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Students are classified as seniors, juniors or sophomores in the room selection process. This standing either determines how many points a student brings to the group (in the apartments and suites lotteries) or it determines how early in the room draw process a student selects a room. Room selection status is not tied to a student's academic classification. This means that a student who is classified as a senior according to the Registrar may be classified as a sophomore or junior in the room draw process.

How room selection status is determined

For students who start at Cornell as first-year students, their status is determined by the number of full years they have attended Cornell. So, an individual who started at Cornell as a first-year student and is currently in their third year on campus is seen as a current junior and will have senior status going into room selection.  Students in their second year on campus are seen as current sophomores and will have junior status going into room selection.  Students in who started attending Cornell as a first-year student and are currently in their first year on campus are seen as current first-years and will have sophomore standing going into room selection.

Room selection status for transfer students, students who start mid-year and students who take time off from the College

In general, for a transfer student's first year at Cornell, any student who enters the College mid-year or a student who temporarily separates from the College and then returns, Residence Life looks at the individual's anticipated graduation year and counts backward. So, a student who has the balance of the current year and two additional years to go before graduation will be seen as a current sophomore and will have junior status going into room selection. A student with the balance of the current year and one additional year to go before graduation will be seen as a current junior and will have senior status going into room selection.

This process is used for the student's first room selection (or, in the case of a student who took time off from the College, the first room selection after the student's return). That individual's status the following year will be one status year higher (so a transfer student who draws as a junior one year will draw as a senior the following year).

Additional criteria regarding room selection status

Because students with senior status in room selection have the most options available to them, students typically do not draw as a senior for more than one year.  Students who start at Cornell as a first-year student are rarely impacted by this. On occasion, a transfer student will be impacted and that student's room selection status will be adjusted accordingly.

Confirmation of room selection status

An email will be sent by Monday, February 21 to all eligible students regarding your room selection status. Any student who thinks that this status is incorrect is encouraged to respond to that e-mail or to come to the Residence Life Office.

The rationale for not using a student's academic status

The primary reason we do not do follow the Registrar's classification is because of a student who, for whatever reason, falls short in earning credits in a given year. A student currently needs at least 7 credits to be considered a sophomore. We can envision several reasons where a first-year student is here at Cornell for a full year but who fails to meet that standard (illness, course content, family emergency, etc.). We believe this student should still draw as a sophomore for the coming year. Because we do not "penalize" a student who has not earned enough credits, we choose not to "promote" a current student who has earned more credits through summer courses, or first-year students who entered Cornell with advanced placements credits from high school.