As a residential college, Cornell requires students to live in campus housing. Students who intend not to live on campus must either meet one of the exceptions of the residency policy or must go through the off-campus lottery.

Exceptions to the residency policy

Students requesting exemption from the residency requirement must complete the off-campus housing form (PDF). Refer to the residency requirement for a list of the exceptions. Note that students who are interested in the off-campus housing lottery should not complete this form and should refer to the information on the lottery below.

  • For current students: All exceptions to the residency policy must be requested through the Residence Life Office by March 1st. Eligible students who do not submit a request by the deadline may be expected to live on campus for the entire next academic year.
  • For incoming new and transfer students: All exceptions will be explored during the admissions process to the College.

Off-campus housing lottery

If sufficient space is not available to house all students in the residence halls, the Residence Life Office may conduct an off-campus housing lottery. Learn more about the off-campus housing lottery.

Adjustments to financial assistance

Living off-campus will impact a student's financial assistance.  Students living off-campus (via the lottery or living at home with parents) will have their institutional scholarships and grants adjusted proportionally to their actual college charges. Students interested in living off-campus are encouraged to contact the Financial Assistance staff to discuss their specific situation prior to submitting their exemption request. It is important to note that the Financial Assistance staff can only offer projections about likely impact, if any, on the student's financial assistance but cannot provide definitive information until the student has reapplied for financial aid. As such, students interested in living off-campus are encouraged to reapply for financial aid as soon as possible. Need to learn about the process to reapply for financial aid

Off-campus housing resources

Students approved to find off-campus housing may refer to our off-campus resources for suggestions on choosing a place to live.