Regardless of whether you can register for classes online or you need to wait in line at the union or Registrar's office, registering for classes can be an exercise in frustration. You might have chosen classes you need to take before moving on in your major or picked class times that allow you to have Fridays off, and then (oh, man!) three of them fill up before you get a chance to sign up.
The Registration Process
Follow these tips to make the process smoother:
- Be on time. If enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis, register during your assigned time. If you end up registering later, you might miss the chance to use your seniority to get into a class. Plus, many of your backup options might be closed.
- Pay up. Make sure your college bill is paid in full. If you're behind on your payments, you may not be allowed to register.
- Make a connection. Develop a good relationship with your academic advisor. They may be able to help you get into the classes you need. They can also talk to the department head and request a spot for you in full classes.
- Create a plan B. Choose a backup class for every course. Chances are you won't get into all your first-choice classes every semester.
- Go prepared. Have everything ready before you go online, get in line or meet with your advisor. Make sure you have course names and numbers with you.
- Talk it out. If you have any problems, a meeting with the Registrar may identify your options.
College is costing you a lot of money, so don't randomly pick classes without thinking about it. Some things to consider when you're choosing classes:
- Use the course catalog to find out what courses you need for your major and what prerequisites are required for upper-level classes.
- Talk to your academic advisor. They can tell you how useful or necessary different classes are.
- Know your general education requirements. Make sure you take all the classes you need for graduation.
- Take a variety of classes, especially if you haven't picked a major yet. You may find your true calling or discover you really dislike a certain branch of study.
- Ask around. Talk to other students about classes, professors and teaching styles they liked.
- Know yourself. Think about whether you're a morning person or if you'd do better in difficult courses later in the day.
- Fill in the blanks. If you've taken all your general education courses and the classes for your major, or can't get into them this semester, take some fun classes or work on a minor or certification. Your advisor can give you ideas.
- Challenge yourself. You are here to learn something. You're better off in the long run with a class or instructor that challenges you than you are with one that leaves you yawning.
Dropping a Class
If you end up in a class that isn't what you thought it was, you may have an out. Most colleges have a drop/add/change period when you can make changes to your class schedule. Make sure you know when it is.
Dropping a class might affect your:
- Financial aid eligibility.
- Tuition bill.
- Athletic eligibility.
- Graduation timeline.