Room Change & Direct Swap Requests
Students who are looking for a new room assignment have two options, which are available at different times during the academic year:
- Room Change: Requests to move into an available space (based on ranked preferences for buildings and room types). These requests are available during specific time periods (see below).
- Direct Swaps: Requests to swap rooms with another assigned student. These requests are available for a longer period of time during the semester.
As it is vitally important to your safety & security that records accurately reflect where students live on campus, room changes and/or swaps made without the permission of the College (including switches within suites) are subject to disciplinary action and students will be required to move back to their originally assigned spaces.
If you are having challenges living with your roommate, we encourage you to speak with your RA or Residence Hall Coordinator first. Staff are trained to help facilitate conversations between students and having a dialogue with your roommate often resolves the need for a room change.
Barnard is dedicated to promoting an inclusive and respectful community. The College will not discriminate in room assignments or room changes on the basis of membership in a protected class, including but not limited to: race, color, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, age, pregnancy, disability, socioeconomic status, dietary preferences, or sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
Room Change & Direct Swap Periods
Due to the limited amount of space in the FY residence halls, a different room assignment would typically only be possible as a result of swapping with another student.
- Check out Direct Swaps for more information.
- Students may not swap rooms without permission through the Swap Request process on the Housing Portal.
Room change requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis only.
- Students with roommate concerns will first participate in a roommate discussion/mediation, during which time the roommate contract will be evaluated and adjusted as needed.
- Students who have a new diagnosis or a disability or medical condition should submit a Housing Accommodation Request to CARDS (Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services).
For more information, please speak to your Residence Hall Coordinator or Community Director.
Room Change Requests will be accepted during the time periods below. Each request period will have a different timeline and expectations/policies.
- Fall Room Changes (September)
- Mid-Year Room Changes (late November)
- Spring Room Changes (late January / early February)
- Post-Lottery Room Changes & Room Swaps (after the Room Selection process)
Direct Room Swaps (1 for 1) are available for a longer period of time during each semester.
Room changes at other points in the academic year will be considered and approved only after students have demonstrated an attempt to mediate any roommate/suitemate conflicts or been approved for a new housing accommodation by CARDS for a disability or medical condition.
* Room change requests are not available for summer housing assignments. Room changes during the summer will only be made for special extenuating circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Room changes are based on availability and are prioritized by class year standing.
Unfortunately we cannot guarantee that students who request a room change will receive one. The likelihood of receiving a room change mostly depends on the number of & location of vacancies available, the criteria of a student's request, and/or on the number & types of requests from other students.
Because the number of vacant spaces is typically limited, students are encouraged to also look for Direct Swaps on the Housing Portal.
Students who may need an accommodation should fill out the Housing Accommodation Request form for CARDS (Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services), in addition to the room change request form.
The more flexible the criteria you specify on your Room Change Request form (indicating what room types and/or bulidings you’d be willing to switch to), the more likely a room change may be possible.
However, you should only specify room types & residence halls you would be willing to live in because approved room changes are BINDING and must be completed. Students can also look for Room Swaps, to have more control over whether deciding to move.
While Res Life will attempt to assign students to requested rooms if possible, it cannot be guaranteed.
Because room change requests are considered in Class Year priority, a request by a Sophomore to move into a specific single might not not be possible if there are not enough spaces elsewhere to provide room changes for Senior & Junior applicants, etc.
Requests to move to a vacancy within a student's current suite are not guaranteed.
All rooms in Barnard campus housing are the same rate, with the exception of Studio Singles (see Room Rates). Students who move into (or out of) a Studio Single will be charged a prorated increase (or credited a prorated refund) for the rest of the semester.
Upperclass students who move into floors 2-8 of the Quad will be required to enroll in the Flex 150 Meal Plan (if they are not already enrolled at that level).
You may be assigned a roommate/suitemate. If you know someone specific who is interested in moving into that vacant space, you can encourage them to apply for a Room Change to request to move in with you.
Also, please note that the granting of a room change is not guaranteed, so your roommate / suitemate may not receive a room change.
If a space remains open in your room after the Room Change Request process, you must continue to keep this space open and ready for assignment at any time. Vacancies may be used later in the semester for emergency room changes.
Unfortunately we cannot provide a list of empty rooms. There are few vacant rooms at any time.
Room changes are usually more of a game of "musical chairs," where one student receiving a room change creates a vacancy which may be assigned to another student requesting a room change, and so on. It is impossible to predict which rooms may be available for room changes until all the requests forms have been submitted and reviewed.
Students who may wish to have more control over whether they would move or not are encouraged to look for Room Swaps on the Housing Portal.
Due to the limited number of vacancies and large number of students who apply for housing, it is not possible to pay a fee to turn a double into a single room, etc.