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Santa Monica College|Enrollment Development|Admissions|Enrollment Guide|Wait Pool Information

Wait Pool Information

​Please see below for a list of frequently asked questions concerning SMC's wait pools, but here is a brief summary concerning wait pools. 

The Bottom Line

If a class is closed, some students will be able to add themselves into a wait pool for a class. If a seat opens up in the class, wait pool students will be emailed by the College that the opening in the class exists.  But other students may also see this opening if they happen to be enrolling at that time. Students in a wait pool will also have a few hours of priority access to enroll in a class with open seats created by the nonpayment process taking place a few weeks before the semester/session starts.  Pay attention to your SMC email as you will be notified there when this occurs.  If you are unable to enroll in the class before the semester/session starts, be sure to show up on the first day of class.  Some instructors will add students based on the wait pool list; others may also give add codes to walk-ins.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a wait pool? How is that different from a wait LIST?
A: Being in a wait POOL for a class means that when a seat opens up, ALL of the students in the wait pool will receive an email notifying them that a seat has opened up so they have a chance to enroll.  If it were a “list” then it would go in order.  Students who are NOT in the wait pool can also dynamically add into that open seat if they happen to get lucky and see the opening.  The folks in the “wait pool” will be sent a courtesy email about the opening.
Q: How do I get in the wait pool for a class?
A: If you are trying to enroll into a section that is full, you will be prompted if you would like to be added to the wait pool for that class section.  You will have to click an acknowledgement statement saying that you understand how the system works before being allowed into the pool.

Q: Confirming your spot in the wait pool: What is this about?
A: Once the drop payment deadline has passed, those students who are in the waitpool for a class will have to confirm that they want to remain in the waitpool. A notice will be sent a few weeks before the semester/term starts with instructions on how to confirm their place in the waitpool in Corsair Connect. Student failing to confirm will be dropped from that waitpool list and other students will be able to gain that waitpool spot. 
Q: Should I still  “crash” classes during the first week if the class is closed and I’m not even in the wait pool? 
A: YES! While instructors who have an opening in a class tend to add students based on the waitpool list, in many cases, waitpool students fail to show up on the first day of class. Thus, other students may be able to get an add code.  
Q: Does this mean that the first person in the wait pool will automatically get placed into an open seat?
A: No.  It’s a “pool,” not a list.
Q: So let me get this straight: If I’m in the wait pool and anyone else can grab the open seats, then what are the benefits of being in a wait pool for a class?
A:  The benefits of being in a wait pool include: (1) being notified via email if seats open up; (2) are given priority access to any openings generated by the nonpayment drop deadline. This is a huge benefit! These students won’t be fighting thousands of folks to get an open seat… just the other folks in the smaller wait pool (which is 25% of the class size). (3) Once open enrollment closes, each filled class will have a prioritized wait list appended to the class roster for use by faculty who wish to provide add codes to students. 
Q: Can I get in a whole bunch of wait pools for one type of course (e.g., English 1)?
A: No. This is not a class shopping tool.  You will only be able to get into one wait pool for each course.  You will be allowed to place yourself in a maximum of 2 wait pools for two different courses (e.g., English 1 and Math 20).
Q: How big is the wait pool for each class?
A: The maximum number of students in the pool will be 25% of the enrollment limit for that course.  Once a class fills, students who attempt to enroll in it would be offered a chance to place themselves in the wait pool until the pool is also full. Most courses at SMC have a 25-40 seat limit.
Q: Can I put myself into any wait pools for any classes, regardless of my eligibility?
A:  No.  Policies that apply to enrollment in the course also apply to getting into a wait pool (e.g., you need to meet the stated course prerequisite).

Q:  What if I’m getting close to my enrollment unit max? Can I still get into two wait pools?
A:   Students can exceed the maximum number of units allowed but they will be advised they will not be able to add the class (if a seat opened up) without dropping another course first.
Q: What about wait pools and time conflicts with other classes that I’m already enrolled in? How does that work?
A:  Students may not place themselves in a wait pool if the time slot conflicts with another course in which they are enrolled or are in the wait pool.  

Q: What if I am already enrolled in a class, but I want to be in another section because I like the other meeting time better?  Can I be in the wait pool for other sections of the same course?
A:  Students may not place themselves in a wait pool for a course if they are also enrolled or in the pool for another section of the same course.

Q:  Okay, I’m in the wait pool for a class and a seat opens up. I automatically get added into the open seat, right?
A:  No. If a seat opens up in a class prior to the start of the semester/session, all students in the wait pool for that section will receive an email notification of the opening.  Note that the open seat will also be available to the general student population, not just to those in the pool.  If a student from the waiting pool is added to the class, a new space would open up in the pool for another student to take.  
Q: If the class and the wait pool are closed, what is my best shot at getting into the class?  
  1. Keep trying to get into an open space in the class, or the wait pool.  
  2. If you get in the wait pool, check your email often for notices that a space opened up.  There’s no guarantee that I will get this open spot, but I get a heads-up that a spot has become available.
  3. Take advantage of the fact that students in the wait pool are given a few hours of priority access to any openings generated by the nonpayment drop deadline.
  4. Attend the first class meeting.  If there are open seats in the class ,the instructor may look at the wait list to help decide who gets an add code, including non-wait pool students. 

Q:  I’m in a wait pool for a class.  What should I do the first day of class?
A:  Before classes start, keep trying to enroll into open spaces in that section (you will get emails if a space opens up).  If you’re not able to get into the class, then be sure to attend the first class meeting for that section.  The instructor may have open seats and may possibly use the wait list as a way to decide who should get an add code first. 

Q:  Why aren’t students in the wait pool being kept as an ordered list, with the top person automatically added to the class when a seat opens up?  Shouldn’t SMC let the folks at the top of the list have a chance to get into the class first?
A: This system was used in the past at SMC and created a host of problems.  Many students get onto a waiting list months before the start of classes and actually forget that they were on the list at all.  The lesson we learned from past experience is that we really need students to actively indicate that they wish to be added to a class.