Registration – Waitlisting

Banner Waitlisting

The Banner Waitlisting functionality gives students the ability to add themselves to a waitlist if a course they want to register for is full.  Waitlisting is not registration or enrollment in the course.  The information about whether or not a course has a waitlist will be shared with students via the Schedule of Courses so that they can include the information when making their registration selections. 

We’re excited to be piloting this new functionality and want to share the following important points with you as you consider whether it’s right for your course.

1.            This sounds a lot like a petition list.  What’s the difference?

A petition list is a list of students who registered for an oversubscribed course and didn’t get in through optimization or petitioning.  There is no way for a student to manually add themselves to a petition list, and petition lists don’t persist after petitioning has ended.  If an instructor chooses to manage their petition list in add/drop, they grant overrides to students of their choosing as seats become available.  If they choose not to manage their petition list, any student may add the course as seats become available.

Students may add themselves to a waitlist if a course is full during registration.  They must meet all other requirements for the course (including prerequisites) in order to add themselves to the waitlist.  If a seat in that section becomes available, an automated notice will be sent to their Bates email letting them know that they have a window of time to go into Garnet Gateway and register for the course.  Waitlists are prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis. 

2.            How does a waitlist work?

If a seat opens up and there are students on the waitlist, the system will send an automated notification to the first student on the waitlist, as well as to the primary instructor of the section.  That student has a window of time to go into Garnet Gateway and register for the course.  That seat will be held until the student’s window expires, even if they register for the course and then drop it (Think of it as protection against dropper’s remorse!).  If they miss the window entirely, the seat will be automatically offered to the next student on the waitlist once the prior notification has expired.  The open seat will be visible in the schedule, and students who try to add the course during this time will get a registration error that the open seat is being held for a student currently on the waitlist. 

There are no guarantees that any student on a waitlist will eventually be invited to register.  The chances are better for a student with a higher position on the waitlist, but even the first student on the waitlist may never be offered a seat.  There’s no way to know what the chances of a student gaining entry to the course from the waitlist is for any given course.  In general, students should not plan on getting into a course that they’ve waitlisted and should register for a full schedule of other courses.

The Schedule of Courses display is still being finalized, but a course with a waitlist may appear as follows.  This course is limited to 3 and is full.  Up to five students may add themselves to the waitlist and there is one student on the waitlist currently, so if one of the three registered students drops, that student will be notified that a seat is available and they can register in Garnet Gateway.

3.            What if I want to let a particular student into my course?

Granting a capacity override to a particular student effectively allows them to jump the waitlist.  This isn’t fair to students on the waitlist, so if a student contacts you to request an override you should direct them to waitlist themselves for the course via Garnet Gateway.  Additionally, granting capacity overrides while waitlist notifications are being sent out means that a student might receive a notification that a seat is available, but isn’t ultimately able to add the course because the student with the override has already registered, filling the course.  We really urge faculty who choose to use a waitlist to let the waitlist do its job.

4.            What should I consider when thinking of waitlisting?

Waitlisting can be useful to instructors who expect their course to fill and want to allow students to add the course as seats open up on a first-come, first-served basis rather than open seats going to any student who sees a seat open up in a section while they happen to be looking at the schedule.

Waitlisting cannot be combined with the Banner Reserved Seats functionality.

A bit of advice. If you don’t have concerns about who gets seats that may open up in your course, there is no need to have a waitlist.  There are details to be aware of when choosing to use a waitlist, including those laid out here, the possibility of giving students a false sense of hope that they’ll gain entry to the course, and the inability to control the priority of the students on the waitlist that we’d be happy to talk through with you if you aren’t completely sure you want to use a waitlist.