Common Issues With SOLAR & Payment Agreement (and how to solve them!)
**UPDATED for 2014/15**
By CHAD FULLERTON, MACINSIDERS
A few quick reminders for all the first year students picking courses on SOLAR this week!
BEFORE WE START, SOME IMPORTANT THINGS TO NOTE:
1. YOU DO NOT PICK YOUR TUTORIALS/LABS YET (for majority of courses)
- You have 7 days from the first time you login to solar to pick and EDIT course choices
- Once you pick courses you need to do two things... VERIFY/CHANGE FOR CONFLICTS, which is the first button, and then once you do that you need to CONFIRM your choices which brings up the payment box and the list of the ones you picked. Only when you do that 2 step process does it 'lock in' your classes. If you close the window you lose everything. Also, if you reach the time limit before pressing both those buttons, you lose everything you did DURING THAT SESSION
- If you pick say... 3-4 courses and don't want to lose them, you can click the two buttons to verify and confirm those 3-4 courses and 'lock them in' and then just close the window and RELOGIN to mugsi/solar and continue where you left off. That way, those 3-4 courses you picked and confirmed already will never get erased if you reach the time limit, only the ones you add on or edit during your sessions after that
- You NEED TO COMPLETE THE PAYMENT AGREEMENT as soon as possible so that the system makes a conflict-free timetable FOR you. If you don't do it before Aug 2nd... then you have to make your own conflict-free timetable which is a pain in the butt.
These will be AUTO ASSIGNED for you and viewable in August when your personal timetable is constructed for you by the university. All you will be picking in SOLAR is the courses you want to take and if you want them in first or section semester, and Day or Evening. Thats it! As soon as August rolls around, SOLAR closes for a little while and during that time your timetable gets generated and tutorials/labs are automatically picked for you that are conflict-free. Then on August 7th you're able to see that timetable and see what they picked for you. If you're unhappy
with what they picked... you can then go into SOLAR and change it around, but until then... no lab or tutorial choices yet! Note: A few courses will allow you to pick labs/tutorials. If so, plan them out using our unofficial course selection guide
2. YOU DO NOT SELECT THE CORE SECTIONS for most of the courses (YET)
Most courses will not ask for a CORE section choice. SOLAR will only ask you is if you want the course in the DAY or EVENING, and in SEMESTER 1 or SEMESTER 2. Thats it. You aren't able to select core sectioning. My guess would be you're able to do so once your timetable is generated in August (same as labs/tutorials.. see #1). Note: A few courses will
allow you to pick core sections (SCIENCE 1A00, a couple Psych courses, etc.). If so, plan them out using our unofficial course selection guide
3. MY COURSE FAILED!!! WHAT GIVES?
If when you click VERIFY in SOLAR it is giving you a hard time about the course pre-reqs showing up as "FAILED", it may be because of a few common things. First, the most common mistake I've seen... you have a required course that is needed to take the 'failed' course, except you've signed up to take that prerequisite in SECOND SEMESTER, and take the 'failed' course in FIRST SEMESTER. Obviously you need to take the prereq course BEFORE the course requiring that prereq, so you'll need to switch the semesters around so you're taking the pre-requisite beforehand.
Go to the Undergraduate Course Calendar and find the course code, click the course title link and it brings up a page with the pre-requisites. See if you meet the requirements because chances are you're missing something!
Recommendation: Drop the courses that are giving you problems and save all the courses you do have (ie. click VERIFY, and click APPLY). Then close the SOLAR window and go back into MUGSI > SOLAR and try again. At least you'll have a spot saved in all the courses you don't have issues with.
4. ELECTIVE COURSES FULL? WAIT UNTIL SOLAR OPENS TO THE FACULTY THAT THE COURSE IS IN.
If you're trying to pick your electives and you notice that a lot of them are full and in a different faculty (eg. Humanities) then wait until the course selection date
for that faculty, chances are that seats will open up once their day comes around. So if you're trying to get into English, for example, wait until Thursday when Humanities I students are allowed into SOLAR and you may notice more available seats.
5. NOT SURE ABOUT ELECTIVES?
If you're trying to think of what courses to pick for first year electives... check out our "Easy First Year Electives" forum discussion
, or view our new COURSE REVIEWS section for 1st year courses
, all written by students.. and growing fast! The listing is in alphabetical order.
6. OSAP AND SCHOLARSHIP FUNDING OPTIONS NOT AVAILABLE!!!
If you're seeing "No Application" beside OSAP this is NORMAL! OSAP hasn't been processed yet so you can't select it as a funding option (yet!). Same with entrance scholarships. So I suggest that you confirm your payment agreement anyways (without selecting OSAP or scholarship options) and then in a few weeks check back and see if they have been processed. Once they have, you'll see a dollar amount beside "OSAP" (if you applied for it) and you can click the check box to subtract that amount from your payment total and then RECONFIRM your payment agreement with the new updated amount!
7. SOLAR WON'T LET ME IN!!! SHEESH!
Ya, WE FEEL YOUR PAIN! You're in the same boat as everyone else, and the best times to get into SOLAR are usually very early in the morning (4-5am) or in the afternoon around lunch, at least from my experience. However, note that officially SOLAR IS CLOSED from 3:00am - 3:30am
. Monday to Friday. Saturday and Sunday open 24 hours. If SOLAR still doesn't seem to let you in, then it could be that it is having issues, try again later or you can vent your frustration in the MacInsiders forum.
8. QUESTIONS? NEED HELP?
Post your question in the MacInsiders Forums and get answers from us .. and the other 30,000+ members
Also, be sure to check out http://start.mcmaster.ca