The Lottery: Dorm by dorm by dorm by dorm (UPDATED)
Here we go. As promised, a stroll through what role each of the campus dorms plays in the Housing lottery, and thus what chances you might have of actually winding up there. This draws on the cutoff history provided by Housing, but adds in our own analysis—we’ll explain any deviations.
First, a general reminder, which echoes what we said here last year and proved very much true: Housing options tend to get more difficult every year. A number that got more exclusive from 2009-10 to 2010-11 is unlikely to go back in the other direction, especially as class size increases mean more and more upperclassmen gunning for the most desirable dorms and thus more and more of those that miss out having to trickle down. Also, RA suites can throw a wrench into suite counts. We’ll have a full post on this later this week, but we’ll note it here where particularly applicable.
Cutoff numbers (priority number/lottery number) are in parentheses so you don’t have to keep cross-referencing the cutoff history. As a reminder, “junior” means rising junior (class of 2013) and not current junior, and so on.
600 W. 113th (aka Nussbaum): Value is shooting up here—Nussbaum remains untouched while other competitors for sophomore pairs’ affection have undergone renovations in recent years (McBain). Still a reasonably safe bet for sophomores looking for doubles (10/1869), but walkthroughs are getting tougher and tougher (10/138). Singles no better, really (30/2495)—the days of underclassmen sneaking in on that front may be in the past. Don’t forget that suites here are not suites in the traditional sense—you pick into the doubles individual (not as a larger group). Also, note that the walkthroughs in here can be dicey—sometimes the entry bedroom is tiny and uncomfortable. Tread carefully. (Or, do yourself a favor and tour!)
47 Claremont (aka Claremont): The seven-person suites continue to get tougher (11.4286/1854), as this past year even groups that had one junior and six sophomores got squeezed—only some made it in. No group of all sophomores will get in—that’s two years gone now. Better strategy—lure more juniors with the singles to further boost your point value. Four-person suites are holding steady (30/2280) as backup options for desperate four-person groups that miss on Hogan/EC/Ruggles but don’t want to split up in Senior Regroup. Three-person suites are a wild card because they’re the only threes on campus, so it’s hard to know where the groups who go in as three will pop up. Fairly safe bet (30/2158) for seniors—not a great idea for anyone below that.
Broadway: These doubles tend to spread out—some sophomores will jump at the appeal of Broadway and take the best ones early on, but others—turned off by the small square footage—will then start to go elsewhere (McBain, Nussbaum), leaving some of these for the very end (10/2975). Singles are shooting up in popularity—only juniors with very good numbers can get the desirable rooms at this point (20/340 for “interior singles,” 20/682 for “large singles”). The small singles are a wild card—again, those that really prove undesirable may fall (10/679) to lucky sophomores, but don’t rest your hopes here.
East Campus: The granddaddy of them all, where many a dream is made or dashed. Two-person flats actually got easier last year by a smidgen (30/2084)—seniors with decent numbers should slide in here, but those with the dregs won’t. Four-person townhouses are a nigh-impossible bet at this point—several are taken up by RAs, and the number is then just 30/683 as is. If you’re set on EC, a group of four isn’t a good bet. Six-person all-single highrises are likely to be tougher this year than before (30/1330), as the last floor (16) to be renovated will be done this summer (but the view is great up here if you can get it!). You’ve got a better shot at a townhouse (30/1792) for the six-person all-single batch. All but the worst numbers will manage to get a townhouse with a double, at least (30/2367), but you have to decide whether that’s worth stomaching. (Also, note that with no more ECX, there may be more six-person groups this year.) The sixth-floor doubles should go to sophomores when a group decides they want them (10/1345)—they’re in an odd spot alone on a floor with no other rooms.
Five-person groups deserve their own discussion. All-single five-person highrises require a very good number (30/1128), and if you don’t get that (and miss out on Hogan, too), you’ll have to decide whether one of the old EC Exclusion suites is something you’ll endure. You’re in EC, but you have to deal with a double. The number last year was 26.67/2172, meaning a group with two seniors,
and three juniors one junior, and two sophomores/juniors whose numbers didn’t count toward the group’s points average. This year, two seniors and three juniors would give you a point value of 24 (as would a group of three seniors, a junior, and a sophomore). Several groups of seniors will decide these are worth it for EC, either when it’s their turn to pick or upon forming new groups of five during Regroup. I’d feel reasonably safe with three seniors and two juniors (26-point value), but not with anything below that. It’s a gamble.
Furnald: The singles will go to the very luckiest sophomores (10/27). That number is INSANE—the reason for it was a large group or two that had the best 10-point numbers but no place to use them, so they dropped en masse and all picked into Furnald. The doubles aren’t much easier, making a big jump last year (10/938).
Harmony: Two years in, it’s still tough to get a read here. Looks like more sophomores found it desirable last year for doubles (10/1418 representing a large jump over 10/2443 the first year of its existence)—again, the renovations cutting out the big doubles in McBain probably had an effect. The singles run the gamut—seniors will take the huge ones, but there will probably be a few tiny ones left for sophomores (10/1418—that might be a typo … we’ll check).
Hogan: The five-person suites are still a reasonably good shot for seniors in groups of five with a decent number (30/1718, holding steady the last three years). Again, it may be tougher this year if seniors flood the five-person market elsewhere with the ECX rule change. The four-person suites are where it gets tricky—as we noted here, the number is not 30/2683 as listed. That has to be counting an RA/rider pick—the real cutoff was more like 30/900. Fours are a REALLY tough get. The single six-person suite is impossible to guess (30/841)—probably a senior group with a good number again.
McBain: The big/walkthrough doubles here no longer exist—victims of renovation. (Pause to shed tears for the former glory of Room 808.) There are just a huge number of doubles here, which makes it ideal for groups of sophomores looking to pair up and all stay together on one floor. The rooms on the shaft rank as some of the least desirable here, though, hence the cutoff number way down at the bottom (10/2943). There aren’t many singles left here, either, but those will go to juniors (20/2750).
River: People tend to forget about this because it’s kind of out of the way, but those who live there usually swear by it. Remarkably, it got less popular last year, as lucky juniors snuck into the singles for the first time in years (20/465). The big singles go to lucky seniors (30/1482). And the lone walkthrough double is another wild card—probably a junior pair somewhere in there, as it has been the last three years (20/1331).
Ruggles: Again, see here. There’s a whole line of six-person suites, which should go to groups of juniors. Last year, these were new, so few groups shot for them and one fell all the way to 10/1763. Sophomores, don’t count on that this year. The four-person suites give a count of 16, but there are actually only eight (one line—the other half are now the six-person suites, post-renovations). And, in fact, there are really only four—the rest are used for the RA suites. So the number may be 30/946, but if a few early groups of four decide they prefer these to Hogan/EC, these could be gone in a flash. The eight-person suites remain the domain of juniors, but they get tougher and tougher every year (20/1182 for the ones with four singles, 20/2014 for the ones with two singles) to the point that they’re no longer a guarantee. (Pause for the last time to lament the time that was essentially the case. Ruggles was great—the place to be as a junior.) It’s probably worth the gamble to try to get in here—enterprising folks might try to pull a senior into their group of six or either to boost their point value.
Schapiro: The doubles and walkthroughs remain, as always, for
juniors sophomores—they’ll intersperse with McBain, Broadway, Harmony, and the rest depending on personal preference (10/2745, 10/2652 for the walkthroughs). As in Nussbaum, the walkthroughs may not actually be more desirable than the standard doubles—go check these out before picking into them. The singles go to juniors (18.33/4, year before was 20/2835)—some with good numbers will pick in here, but others will shy away and go elsewhere (Harmony, Wien), leaving rooms to fall.
Woodbridge: Seniors will take the high-demand lines (30/2972), as always. The medium-demand lines will get eaten up in Senior Regroup, with a few falling to mixed senior-junior pairs, but probably not below (25/2240). The low-demand lines will get down into the junior pairs, but not too far, as these will be the top option on the board at that point (20/1227). Note here that the desirability of lines isn’t set in stone—the reason the high-demand cutoff isn’t tougher is because some people would rather take other lines on higher floors.
Wien: It’s still the ugly duckling of Columbia Housing. But people who live there will vouch for it, especially post-renovations, so take that for what you will. Unlucky sophomores will have no choice but to go here (10/1811 for big walkthroughs, 10/2448 for walkthroughs, 10/2483 for doubles). This is the primary place sophomores can get singles, but even that has become much tougher just in the last year (10/746, down from 10/1988)—you’re taking a big risk of winding up in a blind double if you go into General Selection as a sophomore.
Watt: The two-bedroom apartments are close to impossible. The number was 30/831 last year, and that’s only because the one on the first floor lasted a long time (besides that, the number was probably 30/300 or 30/400). The one-bedroom apartments will go to those who prefer here to Woodbridge—a few juniors may sneak in, but the senior-junior pairs may be as far as these last (20/180). And the studio doubles may be sophomore pairs’ best bet to really get lucky—last year, they fell to 10/207, but the year before were off the board just before the end of the junior round at 20/2867. Don’t count on it this year. Studio singles, of course, remain the absolute gold standard, especially as renovations decimated their numbers—last year, they lasted only to 30/31.
UPDATE, 4 p.m.—We forgot one!
548 W. 113 Brownstone: Housing confirms that this will be in the lottery again this year—it should be added to the cutoff history soon. Not sure on the likely number here, but as it’s just eight studio doubles, it could vary a great deal depending on personal preferences. Our best guess would be juniors with middling lottery numbers that miss out on the best Watt/Woodbridge but deem this better than some Watt studio doubles.
That’s a wrap. More to come later this week on rules and exceptions that might alter some of the above. We’ll welcome questions in the comments, and we also welcome corrections—if you know of something else that happened last year that we’re missing that might change predictions for this year’s lottery, then by all means let us know.
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