FWS Enrollment F21

By: JSKI Staff, 
Wed, 06/30/2021

Information on Fall 2021 FWS Enrollment

For Fall 2021, First-Year Writing Seminar placements will be conducted through the University enrollment system on a first-come, first-served basis.  The previous ballot system will not be used in Fall 2021.

Sophomores and transfer students:

A preferable alternative for you is ENGL 2880, Expository Writing, which can substitute for FWS credit.

If you wish to seek a First-Year Writing Seminar, you would need to wait until the Add-Drop process begins on August 25.  See items #5 and #7 below.

Incoming first-year students:

Enrollments for First-Year Writing Seminars are strictly capped; no over-enrollments are permitted.  Seminars could fill to capacity very quickly after the enrollment window for incoming students opens on July 12.  

Therefore, the Knight Institute recommends that you plan accordingly, taking your entire schedule into account.   

The Knight Institute will not oversee the FWS enrollment process this year, so we urge you to consult with your college’s Advising/Student Services Office or the University Registrar for guidance on registration.

You will find the list of Fall 2021 First-Year Writing Seminars HERE beginning at noon on July 7th.

Here is our advice about Fall 2021 FWS enrollment:

  1. Incoming first-year students: If your FWS selection is a high priority for you, be ready to seek it immediately when your enrollment window opens at 9:00 AM on July 12, following the process set by the Office of the University Registrar.
  1. We further recommend that you prepare a prioritized list of several FWSs that fit in open time slots in your schedule, in case your top preference(s) have filled already.  You will not want to waste time returning to the course roster to ponder alternatives, since these too may be filling up meanwhile.
  1. You must not create any time-conflict or overlap between your FWS and any other classes on your schedule.  You must not create an “overload” beyond the credit limit set by your college.  You may not enroll in more than one First-Year Writing Seminar; once your enrollment period ends on July July 16th at 4:30 pm, you cannot drop or change until August 25 at the earliest.
  1. Once a First-Year Writing Seminar is filled to capacity, it is unalterably closed until at least the opening of the Add-Drop process; even then, it would become “open” only if one or more enrolled students were to drop it.  Please do not contact your college registrar, who has no power to lift the enrollment cap.   Please do not contact the instructor, who has no control over enrollments.  There are no waiting lists for First-Year Writing Seminars, no “shopping,” and no forms to sign or stamp. Add-Drop for FWSs takes place electronically only, via Student Center.  See item #7 below.
  1. Add-Drop for sophomores and transfer students opens at 9:00 AM on August 25: this will be the first opportunity for any other eligible students besides incoming first-years to enroll in any First-Year Writing Seminar, limited to those seminars that have open spots remaining in them after pre-enrollment for incoming students.  Please be aware that at this point capacity and choice will be limited.  See #7 below.
  1. Add-Drop for first-year students begins at 9:00 AM on August 25: this will be the first opportunity for incoming first-year students to change their FWS placement, or to enroll if they did not do so in July. This process is subject to the constraints explained above: students can only add a seminar that has open spots in it (i.e., an enrollment below the designated cap).   Please be aware that at this point capacity and choice will be limited. 
  1. Add-Drop process for First-Year Writing Seminars: To see the list of seminars that retain open spots after July enrollment, beginning on July 17, log in to Student Center. Click “Search for Classes,” then “Additional Search Criteria.”  In the “Session” field, choose “FWS Session.”  This will show you the list of open seminars.  Once the Add-Drop window opens (August 25, 9:00 AM), you may make changes from here.  Remember that the list of open seminars can change as students drop and add, so you should check frequently.  Please be aware that at this point capacity and choice will be limited.  See #4 above.

Questions and concerns about FWS enrollment procedures should be directed to the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and the Office of the University Registrar.

Important Dates

  • First-Year Writing Seminar course information will be available HERE beginning at noon on July 7th.
  • Enrollment for incoming freshmen will occur during July pre-enroll and during add/drop as noted below.

    • Incoming freshman will enroll during their pre-enrollment period from July 12th at 9:00am through July 16, 4:30pm. (dates and times subject to change)

    • First-Semester transfer students, sophomores, and all freshmen will be able to enroll during the add/drop period beginning on August 25th at 9:00 am. (dates and times subject to change)

  • Fall instruction begins on August 26.

  • Last day to add a First-Year Writing Seminar is September 9.

FWS Writing Consultation

Because Cornell’s writing seminars may expect a greater range of writing abilities than many students have exposure to in high school, the Knight Institute offers a FWS Writing Consultation to give students an opportunity to discover how well current writing skills fit into what Cornell expects.

During the FWS Writing Consultation, students submit short writing samples and meet with writing instructors for advice on which First-Year Writing Seminars are most appropriate for their learning styles and previous experience with academic writing.

Students can participate in the FWS Writing Consultation in one of two ways:

For more information about the FWS Writing Consultation process, students can attend INFORMATION SESSIONS during the Summer Scholars Institute, the PREPARE Program for International Students, and Cornell's New Student Orientation. They can also consult directly with Writing Workshop Director Tracy Hamler Carrick:

Electronic Add/Drop for First-Year Writing Seminars

FWS Add/Drop enrollment must be done electronically through Student Center. Neither instructors nor registrars can approve additional enrollment into any First-Year Writing Seminar. Caps on enrollment cannot be lifted. There are no wait-lists or forms to sign; do not ask an instructor about adding a seminar. Instructors will not allow any student not on the roster to sit in on a First-Year Writing Seminar.

To find open First-Year Writing Seminars during the Add/Drop period:

  • Go to Student Center.
  • At the search screen, click on “Additional Search Criteria.”
  • Choose “FWS Session” from the “Session” field. This will show you all open FWS classes.

A First-Year Writing Seminar is open ONLY if it appears in this list.  Check frequently, because the list can change.