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Early Start Program

Cal State Northridge Welcomes You to Early Start

The California State University (CSU) system recently enacted a policy known as "Early Start," requiring incoming first-time freshmen who do not demonstrate readiness for college-level math and/or writing to begin remediation during the summer before enrolling in the CSU. The goals of Early Start are to better prepare students in math and writing before their first semester and thereby improve their chances of completing a college degree.

Unless exempt, you must attend the CSU Early Start Program in summer 2016 in order to enroll in fall 2016 classes at your destination campus (i.e., the campus you will attend in the fall term). Learn more about the CSU system-wide program and find a course list at CSU Success.

Quick Navigation - Early Start Program

Program Participation

To find out if you need to take CSU Early Start, log into the CSU Smart Page, as explained at How to Enroll in Early Start. The CSU Smart Page for CSUN will be available from April 4 through July 6, 2016.

Students deemed in need of remediation in either English or math or both will be required to participate in Early Start.

Early Start Exemptions

The following students will not be required to participate in the CSUN Early Start Program:

  • Students who are deemed ready for college-level English and/or math courses based on any one or more of their test scores listed below:
    —Advanced Placement (AP) English and/or math scores
    —Early Assessment Program (EAP) scores
    —EPT and/or ELM test scores (learn more at EPT and ELM FAQs)
    —SAT or ACT scores
  • Students who are deemed conditionally ready for college-level English and/or math courses based on EAP, SAT or ACT and who satisfy the condition by completing an applicable senior year course in English and/or math. (“Conditionally ready” students who do not satisfactorily complete the senior year English and/or math courses will need to participate in Early Start.)
  • International students
  • Residents of other states
  • Students participating in the CSUN EOP Summer Bridge program
  • Students who qualify for admission through the CSUN EOP Program
  • Students enrolled in CSUN's MARC/MBRS Math and Language Arts Summer Enrichment Program
  • Students enrolled in CSUN's Student Athlete Summer Success Program
  • Students admitted to CSUN after June 27, 2016

If you are required to take the EPT and/or ELM, your scores will determine whether or not you need to participate in the CSU Early Start Program:

  • Writing: You must participate in Early Start if your EPT score is less than 147.
  • Math: You must participate in Early Start if your ELM score is less than 50.

Services for Students with Disabilities: Students who believe they should be exempted from the Early Start requirement on the basis of a disability need to contact Cal State Northridge Disabilities Resources and Educational Services (DRES) or the National Center on Deafness (NCOD).

RESOURCES

Fees, Financial Aid & Refunds

Early Start courses offered at any of the CSU campuses will have the same fee rate. The current fee estimate is $182 per semester unit and is subject to change based on approved fee increases. An additional campus fee of $2.00 ($1 each for Health Facilities and Student Union) at any CSU campus is also required. Campus parking and course instruction materials may also be charged.

Early Start fee waivers will be available for those demonstrating need. California residents who apply for financial aid by March 2, 2016 and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,000 or less may be eligible for a fee waiver for any course meeting Early Start Program requirements.

Financial Aid
2016-2017 Federal and California Financial Aid application period beginsJanuary 1, 2016
Priority consideration given to those who file FAFSA byMarch 2, 2016
Document deadline for on-time Fall 2016 financial aidJune 2

Find more CSUN Financial Aid Information.

Important: Refunds will not be granted for withdrawal from Early Start classes once they have begun. It is the student’s responsibility to verify placement and exemptions on the CSU SmartPage before class(es) start. Exemptions received after Early Start classes begin do not qualify the student for withdrawal or refund. 

Courses

If at all possible, you are strongly encouraged to complete the Early Start Program with the CSU campus you'll attend in the fall. By taking Early Start classes at your destination campus, you'll meet professors and other students, connect to the campus community, and transition more smoothly to your fall term math and writing courses.

CSUN’s Early Start program consists of the courses listed in the table below. Multiple sections of each course are offered. For details, visit:

Math ESM 091A
Units: 1
Mode
Face-to-face
ELM Score: Less than 34
For those attending CSUN
or any other CSU this fall.
2016 Dates
Jun 28Aug 3   OR   Jul 14Aug 3
Math ESM 091B
Units: 1
Mode
Face-to-face
ELM Score: 34 to 49, OR
"Conditionally Ready"
For those attending CSUN
or any other CSU this fall.
2016 Dates
Jun 28Aug 3   OR   Jul 14Aug 3
Math ESM 092
Units: 3**
Mode
Face-to-face
ELM Score: Less than 34
Only for those attending CSUN this fall.
2016 Dates
Jun 21Aug 1
Math ESM 097* (Pre-statistics)
Units: 3**
Mode
Face-to-face
ELM Score: 34 to 49, OR
"Conditionally Ready"
Only for those attending CSUN
this fall in these majors:
– All majors in the
College of Social & Behavioral Sciences

– Select majors in the
College of Health & Human Development*
2016 Dates
Jun 21Aug 1
Math ESM 099*
Units: 3**
Mode
Face-to-face
ELM Score: 34 to 49, OR
"Conditionally Ready"
Only for those attending CSUN
this fall whose majors are:
– NOT in the College of Social & Behavioral Sciences
– NOT select majors in the
College of Health & Human Development*
2016 Dates
Jun 21Aug 1
Writing ESW 099
Units: 1
Mode
Fully Online
EPT Score: Less than 147, OR
"Conditionally Ready"
For those attending CSUN
or any other CSU this fall.
2016 Dates
Jun 13Jul 1   OR   Jul 5–22   OR   Jul 18Aug 5

"Conditionally Ready" for college-level Math or college-level English based on EAP or SAT/ACT test scores.

*For help selecting the best Early Start Math (ESM) class for your choice of major, consult an academic advisor.

**CSUN has found that student pass rates are higher and placement in fall math courses is better when taking a 3-unit, face-to-face ESM course.

Students may also participate in the Early Start program offered at any other CSU campus. This may be appropriate for non-local students. Many CSU campuses are offering online course options as well.

How to Enroll in Early Start

To enroll in the CSU Early Start Program:

  1. Take the EPT/ELM tests no later than the May 7, 2016 test date. Because demand is heavy and seating is limited, we recommend signing up for an earlier test date. Please see:

    EPT/ELM test dates  AND  EPT/ELM test registration
  2. Go to the CSU Smart Page link, located in the student Web Portal of the CSU campus to which you've been admitted. If you've been admitted to CSUN, log into myNorthridge at www.csun.edu, locate My Checklist and select the CSU Smart Page link.
  3. Review your CSU Smart Page to:
    —Find out if you need to participate in Early Start
    —Find out if you qualify for an Early Start fee waiver based on your FAFSA information
    Indicate the location where you will take Early Start math and/or writing classes. This action will initiate your access to enrollment in Early Start classes. You are strongly encouraged to take Early Start classes with the CSU campus you will attend in in the fall term.

    Note: CSUN students must declare their plans to fulfill the Early Start math and/or writing remediation requirements using the CSU Smart Page no later than July 6, 2016.
  4. Once you've completed the CSU Smart Page, you will receive Early Start course enrollment information from the CSU campus you selected. Be sure to complete the CSU Smart Page before enrolling in Early Start classes.
  5. If you plan to take Early Start at CSUN, you may enroll in classes starting April 11, 2016. The last day to enroll in CSUN Early Start classes is July 13.

For help, see the How To Guide Enroll in "Early Start" at Cal State Northridge.

Key Dates

The chart below lists important dates for the Summer 2016 CSU Early Start Program at Cal State Northridge (CSUN) and for enrollment in the Fall 2016 semester.

Summer and Fall 2016 at CSUN
Earliest possible date to register in Fall 2016 classes with your advisor.*April 12, 2016
Earliest possible date to log into the CSU Smart PageApril 4
Earliest possible date to enroll in CSUN Early Start coursesApril 11
Last day to file Intent to Register for Fall 2016May 2
Last day to take EPT/ELM tests **May 7
EPT/ELM scores received by CSUNAbout 3 weeks after the test date
First CSUN Early Start writing courses beginJune 13
First CSUN Early Start math courses beginJune 21
Deadline to complete the CSU Smart PageJuly 6
Last day to enroll in Early Start courses at CSUNJuly 13
Deadline to complete CSUN Early Start coursesAugust 5
Send final official high school transcript to CSUN for receipt byAugust 12


*
Make an appointment with an academic advisor in the College of your major or ARC/EOP if undecided. See Academic Advisement.

**Because of heavy demand and limited seating, you should sign up for the EPT/ELM tests much earlier than the May deadline. View earlier test dates at English Placement Test (EPT) and Entry Level Math Test (ELM).