IU Student Government is encouraging the university's administration to eliminate the $8.60 fee charged to students when they change their schedules after registering for classes.
The current policy is to charge a $8.60 fee each day that students make a schedule change, starting two business days after first registering for the term. To drop or add classes after the first week, the fee jumps to $23.
College should be a time when students discover and develop their passions. Students should not be punished for adding or dropping a class, especially when there is not detailed information readily available about many classes online.
If professors uploaded sample syllabi to iGPS it would help students pick classes they are interested in, and students would be more likely to stay in those classes. This would reduce add/drop scheduling headaches for both the university and students.
For students, scheduling classes for a new semester brings with it the occasional existential crisis. There are so many factors to consider, such as academic interests, professional goals, the professor’s teaching style and the rigor of the course.
It is difficult for students to know exactly what they are signing up for, therefore the administration should not use the opportunity to nickel and dime students.
IU does not make it easy for students to navigate the uncertainty and the several factors involved in picking classes. Students must instead rely on the opinions of friends who have taken the class, comments on RateMyProfessor or often vague class descriptions on iGPS.
IUSG Congress Education Committee chair and sophomore Rachel Aranyi told the Indiana Daily Student that the fee for switching classes was originally created when IU did not have a computer system. At the time, students would have to call in and someone would change their schedule by hand, she said. The fee originally covered a service that is no longer in existence.
The IUSG Academic Affairs Committee created a petition calling for the elimination of the add/drop fees.
“We’re trying to garner support to get rid of this fee, and we feel this is a tangible goal because there is considerable support within the administration,” said Amna Ahmed, a sophomore and the executive director of academic affairs for IUSG.
Ahmed said the committee's goal is to get 5,000 signatures. At the time of publication the petition had more than 500 signatures.
“Although $8.60 is not a large amount of money, students paying their own tuition are disincentive to take classes that interest them,” Ahmed said.
iGPS allows professors to upload a sample syllabus. However, many professors choose not to because they want to make adjustments to a syllabus throughout a semester, Ahmed said.
Although professors should be given the greatest possible level of autonomy with how they teach their courses, having a syllabus from a previous semester would give students useful insights about the class.
With more than 2,000 courses offered a semester in the College of Arts and Sciences alone, it is a shame that students do not have the highest possible degree of freedom to explore their interests. A college education is not cheap. IU should provide more course information to help students avoid classes that they're likely to drop, instead of straining our bank accounts with fees.
Ian Nowlin (he/him) is a sophomore studying law and public policy. He has minors in Spanish and Arabic.