Behind the scenes of registration at CSU

Sady Swanson

Students can seek help with registration questions and concerns in the Registrar's Office, located in Centennial Hall. (Photo credit: Sady Swanson)
Students can seek help with registration questions and concerns in the Registrar’s Office, located in Centennial Hall. (Photo credit: Sady Swanson)

When registering for classes, students can run into problems. At Colorado State University, some students are given the opportunity to register early while other students must wait weeks until their assigned registration time.

According to the Registrar’s Office website, registration each semester first opens to seniors, or students with 90 or more credits, then juniors a few days later, then sophomores a week later and freshmen a week after that.

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Donna Tobiassen Baitinger, associate registrar, said registration times are assigned every 20 minutes and students are assigned to a slot based on the amount of credits they have. A computer determines the time assignments.

“One of the things that we need to do is stagger students when they register, when they access the registration system,” Baitinger said. “We need to stagger the system to make sure that it is accessible to everyone.”

Students studying veterinary medicine register early because those students need certain classes, according to Baitinger. Those students tend to log on once and register quickly.

Resources for Disabled Students also identifies students that may need to register early and give them that opportunity.

Second semester student veterans register early because they have to meet certain requirements set through the Veterans Administration. After the second semester, those students register with their class level.

Student athletes are also granted early registration, according to Director of Student Athlete Support Services Sara Ray.

“We can be described as academic coaches,” Ray said. “We work very closely with our athletic coaches to develop academic success plans for all of our student athletes.”

Senior Associate Athletics Director Christine Susemihl said that early registration for student athletes is a common policy in universities across the country because of requirements from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

“(The NCAA has) always had strict initial eligibility requirements, but they had minimal academic requirements once students got here,” Susemihl said.

When the NCAA reformed their policies about 10 years ago, they required that student athletes must make progress towards a degree.

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“You have to be in a declared major by the start of your sophomore year,” Susemihl said. “And then you’re monitored semester by semester for progress in that degree.”

Once the policy was created, Susemihl said the University recognized the importance of student athletes getting the classes they needed in their major.

“It is pretty difficult, especially when you consider that they travel a lot and the practice commitment, even getting a schedule around that is difficult,” Susemihl said. “But then when you add the additional component that it has to be degree applicable, that became difficult. You could no longer go out and just get 12 hours.”

Baitinger said the most common thing she sees that prevents student registration is holds on the student account.

Financial holds are common and include not paying tuition, not paying parking tickets or not returning library books. Other common holds come from not completing Registration Ready in Ramweb or not providing immunization records to the school.

“Some departments choose to apply advising holds,” Baitinger said. “A lot of times, that’s to make sure that students are getting the best information possible … to take the appropriate classes in the appropriate order and graduate in a timely manner.”

Freshman biomedical science major Parker Lewis said he had trouble registering because of unknown holds on his account.

“The description of why there was a hold just said ‘registration,’ and said that it prevented ‘registering,’” Lewis said.

Lewis said when he called to ask how to lift the hold the person on the other line did not know the answer. Once a supervisor got on the line, Lewis was told he clicked a button that said he was not a U.S. citizen and he did not need to sign up for the selective service.

Baitinger said these holds help to provide students the best opportunity to succeed.

Baitinger recommended watching for holds when completing Registration Ready. Students can also identify specific holds on their accounts by clicking on the “Holds” button on Ramweb.

Collegian Reported Sady Swanson can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter at @sadyswan.