Transferring

Each academic year, the transfer application opens on August 16 and closes on May 15. Applications received within this time period are evaluated on a rolling basis between September 15 and May 15, and approved as long as there are units available to accommodate them. Any application received in a prior academic year does not roll over and needs to be resubmitted. Transfer approvals cannot be guaranteed and are dependent on eligibility, priority, and availability of housing.

Transfer Types

For student, postdoc, faculty or staff residents in Columbia Residential who would like to move to another apartment or room.

  • Transfer must be completed within one week of unit's availability.
  • Students who received housing through the waitlist are eligible, but those who were approved for housing receive priority.

For a student in Columbia Residential who wishes 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.

  • Applications are reviewed during the first week of each month only, and they must include address and room number of the requested room.
  • Note that rooms must be taken as-is -- rooms will not be painted or cleaned. If maintenance work is required, the transfer may not be able to be accommodated.
  • Direct transfers must also be approved by residents who live in the requested apartment, and transfers must be completed within 2 business days of the room becoming available. Students approved for a Direct transfer must be present to complete the transfer.
  • Students who received housing through the waitlist are eligible, but those who were approved for housing receive priority.

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

  • All group members must submit an application listing their preferred roommates.
  • Kindly note, availability for group transfers is very limited.
  • All roommates must select a room in the same apartment and accept their offers for the transfer to be completed. If one or more roommates does not select, or if their offer is declined or expires, the transfer will be cancelled for all. 
  • Transfer must be completed within one week of unit's availability.
  • Students who received housing through the waitlist are eligible, but those who were approved for housing receive priority.

Eligibility, Priority & Review Schedule

To be eligible to transfer, a resident must:

  • Be a current resident in Columbia Residential.
  • Be a full-time student, postdoc, faculty or staff whose affiliation does not end within six months. Transfers requested during a resident's final semester of housing eligibility won't be considered. 
  • Be in good standing with Student Financial Services (students) or the Office of the Controller (faculty, staff & postdocs).
  • If approved to transfer, must complete move within one week of unit's availability. Unit availability will be listed in housing selection.
    • *Direct transfers must be completed within 2 business days of unit's availability.
  • If approved to transfer into couple or family housing, must comply with the terms of couple and family housing
  • Students Only:
    • Students who were approved for housing by their schools receive priority to transfer. Students who received housing through the waitlist will only be considered if availability permits, after all approved students have been offered to transfer.

For eligible residents, transfers are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis, and prioritized according to the following factors:

Residents approved to transfer will be notified by email according to the timelines listed above, and will receive information about participating in housing selection. All applicants, including those not approved, will receive an update on their status each month during the transfer season.

During the transfer season, there may be times when transfers cannot be approved due to lack of immediate availability. During any month when this is the case, Columbia Residential will send a status update to all residents with active transfer applications on file. Students only: kindly note, transfers are typically suspended between November and January, when the housing approval process for incoming students whose programs begin in the spring.

Approvals & Completing a Transfer

Applicants approved to transfer will receive an email notification with information about participating in housing selection. If an approved applicant misses their housing selection appointment, their transfer application will be canceled and they will need to reapply to be placed on the transfer list again.

Residents approved to transfer will be assigned an appointment for housing selection, during which they may view all available units for which they are eligible. The list will include address, apartment number and building amenities. After selecting housing, participants will receive one housing offer. 

Students who receive a housing offer for an apartment share or shared dormitory space will automatically receive contact information (name, school & email address) for their assigned roommates, and their information is also shared with roommates.

For more information about housing selection, please review FAQ | Student Housing Selection or FAQ | Faculty, Staff & Postdoc Housing Selection.

Student housing viewing appointments have been suspended as of August 17, 2020.

Faculty and postdoc residents who need to schedule a viewing appointment may email facultyhousing@columbia.edu to inquire about availability of viewing appointments.

Offers will expire within two business days, at 11:59 PM. Log into the Housing Portal to accept the offer and choose a move in date.

The new housing agreement will be sent within ten days of move in and must be signed through DocuSign.

Residents who receive a transfer offer but do not accept the offer within the time allotted may remain in their current unit. Those whose offers are declined or expire may reapply to be added to the bottom of the transfer list; residents may submit up to two transfer applications per academic year (August 16 - May 15). Those who choose to move out of Columbia Residential may face a cancellation fee.

Approved transfers must be completed within one week of the unit's availability. The unit's availability will be indicated in housing selection.

Columbia Residential will create a move out notice on your behalf. 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. Billing for the previous unit will end on the date you return keys, and billing for the new unit will begin on the following day.