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Early Start Program at Cal State Northridge

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ENROLL IN "Early Start" at Cal State Northridge

This is a tutorial only. No login is required.


This guide explains how to use the CSU Smart Page and enroll in Early Start classes at CSUN.

The California State University (CSU) system-wide Early Start Program is for first-time freshmen who have not demonstrated college readiness in mathematics and/or writing. All students who score below 147 on the English Placement Test (EPT) and/or below 50 on the Entry Level Math (ELM) Test are required to enroll in Early Start classes at CSUN or another CSU campus to begin remediation during the summer prior to the fall term for which they have been admitted. For details including exemptions, see Early Start at CSUN.

If you are a first-time freshman, take these steps to Early Start:

  1. Take EPT / ELM tests unless you are exempt.
  2. Find out if you need to participate in the Early Start Program by logging into the student portal of the campus you will attend in the fall and reviewing the CSU Smart Page.
  3. If you need to participate, tell us where you will take Early Start classes by completing the CSU Smart Page.
  4. Register for Early Start classes with the campus you have chosen.
  5. Pay fees for CSUN Early Start classes online within two (2) hours of registration.

Step 1

First, find out if you need to participate in Early Start and tell us where you're going to do it.

Using the CSUN User ID and Password sent to you in the mail, log into myNorthridge Portal from the CSUN home page at www.csun.edu.

View a list of Supported Web Browsers.

If you will attend another CSU campus in the fall semester or quarter, log into the student portal of that campus to locate the CSU Smart Page.

Log into CSUN portal.

Step 2

Your myNorthridge Portal "Applicant" page displays.

Select the Home tab. Then:

  1. Locate My Checklist in the center column.
  2. Scroll through My Checklist to the CSU Smart Page link.
  3. Click the CSU Smart Page link.
myNorthridge home page.

Step 3

The CSU Smart Page displays.

Review the Smart Page to:

  1. Check your EPT and ELM Status and review it with your academic advisor if needed.
  2. Find out if you are required to participate in Early Start math, writing or both.
  3. Select the location(s) where you will take the required Early Start class(es).
  4. See if you qualify for a fee waiver based on your financial aid FAFSA application.
  5. When you've chosen the location(s), click the Confirm Early Start Selection(s) button.

The student in this example is required to participate in Early Start for math and writing. S/he is not eligible for the fee waiver.

CSU Early Start Smart page.

Step 4

The Confirm Selections page verifies the locations where you will participate in Early Start.

Review the information. Click Cancel to go back or Confirm Early Start Selection(s) to proceed.

Confirm Early Start institution.

Step 5

The Final Confirmation page repeats your selections and reminds you to watch for an email with Early Start enrollment information.

If you will take Early Start through CSUN but not attend our campus in the fall, watch for a letter in the mail that includes your Username and Password to log into myNorthridge.

If you chose a different CSU for Early Start, that campus will contact you with enrollment instructions.

For accommodations for students with disabilities, select click here.

You have successfully completed the CSU Smart Page but...

...you still need to enroll in Early Start classes.

Once enrollment in Early Start classes at CSUN begins, wait 24 hours after completing the CSU Smart Page before logging back into myNorthridge and registering.

Print the confirmation page for your records.

Log out (upper right corner).

Early Start program final confirmation.

Step 6

If it's been 24 hours since you completed the CSU Smart Page (and Early Start course registration has started), then you're ready to enroll in Early Start classes at CSUN.

Log back into myNorthridge with your CSUN User ID and Password.

  1. Select the Home tab
  2. Locate the Early Start box.
  3. Click the Enroll in Early Start Classes link.


Find out when CSUN Early Start course enrollment begins at Key Dates.

myNorthridge home page to enroll in Early Start at CSUN.

Step 7

The SOLAR Student Center displays.

Click Enroll in Early Start.


If you did not wait 24 hours, the Enroll in Early Start link may not display.


Step 8

The Payment Notice displays. To continue, read and accept the Statement of Financial Responsibility.

If you're not eligible for a fee waiver, your Early Start fees are due within two (2) hours of your enrollment in classes.

If you agree, click the button "I have read and understand the above statement."

Questions about Early Start fee payment should be directed to the Tseng College (extension).

Statement of financial responsibility.

Step 9

A message displays confirming whether or not you are eligible for a fee waiver based on your financial aid application.

Because this student is not eligible, s/he is reminded to pay for Early Start classes within 2 hours of enrolling.

Click OK to proceed.

message prompt about financial aid eligibility.

Step 10

The Select Term page displays.

  1. Select Summer Term. (Early Start classes are held during summer.)
  2. Click Continue.
Select term when enrolling in a class.

Step 11

The Select Classes to Add page displays, including your summer term enrollment shopping cart.

To look up Early Start classes, click the Search button.

 Select classes to add.

Step 12

The Search Criteria page displays.

  1. Select the Course Subject Early Start Math (ESM) or Early Start Writing (ESW) from the drop down menu.

    Let's start by clicking Math.
  2. Click Search.

Note: Select your Early Start Math class based on your ELM test score as follows:

  • If ELM score is 0-33, enroll in ESM 096LI or ESM 092.
  • If ELM score is 34-48, enroll in ESM 096LII or ESM 099.
Enter Search Criteria.

Step 13

The Search Results page displays.

  1. Select a math class that fits your schedule. Note class meeting dates because they may vary.
  2. Click the Select Class button.
View search results.

Step 14

The Enrollment Preferences page displays.

To avoid registration errors, review your class selection:

  1. Review enrollment information. Do you meet the requirements?
  2. Review class meeting dates.
  3. Review notes for special instructions and/or requirements.
  4. If satisfied, click Next.
Add a class enrollment preferences display.

Step 15

The math class has been placed in your enrollment shopping cart

Important!  You are not yet enrolled in the class.

If you also need to take an Early Start Writing class, this is a good time to add it to your shopping cart. Then you can complete the enrollment process for both classes at the same time.

To add the writing class to your cart:

  1. Click the Search button.
  2. Look up and select a writing class (repeat Steps 12-15).


Click Proceed to Step 2 of 3 to continue.

View your selection shopping cart.

Step 16

Both classes, math and writing, have been placed in your shopping cart.

  1. Review the classes in your cart. 
  2. If satisfied with your selections, click Proceed to Step 2 of 3.

To delete a class, click the trash icon.

Select more classes to add.

Step 17

The Confirm Classes page displays.

  1. Review your selection(s).
  2. Click Finish Enrolling.
Confirm your class selection.

Step 18

Another message states whether or not you are eligible for the fee waiver.

If not, be sure to pay fees within two (2) hours.

  1. Click OK.
Message showing your eligibility for Financial Aid Waiver.

Step 19

The View Results page displays errors or confirms success for the enrollment.

If errors are found:

  1. Review the error message.
  2. Print error message (optional) to discuss with faculty or staff.
  3. Click Add Another Class to search for more classes.

If successful:

  1. Read results and print any messages you want to discuss with faculty or staff.
  2. Click Make a Payment.
Registration transaction complete.

Step 20

Your Student Account Information displays the total charges outstanding, the amount of anticipated financial aid (if any), future charges, and your current balance outstanding, due within 2 hours of Early Start class enrollment.

To make an online payment with credit card or electronic check, click Tseng College Payment

Please contact the Tseng College of Extended Learning with payment questions.

To return to myNorthridge Portal, click Back to Portal in the upper right corner, or Log Out.

Make a payment and review your student account balances.

Step 21

Back on the myNorthridge home page, use the Early Start box to access these links as desired:

  • Enroll in Early Start Classes
  • Pay Account Balance
  • Check Grades
  • CSUN Email
  • Moodle
  • Learning Resource Center
  • Early Start Information

When done, be sure to log out.

Return to your myNorthridge home page.