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Waitlist FAQ for Hunter College Students

General Questions

1. What is a waitlist?

2. How do I know if a class has a waitlist?

3. How do I get onto a waitlist?

4. I am in one class and don't want to lose my seat, but really would prefer another class. How can I use waitlist to help?

5. I am on the waitlist, now what?

6. Will I be notified when I am auto-enrolled from the waitlist?

7. What are the chances that I will be auto-enrolled from the waitlist?

8. How do I know what position I am on the waitlist and how many students are ahead of me?

9. I really need a particular class. Can I waitlist for more than one section of the same course?

10. I am on a waitlist for a class, but I don’t need it anymore. How do I leave the waitlist? I don’t want to be enrolled by accident.

11. Am I charged tuition for being on a waitlist?

12. The system won’t let me waitlist for a class, why?

13. I am on the waitlist, but I think the system is skipping me. Why am I not being auto-enrolled into the class?


1. What is a waitlist?

Waitlist is a new feature for course registration at Hunter College for Fall 2014.  If a class is filled, you can add yourself to the waitlist on CUNYfirst.  Then, you don’t have to check all the time to see if a seat opens up, the system will enroll you automatically from the waitlist.

Because this is a pilot program, just a handful of classes will have the waitlist feature available.  We hope that more classes will be included in the future.


2. How do I know if a class has a waitlist?

First, make sure to do your class search with the “Show Open Classes Only” box unchecked.  The classes with a waitlist have a yellow triangle icon toward the right-hand side. They can be selected and added to your shopping cart.  Check out the how-to guide for a quick example.


3. How do I get onto a waitlist?

It is a lot like normal registration. However, before you add the class to your shopping cart, make sure you’ve checked the “Wait List if Class is Full” checkbox.  This box is very small, so watch carefully. This is all illustrated in the how-to guide.


4. I am in one class and don’t want to lose my seat, but really would prefer another class. How can I use waitlist to help?

This is one of the advantages of the waitlist.  First, do a Swap in CUNYfirst.  Select the class you are currently scheduled to take from the “Swap this Class” menu.  Then enter the class you really want instead in the “With this Class” area.  Don’t forget to check the small “Wait List if Class is Full” checkbox. 

Next, CUNYfirst will wait for a seat to open up in your preferred class.  When your turn comes up, the system will enroll you and simultaneously drop you from the other class.  In the meantime (or if you never make it to the top of the waitlist), your seat in the original class is safe.


5. I am on the waitlist, now what?

Check CUNYfirst often to see if you have been enrolled.  Once per hour, CUNYfirst will look for classes which have an open seat.  It will run a process (called “auto enrollment”) which selects the next eligible student and enrolls them into the class.  Don’t worry, as students drop the class, the system will not let other students “jump in” ahead of you and other waitlisted students.


6. Will I be notified when I am auto-enrolled from the waitlist?

Unfortunately, not at this time.  The best thing that you can do is to check your CUNYfirst frequently to see if you have been enrolled.  That said, by putting yourself on a waitlist, you could be enrolled and will be responsible for the registration.  Check often.


7. What are the chances that I will be auto-enrolled from the waitlist?

Using the waitlist is an excellent strategy to improve your schedule.  It might help you to get classes that you want or need.  However, there is always the chance that your schedule will stay the same if students don’t drop your desired class(es).  It is always good to have a “Plan B” in mind.


8. How do I know what position I am on the waitlist and how many students are ahead of me?

The system will tell you your position when you join the waitlist.  After that, you aren’t able to view your position number on the waitlist.  However, you can rest assured that no other students can tell that you are on the waitlist.  Accordingly, you can’t see other students’ information either.


9. I really need a particular class. Can I waitlist for more than one section of the same course?

Unfortunately, this isn’t an option..  If you are already in one section, what you can do is Swap and hope for a section which fits better into your schedule.  This was described in FAQ #4.  Also, you can only waitlist yourself for a total of 9 credits.


10. I am on a waitlist for a class, but I don’t need it anymore. How do I leave the waitlist?I don’t want to be enrolled by accident.

This is easy, just go into CUNYfirst and request a Drop.  You will be able to drop yourself from the waitlist just like you would drop from a regular class.


11. Am I charged tuition for being on a waitlist?

No, you are not charged while waiting.  Of course, you will be required to pay the tuition and fees for any classes which are auto-enrolled.  Please be sure to monitor your CUNYfirst account frequently so that you don’t miss any important payment due dates.


Troubleshooting Questions

12. The system won’t let me waitlist for a class, why?

Remember that not all classes have a waitlist.  We hope to add more in the future.  The following issues will prevent you from getting onto the waitlist:

  • You don’t have the necessary prerequisite or corequisite course(s) or meet the restriction (ex: certain major/plan codes, junior/senior standing, etc.)
  • You have a negative service indicator (hold) at Hunter which affects your ability to enroll.
  • You need to wait until your enrollment appointment date and time
  • You are limited to waitlisting for 9 credits at a time.

13. I am on the waitlist, but I think the system is skipping me.Why am I not being auto-enrolled into the class?

You will not be auto-enrolled in the class if you have any of the following issues.  You will only be auto-enrolled if these issues are resolved. 

  • The class would have a time conflict with one of your other classes.
  • This class would put you over your allowable credits at Hunter.
  • You are already enrolled in another section of the same course.  You might want to use the Swap feature.  This is a good strategy if you want to remain in one section, but are hoping to be enrolled into another one.
  • Some of the available seats are reserved for a specific and dedicated group of students.
  • You have previously completed the course or received transfer credit for the equivalent course at Hunter.  You will need to complete a course repeat form and return it to the One Stop in Room 217 North.  The department must also give you overtally permission on that form, or you will not be able to select this section.  The form is available at http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/onestop/forms-online
  • You have a negative service indicator (hold) at Hunter which affects your ability to enroll.
  • You don’t have the necessary prerequisite or corequisite course(s) or meet the restriction (ex: certain major/plan codes, junior/senior standing, etc.)

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