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Enrollment Groups Frequently Asked Questions

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  • What is different about enrolling in classes this academic year? 
    • Starting in autumn quarter 2023, Stanford will introduce a staggered approach to the opening of enrollment. Enrollment groups consisting of 2,000 students each, will initiate the enrollment process in a staggered manner. These groups will be spaced at intervals of 30 minutes, allowing for a smooth and efficient progression throughout the enrollment period. 
    • To ensure the system can handle the load, we are limiting the number of enrollment transactions  students can submit per minute. You will be able to submit a maximum of five individual classes and up to two batch enroll requests within a minute. These measures aim to prevent the misuse of bots and promote a fair and equitable enrollment experience for all students.
  • Why is Stanford introducing staggered enrollment groups?
    • We’re staggering enrollment in response to student feedback and the need to optimize your enrollment experience. By strategically staggering students into groups, we can prioritize students who are closer to graduation, and greatly reduce the excessive load on our system that typically arises during the opening of enrollment, ensuring a smoother and more stable student experience.
  • What should I do to prepare for enrollment?
    • To prepare for enrollment, there are a few things you can do prior to your enrollment group start time. In order to ensure that Axess and SimpleEnroll are displaying and behaving as expected, it would be best to clear your browser's cache before logging in to Axess or SimpleEnroll. Be sure to review your Axess account to resolve any enrollment holds or to-do items. 
  • When and where can I find my enrollment group and unique start time?
    • A week before enrollment, you will receive an email with your enrollment group and unique start time. This information will also be available in Axess in the Enroll in Classes section under the My Academics menu. Your unique start time will also display as a banner in SimpleEnroll:

Enrollment Group Assignment

  • What was the method used to determine which students were assigned to what enrollment group?
    • Our goal is to support students in the fairest way possible, regardless of their status as an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student. We will use the number of completed quarters to determine proximity to degree conferral and priority enrollment start time.
      • For undergraduates, we are prioritizing those with the most enrolled quarters at Stanford. Transfer students will require fewer completed quarters to enroll at similar times to their social cohort.
      • For graduate and professional students students, second-year students will get first access to enroll, followed by first-year, third-year and beyond, and then Terminal Graduate Registration (TGR) students.
  • Why are students assigned to enrollment groups based on completed quarters?
    • We evaluated multiple student-centered criteria in order to determine the most equitable and optimal way to group students in a way that promotes fairness, considers time to degree completion, and the spread of students across our different campus populations. We strived to implement a process that would discourage any practices that could lead to students overextending themselves to earn an advantage in future quarters. Evaluating enrollment groups on completed quarters was identified as the best way to accomplish the goal of providing a smooth and equitable enrollment process for all groups across campus.
  • How can I request a change to my enrollment group?
    • The assignment of enrollment groups is based on the number of quarters completed, meaning students closer to graduation will have earlier start times than those who are newer in their academic journey. For that reason, we are unable to accommodate requests to change these groups. We appreciate your understanding and encourage you to make the most of the available options during your assigned enrollment start time.
  • Can I be evaluated for the enrollment group assignment based on criteria other than completed quarters?
    • Enrollment group start times were designed to support students in the fairest way possible across all of our student populations by assigning them based on students' proximity to graduation based upon the typical time for degree completion. At this time we are unable to consider individual circumstances to adjust the assignment of enrollment start times. To ensure an equitable outcome, all students will be evaluated based on the number of completed quarters. 
  • Will my enrollment group change each quarter to ensure equity?
    • Your enrollment group could change from quarter to quarter as you continue to accumulate completed quarters and other students graduate. Each enrollment group is a mix of all student levels: undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students. There is no guarantee that you will have the same or an earlier start time from quarter to quarter.
  • Can I trade my enrollment group with another student?
    • Students are assigned to an enrollment group with a unique identifier that cannot be traded or changed. There is no appeals process to get a different enrollment group assignment.
  • My friends and I have the same number of completed quarters. Why aren’t we in the same enrollment group?
    • To ensure equity across all student types, each enrollment group is a mix of undergraduate, graduate, and professional school students. This means you could have a slightly earlier or later start time than those of your peers. Please note that all enrolled quarters are counted, including summers and programs tied to enrollment that last a portion of the summer, such as SoCo and AI.
  • I am a student on TGR status. How was my enrollment group assigned?
    • Students on approved TGR status have been placed in the last enrollment group priority regardless of the number of quarters they have completed. This is applicable for all TGR students across all graduate degree-seeking program types: MA, MS, PhD.
  • I was assigned the last enrollment group time for my cohort and now I'm worried I won't be able to get into some of the most popular classes (e.g. PHYSWELL). How is this fair?
    • To ensure equity for across students while maintaining equal sizes for each enrollment group (~2,000 students), we randomly assigned students of the same priority level into multiple groups. For example, the first four enrollment groups (Groups 1-4) are designated for undergraduate seniors, 2nd-year graduate students, and professional school students. The entire cohort of students (~7,800) that met this eligibility criterion was randomly divided into one of the four time-slots (~1950 per group). A 5:30 p.m. start time does not represent any prioritization over a 6:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m., or 7:00 p.m. start time; sorting students of equal priority into these groups was entirely random. 

      We understand that receiving the last enrollment group time might feel discouraging but note that your enrollment group time may change in future quarters. Additionally, some of our most sought-after courses, such as PHYSWELL, utilize a feature called reserve seating. This feature allows the course to have seats reserved for particular groups of students during the enrollment period. For example, many PHYSWELL courses reserve seats specifically designated for Frosh, Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors to ensure that all cohorts have an equal opportunity to enroll in these courses. Due to the popularity of these courses, students are allowed to register for only one PHYSWELL course during the first 24 hours of registration.


Multiple Degree Programs (coterms & dual-degree graduates)

  • How is coterm enrollment handled? 
    • Your billing career will determine if you’re prioritized as an undergraduate or graduate student (e.g. if you are on graduate billing, your enrollment group will be assigned based on the assignment logic for graduate students). If your billing career changes after you’ve been assigned an enrollment group, you will remain in your original group. There will be no changes to enrollment groups once assigned. 
  • I’m a coterm on graduate billing. How am I supposed to find the number of completed graduate quarters?
    • For coterms on graduate billing, the number of completed quarters is derived from the number of quarters you have completed since you began your coterminal program, or more clearly, your first graduate quarter. Your first graduate quarter can be identified on the first page on your unofficial graduate transcript, in the top left section, as seen in the image below. Coterminal “quarters back” are not being considered in this evaluation. 

  • I am a coterm or dual degree student. Will I have two different enrollment groups?
    • Coterminal and dual degree students will be assigned the same enrollment group and start time for both active degree programs. Please be sure to select the correct career designation for each course when making your enrollment decisions. 
  • I am a graduate student with multiple degree programs. How were my completed quarters counted?
    • We began counting completed quarters from your earliest active graduate program, based on your billing group. For example, if you have an active PhD program but have previously conferred a master's degree, we are only counting quarters since the first quarter of the active PhD program; prior quarters completed for the master's program (if opened before the PhD program was added) would not count. If you have two open programs with different associated billing groups (i.e. GSB program & regular graduate program), we are counting quarters completed in the degree program associated with your billing group (i.e. GSB billing = counting quarters completed since the beginning of the GSB program).  

General Enrollment Questions