Seniority Eludes Some in ’07

Students who spent time abroad registered as juniors by the College

As seniors who spent last semester abroad braced themselves for the rigors of Harvard this fall, few expected they would find themselves juniors.

In the past month, several seniors have found out that they were listed as juniors by the Registrar’s Office after returning from studying abroad for credit.

Several students were excluded from senior class e-mail lists due to error, preventing them from voting in the Class Marshal elections and signing up for yearbook sittings.

“I had intended to run for Class Marshal but kind of missed the vote,” Kathryn C. Gluckman ’07 said yesterday. “I was never even provided with the password in order to vote.”

“I am missing out on senior events because I am not on the right e-mail lists,” said Ekua K. Nkyekyer ’07, an Economics concentrator in Lowell House. She added that she was not aware of yearbook photo sittings until yesterday, the last day to sign up.

According to FAS Registrar Barry S. Kane, delays could have resulted from host institutions failing to report grades on time or to send the transcripts to Harvard’s Office of International Programs (OIP).

Kane added that the OIP and FAS departments sometimes take additional time allocating credits to students once the appropriate information is sent to Harvard.

“We’re actually the very last stop in a process that begins with the host office overseas and ends in our office,” Kane said. “We have no control over the process. We record this information as it comes in.”

Some students said that they had difficulty contacting the Registrar with their complaints. “I have called the Registrar and I got bounced from person to person,” Nkyekyer said.

Nkyekyer added that she was listed as a senior with the OIP and the Economics department but not with the Registrar.

Kane said that despite student complaints, the process is “actually smoother” this year than it ever has been. Once the OIP receives the foreign transcripts, they are now immediately linked online to the Registrar’s database. And beginning this semester, Harvard transcripts will show the specific titles of courses completed abroad instead of only the name of the host institution and number of credits awarded.