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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 and 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 Web portal of the campus you will attend in the fall and reviewing the CSU Smart Page.
  3. If you need to participate, select the location where you will take Early Start classes by completing the CSU Smart Page. If possible, choose the same campus as the one you'll attend in the fall.
  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.

Go to the CSUN home page at www.csun.edu and:

  • Select the myNorthridge Portal link
  • Log in with the CSUN User ID and Password that was sent to you in the mail.

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.

Step 2

Your myNorthridge Portal "Applicant" page displays.

Select the Home tab. Then:

  1. Locate My Checklist.
  2. Scroll through My Checklist to the CSU Smart Page link.
  3. Click the CSU Smart Page link.
The CSU Smart Page link displays in My Checklist before the Registration heading.

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, English 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 writing and math. He is not eligible for the fee waiver because he did not apply for Financial Aid (FAFSA).

The CSU Smart Page has 3 headings: English, Math and Financial Aid.

Step 4

The Confirm Selections page verifies the locations you selected to participate in Early Start.

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

Separate English and Maths sections confirm your Early Start campus choice.

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 CSUN Early Start classes begins, wait 24 hours after completing the CSU Smart Page before logging back into myNorthridge and enrolling.

Print the confirmation page for your records.

Log out (upper right corner).

Your Early Start campus selection is confirmed in separate English and Math sections.

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.

The Early Start box should display 24 hours after you complete the Smart Page.

Step 7

The SOLAR Student Center displays.

Under the "Academics" heading, select Enroll in Early Start.


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


 The Academics section has 6 links and a drop down menu.

Step 8

The Fee Payment Notice and deadlines display.

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 CSUN Tseng College (extension).

The notice has information for summer and fall terms as well as Early Start.

Step 9

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

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

Click OK to proceed.

The pop-up message window is a reminder only.

Step 10

The Select Term page displays.

  1. Select Summer Term. (Early Start classes are held during summer.)
  2. Click Continue.
Use the radio button to select summer term, the only choice.

Step 11

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

To look up Early Start classes, select the "Class Search" radio button and then click the Search button.

The select classes page has two class search tools; we are using Class Search.

Step 12

The Search Criteria page displays.

  1. In the "Course Subject" drop-down menu, select Early Start Math (ESM) or Early Start Writing (ESW).

    Let's select Early Start 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.
You only need to enter search criteria in the course subject drop down menu.

Step 13

The Search Results page displays all math (ESM) classes.

  1. Find a math class that fits your schedule. Note class meeting dates because they may vary.
  2. Click the Select Class button.
You can scroll through the list of Early Start Math courses and class sections.

Step 14

The Enrollment Preferences page displays.

To avoid registration errors, review your class selection:

  1. Review the "enrollment information" section. Do you meet the requirements?
  2. Review class start/end dates.
  3. Review "notes" for special instructions and/or requirements.
  4. If satisfied, click Next.
The enrollment preferences page shows details for the class section you selected.

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 11-14 above).


Click Proceed to Step 2 of 3 to continue.

Your shopping cart is a table that displays alongside the class search tools.

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.

The trash icon appears in column 1 of the shopping cart table.

Step 17

The Confirm Classes page displays.

  1. Review your selection(s).
  2. Click Finish Enrolling.
The Early Start English and Math classes display in a table.

Step 18

A message window restates whether or not you are eligible for the Financial Aid fee waiver.

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

  1. Click OK.
The pop-up window is a reminder of your payment deadline or waiver.

Step 19

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

If errors are found:

  1. Review the error message.
  2. Print error message (optional) to discuss with faculty or staff.

If successful:

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

Step 20

The Student Account Information page displays a table of your total charges outstanding, the amount of anticipated financial aid (if any), future charges, and your current balance outstanding, which is due within 2 hours of Early Start class enrollment unless you have a financial aid fee waiver.

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 home, select Back to Portal or Log Out (upper right corner).

The Sudent Account Information page also shows financial transaction history.

Step 21

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

  • Enroll in Early Start Classes
  • Pay Account Balance
  • Check Grades
  • CSUN Email
  • Moodle (online course platform)
  • Learning Resource Center
  • Early Start Information

When done, be sure to log out.

myNorthridge home also shows My Announcements, My Checklist and Quick Links.