FAQ | Transfers for Students

General Transfers

For student, postdoc, faculty, or staff residents in Columbia Residential who would like to move to another apartment or room. Eligible applicants will be shown the entire available housing inventory, similar to your Housing Selection Appointment. 

General Transfer applications are reviewed twice every year (October and February). Be sure to submit by the deadline below:

  • Spring: February 21st. Decisions emailed by February 24th 
  • Fall: October 21st. Decisions emailed by October 24th

Please review the important dates on the Transfer webpage.

Information on individual units will be reflected during your Housing Selection appointment.

Transfer FAQs - Housing Selection List

You may review our Residential Building Profiles to learn more about the Columbia Residential portfolio. 

Direct Transfers (Students only)

When a student in Columbia Residential wants to move to a vacant room within their current dorm suite, or to move in with a friend who has a vacant room in their apartment share. A specific building and room number is required. Note: Direct Transfers into Studios or 1 Bedroom apartments cannot be accommodated. 

Applicants will need to write in the specific apartment and room number of unit they wish to transfer to.

Here is an example:

To request a specific unit, via the Direct Transfer application, you must indicate the specific room number of the unit you're interested in.

Applications can be submitted at any time of the year. These applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. You will be notified of the next steps if we are able to accommodate the request.

No. Direct Transfers can only request apartment shares and dorm units. Private apartments like studios and 1-bedrooms are not eligible for Direct Transfers.

The Direct Transfer cannot be completed if one or more of the following happens:

  • The requested unit has not been refreshed (necessary construction) in over three years.
  • The unit cannot be assigned to you AS-IS (must be in sufficient condition). This is only assessed by the Superintendent and building management. 
  • If your affiliation ends within six months.
  • If you secured housing from the Waitlist.

GREAT QUESTION! Unfortunately, no, a Direct Transfer must be into a unit that can go AS-IS to have a quick turnaround time.

  • QUICK SERVICE IS THE BEST SERVICE! The goal is to have residents settle in quickly in the apartment of their choosing, with roommates whom they have confirmed! 
  • The unit that is being vacated must be inspected and placed back in the housing inventory. It is a quicker process because the requested unit must be accepted AS-IS. 
  • Remember, transfers are completed quickly. Eligible transfers must be completed within one business day. 

If your Direct Transfer request is ineligible, please consider one of the other transfer types (General or Group). 

We recommend looking into Off-Campus Housing Marketplace for more alternative housing for Columbia affiliates, Faculty, Students and Postdocs. 

We are sorry the transfer did not work out! For the Direct Transfer to be eligible, the unit must be assigned AS-IS. If refreshing the unit is required, the unit's ready date is dependent on what needs to be done in the unit. This can take weeks to complete; incoming residents who need housing can simply move in after the official ready date.

Group Transfers (Students only)

For two or three single students in Columbia Residential who would like to transfer together into a new apartment share.

Applications can be submitted at any time of the year. These applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. You will be notified of the next steps if we are able to accommodate the request.

No. Transfers only apply to current (primary) residents. If your friend has not moved into Columbia Residential housing yet, they cannot apply for a Group Transfer.

No. Each group member must complete their own application and list the other group member(s)’ Columbia email. See below for an example.

Group Transfer application - Group Members

If “Group Member not found” appears, it is one of the following:

  • The person is not a tenant in Columbia Residential housing.
  • The group member(s) have not moved in yet.
  • The email address is incorrect.

No. Group Transfer applications are reviewed based on their submission date. Applicants are contacted, if eligible for the transfer, and offered an empty apartment. 

  • 2-person groups are offered empty 2-bedroom apartment shares.  

  • 3-person groups are offered 3-bedroom apartment shares.

If one or more members of the group decline their offer or let the offer expire, we will cancel the entire group’s transfer to the empty apartment share. 


Not immediately. Incoming residents who are “Waitlisted” will only have guaranteed housing in their initial housing assignment, from their move in date through May 31st. To be eligible to Transfer, you must request an Affiliation Review to obtain an allocation from your respective school. 

  • TIP! Check out the below dates to best prepare!
    • Affiliation Review submission dates: Fall (October 1-31st) | Spring (February 15th – March 15th)

    • General Transfers submission dates: Fall (before October 21st) | Spring (before February 21st) 

** Please note, general transfer applications must be received by October 21 to participate in the fall transfer period, and by February 21 for the spring. 

The image below shows where residents can submit their Affiliation Review request. Log into the Portal, click "Tenant Profile", then "Affiliation" and complete the request.

Housing Selection

There is usually nothing wrong with the site. There are always more applicants than there are available units, so it is possible there is nothing available at that moment. 

PRO TIP! Our inventory changes so be sure to keep checking for the duration of your Housing Selection Appointment. 

In instances of little-to-no housing availability, we encourage residents who wish to look off-campus to utilize the resources within the Off-Campus Housing Marketplace. The aim of this marketplace is to provide Columbia students, staff, faculty, and affiliates with alternative housing options and useful tips for renting in New York City

No need! You will have from your appointment notification until the transfer season closes to select. This allows ample time for residents to log into the Housing Portal to participate.

Changes to Housing Offer

You are not obligated to give up your current apartment when submitting a transfer application or participating in Housing Selection. Upon accepting the housing offer a move-out notice is created, and your unit is made available for other students to select through the transfer process. Residents who would like to cancel their transfer and remain in their current unit are advised they should not accept the transfer housing offer.

For Direct and Group Transfer cancellations, you have the option to decline the offer, via the Housing Portal, within the given 2 business days. 

If you have accepted an offer but no longer want to continue with the transfer, please email [email protected] with this request. We cannot guarantee that the cancellation request will be accommodated. 

Moving Into a New Unit

PRO TIP! If seeing the unit is super important, be sure to select one with the “Earliest Move-In Date” that suits your needs. Units cannot be viewed before this date. You can also send a proxy! 

  • Occupied units and units undergoing construction cannot be viewed. 

You may visit the unit after you have selected and received a housing offer.  

  • Log into the Housing Portal and click Housing Assignment to schedule a viewing appointment. Appointments are available Monday-Friday between 9 AM - 3 PM. Same day appointments cannot be made.

Sure! Log into the Housing Portal, go to “Assignment,” then click the subtab named “Assignment.” If you are moving into a shared apartment, roommate information is found at the bottom of the page.

Transfer FAQs - Roommate Information

General Studies students who live in a dormitory-style suite will not be able to review contact information of those that live on their floor as suitemates. As these are self-contained units, we cannot provide “roommate" information. 

Additionally, be sure to review Roommate Rights, Responsibilities, Respect for Community and Mediation. Take some time to get to know and set expectations for living with a new person. 

No, we do not have moving bins at this time. 

Your move in date must be within 7-14 days (1 to 2 weeks) from the date the unit is confirmed. You are given one business day to complete the move in process.  

PRO TIP! Many residents find it useful to transfer on a Friday (if appointments are available). 

  • For example, if the new move-in appointment is on Friday, the keys for the old apartment must be returned to the Superintendent by Monday (or via the Express Move-Out option). 

No. Unfortunately, we cannot facilitate furniture purchase or exchange. When tenants vacate, they must clear all personal belongings, or they will incur cleaning charges (minimum $200).  

Columbia Vendors:

Be sure to have a Certificate of Insurance (COI) emailed to [email protected] 48 hours before your scheduled Move-In date. 

IMPORTANT: Deliveries cannot be accepted prior to move-in. We cannot guarantee the safety of packages that arrive without you there to receive them. You will want to plan accordingly.

Please email [email protected] before 4:00PM or call our general hotline at (212) 854-9300. We cannot guarantee that the cancellation request will be accommodated.

VERY PROACTIVE! Please review our new Moving-In FAQs for further information and tips!  

Vacating the Old Unit

No. Our office will submit this Move-Out notice on your behalf.

Remember, your move-out date will be one business day after your transfer move-in date. You will receive the keys for the new unit on your move-in date, and you will have until 4 PM on the following business day to remove your belongings from the previous unit and return the keys to the superintendent. 

PRO TIP! Be sure to return your keys to Super or Express Move Out Box as you will continue to be billed until the keys are returned.  

Be sure to complete the “Final Checkout” feature on the exact Move-Out date. You will receive daily reminders until this is complete. 

Log into the Housing Portal click “Move Out” tab and the “Final Checkout” subtab.

Transfers FAQ - Final Checkout

No. The resident is solely responsible for the moving costs of their belongings.

No. Unfortunately, we cannot facilitate furniture purchase or exchange. When tenants vacate, they must clear all personal belongings, or they may incur a fee.


Don't worry, your not being "double charged". Billing for the new apartment starts one day after you move out of the old apartment. Both rents (old and new) are prorated, based on the specific date. Please review the Billing and Payment webpage for further information.

  • Please allow 5-7 days (after the confirmed vacancy of the old apartment) for your finances to reconcile.
  • You will receive an email notification once the Superintendent confirms the Move-out. 

Have a question you think we missed? 

Email us at [email protected] so we can address your question and possibly add it to this page to help other potential residents!