• <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/198/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/50546_Middle_South_drone1.rev.1554236092.jpg)"/>

Forester News

Guide to Priority Registration 2020–2021 for ALL students

Priority Registration runs from April 14–22. Students who encounter difficulty with any aspect of the online registration process during the Priority Registration Period should contact Registrar BJ White, Associate Registrar Jennifer Kenworthy, and Transfer and Registration Coordinator Katie Isler with your questions or concerns at registrar@lakeforest.edu. 

Here’s the detailed timeline:

Tuesday, April 14 at 9:00 a.m.—Online pre-registration opens for continuing Seniors and rising Seniors (anyone with 15.0 earned credits or more) to select Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 courses

Thursday, April 16 at 9:00 a.m.—Online pre-registration opens for rising Juniors (those with 7.0 earned credits or more) to select Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 courses 

Monday, April 20 at 9:00 a.m.—Online pre-registration opens for rising Sophomores (those with fewer than 7.0 earned credits) to select Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 courses

Earned credits means credits students have already completed, including AP/IB/transfer credits; it does NOT count the credits students are currently taking this semester.

Wednesday, April 22 at 4:30 p.m.—Online registration for Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 closes for all students.  Summer Session registration will remain open. 


We are aware that some students may be concerned about the upcoming registration period, because technological issues or the time zone in which they live might make it difficult to use the online registration system within my.lakeforest. The option to electronically submit a Manual Registration Request Form, in advance of the designated registration time, is available for students with technology difficulties to priority register with their assigned cohort. This option will not be early registration, but rather a way to ensure fair and equitable registration for all our students during this challenging time of remote learning. The form is available at this link: www.lakeforest.edu/manual-registration-request. Students should login using their full email address (including the “mx”—e.g., jsmythe@mx.lakeforest.edu) on the sign-in screen and their Lake Forest email password. Students who are able to register via the normal my.lakeforest system, however, should do so using the instructions that follow.

IMPORTANT STEP—Before students can priority register for next year’s courses whether online or manually, any current holds on their academic record from the Business Office or Health Services must be removed.  These respective offices have sent out frequent correspondence to affected students concerning these matters. 

The financial holds can only be removed by the Office of Student Accounts (studentaccounts@lakeforest.edu. Students can work with them to resolve this issue during the normal operating hours of Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

To access your account online:

  • Log into your Forester Account at https://my.lakeforest.edu/ics/.
  • Click on “Students”
  • Click on “My Account”
  • In the View My AccountInformation box, click Billing Statement
  • Please view the Information About Holdsand Current Hold sections to see if a hold is placed on your account

The health services holds are due to missing immunizations/paperwork.  These holds can only be removed by Health and Wellness Department Assistant Siobhan Michelotti (michelotti@lakeforest.edu or healthandwellness@lakeforest.edu)

How do I select my courses using online registration?

The following are the steps to take in my.lakeforest in order to add and drop Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 courses:

  1. Log into my.lakeforest.
  2. Click on Students tab.
  3. Click on Registration from the menu on the left-hand side.
  4. Click on Add/Drop Courses or Course Search.
  5. Make sure the term is set to 2020-2021 FALL or 2020-2021 SPRING depending on when you are looking to take a course. You can bounce back and forth between these two terms as many times as you would like. 
  6. Under the Course Search, enter a specific Department and click the “Search” button.
  7. Click on the Course Code of a specific course to get more information about the course (exact enrollment #s, cross-listed courses, course description, prerequisites/co-requisites, classroom assignment).
  8. In the Add column, place a checkmark in the checkbox for the course you are interested in. 
  9. Click the Add Courses button at the bottom of the page. 
  10. If the course wasn’t full, you will get a message that states, “Successfully added to registration record” and the course will appear under the Awaiting Advisor Approval category.

Okay, I selected the course(s) I want to add and I clicked the “Add Courses” button.  I’m automatically registered, right? 

Not quite! Your faculty advisor still has to approve these courses on my.lakeforest.  What you have done is reserved a seat in each open course you submitted. 

How do I let my advisor(s) know that I am submitting the courses I want to add?

Once you click “Add Courses,” the successfully selected courses go to the my.lakeforest accounts of your advisor(s). There is no automated notification, but you are welcome to e-mail your advisor.

The course I want to add tells me there’s a registration error.  What does that mean?

It could mean one of three things, or a combination thereof. The three types of errors are:

  • Requisite error—the course you want requires some course (or courses) that you don’t have. A course that needed to be taken beforehand is a pre-requisite.  In-progress courses, those which you are currently taking, do count as fulfilling the prerequisite.  A course you need to take at the same time as the course you want is a co-requisite.  On occasion, you might also encounter a prohibited course relationship.  For example, you can’t take ECON/BUSN/FIN 130 Applied Statistics if you already took MATH 150 Probability & Statistics for credit and vice versa.  
  • Capacity error—the course you want is already full. If you get this error, the system will ask if you’d like to be placed on the waitlist immediately.  The decision is up to you.
  • Conflict error—the course you want conflicts with another course you’re trying to take. You’re only allowed to pick one of the two courses.  If you are trying to waitlist yourself for a course that is at the same time as another course you are registered or waitlisted for, the registration system doesn’t have the functionality to allow such a conflict.  Please e-mail the Registrar’s Office as registrar@lakeforest.edu in these cases and a staff member will place you on the waitlist.  

I understand that I received a registration error for a course, but I believe I have a strong case to make to take the course.  What do I need to do?

What you are asking for is called a Course Authorization.  A Course Authorization is granted by the instructor of the course in question on my.lakeforest for capacity and time conflict circumstances.  Therefore, you need to contact the instructor directly to explain your situation.  If there is a requisite issue prohibiting you from registering for the course, you may need to consult with the faculty chairperson of the department in addition to the course instructor for a Course Authorization to be considered.

How do I drop a course from my schedule?

After clicking on “Add/Drop Courses,” proceed to the bottom part of the screen where you will find a summary of your registration activity sorted into three categories:

  1. Your Schedule (Registered)—A list of all courses you are officially registered for.  To drop, put a checkmark in the box next to the course code and then click “Drop Selected Courses.”
  2. Waitlisted Courses—A list all courses you are currently on a waitlist for.  To drop, put a checkmark in the box next to the course code and then click “Leave Selected Waitlists.”

*Please be courteous to other students and remove yourself from any waitlists you are no longer interested in pursuing. 

  1. Awaiting Advisor ApprovalA list of courses you selected but have yet to be approved by your advisor.  To drop a course under this category, put a checkmark in the box next to the course code and then click “Cancel Selected Approval Request(s).”

IMPORTANT NOTE—If you drop a course from any of these categories, the course is completely removed from your registration history and your advisor will not be automatically notified. 

Is there a limit to the number of courses I can register for? 

YES. The registration limit is 5.75 credits for all students at this time since the Dean’s List will not be determined until the end of this spring semester.  Remember, a typical course at Lake Forest College is one credit. A standard full-time course load is 4 credits. The minimum full-time course load is 3 credits.  A course load of 5 credits, in almost all cases, is considered to be a course overload.  

The 5.75 credit limit allows you to register for up to 5 standard courses, and at least a couple of partial credit courses.

Is there a limit to the number of full courses I can put myself on a waitlist for?

This is a two-part answer that requires you to keep the 5.75 credit registration limit in mind.

  • When you can’t waitlist yourself for any courses: If you select five courses that all have open seats. This is because the registration system would count a waitlisted course as an additional credit, which would bring you to 6 credits—that is .25 credits over the limit. 
  • When you can waitlist yourself for as many courses as you want provided there are no time conflicts: If you select four courses that all have open seats. The registration system continues to count a waitlisted course as an additional credit, which would bring you to 5 credits—that is .75 credits under the credit limit. 

How can I find out what order I am ranked on a waitlist?

All students have access to a Waitlist Ranking report on my.lakeforest.  It is located under the Students Tab.  Click on the “My Courses” menu option and then click on “Waitlist Ranking” under Student Reports.  This report will tell you which courses you are currently on the waitlist for and what number you are on the waitlist.  Please note that your advisors do not have access to this same Waitlist Ranking report.  Bring this waitlist information to your advisor’s attention when discussing waitlist-related registration issues.  

How am I able to get myself enrolled into a waitlisted course?

You can always contact the instructor of the course to explain your situation and request an authorization.  Keep in mind each instructor may priority their waitlist(s) differently and on different timetables. 

The Registrar’s Office will administer a Waitlist Management Period running from April 23-May 20.  During that timeframe, the Registrar’s Office and Center for Academic Success will work closely with Department and Program Chairpersons to manage initial waitlists.  Chairs will be asked to clear as many waitlists as possible.  

What are the ‘sticky issues’ that can arise with the online registration system? 

  1. Registering for a course with a pre-requisite that you fulfilled or plan to fulfill with transfer coursework from another college or university—Currently, the College doesn’t officially identify courses taken at other schools as fulfilling pre-requisites.  Unless you have already been granted a Course Authorization on my.lakeforest by the instructor or the department chairperson, the system will generate a Requisite Error for a student who does not have the Lake Forest College course pre-requisite.  Please e-mail the Registrar’s Office at registrar@lakeforest.edu if you feel a transfer course meets the pre-requisite.  They may have to consult with a department chairperson or advisor in some cases before you are administratively registered for the course.
  2. Registering for a course you’ve already taken (e.g. an applied lesson/ensemble in the Music Department, a course to be retaken for a better grade or a course you previously withdrew from)—The system has a difficult time accepting most course repeats.  If you’re having trouble with these cases, please e-mail the Registrar’s Office at registrar@lakeforest.eduand they will administratively register you for the repeated course.

*Students seeking to complete Internships, Independent Studies (Thesis, Research Project, Tutorial, Creative Project), or Off-Campus Programs in fall and/or spring semester cannot register for these online. 

Internships—We ask students to express their intention to complete for-credit internships to cacintern@lakeforest.edu so the Career Advancement Center (CAC) can help get you in touch with the appropriate on-campus faculty internship supervisor to secure and register for the internship.  CAC will provide the Registrar’s Office with a running list allowing them to temporarily register you for generic Internship as a placeholder until you go through the entire Internship paperwork process with your on-campus faculty internship supervisor and receive final approval from CAC.

Independent Studies—Forms can be found on the Students tab of my.lakeforest under Student Forms.  E-mail the Registrar’s Office and they will temporarily register you for a generic Independent Study as a placeholder until the completed/signed paperwork is submitted to the Registrar’s Office.  This paperwork is due no later than the end of the first week of classes in which the Independent Study is set to begin.

Off-Campus Programs—Students definitive about their plans to study in an off-campus program in Fall 2020 or Spring 2021 should NOT register for these programs online.  Rather, the generic registration for these programs is handled manually in the Registrar’s Office in consultation with Coordinator of the Global Engagement Office Alexandra Olson (aolson@lakeforest.edu).  If your off-campus program plans are less than certain, you have every right to priority register now for on-campus courses and these courses can be dropped at a later date once your plans solidify.