One can draw parallels to registering for classes at North Carolina State and spawning on the wrong side of the Hoover dam. For future reference, here is a list of all the ‘gates’ that had to be lifted before I could register for Summer II 2012 classes. Most, if not all of these probably apply to any incoming Freshmen working towards a major.
Gate 1) Admission and Initiation: You need to get your application accepted to before anything. Once this is done you should have a WolfPaw account and a MyPackPortal thing set up.
Gate 2) Advanced enrollment fee: You pay $200 or whatever to confirm that you are indeed going to NCSU, not anywhere else. I payed through WolfPaw although there are probably redundant facilities for it in the MyPack Portal.
Gate 3) Freshman Matriculation: Now that you have entered all your accounts and stuff, the NC State needs to register them into it’s system. You have basically no control over when this happens so it’s up to the administration. Try asking someone at Admissions.
Gate 4) Transfer Credits Matriculation: Have college credits from high school or community college included in your NCSU application? Even if you had gotten your official transcripts sent to NC State quite a while ago, they won’t be associated with your account until some internal date a set time before the semester starts. Again, this is up to the administration.
Gate 5) Enrollment Date: State makes you wait until a certain date before you can enroll for classes. The day and time of this ‘enrollment date’ depend on how many credits you have. The incentive behind this is that they want to give the first choice of classes up to people who have almost completed their degree; how horrible would it be if you were a Senior with one Fresman-level class left that you couldn’t get into because it filled up? Coming in as a Freshman with no credits, you are basically the bottom feeder of all enrolling parties. Once you have passed Gate 3, you will be able to see your enrollment date on the MyPack Portal.
Gate 6) Enrollment Appointment: Besides the enrollment date, you must also get a seal of approval from your undergraduate adviser for any courses you wish to take. However unnecessary it may seem, this step is mandatory. Check on your department’s sub-website to find out who your adviser is, then set up a personal meeting with him/her. Note that this can be done before your enrollment date has passed, but not before Gate 3. The meeting will go more smoothly if you prepare a class plan ahead of time through the MyPack Portal’s ‘Plan of Work’ facilities. [You will probably want to wait until after Gate 4 to make your class plan].
Gate 7) Placement Tests: Some classes like introductory mathematics, engineering, computer science or chemistry require you to take a remedial course (Like ECE115 or CH111) to account for what knowledge may have fallen between the cracks during High School or AP classes. Thankfully, NC State offers some online Pass/Fail tests that will place you out of such classes. These exams may only be taken once, although they won’t be a source for much of your stress provided you know the material. Perhaps this is something to talk about during the meeting you have with your adviser.
I jumped through the first six hoops over the course of several months, and am now studying for a few of the tests in Gate 7.