Emory Students Selling Seats in Popular Classes

Emory University students frustrated by the course registration process are creating alternative solutions, reports The Chronicle of Higher Education.

The university's stratified registration process gives priority access to students who have earned the most credits and students who hold merit scholarships. Some students are gaming the system by enrolling in courses to save spots for their friends, who arrange to pick up those class spots during the university's "add-drop-swap" open-enrollment period. 

Some students even enroll in popular classes to try to sell their seats to others. This practice is considered a violation of the university's honor code because it confers "unfair academic advantage" on those who have not earned it, Joanne Brzinski, senior associate dean for undergraduate education, told the Chronicle.  

One Emory student came up with a website, Add Drop Swap, that would allow students to anonymously enter courses in which they were enrolled and to request courses they would like to swap for them. The student said he pitched the idea of approving his website as a tool for switching courses, but the site was blocked on the campus due to administrators' concerns that it could facilitate the saving and selling of course slots. Ms. Brzinski denied that the site had been blocked and said using it is not an honor code violation. The student later set up the website to use with registration systems at the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California at San Diego.

Emory is testing a new online wait-list system this semester for about 50 classes, the Chronicle reported. "It makes electronic what students were trying to do outside of the registration system in dysfunctional ways," Brzinski told the Chronicle.


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The Chronicle of Higher Education