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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Students

FAQs capture the essential information about the new wait list process for students, faculty and staff. Use this info to learn all of the details and to troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

How Wait Lists Work
Getting On and Off a Wait List
Determining Which Courses Use Wait Lists
Wait Lists and Multi-Part Courses
Wait List Capacities, Deadlines & Parameters

How Wait Lists Work

What is the advantage of enrolling to a wait list?
The wait list enables students to be auto-enrolled in closed classes as seats become available, without having to re-visit PAWS or obtain an instructor signature.

Will wait listed classes appear on the Class Schedule list and grid view?
Yes, wait listed classes will appear on both the Class Schedule list and grid view with a status of "Waiting".

How will a student be moved off the wait list?
Students can come off the wait list in four different ways:
  1. An automatic waitlist process will run five times a week (Monday - Friday) to move the student off the wait list and into the class if spaces are available.
  2. The school/college manually moves the student off the waitlist and into the class
  3. The student drops the waitlisted class from his/her schedule
  4. The student successfully adds an open section of the same class
How can a student be enrolled and waitlisted in different sections of the same single-part (e.g., lecture-only) class?
To be enrolled and waitlisted in the different sections of the same class, students should follow these steps:
  1. Enroll in an open section of the class
  2. Add the waitlisted section of the class, using the "Drop if Enroll" checkbox on the Enrollment Preferences page (prior to adding the waitlisted section to the Shopping Cart) with the enrolled section selected as the drop class
If the waitlisted section is added first, the student will be unable to use the "Drop if Enroll" for the enrolled section, and PAWS will drop the student from the waitlisted section at the time of enrollment in the open section.

Please see "Wait Lists and Multi-Part Courses" section below for information on enrolling and waitlisting in different sections of the same multi-part class.

If an enrolled student drops a class and a seat opens up, can a student not on the wait list take that spot?
No. Once a waiting list has been established for a class, only students on the wait list will be enrolled via the automatic wait list process. Students enrolled from a wait list into a course will be notified of the add via email but should also check their PAWS class schedules regularly to monitor their wait list progress.

Exceptions: A department or instructor can enroll a student not on the wait list at any time by providing a permission number or submitting a signed add form to Enrollment Services or. In addition, if all the students on the wait list aren't eligible to enroll in the class (due to a time conflict or course repeat problem) and seats become available, the class will show as open for students to enroll via self-service and the wait list will be bypassed.

Why do I have to put myself on a wait list if it looks like there are open spots in the class?
Once a class has been closed and a wait list exists, the only way to get into the class is to put yourself on a wait list and then be added via the automated wait list process (run five times a week Monday - Friday).

In the case of multi-section courses, if even one lab or discussion section is full and has a wait list, students attempting to enroll in open lecture/lab/discussion sections must first put themselves on the wait list. As soon as the next automated wait list process runs (5 times a week Monday - Friday), students will be enrolled into all required class sections with open seats.

Can students see their position on the wait list?
Yes, when students register for the wait list, they receive a message confirming their enrollment on the wait list and of their position number. It is also displayed on the list view of the student class schedule. This number will be updated as the students position number on the list changes.

Can a student indicate that they want to be dropped from a specific course (i.e., Sport & Rec. 112) if a specific wait listed course (i.e., Music 170) opens up?
Yes, when a student attempts to enroll in a class with a wait list:
  1. S/he turns on the checkbox that says, "Add me to the wait list if the class is full."
  2. Then s/he can select the course to be dropped by selecting the appropriate course from the "Drop This Class if Enrolled" drop down.
If the student is moved off of the wait list and into the class, the other class will be dropped automatically.

NOTE: Students must be enrolled in the course they wish to drop first, and then they can indicate that they wish to drop that course if enrolled from the wait list of the other course.

Can students be on the wait list for more than one section of the same class?
Under certain circumstances a student can be waitlisted for more than one section of the same class:
  • If the class has a single component only, such as lecture.
  • If the maximum number of wait list units has not been reached.
    Career Fall Spring Summer UWinteriM
    UGRD 18 18 12 3
    GRAD 15 15 15 3
  • If the student is wait listed for another section of a multiple component class (such as lecture and discussion or lecture and lab). Example, if there is one lecture and discussion and another lecture and discussion that go together.

If a student is on the wait list for more than one section, how will the wait list process prioritize class adds?
If the student is on the wait list for more than one section of the same class, PAWS will attempt to enroll him/her into the class section that is offered earlier in the week first (e.g. Mon. a.m. class first, then Mon. p.m., Tues. a.m., and so on and so forth).

Can a student wait list for a class that conflicts in meeting time with an enrolled class?
Yes, students are allowed to wait list for classes that may conflict with enrolled classes. However, the student would have to resolve the time issue before s/he would be eligible to be moved off the wait list. Students with time conflicts preventing them from being enrolled via the automated wait list process will receive an email informing them of this problem every time the wait list process runs (Monday - Friday).

Do students remain on the wait list after they have enrolled in the class?
No, the student's name is removed from the wait list once s/he is enrolled in the class.

Can students see who else is on the wait list for a class?
No, a student can only confirm that s/he is on the wait list for a class.

Can students drop themselves from a wait list?
Yes students can drop from a wait list by using the drop option in self-service on the Student Center.

Where can I get help with wait lists?
For assistance with course wait listing please contact the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040.
Getting On and Off a Wait List

What prevents students from adding themselves to a wait list?
If there are spaces available in a class and a student has a wait list position high enough that s/he should be promoted from the waitlist, the department and/or school/college may be using criteria other than wait list position number to determine which students should be enrolled in the course. There are several other reasons a student would not be added to the course (and actions that can be taken to correct the problem):

Problem:
S/he is enrolled in another class with a day/time pattern that conflicts with the wait listed class.

Action:
  1. Drop from the wait list;
  2. Drop the class this is creating the time conflict; or,
  3. Drop and re-add to the wait list but specifying the conflicting class is to be dropped if you are enrolled from the wait list.
Problem:
S/he is enrolled in enough other credits that adding the wait listed course would put her/him over the maximum allowable credit load

Action:
  1. Dropping from the wait list;
  2. Dropping another class to sufficiently lower your credit total; or,
  3. Dropping and re-adding to the wait list but specifying a class to be dropped if you are enrolled from the wait list.
Problem:
S/he is attempting to enroll in a class that will exceed the maximum allowable repeat attempts for a given course

Action:
Please go to your PAWS Student Center and immediately drop yourself from the wait list for this class. In order to enroll in this course, you must do the following:
  1. Meet with your advisor to request permission to repeat the course;
  2. If permission is granted, the 'Permission to Repeat' transcript text must be entered on PAWS by your advisor;
  3. Obtain the instructor's permission to enroll in the course via a signed Add form;
  4. Bring the signed Add form to the Enrollment Services Information Center in Mellencamp 274.

What do you mean by requisites for the class?
A requisite is a condition or set of criteria that students must meet in order to enroll in a given class. Examples of requisites include requiring students to have a particular academic level, a particular major or minor plan, or a particular sub-plan; to have completed certain courses or a certain number of units (credits); or not have taken other courses that repeat partial content of a given course. Information regarding classes with requisites is displayed on the Enrollment Preferences page for the class and in the Schedule of Classes.

What if a student doesn't meet the requisite and has documentation they would like to be considered for an exception? If a student does not meet the class requisite and thinks s/he has a special circumstance (a generic transfer course or transfer work that isn't yet processed), the student should discuss the situation with the department or instructor. If approved, an administrative user must add the student to the wait list.

What might prevent a student from being enrolled from the wait list into a course?
A student would not be added to a course from a waitlist, regardless of position number, if:
  • S/he is enrolled in another class with a day/time pattern that conflicts with the wait listed class
  • S/he is enrolled in enough other credits that adding the wait listed course would put her/him over the maximum allowable credit load
  • S/he is attempting to enroll in a class that will exceed the maximum allowable repeat attempts for a given course
  • The department and/or school/college is using criteria other than wait list position number to determine which students should be enrolled in the course

Where can I get help with wait lists?
For assistance with course wait listing please contact the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040.
Determining Which Courses Use Wait Lists

Do all classes have a wait list?
No, not all classes will have a wait list. To see if a class has a wait list, select the Search for Classes button on the Student Center. When the Search page opens, put in the appropriate class information, turn off the "Closed Classes" checkbox (Note: If checkbox is left on you will not see wait listed classes). When the list of classes displays, select the class section link to see the details of that class. When the details page opens, scroll down to Class Availability. If wait list capacity is set to 0 this class does not have a wait list.

Also, if a wait list is available, an orange triangle icon will appear on the class search results. Not all classes or departments offer wait lists, so if a class is full and no waitlist is available re-visit PAWS regularly for possible openings.

What departments are not using auto enroll from wait list?
To see if a department is not using auto enroll from wait list, select the Search for Classes button on the Student Center. When the Search page opens, put in the appropriate class information, turn off the "Closed Classes" checkbox (Note: If checkbox is left on you will not see wait listed classes). When the list of classes displays, select the class section link to see the details of that class. When the details page opens, scroll down to Class Availability. If enroll capacity is set to 0 this class is not using the auto enroll from wait list feature.

Where can I get help with wait lists?
For assistance with course wait listing please contact the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040.
Wait Lists and Multi-Part Courses

Can a student be both enrolled and wait listed for different sections of the same class?
  • Only if the class has a single component such as a lecture and the student enrolls in the open section before adding the waitlisted section
  • Classes with multiple components that do not share any class numbers.
    Example:
    Will someone be able to register for one Chemistry lab and wait list another? Here are the options available for the student in this example:
    • All sections are open in Chemistry 102: Lecture 401 (class #54321) with associated Discussion 602 (class #54322) or 603 (class # 54323), Lab 802(class #54324) or 803 (class # 54325)
    • All sections have wait lists in Chemistry 102: Lecture 402 (class #55432) with associated Discussion 604(class #55433) or 605(class #55434), Lab 804(class #55435) or 805, (class #55436)
    A student could register for Chemistry 102 with Lecture 401, Discussion 602, and Lab 802. Student cannot also be wait listed for Discussion 603 or Lab 803 because they are associated with the same Lecture 401. However, student could be registered for Chemistry 102 with Lecture 401, Discussion 602, and Lab 802 and then wait list for Chemistry 102, Lecture 402 with Discussion 604, and Lab 804 because the two lecture sections have different class numbers and are associated with unique discussion and lab sections.

If the student registers for a multi-part class (i.e., Chemistry 101 with a lecture, lab, and discussion) and only one part (i.e., lab) is closed will the whole class be wait listed?
When enrolling in multi-part courses, PAWS forces the student to be enrolled in all required lecture/lab/discussion sections before the class is added to the student's schedule. In other words, enrollment in multi-part courses is all or nothing. If one of the required sections is closed then the student is wait listed for all components of the class, even though the PAWS screen may show other parts of the course as open. In other words, enrollment in multi-part courses is all or nothing. Once even one lecture, lab or discussion section of a multi-part class is full and a wait list exists, all students attempting to enroll in open lecture/lab/discussion sections must first put themselves on the wait list. As soon as the next automated wait list process runs (Monday - Friday), students will be enrolled into all required class sections with open seats.

Can a student indicate that they want to be dropped from a specific multi-part course (i.e., Chemistry 104 with Lecture 401, Lab 801) if a different lab section of that same course (i.e., Chemistry 104 with Lecture 401, Lab 803) opens up?
No, unfortunately the student will be able to put him/herself on the wait list for Lab 803, but s/he will never move from the wait list because s/he is already enrolled in the lecture. His/her schedule will show two labs; one with the status of enrolled and one with the status of waiting. A signed add/drop form must be submitted to Mellencamp 274 to make this swap in lab sections.

Where can I get help with wait lists?
For assistance with course wait listing please contact the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040.
Wait List Capacities, Deadlines and Parameters

What is the wait list capacity?
To see the wait list capacity for a class, select the Search for Classes button on the Student Center. When the Search page opens, put in the appropriate class information, turn off the "Closed Classes" checkbox (Note: If checkbox is left on you will not see wait listed classes). When the list of classes displays, select the class section link to see the details of that class. When the details page opens, scroll down to Class Availability. It will display the wait list capacity. If set to 0 this class does not have a wait list.

What happens if both the class and wait list are full?
If both the class and wait list are full, the class will appear as closed. (Note: Departments can query the Data Warehouse to see if a new section of a class needs to be added.)

What is the first day a student can wait list?
Students can wait list as soon as a class with a wait list has reached its enrollment capacity.

What is the last day a student can wait list?
For fall and spring semesters, students can add themselves to wait lists through the last Thursday prior to the start of a given term. In summer, students can add themselves to wait lists through the last week/work day prior to the first day of classes in a given session.

Is there a limit to the number of classes that can be wait listed?
The limit is set by using credits/units rather than classes.

Career Fall Spring Summer UWinteriM
UGRD 18 18 12 3
GRAD 15 15 15 15


Are the wait listed units counted into the student's total units for the term?
Enrolled units and wait listed units are counted separately. Wait listed courses are not counted towards full-time status or calculated in billing statements.

When are wait listed classes removed from the Class Schedule list and grid views?
Wait listed classes are removed from the Class Schedule list and grid views immediately upon a student dropping themselves from the waitlisted course. All classes that remain in waitlisted status on the Friday before the term begins will be deleted from the Class Schedule views.

Where can I get help with wait lists?
For assistance with course wait listing please contact the UWM Help Desk at 414-229-4040.
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