COLUMN: Registration has become a nightmare


Bella Lantz, Opinion Writer

Registering for spring 2023 classes has been an absolute nightmare. When I met with my adviser in late October, we discussed a total of eight different class options I could take for my major. I was not too worried about signing up for classes, because I came in with nine credits and could register before many of the other freshmen. However, I had to watch all of the classes I had planned to take slowly drift out of my reach as they began to fill up throughout the week. That is when I realized I forgot about one key piece of information: App State has accepted more students than they ever have before.

This should not be an issue, but the class sizes and number of classes available have stayed the same. During the fall 2022 registration, most classes were full before the five-hour mark of registration being open. Now, even though I get to register before a decent amount of freshmen, most of my classes are full. The main issue is many classes mandatory for a major or needed for gen-ed are not consistently offered. Many classes that need to be taken in sequential order must start in the fall because the first class is only offered in the fall. Some classes are also only offered in odd years or even years. This requires proactive thinking to confirm I will be able to take all of my major classes available during a certain year. The hardest class I had difficulty registering for was a science course.

My original gen-ed science theme was The Blue Planet, which involved the study of the ocean ecosystem. I had to choose this theme instead because I could not take the theme, Voyages Through the Cosmos. This theme needs to be taken in sequential order, and the first one is not available in the spring. I decided to start my classes during the spring because most of the science classes were full during the fall 2022 registration. When I decided to check a day before my registration date opened up, there were no spots left in one class and the other had three spots left. The issue is there was only one lecture class available for oceanography with 130 spots. With 130 spots available, there is little to no chance of getting in, due to this class being mandatory within the theme. This is also due to oceanography only being available in the spring, so a lot of people are attempting to register for it.

The second class I had no chance of getting was a theater class for my gen-ed requirements. There was one class for all of the students wanting to take the course and only 16 spots available. It is incredibly frustrating the classes freshmen and sophomores must take, which do not even count toward their major, have little to no availability. 

The next major issue for me is my foreign language requirement. This would not be an issue, except I was not able to take it during freshman year. I had decided to take a certain foreign language course, however, before I could sign up for the class, every single class was full. I have to take five of these classes for my major, which leaves me with two options: start next semester and take the classes up until I graduate, or take summer classes. This is not only an issue for me, as many students do not graduate at the four year mark. Only 58.7% graduate App State in four years. This can be caused by classes not being available and therefore prolonging the amount of time spent at college. I will probably end up having to take summer classes because I do not want to risk having to continue college for more than four years. 

Now at this point, I was down to two classes my adviser and I talked about, so I made three different schedules to try and complete my class list the day before registration. The morning I woke up to register for classes, only one class I originally discussed with my adviser was available. Currently, I am taking a bunch of classes I did not intend to take. Now I may like these classes, but the fact I had to change my course of action over seven times to accommodate for App State’s lack of classes and increased student population should not have happened. It was frightening watching my classmates in the next registration slot try to find any required classes. I hope that many of them get off the waiting list.

Many of the closed classes are full so early because of the small number of classes available. App State can accept more students, but the current students should not have to pay the price for over-accepting. I write this to let App State know the difficulty of registering, with the hope they decide to change the class size or number of classes for the better.