Learn about the housing selection process for current Colgate students who will be returning to live on campus in the coming academic year.

Housing Selection 2020

Adjusted Housing Selection Timeline

Dates Event
July 7 Release housing selection times for Commons Lotteries and Junior and Senior Lottery
July 13–15 Commons Lotteries active, 4:00 - 9:00 p.m. daily
July 15–24 Junior/Senior Lottery active, 4:00pm - 9:00p.m. daily (excluding Saturday and Sunday)
July 17 Release housing selection times for Sophomore General Lottery
July 20–24 Sophomore General Lottery active, 4:00-9:00p.m. daily
Around August 3 New students will receive their housing assignment from Residential Life.


Housing placement for new students (first-year students in the Class of 2024 and transfers) is a different process than housing selection for returning students. As long as new students have completed their housing preference form (which was due on June 24, 2020), there are no further action steps required.

We are doing everything we can to be announce housing and Commons placements on or about Monday, August 3, 2020. 

Commons Lottery

The Inter-Commons Transfer process has been temporarily eliminated from the overall housing selection process for this year only. Any applications that were submitted already to Residential Life will be disregarded.

All sophomores will be entered into a Commons Lottery for their own current Commons. This first phase in the lottery will be for rising sophomores to select housing in their own Commons with friends from that Commons. The buildings included in the Commons Lottery are as follows:

  • Ciccone Commons Lottery: Curtis and Drake
  • Hancock Commons Lottery: Bryan Complex
  • Mabel Dart Colegrove Commons Lottery: Stillman and Jane Pinchin
  • Brown Commons Lottery: Andrews and Burke

The Commons Lotteries will run from July 13–15 from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Sophomore General Lottery

The second and final opportunity for rising sophomores to secure their housing is the General Lottery for Sophomores. Any students who do not select housing in their Commons Lottery will be entered into the General Lottery for Sophomores. If you wish to select a housing option with students from a different Commons, this is the process. The buildings in the General Lottery are as follows: 

  • 113 Broad Street
  • 76 Broad Street
  • Any rooms that are not selected by participants in the Commons Lotteries

The Sophomores General Lottery will run from July 20-24 from 4:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Announcement of Housing Selection Times

  • The Housing Selection Times for the Commons Lotteries will be sent on July 7. 
  • Students who do not select housing during the Commons Lotteries will receive their Housing Selection Time for the General Lottery for Sophomores later in the day on Friday, July 17.

Students who have already been assigned housing through a previous housing placement process will not receive housing selection times. Their current housing assignment is final. 

Once students select a housing location during any lottery, their housing for the ’20-’21 academic year is final, and participation in any subsequent housing selection process will not be necessary or permitted.

All rising juniors and seniors who have not yet been assigned housing will be entered into the junior and senior housing lottery. Several housing selection processes have already been completed including:

  • Accessible accommodations
  • Block and interest housing
  • Commons social house placement
  • Fraternity and sorority house placement
  • CL placement
  • Private off-campus housing (more about this process below).

If you were not already assigned housing as a result of these applications or affiliations, you will receive a housing selection time to participate in the Junior and Senior General Lottery.

Available in the junior and senior housing lottery will be: 

  • Rooms in a number of Broad Street houses (singles, doubles, and rooms designed as triples)
  • Townhouses
  • Newell Apartments
  • University Courts
  • Parker Apartments

Announcement of Housing Selection Times

Housing Selection times for the Junior/Senior Lottery will be sent on July 7.

The Junior and Senior General Lottery will run from July 15–24 (excluding Saturday and Sunday) from 4:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.

Once students select a housing location during any lottery, their housing for the ’20-’21 academic year is final, and participation in any subsequent housing selection process will not be necessary or permitted.

The Inter-Commons Transfer Applications submitted before housing selection was delayed have been disregarded, and this step in the housing selection process has been removed. We have made this change due to the delayed housing process this year.

You will be able to select housing with students from a different Commons than your own in the General Sophomore Lottery.

You may select housing in your own Commons with other students from your Commons in the Commons Lottery. You will receive Housing Selection Times for that lottery on Tuesday, July 7. The Commons Lotteries will take place from Monday, July 13–Wednesday, July 15 from 4:00–9:00p.m.

Once you select a housing location during the Commons Lottery, your housing for the ’20-’21 academic year is final, and participation in any subsequent housing selection process will not be necessary or permitted. 

You may select housing with someone from a different Commons during the Sophomore General Lottery. 

There are a number of rooms in the first-year inventory that fluctuate between 2–3 residents as needed in a given year. These rooms are located in East and West Halls. The task force’s recommendation pertains to these specific rooms that serve as triple rooms on occasion, and will not be used as triples this year. There are rooms across campus designed for three residents, and they will stay as such (e.g. Drake, 100 Hamilton, Broad Street Houses, and others).

The Task Force has provided its support for this step to be taken, if needed. At this time, no additional students have been approved to move into private off-campus housing.

If this step is taken, students on the off-campus housing waitlist will be notified via their Colgate e-mail. If waitlisted students are granted permission by Residential Life to move off campus, we ask that they make their decision quickly.

This recommendation in the task force’s report does not grant permission for students who have not been given permission from the Office of Residential Life to live in private off-campus housing in Hamilton. 

There are a couple of options for students with these concerns. Students may opt to remain at their primary residence for the fall semester and take the remote learning option outlined in the June 30, 2020 communication from the University.

If students choose to return to campus and wish to pursue a housing accommodation, they may contact Lynn Waldman in the Office of Academic Support and Disability Services at lwaldman@colgate.edu

Due to the ever-evolving nature of travel at this time, if you are still enrolled in a fall off-campus study program, you will still be entered into the housing lottery for which you are eligible (most likely, the junior/senior lottery). While you are not required to select housing due to your current plans, we encourage you to participate if there is any reasonable doubt your program will not move forward.

Find a Roommate

The Office of Residential Life frequently assists students in locating roommates for the coming year. There is a list of students currently seeking roommates in the Residential Life office in Drake Hall.

Whether an individual looking for a person with whom to live in a double, or a group looking for an individual to round out a roommate group, reach out and Residential Life can help you connect.

Fraternities and Sororities

Rising juniors and seniors interested in residing in their fraternity or sorority chapter house should contact the chapter president or house manager. Each fraternity and sorority coordinates its own housing process with support and advisement from the Office of Residential Life and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Advising.

Get to know the spaces where you may live next year, and learn what spaces are available for you to consider as a rising sophomore, junior, and senior.

Glossary of Terms

Rising juniors and seniors

To participate in block housing, students must register as a part of a group using the roommate group function in Symplicity, and by completing an application for block housing (only one application is necessary per group). Participants in this process do not need to have an interest or group affiliation to participate. Block housing allows for group sizes that are not otherwise available in the lottery. Blocks may be placed in a Broad Street house, apartments, or townhouses. Once blocks are submitted to Residential Life, each block is placed in accordance with a randomly assigned lottery number.

 Once block housing assignments are determined by Res Life, we will email the group leader with the assignment. Groups will have the opportunity to decline their placement through the block process. If they decline, their group will be placed in the General Lottery.

Rising juniors and seniors

The capacity rule states that a roommate group may only view and select a room, suite, apartment, or townhouse during a lottery process if the size of the roommate group matches the housing unit’s maximum capacity. Groups of three, for example, will only be able to view housing units for three people. During a lottery, once all selection times have passed and each participant has had the opportunity to select a room, Residential Life staff may lift the capacity rule to allow a group of two, for example, to select a four-person apartment. The remaining two beds in that apartment will likely also be selected by another group of two students, or two individual students.

Rising sophomores

The process by which first-year students select their room in their commons for their sophomore year with other students from their commons. Participants in this lottery will only be able to select a sophomore space in their own commons with others from their commons.

The commons lottery takes place after the completion of the Inter-Commons Transfer process so all students who have been approved to transfer into a different commons will be able to participate in the appropriate commons lottery. 

The Office of Residential Life is committed to providing a living environment that is welcoming for students of all gender identities. Students have the option to live on campus with whomever they choose, regardless of biological sex, gender, gender identity, or gender expression.

Rising sophomores

The Harlem Renaissance Center (HRC) is located in Crawshaw House, part of the Bryan Complex and Hancock Commons. The HRC is a living and learning center for sophomores interested in African and African American history and culture. The HRC was established to provide students with an educational atmosphere about the culture and heritage of Pan-African ways of life and to educate the Colgate community about African American culture.

Each participant in a lottery process is randomly assigned a selection time on the Housing Portal. This time dictates the order in which individuals or groups may select a room, suite, apartment, or townhouse. Once a selection time is made active, students have until the end of the lottery process to select housing. Selection times are separated by two minutes. Selection times belong to the person they were originally assigned to, and cannot be traded or given away to another student.

Rising sophomores

Students live in their residential commons for two years. Occasionally, a student may which to apply for an inter-commons transfer to live in a different commons for their sophomore year. Residential Life will open an inter-commons transfer application mid-spring for rising sophomores. Transfer requests will be accepted only as space permits. 

The transfer request process will be completed by the time housing selection times are released in order to ensure all students who are approved to transfer commons may participate in that commons lottery. 


Rising juniors and seniors

Providing an opportunity for groups of juniors and seniors to integrate their passions into their residential experience, the interest communities are expected to contribute opportunities and events for others outside of their interest to engage with their interest over the course of the year the community is active. Interest communities may be placed in a Broad Street house, apartments, or townhouses.

Each student has been assigned a unique roommate code in Symplicity, or the housing portal. Roommate codes can be found on each student’s homepage on the top right under the student’s first and last name. Roommate codes must be shared with a group leader in order for them to invite you to join a roommate group.

Individuals can form a roommate group on the housing portal. A group can fill a room, suite, apartment, or townhouse. Groups are initiated by one person, the group leader, who must send invitations to other group members using their unique roommate codes. Group members must then accept the electronic invitation. For lottery processes, the group adopts the best individual selection time of the group.

Off-campus study participants

Students who are studying off campus for the fall semester will not select housing for the spring semester through the general housing selection process. However, after the conclusion of the general housing lottery, they may coordinate the submission of a roommate replacement request with a student who will be living on campus only during the fall semester, leaving a vacancy in the spring. Any student studying off campus during the fall semester who does not fill out a roommate replacement application or arrange housing through the interest, commons social house, or fraternity or sorority housing processes will be sent a housing preference form late in their semester off campus to complete for the spring semester.