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Your Housing Assignment FAQs

Information for New Undergraduate Students

Fall 2019

I applied for housing. When do I receive my housing assignment?

Incoming first-year students who meet the application deadline of May 5, 2019 will receive their housing assignments by email in mid-June, 2016. Transfer students will receive their housing assignments in late June as housing applications are received. Please note that assignment offers could possibly include locations on west campus, Collegetown residence halls, and program houses on north campus.

Is there a deadline to sign my housing contract?

Once you receive your housing assignment, you must sign your housing contract online within the required time period to confirm your housing. Instructions will be included in your housing assignment notification email. 

How do I sign my housing contract?

Within a week of receiving your housing assignment by email, please sign your contract online in Cornell's Housing Portal.  Please note that your housing assignment is not confirmed until you sign your housing contract.

  1. Log in to the Housing Portal using your Cornell NetID. If you need assistance with your NetID or password, visit or call (607) 255-8990.
  2. Click the “Undergraduate” tab at the top of the page.
  3. Select the “2019-2020 Academic Year” contract period, then click “Continue.”
  4. On the “Contract” page, review the assignment summary, the Terms and Conditions, and then enter your first name in the box before clicking "Sign Contract and Continue." (Note: students under 18 will be prompted at this point to add a parent or guardian, who will receive an email to confirm the contract.)
  5. An automatic email will be sent to you to confirm your housing contract.

How do I view roommate information?

Log in to the Housing Portal using the steps above. On the “Application Status” page, you will find the screen name(s) of your assigned roommate(s). To view a roommate’s profile, click on the “View Profile” button. To send them an email, click the “Send Message” button.

How are housing assignments made?

Housing assignments are made to a community and/or room type based on your requests and availability. Those who apply after the priority deadline are assigned to the remaining available spaces on a first-date-received basis.

How are roommates matched up?

Students assigned to double or triple rooms are automatically matched with a roommate or roommates based on the lifestyle preference section you completed in the housing application. Whenever possible, we accommodate requests to be placed with a specific roommate or roommates.

Why wasn’t I assigned to the room type/building I requested?

We have a limited number of certain types of rooms, and limited space in some buildings. While we do our best to accommodate everyone’s requests, we regret that we may not be able to assign you to one of your top choices.

May I request a different room assignment?

Once assignments are made, all Cornell residences will be at full occupancy. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not be able to accommodate room change requests before the spring semester begins.

What if I don’t like my room/building once I get to campus?

We encourage students to give their room assignment a chance – most students end up being happy with their living arrangements. If, however, you decide that you want to apply for a room change, you will need to see your Residence Hall Director or Assistant Dean to complete a room change request form. There is a $100 fee to change rooms. Please keep in mind that a room change may not be possible for several weeks into the semester since we must first complete a room census to determine vacancies.

What if I have nothing in common with my roommate(s)?

Cornell is an extremely diverse community made up of students from all over the world, and from every walk of life. Unless you are placed with a specific roommate you requested, you will be matched with a roommate with a compatible lifestyle preference profile (see "How are roommates matched up?" above). But that doesn’t guarantee that you will be matched with someone who is similar to you, or comes from a similar background. Most students in this situation find that it offers an excellent opportunity to grow and learn from each other. If, however, you and your roommate cannot get along, we encourage you to first speak with your residential staff. As a last resort, you may see your Residence Hall Director or Assistant Dean to complete a room change request form. There is a $100 fee to change rooms. Please keep in mind that a room change may not be possible for several weeks into the semester since we must first complete a room census to determine vacancies.

What is my building/community like?

For a description and photographs, visit Residence Halls, Program Houses, or West Campus House System and use the list in the left-hand menu bar on each page to navigate to your specific building/community. Our housing options vary in physical location and environmental design. Please note that not every building has elevator access, air conditioning, wheelchair accessible rooms, and/or private bathrooms. Please see individual housing pages for more information, or contact the Housing Office at or 607-255-5368.

What will my room be like?

Undergraduate residential rooms vary in size and shape depending on building, and number of occupants. All rooms contain, for each occupant, an extra-long twin bed, desk, desk chair, desk lamp, bureau or wardrobe, and wastebasket. Most rooms are fully carpeted. Learn more at Housing Amenities.

What about bed configuration? 

Some rooms on campus – particularly triples, or those in older buildings with unconventional floor plans – will be set up before students move in with beds lofted or bunked to accommodate the space. In some cases, the set-up represents the only possible bed configuration for that room. However, residents of most rooms will be able to place a request for their bed(s) to be raised or bunked. Visit Bed Elevation to learn more, and to enter your request. 

What will be provided in my room / suite / apartment?

Visit Housing Amenities.

How will I access the Internet?  What about phone and television service?

Please refer to Internet, Phone, & Television Service for details.

Will I have laundry facilities in my building?

There are washers and dryers in each residence or complex. Payment for use of washers and dryers is through a Campus Life debit account accessed with your Cornell ID card – with the exception of 112 Edgemoor, 109 McGraw Place, and 625 University Avenue. Learn more here.

Can I cook for myself in my building?

There are communal kitchen facilities – including microwave ovens – in all residences. Dishes, utensils, and cookware are not provided; you should bring your own. Cooking is NOT permitted in residents' rooms, nor are freestanding microwave ovens, except for in the Townhouse apartments. Residents may rent an approved microfridge (combined refrigerator and microwave) for use in their room. If you choose to purchase your own, please make sure it draws no more than 7.3 amps (700 watts) to start and 1.5 amps while running.

What will my mailing address be?

For almost all residents, your on-campus address will be as follows:
    Your Name
    Building, Room Number
    Ithaca, NY 14853

Please make note of the following exceptions:
    Ecology House: 1 Country Club Road, Room Number, Ithaca NY, 14850
    112 Edgemoor: 112 Edgemoor Lane, Room Number, Ithaca, NY 14850
    Schuyler House: 112 Sage Place, Room Number, Ithaca, NY 14850
    Cooperative Houses: Street Address, Room Number, Ithaca, NY 14850

Which service center or House Office will I use?

Please visit Your Service Center.

Are residences smoke-free?

Yes, completely.

What accommodations can be made for Shabbat observers?

Many main doors to Cornell’s residences are secured with electronic card access.  If you are a Shabbat-observant Jewish student or need key accommodations for other religious reasons, please visit your service center to sign out a key.

Will I need personal property insurance?

Cornell does not insure your personal property. You will want to make certain that you cell phone, laptop, clothing, and other personal property items are covered for incidents that result in damage or loss of your belongings. If you are not currently covered under a policy with your family, consider Cornell University's preferred personal property insurance provider, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.  Participation in this plan is optional, but strongly encouraged. Find out more here.

When should I move in, and how should I prepare?

Visit the Move-In Check List.

What should I pack?

Visit What to Bring.

What should I do if I have additional questions?

Please contact your Residential Staff, or the Housing & Dining Contracts Office.


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