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 junior in the room draw process.
How room selection status is determined
For students who start at Cornell as a first-year student, 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 completing his or her third year is seen as a current junior and will have senior status 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 backwards. 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 so will have junior 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 cannot draw as a senior for more than one year. Generally 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
Before room selection begins, Residence Life will e-mail all students with their room selection status, Any student who thinks that this status is incorrect is encouraged to respond to that e-mail or to come to Residence LIfe.