Principles Related to the Registration Process
1. Registration System
One registration system registers all students at all locations for credit courses offered through the resident instruction, continuing education, and World Campus delivery systems. Non-credit courses follow different registration procedures.
The campus Registrar is responsible for providing semester-by-semester registration instructions to students, advisers, faculty, and staff. Registration instructions are published on the web.
The registration process is continuous in nature. Each student is assigned a "first date to register. " Starting with this first date, the student may initially register and subsequently adjust the registration as appropriate and necessary. The fundamental goal of this process is to finalize course registrations before the first day of the semester.
Students may register for courses using the following options:
2. Incomplete and Complete Registrations
- Using the eLion system
- In-person registration at the campus Registrar's office, academic department offices, advising center, or continuing education office.
Students begin the registration process by meeting with their academic adviser and scheduling courses. Registration is completed when the student has paid the appropriate tuition and fees.
Students who have registered for courses receive a statement of tuition and fees from the Bursar's office. This statement includes the amount due as well as possible credits resulting from applicable scholarships, loans, grants, and other forms of financial assistance. In some cases, because of possible financial credits, a student may not be required to make payment to the University. In other cases, a student may be due a refund from the University. In all cases, regardless of amount due, student action is required to complete the registration process.
Failure to complete the registration process by payment of tuition and fees may result in any or all of the following actions:
- The University will not provide grades for courses attended.
- Once classes begin, students cannot add, late add, or late drop courses for the current semester if their tuition and fees have not been paid.
- Students are ineligible to register for future semesters.
- Students receiving student loans may enter repayment status with their lenders.
- Students receiving student aid may have some of their aid sources cancelled.
- Students receiving Federal Work-Study awards cannot be hired.
- International students may be out of compliance with SEVIS.
Campuses may choose to contact students who have failed to complete the registration process. If a student is earnestly seeking to finalize payment, the student may be allowed to remain in an incomplete registration status. The campus has the authority to cancel the incomplete registration of any student.
3. Credit Limitations
Students are strongly encouraged to consult with their academic adviser before registering for a credit overload. Students are not permitted to register for more than 19 credits prior to the first day of the semester. After consultation with their academic adviser, students may register for more than 19 credits during the first ten calendar days of the semester.
4. Registration Calendar
The campus Registrar is responsible for developing a registration calendar for each semester. Consultation should occur among those campus Registrars at campuses where students typically enroll at multiple locations.
The registration calendar is prioritized according to the following scheme:
The process for determining priority registration needs for categories of students is as follows:
1) Requests for priority registration shall be endorsed by a university dean or delegate.
2) Requests for priority registration shall be in writing and submitted to the University Registrar.
3) The request shall specify:a. the group of students for whom priority registration is requested,4) The University Registrar will bring new requests to the Admissions, Records, Scheduling and Student Aid (ARSSA) Committee of the Faculty Senate for review.
b. the rationale for priority registration status and how the request meets the criteria guidelines (see below),
c. the number of students in the group,
d. the requested time frame for implementation.
5) The requestor, or designee, will come to present their request to ARSSA at a regularly scheduled committee meeting.
6) ARSSA will deliberate in closed session, make a determination, and notify the requestor of the decision.
7) Guiding principles used in considering requests:a. Compelling Scheduling Need - some factor of the group restricts the times that the group may take classes.8) The ARSSA Committee shall report annually to the Faculty Senate on the status of Priority Registration.
b. Overall benefits outweigh detriment to the university community at large.
All student cohorts granted priority registration must re-apply for the privilege every five years. A written proposal should be submitted to ARSSA by the dean justifying the need for the practice to continue. If approved, priority registration for the requested cohort will be extended for an additional five years.
5. Late Registration
Late registration is defined as registering for the first time on or after the first day of the semester. A late registration fee, however, is only assessed when late registration occurs after the end of the regular drop/add period.
6. Registration Adjustments--Before the First Day of the Semester
After the initial registration, students may adjust their course registration as appropriate and necessary using any of the methods available for registration.
7. Registration Adjustments--First Ten Days of the Semester
The first ten calendar days of the fall and spring semesters are defined as the regular drop/add period. During this period, students who have completed their registration by paying all applicable tuition and fees may add and drop courses. No fees are assessed and no limits are imposed.
Students with an incomplete registration may drop but are not permitted to add courses. The student may make these changes using any of the methods available for registration.The time period for the regular drop/add period is pro-rated for courses offered for other than a fifteen-week semester calendar, including summer session.
8. Registration Adjustments--After the Tenth Day of the Semester
Adding a course after the tenth day of the semester is a Late Add and requires approval of the course instructor. Students requesting a Late Add should be carefully advised and cautioned regarding missed work. Late Adds must be processed in person at the campus Registrar's office, academic department offices, advising centers, or continuing education office. A processing fee is charged for a Late Add. The last day to late add a course is the "class end date," as it appears in the Schedule of Courses for the semester in which the course was offered and taken. Any late add after that date must be handled via a petition to the University Faculty Senate.
Dropping a course after the tenth day of the semester and through the end of the twelfth week of the semester is a Late Drop. For courses offered for less than a full semester, the late drop period ends after 80% of the course has been completed. Students requesting a Late Drop should be carefully advised and cautioned regarding the potential impact of delaying normal progress towards graduation, possible loss of some forms of student aid, and potential ineligibility of coverage on parental insurance policies. Late Drops must be processed in person at the campus Registrar's office, academic department offices, advising centers, or continuing education office, or using the eLion system. A processing fee is charged for a Late Drop.
Students who have not completed the registration process by payment of tuition and fees are not permitted to Late Add nor Late Drop courses.
The time periods for Late Add and Late Drop are pro rated for courses offered for other than a fifteen-week semester calendar, including summer session.
All Late Drops are subject to the credit limitations established by University Faculty Senate policy 34-89. If a provisional or nondegree student becomes a degree candidate, the Late Drop credits used while in provisional or nondegree status are carried forward to the degree program status. If a baccalaureate or associate degree candidate becomes a nondegree student, the Late Drop credits used while in degree candidacy count in the total Late Drop credits available to the nondegree student.
9. Limitation of Retroactive Registration
After the last class day of the semester, registration for that semester is closed. After this date, requests to complete a previously initiated registration are subject to administrative review and may be denied. Retroactive registration is only available for courses for which the student was scheduled during the semester. In other words, this process cannot be used to add courses to the student's schedule after the semester ends.
Requests for retroactive registration must be initiated by the end of the 9th month following the end of the semester for which retroactive registration is being requested.
If the retroactive registration request is approved:
Semester tuition and fees will be charged at the current rates effective with the date on which the retroactive registration request was initiated.
• Full payment of tuition and fees is required before the retroactive registration is recorded. Full payment must be made within one month of approval.
All previously scheduled courses will be recorded. Courses may not be added or dropped from the student's schedule.
The Registrar's office will contact the course instructor(s) to seek final grades. In the event that a grade for a course cannot be obtained from the instructor, the instructor's department head will provide the grade.
If a department head is unable to assign a course grade in the absence of an instructor, the department head should consult with the appropriate associate dean to determine the appropriate grade to be assigned.
10. Administrative Course Cancellation
The Administrative Course Cancellation procedure is available to correct administrative errors. It is not to be used as an alternative to normal registration procedures.
If a student identifies a course for which registration was not intended, the student must contact the department offering the course. The department staff will initiate an Administrative Course Cancellation form and ask the student to sign the request. The department staff forward the form to the course instructor. If the instructor has no evidence that the student participated in the course and makes this declaration of non-participation by signing the form, the form is returned to the department office, for forwarding to the campus Registrar's office. The campus Registrar will remove the course from the student's academic record. This procedure is available one semester beyond the semester in which the error occurred. After this time, the Faculty Senate must act on the course cancellation request.
11. Multiple Campus Registration
Each campus creates its course schedule with the goal of serving students enrolled at that campus. Likewise, each student is assigned a home campus at which the student must be registered.
Students first register for courses offered by their home campus. Permission to register for course(s) at any other campus is required from the non-home campus. Campuses first ensure that all of their students have an opportunity to register before allowing students from other campuses to enroll in their courses. For this reason, many campuses limit registration for students from other campuses to several days prior to the course begin date.
To request permission to schedule a course(s) at a non-UP campus, students contact the registrar's office of that campus. Permission is granted based on availability of seats in the course and the student's demonstrated need for the course. For example, every effort is made to accommodate students for whom the course is a graduation requirement in the student's final semester prior to graduation.
If a non-University Park student wants to take a course(s) at University Park, the student contacts the department offering the University Park course for permission. Once permission has been granted, the department forwards the request to the Registrar for the course(s) to be added to the student's schedule.
If multi-campus registration results in the majority of a student's credits being scheduled at a campus other than the home campus, the student must request a temporary change of campus, as outlined in AAPP D-5, Early and Temporary Change of Campus. When students change their schedules and the result is the majority of a student's credits being scheduled at a campus other than the home campus, the temporary change of campus will be done administratively.
12. Section Changes
A section change is an administrative change to a student's registration that results in moving a student from one section of a course to another. Section changes may not be initiated directly by the student using eLion. All section changes must be processed by a Penn State staff member using ISIS screens ARURD or ARURG.
Section changes may be processed through the last day of classes. When processing a section change, there is no impact on late drop credits nor are late drop/add fees applicable.