How do waitlists work?

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Shelly Scanlan
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What is a waitlist? 

Waitlists enable students to be automatically enrolled in closed classes as seats become available. Before the first day of classes, a daily process runs to automatically enroll students from the waitlist. If all waitlisted students are successfully enrolled in the class and there are still seats available, the class will reopen. However, if all students from the waitlist are moved to the class filling the class to capacity, the class will remain closed and the waitlist will reopen. 

Do all classes have a waitlist?  

No, not all classes or departments offer waitlists. If a waitlist is available, an orange icon with a "W" will appear next to the section in the Class Schedule when you are logged into ctcLink. In the example below there are 99 waitlist seats available out of 99. If a class is full and a waitlist is not available, check back regularly for possible openings.


Do I need to do anything if I am still on the waitlist the first day of class?

YES! If by the first day of class you are still on the waitlist, you will need to obtain a permission number from your instructor. For more information, see Permission Numbers on our website. 

How do permission numbers work with waitlists?  

If a permission number is required for a class, a waitlisted student must first drop themselves from the waitlist and then use the permission number to enroll in the class. The class will remain closed and the permission number will override the closed class status in order to allow the enrollment. For more information, see Permission Numbers on our website. 

Will I be automatically enrolled in a class from the waitlist?  

There is a daily automated process that moves students from the waitlists into a class if a space becomes available. Students will receive an email to their preferred email account when they are enrolled through this automated waitlist process.

The auto-enroll process from the waitlist stops a day before the first day of the term. A full class will remain closed as long as there are students in the waitlist. 

What can prevent me from adding a waitlist?  

  • You have not met the class prerequisites. 
  • Enrollment appointment date/time has not yet been reached. 
  • The last day to add to the waitlist has passed.
  • Class is not yet closed.
  • Waitlist is at capacity. 
  • The class conflicts with another class you are enrolled in.  
  • You have repeat errors or holds on your record. 
  • The class credits exceed your maximum allowed.  
  • You have reached the limit for waitlisted credits.

Can I be on the waitlist for more than one section of the same class?  

Yes, you will be automatically enrolled in the section that becomes available first, depending on your position on the waitlist for each section. Once you are enrolled in one section, the other waitlisted section will be automatically dropped. 

Can I be both enrolled and waitlisted for different sections of the same class?  

Yes, but you cannot be enrolled in both. A student can be enrolled in the open section of a class and at the same time be on the waitlist for a different section of that same class (maybe the waitlisted section was their first choice, but it has reached capacity). 

However, you will not be auto enrolled in the waitlisted section when a seat becomes available, even if you are eligible. You will first need to drop yourself from the section you are currently enrolled. 

Can I remain enrolled in my current section but waitlist a different section? 

Yes, if you wish to remain enrolled in your current section until space becomes available in the closed section, enroll in the waitlisted section using the Swap feature.

Can I waitlist for a class that conflicts in meeting times with a class that I’m already enrolled in? 

Yes, you can waitlist for time conflicted classes, but you will not be moved off of the waitlist until the time conflict has been resolved. If you wish to remain enrolled in your current course until space becomes available in the closed course, enroll using the Swap feature.  

What is the Swap feature and when should I use it?

If you are currently enrolled in another section of the same course or are in a course that has a time conflict with the waitlisted course, use the Swap feature to enroll in the waitlisted course. Swap the enrolled or conflicting course with the closed section, choosing the waitlist option. Once space is available in the waitlisted section, the system will automatically swap the enrolled course with the waitlisted course.

Can I take myself off of a waitlist? 

Yes, you may remove yourself from a waitlist by following the same process as for a standard drop. For more information on dropping a class, see Add or Drop Classes on our website. 

Do waitlisted classes count toward my total classes for the quarter? 

Waitlisted classes are not counted towards full time status or calculated in bills. 


For more information on Waitlists, view Waitlist Procedure on our website. 

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