In Baton Rouge’s world of academia in higher education, it is time for registration. Technology has made the registration process even simpler for students and schools, alike. Web registration systems and databases, such as the Banner Self-Service System, have made school registration a much simpler process.
At many of our fine schools such as Louisiana State University, registration can be a breeze with little complication or hassle. However, at other places, you must make sure to prepare ahead of time. Please make sure that you take this time to start the registration process early. The following is a checklist of must-do’s to make registration as simple as possible:
- If you’re a returning student, no matter the school, always pre-register
- Be certain to clear all old debts to the institution before registration begins
- Make sure that you have a billing statement
- Pay your fees before you start class
- Before registering for a class, research all instructors that teach the course before you add the course to your schedule
- Call or visit your department to make sure that none of your classes have been cancelled
- Call or visit your to make sure that your chosen instructor is teaching the class
- Always get screenshots of every transaction made online
- Always have your cellphone or tablet ready when you need to care of things in person
- Accept responsibility for your own actions or lack thereof
Pre-register and choose your instructors carefully
You should always pre-register whenever possible, especially if you are a returning student. Nothing is more time consuming than spending days (due to crowds of first-time students, mostly) doing something that would have only taken a few minutes to do if you had gone before regular registration time.
Before you register for any class, make certain that you choose a good instructor whose teaching style fits well with your learning style. Make certain that all concepts taught are correctly and thoroughly explained in class. Just ask regular, students that aren’t cheaters, brown-nosers, or otherwise involved with the instructor about their experience in that class. Otherwise, you’ll find that you’re teaching yourself everything that you need to know as well as clarifying incorrect interpretations by your instructor. If you need to do all of that, you don’t really need that instructor – they’re just a middle man collecting a pay check.
Further, you shouldn’t have to worship or brown-nose to any instructor to get them to actually teach you. You shouldn’t have to become anyone’s groupie in order to be taken seriously as a student. Any instructor worth their salt would not want such attention. Respect, hard work, and good effort should be enough in any course. No worthwhile instructor would revel in the counter-productivity of social politics. However, always be respectful to your instructors, staff, and administration. If you’re respectful, they will find it hard to prove you to be a problem.
Fully control your schedule
Call or visit your department to make sure that none of your classes have been cancelled. Class cancellations often happen at the last minute, typically after the semester has begun. Further, you may register for a class and later find out that, even though the class hadn’t been cancelled, your instructor only wants certain students in the class. If you’re not one of those students, you need to drop class from your schedule. You may need to replace it with another, in some cases. If you receive student loans or grants, scholarships, fellowships, work study, or graduate assistantships that require you to enroll for a certain amount of credit hours, not having the number of hours required will affect your ability to receive these funds in the future. Pertaining to this also, do not register classes that you don’t intend to attend. Stacking courses to maintain a certain number of credit hours will cause major problems if you don’t quickly replace those classes with courses that you will actually attend.
Just as you need to make sure that your instructors teaching style is compatible to your learning style, you also need to make sure that your instructor hasn’t changed at the last minute. In fact, you need to make sure that the instructor that you chose hasn’t been used as decoy to lure students into a problem instructor’s course. This type of instructor can barely attract students to their class because of their prior conduct. The minute that you find out that your instructor isn’t the one that you chose, you may want to reconsider your options. Get out while you can.
Always watch the types of assignments that your instructors gives the class. Some instructors focus more on their own personal projects than their teaching duties. You may find yourself being delegated personal projects or even work-related projects that your instructor has been assigned to do themselves. These are project for which they are being paid but are yet to lazy to do themselves. If you observe that many of your assignments have nothing to do with the course and your instructor is adamant about them being completed, these maybe personal projects for themselves or someone else that they’re trying to help. Drop this instructor’s course because your hard work and effort won’t be rewarded. In fact, this instructor will purposely grade you lower than you deserve because after you have turned in your assignments, they will make enough changes to make it seem as if it is theirs. They’re lowering your grade is their proof of your work allegedly not being good enough for them to exploit for their own purposes.
Get rid of old debt
Before a new semester starts, pay your prior school debts such as parking tickets and old balances from the current or recently ended semester. Please make sure that you keep all records, such as receipts, that prove that you have resolved your debt. This is essential for students who receive scholarships, grants, and student loans. The unscrupulous business practices and lack of oversight of some institutions will cause students to pay off the same debt twice. Indeed, even though you’ve paid off the prior debt, the institution will somehow claim to have no record of you paying the debt. In such situations, the same debt could be collected from future funds allotted such as next semester’s grant, scholarship, loan, or fellowship. Make sure that you don’t “fall through the loop” like many other students in this situation. In fact, while paying your old debt put your phone or tablet on record and take video or pictures of you paying the debt.
Billing statement and Tuition Payment
Make certain that your billing statement is current. No old debts should be on your billing statement. If you receive loans, scholarships or grants, make sure that those are on your billing statement so that you’ll be able to pay your fees with those funds. If all funds aren’t posted to your account, do not pay your fees with any partial funds without a written guarantee that the rest of your funds will be credited to your account. If you do this, you will be committing yourself to paying a larger portion of or even the full tuition fee. Track the whereabouts of those funds before you commit to your institution. Follow up on this before the semester begins. Don’t start attending class before you have paid your fees if you’re not certain about your funds. Get out while you can.
Always keep track of your business. Unless your institution is highly organized, keep track of everything that you do. Nobody cares about you as much as you. Thus, you should not trust your academic standing, future ability to be employed, and future economic stability in the hands of someone who has such security and doesn’t quite get or care about how their actions or lack thereof could seriously impact you.
Your phone or tablet is your best tool when conducting such business in person or online. Don’t be hesitatant to record interactions via video or sound recorder. When online, press the Print Screen key on your desktop, fn + prt sc on your laptop, or take a snapshot of your screen with your tablet of your account. Some institutions don’t own their mistakes. They will blame the student, instead. Yet, if the student follows these steps, they will have hardcore proof that the situation isn’t their fault, but in fact it is that of the university.
If you’re wrong, you’re wrong – own it
If you know that you hadn’t done all or most of the important things of which you needed to do pertaining to registration, admit it, own it and go from there. The same is true for your classes as well as your admittance and enrollment to a university or particular program. The best thing that you can do for yourself is show some integrity by admitting you’re wrong and seeking further guidance from that point.
While in school and everywhere else, it is important to always cover all of your bases. Keep your proof. Don’t do anything based on anyone’s verbal communication without getting them to provide a written copy of their statement or institutional policy to which they are referring. One can easily say that they didn’t specify a directive to you. You will need proof to verify that you were given the directive or set of directives.