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How Wait Lists Work

Wait Lists provide a way for a student to try to get a preferred class time if the open times are not ideal for his or her schedule. Wait Lists also let us know when we need to open a new section to create more open seats in a course. Students on the Wait List are notified first if a new section opens in the same course, so they have first opportunity to get into the new section.

There is no charge to be on a Wait List, and you may drop a Wait List seat at any time from your family account.

How many Wait List seats may a student hold in a course?

A student may hold one reserved (Held) seat and as many Wait List seats as he prefers in a particular course. In general, for any course we recommend holding one reserved (Held) seat that you can make work, and as many Wait List seats as you prefer over the Held Seat.

If a Wait List seat opens for a student in a course section, we will give the student that seat and drop the previously held seat. There is no fee for this switch.

We assume that any Wait List seat is preferred over the currently reserved (Held) seat, so you should take care to drop any Wait List seats you don’t want. When a switch is made to a Wait List seat, there is notification but not confirmation, and it may not be possible to switch back or switch again later.

May I hold a reserved Held Seat in a different course in case I don’t get a Wait List seat in my preferred course?

In most situations we can support this, provided that you have prior written agreement from TPS Support. This agreement is necessary because we must manually track the agreement and account for it in our enrollment and wait lists management. When there is no prior written agreement, then you may be charged the pre-agreed reservation drop fee for the reserved (Held) seat you drop.

Note that this applies to any two courses, including “standard” and “honors” courses of the same subject, “one-day” and “two-day” courses of the same subject, different courses with the same level (e.g., different English 2 courses), or any other instance where there is a different course name and ID number held as a contingency seat.

What are the chances of getting a Wait List seat?

Your chances of getting a wait list seat increase when:

  • There are no other open sections that can work in your time zone.
  • You are on multiple wait lists for that course in your time zone (i.e., you are are providing us maximum flexibility within your time zone).
  • Student is taking multiple TPS courses.

Your chances of getting a wait list seat decrease when:

  • There are other open sections that can work in your time zone.
  • You are not on multiple wait lists though there are multiple wait list options for that course in your time zone.
  • Student is not taking multiple TPS courses.

We do not provide information about how many openings are in a class, how many students are on a Wait List, or what Wait List “position” a student holds, because this information is not helpful and is likely misleading. Chances of getting a seat from wait lists in a course depend primarily on how many wait lists you are on in that course:

  • Three (3) wait lists: 90+% chance. Please notify us if you don’t yet have a confirmed seat.
  • Two (2) wait lists: 50-80% chance. Please try to find an open seat you can make work if you don’t get a preferred seat.
  • One (1) wait list: Unable to estimate. We strongly recommend enrolling in an open seat you can make work if you don’t get the preferred seat. Please also notify us with an explanation of specific extenuating circumstances that limit your options.

When is a family notified about a Wait List seat opening?

When a Wait List seat opens for a student, we place the student in that seat and notify you immediately by email. However, we can’t predict when seats will come open.

We work to resolve wait lists throughout the enrollment period, switching seats as they come open and also dropping each Wait List seat as soon as it becomes certain that it won’t come open before the start of class.

As we approach the time for the start of classes, we resolve any remaining Wait List seats associated with that class by helping students without seats to find seats in open classes and removing all students from the wait list for that class.

How long may I remain on a Wait List?

There is no predetermined expiration on a Wait List seat. However, it is not in anyone’s best interests to have a student indefinitely on a Wait List where there is essentially no chance of the seat being offered. When we determine that a Wait List seat is not viable, we will notify the family of recommended alternative options (other sections in the course or other similar courses), and then drop the Wait List seat.