Early Start Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: Information on this page is subject to change as the 2019 Early Start program is designed. Check back after May 1 for updates.

About Early Start

What is Early Start?

Early Start is a program 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 Early Start?

First-time freshmen may be required to attend Early Start. Learn more about how to check your Early Start status here.

Learn more about the Early Start placement criteria.

Can I be exempted  from Early Start?

Yes, you may be exempt from Early Start for a number of reasons. You may also file an exemption petition for consideration. For more information, see "Placement".

Where is Early Start offered?

The Early Start Program is offered at all Cal State campuses. Check the Cal State Website to find the nearest campus.

Can I fulfill the Early Start requirement at a community college?

Yes! Community college courses are available that substitute for either Early Start or the applicable GE classes at Fresno State.

NOTE: YOU MUST forward an official transcript of the completed work to Fresno State after receiving your grade in a community college class. 

Contact the Early Start/College Readiness Advisor if you have any questions about substituting a community college class.

Early Start Substitutes

Click here for a list of Community Colleges courses that fulfill  Early Start requirements. You will still be required to take the GE courses when you attend Fresno State.

General Education (GE) Credit Substitutes

If you pass a community college course that substitutes for a GE course at Fresno State, you will not need to complete that Early Start subject. Please contact the Early Start/College Readiness Advisor first to confirm that your course is an adequate substitute.

Can I fulfill the Early Start requirement at a private institution or an institution in another state?

Yes. Please contact the Early Start/College Readiness Advisor first to confirm that your course is an an adequate substitute.

NOTE: YOU MUST forward an official transcript of the completed work to Fresno State after receiving your grade.

How do I choose where to complete Early Start?

You may use the Early Start Page to select another CSU campus or community college.

If you select a different CSU campus, they will contact you via Fresno State Mail within a few business days with registration information.

If you select a community college, you are required to register for classes on your own and make sure the transcripts arrive at Fresno State in a timely manner.

Are online Early Start classes available at Fresno State?

Yes, English classes are available online. Math will not be offered online, but may be offered at other CSU campuses.

NOTE: Online classes are recommended only for highly independent learners and individuals who cannot physically make it to campus.

Is financial aid available for Early Start?

If you have submitted a FAFSA and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,500 or less, you may be eligible for a waiver of program fees for the Early Start Program.

Students who are not eligible to submit FAFSA, including AB 540 students, should 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.

The program fee waiver does not cover course materials, such as reading materials, room and board, or supplies.

Will Early Start classes count toward my degree?

Early Start classes offer baccalaureate credit toward your degree.


Registering for Early Start

When can I register for Early Start?

Registration will open for Early Start Required (Readiness Category IV) students on May 8th. On June 12th, Early Start Recommended (Readiness Category III) students may begin enrolling as well.

Use the Early Start Page in your MyFresnoState Student Center to determine whether you are exempt from, recommended, or required to take Early Start.

More information on Early Start placement here.

When will the course schedule available?

The CSU system-wide course list is posted on this website: http://www.csusuccess.org/earlystart. You can view the Fresno Start Early Start course list here.

How do I register for classes?

You may add classes to your schedule on the MyFresnoState Student Center

What are the fees for Early Start?

Early Start classes cost $191 per unit. Students also pay $1 for access to the Health Center and $1 for access to the Student Union. Reading materials and supplies may be required and are not included in these costs. Click here for more information.

When are program fees due?

If you register between May 8th - June 25th, you must pay by 11:59pm on June 25th. If you register on June 27th or later, you must pay within 24 hours of registration.

You do not have to pay program fees if you have an Early Start fee waiver.

I believe I should qualify for a fee waiver, but I'm being told to pay for classes. What do I do?

Students with an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,500 or less are eligible for the Early Start fee waiver. Late or incorrect financial aid applications can cause problems with the fee waiver. 

You should confirm that there are no Financial Aid-related activities on the "To Do" list in your MyFresnoState Student Center and contact the Financial Aid Office to verify that your EFC is correct and/or determine if any required documents are missing. If you are a host student, you should contact your home CSU campus for assistance.

NOTE: If you are a host student, it may take 1-2 business days for your waiver eligibility to update at Fresno State. 

Monitor your Early Start page. If the fee waiver status changes to "eligible," please submit a refund form and we will contact you with further instructions.

What is the deadline to register for Early Start classes at Fresno State?

Students may register until the first day of class. English classes begin on July 8th and July 22nd. Math classes begin on July 8th only.

NOTE: Students are encouraged to register early, as classes may fill up.

Attending Early Start

Where are Early Start classes held at Fresno State?

Early Start classes are held in the Peters Business Building on the east side of campus. Student parking and dropoff zones are adjacent to the building in lots P5 and P6. See "Drop-Offs/Parking" for more information

View the campus map.

How do I access an online Early Start class?

Online Early Start classes are accessible via Canvas.
Make sure to login to Canvas using your Fresno State username and password.

What if Dog Days conflicts with my Early Start class?

We strongly encourage you to select an Early Start class that does not conflict with your Dog Days orientation.

If you do have a scheduling conflict, you are responsible for alerting your Early Start instructor of your absence and making up any missed work. 

Will I need to buy any textbooks for Early Start?

Some Early Start classes require reading materials. Your professor will provide details about these costs when class begins. These materials are not covered by the fee waiver. Click here for more information.

Do I need a parking permit for Early Start?

Yes, if you are driving to campus each day you will need a permit.  See "Parking" for more details.

Where do I get my Fresno State ID card?

Most Early Start students will receive a Fresno State ID card during their Dog Days orientation. You can find more information here.

If you are not attending Fresno State in the fall, you may receive a free Early Start ID card that will permit access to the library and pay-for-print services during the program. To receive a card, register for your Early Start classes and then visit the Bulldog Card Office, located in room 156 of the Joyal Building.

Can I stay in the dorms during Early Start?

Yes! Rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservation dates must be consecutive.

Visit the Fresno State Housing website for more information.

How do I get special learning/facility accommodations for a disability?

You may request accommodations from the Services for Students with Disabilities office.

What student services will be in available?

Many campus services will be available during the summer. Click below to learn more about popular services:

Kennel Bookstore

Henry Madden Library

Student Health and Counseling Center

Student Recreation Center

University Student Union

What dining options are available during the summer?

University Dining Services will be available in the summer.

Campus Pointe (located on the east side of campus on Chestnut Avenue) has a variety of dining options as well. Visit the Campus Pointe website.

I need help finding a building on campus.