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Dear Class of 2018,

I thought you might like a bit more information about how summer pre-registration for incoming freshmen works at Vassar. The staff in the Registrar's Office pre-register the freshmen class by hand, by randomly going through pre-registration requests. The staff first tries to slot each student into a Freshman Writing Seminar, but every year some students are shut out because all three of their choices are filled up by the time their request is looked at. If you have not been placed into a Freshman Writing Seminar, you should be able to add one to your schedule during New Student Orientation, as there are still openings in many sections. If you don't take a Freshman Writing Seminar first semester, you are guaranteed a place in one second semester, and you get to register for the spring Freshman Writing Seminars in advance of the rest of the class.

After enrolling the Freshman Writing Seminars, the Registrar's staff then fills out the rest of your schedule, again by randomly going through pre-registration requests. Some of you will end up with a full roster of courses; some of you will have two or three credits. Don't panic if you find yourself underenrolled when your pre-major advisor gives you your pre-registration results on Wednesday, August 27. You will be able to add to your schedule after consulting with your pre-major advisor, and students with the fewest number of credits are permitted to register first on Friday, August 29.

During the two-week add period at the beginning of term, you may also find a seat in a course you were originally shut out of, since seats open up as students continue to rearrange their schedules. Once the semester starts, individual faculty control course lists: I always recommend that students contact faculty members directly (or show up to the class) to see if there's space available.

Future rounds of pre-registration are handled differently. You will pre-register for spring 2015 classes in November through Ask Banner. You will need to consult with your pre-major advisor about your spring course selections, and after that consultation, your pre-major advisor will give you a pin number that will allow you to access Ask Banner's online pre-registration system. For spring pre-registration and all subsequent pre-registrations, you will be assigned a draw number. The lower your draw number, the earlier your requests are processed. Draw numbers alternate so that by the time you graduate, you will have had both high and low draw numbers. This alternation ensures equity across the system, and with planning and persistence, you should have no trouble building a program that is rich, satisfying and coherent.

Susan Zlotnick
Dean of Freshmen