Hillsdale College will be switching course reg­is­tration next year to be based upon class standing rather than number of credits. Carmel Kookogey | Col­legian

Hillsdale stu­dents’ course reg­is­tration days will be based on entry year, not credits earned outside of Hillsdale College, starting in the fall of 2019.

The Hillsdale College admin­is­tration has decided — starting with the incoming freshman class in the fall of 2019 — to limit all credits which determine a student’s standing for reg­is­tration to only credits earned at Hillsdale College. All other credits from outside col­leges and uni­ver­sities and from exams such as the Advanced Placement, CLEP, and Inter­na­tional Bac­calau­reate, will no longer count toward the reg­is­tration date. This change will not affect current Hillsdale stu­dents, who will con­tinue to reg­ister using the existing system until they graduate, according to Hillsdale College Reg­istrar Douglas McArthur.

“The change is really to only one thing, and it’s to stu­dents’ reg­is­tration pri­ority — the day that stu­dents can reg­ister for classes,” said McArthur. “The current scheme allows stu­dents to count all earned credits for the pur­poses of deter­mining their class level. The new system is going to no longer count credits earned outside of Hillsdale College.”

McArthur said the college will still accept transfer credits to con­tribute to overall credit count, just not for deter­mining what day a student will reg­ister.

“Stu­dents will con­tinue to take AP courses, and stu­dents can still earn credit, but for the pur­poses of reg­is­tration, we just won’t be including those,” McArthur said.

McArthur said there are no plans for any excep­tions regarding transfer stu­dents.

“The admin­is­tration believes this is an improvement in terms of giving stu­dents equal access to courses according to their class level,” McArthur said.

According to Dean of Women Diane Philipp, many stu­dents com­plained that they were unable to get certain classes because under­classmen with outside credits were able to reg­ister first.

“The point of it was that freshmen were coming in with 40, 50, 60 credits, and so were able to bump sopho­mores, juniors, and in some cases, even seniors out of classes,” Philipp said. “So stu­dents have talked to us about it, and we said that we would look at it, and we’re just trying to make it fair for everyone. After you’ve been here for two or three years, it’s nice to be able to get that one class.”

Philipp con­tinued by saying that stu­dents who have been here the longest should have pri­ority.

“The stu­dents who have been here the longest should have the oppor­tunity to select the courses and the time slots — it’s kind of the perk of the senior year. And a lot of kids get what they want, but some­times you just have your eye on that one class; and at Hillsdale, we don’t always teach every class every semester either,” Philipp said.

Some stu­dents around campus had both pos­itive and neg­ative reac­tions to the administration’s decision.

Junior Stephen Rupp wel­comed the decision.

“I really like that it’s changing to credits at Hillsdale only because it’s really frus­trating for me as someone who has ded­i­cated their entire aca­demic career to this insti­tution in par­ticular — and I worked really hard to get here in high school —  to have classes that I need to graduate for my major taken by people who trans­ferred in,” Rupp said. “I know that I’ve been turned away from classes, but I also know people from my class that have never had that expe­rience, and it’s not that we work any harder than each other, it’s just a dif­ference of oppor­tunity.”

Freshman Hannah Breeding agreed.

“While I respect that a lot of freshmen worked really hard in AP courses and com­munity college classes in order to bring in credits, as someone who didn’t, it can be pretty frus­trating to feel always two steps behind,” Breeding said. “I appre­ciate the change because while I will still be behind a lot of my current class­mates, at least I won’t have to compete with the incoming freshmen for space in the classes I need.”

Other stu­dents dis­agreed and said that the change was a bad idea.

“I think that it sounds like it’s the first step towards dis­counting all non-Hillsdale credits,” said senior Theodore Birkofer. “I mean, a credit is a credit wherever you go.”

Freshman transfer student Luciya Katcher said the change penalizes transfer stu­dents.

“The only benefit of doing post-sec­ondary work or trans­ferring into Hillsdale is getting the priv­ilege of sched­uling according to your credit status, and when you take that away, there is a lack of incentive for going the extra mile and doing that extra work when you’re young or when you’re at a dif­ferent college,” Katcher said.

Katcher said this change affects her own sit­u­ation.

“For me, I worked hard for two years before coming to Hillsdale so that I can get a head start on my edu­cation and my major,” she said. “If I were to be limited in my ability to schedule — and get closed out of classes — that would set me back a semester or two until I could take those classes.”