While some students prepared to explore their classing options for the next semester, a significant proportion of Miami University students set their alarms nearly a week in advance to schedule earlier than others.
Students call it “early registration,” and some without the privilege say it has caused them trouble getting into early classes.
Brett Schubert, a senior kinesiology major, has been registering early due to his peanut allergy for nearly his entire time at Miami. He said he never thought that having a peanut allergy would be beneficial in college. However, because it is registered through Student Disability Services on campus, Schubert has had registration priority for nearly his entire college career.
Adam Lopata is a soon-to-be second semester senior software engineering major who does not register early. He says the number of students benefiting from the head start has caused him trouble for years when scheduling.
“I have always had to schedule a 6:00 p.m. class every semester since, like, sophomore year, because all the slots are filled by the time I go to schedule,” Lopata said.
Scheduling dates and times are typically awarded in order based on the number of credit hours already completed by the student. Students are told that they can begin registration at a particular time, often early in the morning starting at 7 a.m. and on.
Anthony Ferritto, a second semester senior accountancy major, said having an early time slot does not guarantee anything.
“I have always scheduled at the 7:10 a.m. slot and every semester I have had at least one class I cannot get into because it’s already full by the time I go to join and it has never made sense to me,” Ferritto said. “Then it turns into a force-add situation, which can be a nightmare to deal with.”
The Miller Center of Student Disability Services (SDS) on Miami’s campus said that students who receive full accommodations and have a disability that is registered through the university are granted the early registration privileges. Students receive early registration privileges for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), psychological disabilities, learning disabilities and physical disabilities.
SDS at Miami has seen a rise in the number of students receiving these services over the last several years.
“Approximately eight to 10 percent of the student body receives student disability services each academic year,” the associate director of SDS, Stephanie Dawson, said. “Over the last decade we have seen our numbers increase from five to seven percent of the student body, between 2010 and 2015, to eight to 10 percent of the student body, from 2016 to the present.”
Dawson said the increase in students receiving services is because of improvements in access to services societally and at the university more specifically, and the decreases in stigma surrounding disabilities.
In addition to those students who receive student disability services on campus, a few other groups receive priority registration privileges, including student athletes, ROTC members and honors students.
The Registrar’s office is in charge of scheduling and coordinating the scheduling times of each student. In the fall of 2016, 2,942 students, or about 17 percent of the student body, received early registration privileges; in fall 2017, 4,065 students, or about 24 percent of the student body, received early registration; and in fall 2018, 3,473 students, or about 20 percent of the student body, received early registration.
During the fall registration of 2016, 17.3 percent of undergraduate students were scheduling ahead of others. A year later, during the fall 2017 registration, that number increased by a third of what it already was – to 23.7 percent of undergraduates receiving early registration privileges, nearly a quarter of all undergraduates.