9.2 Waitlist Processing FAQ

Purpose:  This QRG answers the frequently asked questions for waitlist processing.

Audience:  College Records Administrators.

To prioritize customer service, we recommend adding Waitlist FAQs to your college's website. An FAQ page lists all the basic waitlist answers in one place, helping students through the enrollment process. Keep in mind that this QRG is directed towards College staff.

1. Which classes currently have a waitlist?

Wait List Capacity is determined by each College for each of their Class Sections. Some classes may have Wait List Capacities, and some may not. If a college chooses to define a Wait List Capacity, then Auto Enroll from Wait List must be enabled for those class sections. The Maximum Wait List Units are based on a college's local business practice. The Maximum Wait List Units are defined in the Academic Program Table for each Institution.

2. How does the waitlist process work?

When seats become available in a closed class section, the class remains closed until the waitlist process runs, automatically enrolling students from the waitlist. The class remains closed until the waitlist empties or the enrollment capacity has been met, whichever comes first.

If a student does not meet the criteria to enroll in the class (see #12), the process will select the next student on the waitlist according to their position number.

Students that were on the waitlist and were not enrolled will maintain their position number. Students will have an opportunity to be auto-enrolled the next time a seat is made available if they resolve the issue that prevented them from being auto-enrolled previously.

Suppose the waitlist process runs and no students are enrolled. In that case, the class will open and other students will be given the opportunity to enroll (even if there are still students on the waitlist that did not meet the criteria to be auto-enrolled).

If there are no students on the waitlist, the class will open as usual when seats are made available.

3. How often does the waitlist process run?

College's will determine how often the waitlist process will run.

4. How many waitlist seats are available for each class?

A college's local business practice determines the total number of available seats on a waitlist.

5. What is the first and last day to get on a waitlist for a class?

Students are not added to a waitlist until their enrollment appointment or open enrollment has begun. A college's local business practice will determine the last day a student can be added to the waitlist.  

Waitlists are only available after the class has reached enrollment capacity. The waitlist may be activated very early in the registration period for a popular course. When the Auto Enroll flag is on, the class is closed, but students may see free seats. This can cause inquiries as to why they can’t enroll.

6. Will students be notified if they have been enrolled in a waitlisted class?

PeopleSoft doesn’t supply an automated means of sending a communication to students when they are added to waitlists. Colleges can create communication business processes.

7. How do you know if a class has a waitlist?

The waitlist option is only available once all seats in a class have been filled and the section closes. When a Class Search is performed to include closed or waitlist classes, users will notice a yellow triangle beside classes with available waitlist seats. Once the waitlist capacity has been reached, the waitlist feature is unavailable, meaning all waitlist seats are taken, and the class is closed, indicated by a blue box.

When a student searches for a class through their Manage Classes tile, the Class Selection section will list the class's Status--Open, Waitlist, or Closed. The Class Selection results also list the number of available Opens Seats (open class status) and Waitlist Available Places (waitlist class status).

8. Can students waitlist for more than one section of the same class?

Students can waitlist for multiple sections of the same class, with the following stipulations:

  • Students cannot choose their preference for which section they will be auto-enrolled first. The waitlist process will enroll the student in the section that has the first available seat.
  • Once enrolled in one of those class sections, students will be automatically dropped for the other waitlisted sections for that course.
  • If students are already enrolled in another section of a class they want to waitlist; the SWAP feature should be used to enroll and waitlist for the closed section (see #9).
  • If you want students to be able to waitlist for one section of a class while they are enrolled in another section, you’ll need to make sure that your class association numbers are different between sections.
9. When should the "SWAP" enrollment feature be used?

When there is a course for which a student wants to waitlist that presents a time conflict, credit overload, or multiple enrollments for the same course situation, students should waitlist for the course while also selecting the "Swap" option in ctcLink when prompted. A currently enrolled class will be dropped if a student is waitlisted for a class and later enrolled via the waitlist process.

If students do not select the "SWAP" option while first waitlisting and later want to set up the swap, they will need to drop the waitlisted course, forfeiting their waitlist spot, and set it up again.

When a student is already enrolled in an enrollment section, a user swaps Quick Enroll to 'change' their non-enrollment section. Suppose the non-enrollment section they are swapping into is full. Students are dropped from their already-enrolled lecture section and placed onto the waitlist for both the enrollment/non-enrollment section (since the enrollments need to happen simultaneously and seats were not available in both). Because they were already enrolled, it places them on the waitlist at the very top.

10. Can students remove themselves from a waitlist?

Students can remove themselves from a waitlist by dropping themselves from the waitlisted section in self-service enrollment within the add/drop period. Students could be on a waitlist without meeting pre-reqs if they dropped the pre-req after waitlisting. Students are not automatically removed from the waitlist if requisites are not met. They are processed nightly until either the waitlist is purged or the students remove themselves from the list.

11. What will prevent students from getting on a waitlist?
  • Instructor or Department Consent is required.
  • Negative service indicator (hold) exists on the student’s record.
  • Enrollment appointment has not arrived.
  • Last day to waitlist for classes has passed.
  • Maximum number of waitlisted units has been reached (8 units).
  • Already enrolled in that class section.
  • Already on the waitlist for that class section.
  • Waitlist capacity has been met.
  • OEE classes are not compatible with waitlists.
12. What will prevent students from being enrolled in a class while on the waitlist?

Students will not be enrolled from the waitlist if any of the following occur:

  • Adding the waitlisted class will exceed the maximum number of units for which students can be enrolled.
  • The waitlisted class presents a time scheduling conflict with another class in which they are already enrolled.
  • Student is still enrolled in another section of that class.
  • Students should initially SWAP the section they are currently enrolled in with the section they would like to waitlist, if the preference is to be enrolled in the waitlisted section.
  • If students ADD themselves to the waitlist for a different section of the same class (instead of using the SWAP feature), they must DROP the section in which they are enrolled before they will be moved from the waitlist.
  • The student has not met class prerequisites.
  • The student is enrolled in a combined class section.
  • If students are not enrolled from the waitlist due to any of these issues, they will be passed over and the next eligible student on the waitlist will be auto-enrolled.
13. How can you tell whether there are students on a waitlist for a class?

The Class Roster page will list all of the students that are waiting to be enrolled in a class.

To see whether an individual student is on a waitlist, any of the following pages can be used:

  • Enrollment Summary
  • Study List, Student
  • Services Center
  • Advisee Class Schedule
  • Faculty can view students on the wait list on the Class Roster. Select 'Waiting' from the drop-down menu.

Students are not able to see who is on a waitlist for a class; however, students are able to view waitlisted classes on their class schedule.

14. Can a student's waitlist position number be viewed?

To see a student's waitlist position number, any of the following pages can be used:

  • Manage Classes tile, Student
  • Study List, Student
  • Student Services Center
  • Advisee Class Schedule

Also, if a student is enrolled via Quick Enroll, the student’s waitlist position number will be listed in the enrollment message that is displayed after the successful enrollment in the waitlisted class. Students are also given their waitlist position number when they are placed on the waitlist via self-service.

15. Can students get on a waitlist for a class that has a reserve capacity?

If classes have a reserve capacity and the only open seats are restricted, students who do not meet the reserve capacity can get on a waitlist for the class. Students will be auto-enrolled into the class if an un-restricted seat becomes available. If the reserve cap setup changes after the student is on the waitlist, they will still get into the class.

16. Can students get on a waitlist if there is a time conflict with a class section in which they are already enrolled?

The self-service enrollment process does not check for a time conflict when a student is placed on a waitlist. At the time the auto-enrollment process runs, students will not be enrolled in the class if the time conflict still exists. Students will need to drop the class that prevents the time conflict if they want to be moved from the waitlist.

Ideally, students should use the SWAP feature when getting on a waitlist for a section that presents a time conflict with an already enrolled class. That way, if a seat opens in the close section the student will be automatically dropped from the previously enrolled section.

17. How do permission numbers affect waitlisting?

Students will need to meet the same criteria for getting on a waitlist as they do for being enrolled into a class; with the exception of time conflicts. However, the only class permission that would impact a student’s ability to get on a waitlist would be a requisite override. The department consent permission will not be required, since those classes will not have a waitlist.

The closed class permission number should never be used as a way to get a student onto a waitlist for a class. If a closed class permission number is used to register for a class, the student will be enrolled automatically. If the waitlist capacity for a class has been met, students cannot get on the waitlist until a space is made available.

18. Do students have to pay tuition for waitlisted classes?

Students do not have to pay to get on a waitlist for a class. If a student is waitlisted and dropped for non-payment, they will be dropped from all classes, including the waitlist.

19. How do linked class sections affect waitlisting?

For linked sections, students will need to be manually enrolled from the waitlist into these class sections. Staff can use Enrollment Request or Quick Enroll, checking the Requisites Override checkbox. Students may be given Class Permissions to enroll using Self Service. Class Permissions should be generated with the Requisites checkbox checked for this purpose.

20. Can a student with a service indicator be added to a wait list?

Service indicators are checked when adding to the Wait List but not again when adding to the class. This means a student can be added to a class while having a hold on the account.

21. Can students in OEE classes auto-enroll from the waitlist?

No. For OEE classes, the "auto-enroll from waitlist" option gets disabled. As a result, if the class has a waitlist capacity, the students remain on the waitlist until it is purged.


Natalie Richie

Can a student be enrolled in an ENGL& 101 section, and waitlist themselves in another section - potentially skewing our waitlist numbers? Thanks in advance for your help.

Tanjagay Martin

Hi Natalie! Thank you for your comment. You are correct; a student can be enrolled and waitlisted for the same subject. In the QRG 9.2 Swap CLasses (Fluid) http://ctclinkreferencecenter.ctclink.us/m/79750/l/1102430-9-2-swap-classes-fluid, step 11 demonstrates how a student can confirm a class swap. Have a great day, Natalie! -Tanjagay Martin | ctcLink CS Core Trainer

Terri Kaufman

If a student is waitlisted for a class, and then enrolls in a class that will create a small time conflict with the waitlisted class, will the waitlist still enroll the student when a seat becomes available? Or, will it not process the enrollment due to the time conflict?

Thank you!

Tanjagay Martin

Hi Terri, Your question is greatly appreciated; thank you. Time conflicts will not prevent a student from getting "on" a waitlist but will prevent a student from enrolling "from" the waitlist.

Students who want to waitlist a course that presents a time conflict or multiple enrollments in the same course should waitlist for the course while selecting the "Drop if Enroll" option when prompted in their student self-service. This allows a currently enrolled course to be dropped if a student is waitlisted for a class and later enrolled via the waitlist process.

If a student does not select the "Drop if Enroll" option while waitlisting and later wants to set up the swap, they will need to drop the waitlisted course, forfeiting a waitlist spot. Thank you for your time, Terri! ~Tanjagay Martin | CS Core Trainer.

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