Bidding and Registration Rules

Introduction

The course bidding system is a process for registering in Kellogg's full-time and Evening & Weekend MBA degree program classes. The bidding is designed to achieve an equitable and efficient allocation of seats in classes when demand exceeds supply. This document describes the "rules" of this process.

General

  • Bidding consists of three phases for each quarter, one of which is a bid to waitlist phase. The bidding phases are followed by three Add/Drop phases, which differ from each other only in the percentage of points refunded.
  • Students enrolled in all Full-Time and Evening & Weekend MBA degree programs at Kellogg bid for classes with the following exceptions:
    • Classes where students are selected by application, including some lab courses
    • Study abroad classes through Kellogg's Exchange Program
    • Independent Study classes
    • PhD level classes
    • Classes offered by other schools at Northwestern University
    • Classes offered during the pre-term for full-time students
    • Students do not bid for classes during their first quarter of enrollment.
  • Classes open to both Full-Time and Evening & Weekend MBA degree students will have seats allocated for each program.  During the phases of bidding, students will be eligible to bid only for seats allocated to their program. 

Point Allocations

  • In the full-time program, students will receive 1000 points per quarter in which they bid as students in residence at Kellogg.  All points for the year are awarded before the first bid cycle in which the students participate.  There is no carryover of points to the following year.
  • In the part-time program, new students will receive an initial allocation of bid points upon matriculation, as follows:

Program

Points

Evening

500

Evening Accelerated

1000

Weekend*

250

Weekend Accelerated

500

* Weekend students are manually enrolled for courses in their first year.



  • Evening & Weekend students will accrue additional points for each Kellogg credit taken.  The additional points will be allocated prior to the next bidding cycle.  For example:

Class

Points

1 credit

250 points

½ credit

125 points

0 credit

0 points

 

  • Students do not receive additional points or lose points when they waive a core course or take more than the minimum number of credits required to graduate.
  • Student majors have no impact on bidding points or bidding priority.
  • Points may be deducted from a student's bidding account as part of Honor Code Sanctions.
  • A bidding point transaction history is available for each student in the bidding and registration system.

General Bidding Limits

  • A minimum of 1 point must be bid for a class.
  • There is no maximum to how many points a student may bid for a class, as long as the bid does not exceed the student’s available balance.
  • There is no minimum number of class credits upon which a student must bid.
  • A full-time student can bid on a maximum of five (5) class credits.
  • An Evening & Weekend student can bid on a maximum of four (4) class credits.
  • Classes that meet for a half-quarter generally count as one-half credit.
  • A student can bid on multiple classes that meet at the same time.
  • A student can place a bid on multiple sections of a course only by selecting an alternate section.
  • Course pre-requisites are enforced throughout the system.
  • Maximum class capacity is determined for each class by interest from the first phase of bidding.
  • For full-time students, the combination of enrolled credits and waitlist positions cannot exceed ten (10) credits.
  • For Evening & Weekend students, the combination of enrolled credits and waitlist positions cannot exceed eight (8) credits.

     

Points Available for Bidding

  • A bid point account balance is maintained for each student. Points are deducted as a student places a bid.
  • At the end of a phase of bidding and upon resolution, a student is “charged” the clearing cost, as follows:
    • For classes that are undersubscribed (i.e., seats are still available), zero points.
    • For classes that are filled to capacity (i.e., all seats are taken), an amount equal to the lowest successful bid for the class in that phase.  Any points bid in excess of the clearing cost are returned to the student for use in a later bidding phase or cycle.
  • When a student drops a class for which s/he was charged during a phase of bidding, a percentage of the points charged are refunded based on the timing of the drop.
  • When a student drops from a waitlist position for which he was charged during a phase of bidding, 100% of the points will be refunded. Points cannot be used simultaneously to hold a waitlist position and to bid on another class.

Phase One Bidding

  • Students may only place bids on classes for which enrollment occurs through bidding and for which seats are allocated to the students’ program. 
  • Students may place bids on multiple sections of a course only by selecting the alternate section option as following:
    • Student must place a bid on the preferred section of the course.  The student will then have the option to:
      • Select “no alternate.”  In this case, the student will be bidding on one, and only one, section of the course.
      • Select the “alternate section, same time” option. In this case, if the student’s bid is insufficient to secure a seat in the section for which they placed a bid, then the student will be placed in an alternate section of the course in the same timeslot, provided there are open seats available in an alternate section. The order in which students are placed in the alternate section is determined by the amount of points the student bid on the original section. If a student is successfully placed in an alternate section, no bid points will be charged because the alternate section did not close with direct bids.
      • Select the “alternate section, same professor” option. In this case, if the student’s bid is insufficient to secure a seat in the section for which they placed a bid, then the student will be placed in an alternate section of the course with the same professor, provided there are open seats available in an alternate section. The order in which students are placed in the alternate section is determined by the amount of points the student bid on the original section. If a student is successfully placed in an alternate section, no bid points will be charged because the alternate section did not close with direct bids.
      • Upon resolution of a bidding phase, a student who places an alternate bid will be awarded no more than one seat in one section of a course; students cannot secure a seat in multiple sections of a course.
  • Students are awarded seats in a class by processing bid points in descending order. The highest bidders are awarded a seat, up to the maximum class capacity. The clearing cost for the course is the lowest successful bid at the end of the bidding phase.
  • If a class is oversubscribed, the unsuccessful bidders are placed on the waitlist for that class. The points bid become the points held for a waitlist position. Waitlist rank is determined by points bid in descending order.

100% Drop Phase

  • Students can drop any successful seat or waitlist position to recapture points for use in a later bidding cycle or term.
  • Students cannot add into an open class or onto a waitlist.

     

Phase Two Bidding

  • Students can bid points only on undersubscribed classes (e.g. classes that have open seats after phase one of bidding or after the 100% drop phase).  Students bidding in phase two cannot displace a student who secured a class seat during phase one of bidding, even if the bid placed in phase two is higher. 
  • Students cannot bid on fully subscribed classes, nor can they bid for a place on the waitlist for a fully subscribed class.
  • Awarded seats and waitlist positions are determined using the same process as in phase one. 
  • The clearing cost for a class in phase two is the lowest successful bid at the end of the bidding phase.  This clearing cost is independent from the phase one clearing cost for the same class.
  • Students may not drop roster positions during Phase II Bidding.

Waitlists

  • Students may secure positions on waitlists during Phase I and Phase II of Bidding; If a class is oversubscribed, the unsuccessful bidders are placed on the waitlist for that class. The points bid become the points held for a waitlist position. Waitlist rank is determined by points bid in descending order. Students may add themselves to the waitlist of a closed course during the Add/Drop phases.  Students who add to a waitlist will be in a position after those who secured a waitlist position through a bidding phase.
  • Waitlist positions cost the number of points a student bids, regardless of the clearing cost of the class.
  • As students drop classes, other students are moved up on the waitlist and possibly promoted into the class. This process occurs in real time while the system is open after bidding phase one.
  • The price that the student is "charged" for a waitlist promotion is determined by the points that s/he bid on the class.
  • Once a waitlist position has been secured, a student may set a conditional drop.  This allows a student to drop a roster position simultaneously if a seat were to open up in the waitlisted section.

 

Tie Break Method

  • In the case of a point tie for a class seat or a waitlist position, one student will be randomly selected.

     

75% Refund Add/Drop Period (Add/Drop 1 and Add/Drop 2)

  • After the second phase of bidding, students may drop any class that they do not want and any wait list position that they do not wish to maintain.  They may also add themselves into any open classes.
  • For dropped classes, 75% of the points spent for the class will be refunded for use in another bidding cycle.  Points refunded during Add/Drop periods cannot be used in the same bidding cycle, as there are no additional bidding phases.
  • For dropped waitlist positions, 100% of the points spent for the waitlist position will be refunded.
  • During this phase, students may add themselves to a waitlist as well as be promoted from the waitlist into the class.

     

50% Refund Add/Drop Period (Add/Drop 3, during the first week of classes)

  • The activity of the Initial Add/Drop Period resumes.
  • For dropped classes, 50% of the points spent for the class will be refunded for use in another bidding cycle. 
  • For dropped waitlist positions, 100% of the points spent for the waitlist position will be refunded.
  • At the end of the Add/Drop 3 phase (the end of the first week of class), waitlists for all ten-week and first five-week classes are purged and students receive a refund of all points being held for remaining waitlist positions.  Waitlists for the second five-week classes will be purged at the end of the sixth week of the quarter.

     

0% Refund Final Drop Period (Drop Only, through varying deadlines set by course type)

  • The Drop activity of the Initial Add/Drop Period continues, but no classes can be added.
  • No refund is returned for classes dropped in this phase.

Changes in Class Offerings

  • Occasionally, additional seats may be added to a class maximum capacity after phase one. When this happens, students on the wait list will be promoted into the class until it is closed or until no students remain on the wait list.
  • If a class is cancelled, all students are dropped from the class and notified as soon as possible. Points charged for the class are refunded.
  • If the instructor for a class must be changed, students are notified as soon as possible. The standard bidding procedures still apply unchanged.

Going on Exchange (Full-time students only)

Students who study abroad will be charged that quarter the average number of bid points spent by their classmates or 1000 bid points (whichever is less). The points will be deducted prior to the upcoming quarter bidding cycle.  If a student does not have enough points to cover the charge, all points will be deducted and the student will have to wait until add/drop in order to register for courses.  The points are charged so that students on exchange will not have a point advantage in subsequent terms over those students who did not go on exchange.