Priority Registration changes start this semester

Trey Crumbie

Changes are coming to priority registration.

Gordon Emslie, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said there will now be two tiers of priority registration, one determined by need and another based on benefit, starting this semester as students register for classes in the spring.

“We thought it was important to differentiate those two groups because they have varying degrees of necessity for priority registration,” Emslie said.

Richard Miller, vice provost and chief diversity officer, said the difference between the tiers is necessity versus benefit.

For example, a student with disabilities will need to schedule certain classes in certain places because of their condition and would fall into the Tier 1 category.

A student who receives scheduling benefits because of their status, such as an Honors student, would fall into the Tier 2 group.

Tier 1 students can register for classes starting on Nov. 7, with Tier 2 priority registration students starting the next day, on Nov. 8.

In addition to this, students who qualify for priority registration can only register for up to 16 credit hours. They will then have the option to add more credit hours during open registration.

Seniors and graduate students still register before those with priority registration and are not subject to the 16 credit hour limit.

Miller said students who register for more than 16 hours are more likely to drop a class, but do not do so until later. Until the student drops the course, they are on the roster and the space the student takes up could potentially block another student from taking that same course.

“It’s not fair to other students,” Miller said.

Emslie said representatives of various student groups that already received priority registration filled out a request form that stated why they should receive priority registration. After the request forms were completed, the Council of Academic Deans reviewed the forms and assigned each student group to one of the tiers.

Emslie said the purpose of priority registration is to allow certain students to register for classes that meet their obligations.

“Priority registration is there to make sure that students who need priority registration because of their circumstances or other activities can register for courses and get what they need before regular registration opens,” Emslie said.

He said there were a variety of reasons as to why each student group said their priority registration should continue, such as students who travel extensively due to other commitments and would not be able to take classes on certain days or those with disabilities.

The Council of Academic Deans will review the student groups in both tiers every five years and will make changes if necessary.