The clock is ticking to register for spring classes at colleges in NYC

Young woman using laptop and listening to music at home
Don’t let the application deadline pass you by.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Colleges and universities across the New York City area are registering students for the spring semester now, so you’ll need to move quickly to sign up for the classes you want. If you want to complete your application and registration process on time, act now, by checking the details of your desired college’s application deadlines.

Registration deadlines for new students at most institutions are mid- to late-January, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will likely result in most, if not all, spring classes being held online.

With vaccine developments progressing, the spring 2021 semester will hopefully be the last of the pandemic era, and if the rollout is successful, in-person classes may return in the fall. For the moment, however, virtual courses offer personal safety and education from the comfort of your home.

For New Yorkers who are looking to enter or expand their education, enrolling now, and locally, is a great idea. Courses can be completed right from your living room or bedroom — no need to spend thousands of dollars a year on dorm rooms or supplies. 

Even so, enrolling in college — whether it’s your first time, or your return after years away from the classroom — can be overwhelming. The selection of courses offered at most colleges and universities are vast, and it can be quite challenging to find the right ones in balance with your core requirements to create the ideal education schedule.

The College Board, a nonprofit organization that aims to expand higher education access to Americans, offers some advice for prospective students as they consider registering classes for the spring:

  1. Consider all your options available. Don’t just settle on one college right away; consider several candidates and choose the one that’s right for you based on access, affordability and educational opportunities, among other criteria.
  2. Create the schedule that’s right for you. The path to a college degree is a marathon, not a sprint. Try not to schedule too many classes early on to avoid burnout. Choose a schedule that meets the requisite number of semester credits, but also allows you the time to rest, study, prepare reports and refine your skills.
  3. Seek out an adviser’s help. This is especially true for first-time college students who might find difficulty creating a schedule. Reach out to a college adviser in your field of interest to help you determine the best path forward.
  4. Clear the core requirements early. Your first years in college should not just focus primarily on your field of study, but also meeting the core curriculum so you can concentrate more on your major as graduation day draws nearer.
  5. Maintain balance in your course schedule. Try not to challenge yourself early on by taking more advanced classes. Save those for later in your academic career.
  6. Seek out college credits and financial aid. Visit the College Board website, collegeboard.org, to find resources.
  7. Take a writing course to help you better prepare for term papers and adopt your writing style.
  8. Register early. The earlier you register, the better chance you have to obtain the classes you want.

With additional reporting by Hazel Shahgholi