I think housing is only guaranteed the first 2 years. You should never have to worry about having a place to live since there will always be something available in C-town. One year I lost the housing lottery and even at that late date, was still able to find a decent apartment. With most apartments, you'll actually end up saving a significant amount of money over Cornell housing. Plus, living in an apartment I think is part of the "becoming an adult" aspect of college, that you don't get nearly as much in dorm life.