Holding a class for a friend

When registering for classes, there is a method often used among Ferris students where an upperclassman will register for a class and hold it for an underclassman.

Alyssa Anderson, sophomore in the welding program, said she has had a friend who was an upperclassman hold an upper-level class that she needed to take last year as a freshman.

“Last year I had a late registration date, but I was taking some upper level classes. So I had a friend hold a spot for me,” said Anderson.

Dean of Enrollment Services Kristen Salomonson said she is aware of this practice that takes place among students.

“An upperclassman may in fact register for a course with the idea that they will drop it later to ‘reserve’ that spot for one of their underclassmen friends,” said Salomonson. When the upperclassman drops the class and the slot becomes open, anyone can register for the class who is in the registration system.

Since there is no wait-listing procedure, the spot in the course can be taken up right away by another student. Salomonson said there would have to be a great deal of coordination between an upperclassman and an underclassman if they were to use this method effectively.

Salomonson said in order for an underclassman to pick up the class from an upperclassman right away, they would have to be sitting together and clicking almost simultaneously for the switch to work.

Anderson said that once her registration date arrived, her friend dropped the class immediately and she was able to pick it up a second later.

Anderson said she did the same thing this year. She had a financial hold on her account due to some last-minute loans and needed a friend to hold the class for her.

“I ended up getting two people to hold the same class so I was sure to get it,” said Anderson. “By the time I got my hold lifted about four weeks later, the class wasn’t even filled, so I didn’t really need their help after all.”

Salomonson said Ferris has several practices in place to ensure they can be fair to all of their students in terms of registration.

“With nearly 14,000 students, there are inevitably going to be issues with the availability of classes from time to time,” said Salomonson. She added the academic colleges and departments work to be as helpful as they can in terms of assisting students in getting the classes they need.

A student’s date of registration depends on how many credits they have earned, said Salomonson. She said the rationale is that since these students have put their time in as freshmen and sophomores, they have reached a point where they can have the opportunity to register for the classes they need on a priority basis.

Once a student’s registration date arrives and passes, all students are free to access the registration system throughout the early registration window, as well as drops and adds. Then, the situation is first-come, first-serve in terms of signing up for remaining spots in classes and sections – provided their prerequisites are met.

Salomonson said the university really has no way of controlling the practice of upperclassmen attempting to “hold” spots for underclassmen directly.

“I believe our process is set up such that the practice occurs on a limited basis,” said
Salomonson. n