Registration for fall classes at Santa Rosa Junior College opens to all students Monday. And Diane Traversi, the school's director of admissions, has one basic piece of advice for those looking to sign up — be ready early.

"Get up at 5:30, have a big cup of coffee and be ready to go at 6," she said.

That's because there's likely going to be fierce competition for the most desirable classes when online registration begins at the early hour of 6 a.m.

In response to budget concerns, SRJC reduced its course offerings by 11 percent this fall. At the same time, student demand is well above the level seen this time last year.

As of Thursday afternoon, 13,670 students already had signed up for classes during priority registration, which began June 27, a 9 percent increase from the same period last year.

Priority registration offers a head start to students who have fulfilled criteria, including reaching certain levels of credits or meeting with counselors.

With class supply down and demand up, more than 20 percent of the school's 2,460 for-credit fall courses are already full, including all calculus sections and many prerequisites for health programs. Science and math are areas that typically fill the fastest.

Enrollment in online classes was also up by more than 26 percent, with 40 percent of sections already taken. Increasingly students are seeking such classes as a first resort, eager to take advantage of the flexibility they offer, Traversi said.

To register, students must have first completed an application, which can also be done online. New students who have not yet taken assessments in math and English will not be able to sign up for classes in those subjects until they take the tests.

Despite slim pickings in some areas, Traversi said there is still a wide array of general education classes available, though choices may narrow fast.

"There's a lot of sections still open, just maybe not at the prime time or with the teacher they want," she said.

Just don't sleep on it.