The Early Start Program: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Early Start Program?
The Early Start Program is a tool used across the California State University system to prepare incoming freshmen for college-level English and Math courses. The program was approved by the CSU Board of Trustees and launched at all CSU campuses in 2012.
Will I be required to participate in the Early Start Program?
First-time freshmen attending in the Fall will be required to participate in the Early Start program if their scores on the Elementary Level Mathematics (ELM) and/or English Placement Test (EPT) do not meet the threshold for Early Start exemption. Log into your student portal at My.fresnostate.edu to view your Early Start Smart Page which will tell you whether or not you need to participate.
Can I be exempted from the Early Start Program?
Yes, students may be exempt from Early Start for a number of reasons. For more information, visit the Exemptions page.
How do I choose where I complete the Early Start Program?
Go to the Early Start Smart Page located in your Student Center at My.fresnostate.edu. You must notify Fresno State of your plans to fulfill the Early Start requirement.
Where is the Early Start Program offered?
The Early Start Program is offered at all Cal State campus' and some community colleges. Check the Cal State Website to see if there is a campus near you offering the Early Start Program.
What if I do not complete the Early Start Program?
If you are required to complete the Early Start Program and do not complete it, you will not be permitted to enroll as a Freshman for your first semester.
Is financial aid available for the Early Start Program?
Students who are eligible to submit FAFSA should do so before enrolling in Early Start. If you have submitted a FAFSA and meet a specific estimated family contribution (EFC), you may be eligible for a waiver of registration fees for the Early Start Program. The waiver does not cover books or materials for courses. Students who are not eligible to submit FAFSA, including AB 540 students, should be sure to file the State Financial Aid application prior to enrolling in Early Start. A formula similar to the EFC is used to determine eligibility for the waiver.
Who can register for Early Start classes?
Only students who earned a score less than 50 in the ELM and/or less than 147 in the EPT are required to enroll in Early Start courses. To see if you are need to participate, go to My.fresnostate.edu. It is your responsibility to check your Smart Page and enroll in Early Start courses.
When will the course schedule available?
Are Early Start courses available online?
Will an Early Start course count toward my degree?
Will I need to buy any textbooks for Early Start?
Where do I get my Fresno State ID card?
I’m attending another CSU campus in the fall. Can I get a Fresno State ID Card for Early Start?
If you are attending Early Start at Fresno State, but are attending another CSU campus in the fall, you can obtain an Early Start ID card for free. This card will grant you access to the library and pay-for-print services during all sessions of the Summer Early Start program.
- Register for your Early Start course(s).
- Go to the Bulldog Card Office in the Joyal Building, Room 156 to receive your Early Start ID Card.
The Early Start ID card is only VALID until the end of the Early Start program.
What student services will be in operation during Early Start?
Do I need a parking permit?
Can I live in the dorms during the Early Start Program?
I need to find a building on the Fresno State campus.
How do I get special learning/facility accommodations for a disability?
Contact Services for Students with Disabilities as soon as possible to ensure that your disability can be accommodated.
Website at http://www.fresnostate.edu/ssd.
Can I fulfill the Early Start requirement at a Community College?
Click here for a list of Community Colleges and courses that will be accepted at Fresno State to fulfill your Early Start requirement. YOU MUST forward transcripts of the completed work to you Fresno State when the courses are over. Call 559.278-6106 to speak to the Fresno State Early Start Remediation Specialist if you have any questions.
Can I fulfill the Early Start requirement at a private institution or an institution in another state?
If available, you may fulfill the Early Start requirement at a private institution, or an institution in other states. YOU MUST contact your future CSU campus prior to selecting one of these options. The future CSU campus must approve this choice. Students must remember to forward transcripts of their completed work to their future CSU campus when the courses are over. Call 559.278-6106 to speak to the Fresno State Early Start Remediation Specialist.
What does my Early Start grade mean?
There are three possible Early Start grades: NC, RP, and CR. See the Course Descriptions and Grading page for a detailed explanation of each grade.
Which English/Math courses should I take after Early Start?