Students reflect on the end of add/drop period
As add/drop period comes to a close, students reflect on their experiences.
Zoe Berg, Photo Editor
Wednesday marked the end of the newly-implemented add/drop period of course registration, a process that has drawn mixed reactions from students.
Add/drop period was instituted as part of a new course registration system, announced in a letter sent by Yale College Dean Marvin Chun to undergraduate students in March 2021. In this letter, Chun announced the elimination of the traditional shopping period in favor of an early registration system that aimed to provide “more certainty” about students’ spots in limited enrollment classes. As part of this early registration system, returning students were asked to apply to certain limited-enrollment courses by early April.
Several students pointed to the multiple deadlines during course registration, as well as the changes to these deadlines, as a source of confusion during the add/drop period.
“It was dumb that we had to register for classes in April only to have to come back and figure out our schedules,” Bianca Ibuado ’23 said. “I’m not in two of the classes I thought I had registered [for].”
Chun wrote in the spring that “the early registration process will provide you with more certainty about your spots in classes with limited enrollment.”
While returning students were asked to create a preliminary schedule in spring, their schedules were to be finalized during the add/drop period. According to the Registrar’s Office, the add/drop period is intended to serve as a period for “refinement of the course schedule.” Add/drop period ended at 5 p.m. on Sept. 15, at which point course registration on Yale Course Selection closed.
Ibuado noted that having to apply for certain courses in the spring felt unnecessary, given that students still had to continue deciding which classes to enroll in during the add/drop period. She noted that an advantage of the traditional shopping period was that students could decide to try out different classes with fewer restrictions and drop ones they were not satisfied with.
Kinsale Hueston ’23 echoed Ibuado’s feelings, stating that she found early registration to be “very inconvenient given the circumstances,” although she added that some professors did acknowledge how difficult early registration was.
Some students who returned from leaves of absence, including Ibuado and Hueston, did not feel that information about the new course registration system was adequately communicated, creating an even more chaotic add/drop period.
Ibuado, who took a gap year during the 2020–2021 year, expressed that she did not feel sufficiently informed about changes to course registration during her time away from Yale.
In an email to the News, Chun said that messages about course registration sent by Yale College “went to all undergraduates, whether or not they were on leave, and they were posted on Yale College’s website.” Chun also directed the News to an April 1 email to undergraduate students, in which Yale first informed students of the changes to the registration system.
Hueston pointed to logistical issues arising from a return to in-person learning as a cause for frustration and expressed that students should have been given more time to decide classes.
“I think that with everything happening on campus so quickly, shopping period should have been adapted,” Hueston said. “We need to account for how dynamics have been altered by Zoom and switching over to in-person [instruction].”
Some students also said that the start of classes took place too close to move-in. While first years were permitted to move in between Aug. 23 and Aug. 27, returning sophomores, juniors and seniors were allowed to move in between Aug. 30 and Aug. 31. Classes for the fall 2020 semester began on Sept.1, just one day after move-in for some students.
Hueston felt that “there wasn’t enough time to get settled in and get used to the rhythm of things.”
However, not all students interviewed thought all aspects of the early registration process were entirely negative.
“There are definitely parts of early registration that I like, such as being forced to look at classes early … but shopping period has always been helpful,” said Claire Recamier ’23.
Hueston added that while she could “appreciate some things” about early registration — for example, it can help students create a clear schedule before they arrive on campus — the manner in which the new add/drop period was “executed was not conducive to that coherence.”
Students will incur a $20 administrative fee if they change their schedule after Sept. 15.