup: There are going to be a ton of anxious juniors trying to pack into John Jay lounge. The number of juniors eligible for Regroup will total over 300 and while many of them will probably just drop to General Selection, we’re still going to be in for a serious fire hazard. What will they be aiming for? The most likely targets will be the Claremont seven-person suites and the Watt studio doubles. Claremont will be the only options for juniors who want a suite setup and with only five available for Regroup, it’s almost certain that they will finish off the building completely, although it’s possible that one could sneak through. How many of the remaining 25 (give or take) Watt studio doubles they will finish off is very hard to predict. We suspect that there will be a few left for the 15-pointers, but we wouldn’t be shocked if they take every last one of them. Outside of Claremont and Watt, the remaining rooms in the brownstones could go (see our caveat above), along with a number of rooms in Nussbaum and scattered doubles in the other buildings.
Eight/six/five/four person groups: Not sure what they were hoping for, but they’re going to have to drop to General Selection Looking at their point values, these groups are predominantly sophomores. If they didn’t choose to break apart for General Selection, these freshmen will have first dibs on Furnald singles.
Seven-person groups: These two groups will be following Junior Regroup with bated breath, hoping that they somehow don’t finish off the Claremont suites. If their wishes don’t come true, they will be dropping to General Selection.
Two-person groups: There are seven sophomore-junior pairs—some will be taking the last of the Watt studio doubles (if any survive Junior Regroup) while others will be taking the best doubles in other buildings (again, Nussbaum is a likely candidate).
The only suites which could even theoretically reach the all-sophomore groups are the Claremont seven-person suites, but that seems unlikely. That would mean that fewer than three of them are taken in Junior Regroup, even though it’s the juniors’ last chance at a suite. That’s not going to happen.
As a result, we can basically ignore group sizes, since they’re all just going to use Sophomore Pair Up and take doubles. This makes predicting any specific cutoffs nearly impossible, since there’s no way to know anyone’s intentions. While there is a general hierarchy among the sophomores’ preferences among the doubles, personal preferences play an especially big role in the 10-point round.
That doesn’t mean there’s nothing to say, though. Certainly, if any Watt studio doubles survived the 15-pointers (unlikely), they’ll be gobbled up quickly. Nussbaum and the “big” Broadway doubles (the -22 line) will go early but the small ones will probably stick around until at least 10/2500. The eight doubles on the sixth floor of EC are a pretty nice option for a big group that all wants to live together, so their cutoff is fairly volatile, but it’s been around until 10/1500 for the last couple of years. McBain (especially on the shaft), Schapiro, and Wien typically bring up the rear, although there are numerous reasons why someone may flock to any of these over the “nicer” buildings. Finally, there are a couple of random options which could go anywhere: the one double in Harmony and three doubles in Furnald.
One final comment on the sophomores: they seem to finally be getting how Housing works, at least as far as it pertains to them. Look at this chart comparing their group sizes from last year to this year:
There are two encouraging trends to notice. First of all, way fewer sophomores are forming odd-numbered groups than they had previously, down from 21 to 9. This is great news, since there’s no reason for anyone to leave themselves with the awkwardness of choosing a member to kick out when pairing up. Second of all, there were fewer groups of two and more groups of four, six, and eight. This also seems like a smart strategy. Everyone knows that sophomore housing can be pretty rough, but if you’re living near lots of friends, it can’t really be too bad. Kudos to them.
Okay, that’s it from us for now. Fire away in the comments to let us know where we messed up and with any questions you may have.
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