The Business of College

On a certain day each semester, college students across the country set their alarms and wake up with the rising sun for the ever stressful scheduling day. Busy servers, unexpected class restrictions, and full courses are scenarios most students would consider all too familiar. It’s even more frustrating when the college chooses to cancel courses months after the whole scheduling ordeal, forcing students to redo their entire schedules.

I always wonder, how is it possible for a school to impact students’ schedules like this? No wonder more and more students are categorized as super seniors. Other reasons for students staying for five or six years just for their undergraduate degree may be due to limits on course credits, only offering classes during one semester a year, or not allowing students to take two particular classes at one time. I’m not by any means saying that there are not students who simply don’t put in the work necessary to meet graduation requirements, but I think some super seniors are forced to stay for other reasons.

For example, I will be a senior next year and have consistently taken 18 credits a semester. I have run into continuous issues while registering for classes for next semester. Courses required for graduation also need special permission, courses were canceled or moved, the times of courses required for my major overlapped, and some were simply too full to register for. If there’s competition each semester to sign up for a course and students are left out each and every year, maybe add another course, or open it up to more people? Just an idea.

If I want to take on a 21 credit course load, then I feel that I should be able to do so. After all, I’m paying for the courses and it’s my grades at stake. There was also a course that was only open to graduate students. The dean at the school told students that the course would be open to undergraduates after the graduate students had registered. Instead, due to a lack of graduate students interested in the course, they decided to cancel it altogether – despite an outpouring of interest from students working towards their bachelor degrees. The course was also one that could be used for graduation requirements – why would the school cancel it if undergraduates were begging to be admitted?

Before freshman year I assumed that college administration, deans and advisers were here to help students get through school in four years, but with all these restrictions, issues, and roadblocks, are they truly being helpful? Maybe it’s time to realize that college is a business for the staff and administration. This is one area where college could not have disappointed me more.

Do you feel that colleges do in fact attempt to hold students back? Any personal stories or frustrations?

3 Responses to “The Business of College”
  1. In my school, it does not seem like they are trying to hold us back, actually our staff is very helpful to the best of their capabilities (of course things still happen which hamstring the occasional student). But, please remember, I am at a private institution, so they have less students than some schools, and it is a liberal arts college, so we have requirements that can be substituted for other things.

    For example: one of the requirements for graduation from my college is an arts course. When you check which classes fill this requirement, the list is nearly a page long. If you can’t find something in those four years of college to fill that requirement, you are being too picky!

    • ashleighvalentina says:

      First of all, thanks for reading! I have friends who attend private colleges who also say that they have no problems with scheduling, maybe it is because I’m at a public school.

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