Early Start Frequently Asked Questions

About Early Start

What is Early Start?

Early Start 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 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 subtitute for either Early Start or the approriate GE classes at Fresno State.

Early Start Substitutes - Click here for a list of Community Colleges courses that fulfill the Early Start requirements. You will still be required to take the GE courses once you begin attending Fresno State.

GE Credit SubstitutesIf 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/Remediation Specialist first to confirm that your course is an adequate substitute.

NOTE: YOU MUST forward transcripts of the completed work to Fresno State when the courses are over.  

Contact the 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?

Yes. Please contact the Early Start/Remediation Specialist first to confirm that your course is an an adequate substitute.

NOTE: YOU MUST forward transcripts of the completed work to Fresno State when the courses are over.  

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 indivuals who cannot physically make it to campus.

Is financial aid available for Early Start?

Yes. If you have submitted a FAFSA and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5,000 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.

More information on the fee wavier here.

Will Early Start classes count toward my degree?

Early Start classes do not fulfill any degree requirements.

What if I do not complete Early Start?

If you are required to take Early Start and do not complete it or receive an exemption, you risk being disenrolled from Fresno State.


Registering for Early Start

When can I register for Early Start?

Registration will open for Early Start Required students on May 8. On June 6, Early Start Recommended 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 schedule is posted on this website: http://www.csusuccess.org/earlystart. You can view the Fresno Start Early Start schedule here.

How do I register for classes?

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

When are program fees due?

Students who register from May 8 - June 4 must pay by 11:59PM on June 4. Students who register on June 6 or later must pay within 24 hours of registration.

Students do not have to pay program fees if they 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?

Late or incorrect financial aid applications can cause problems with the fee waiver. Take the following steps if you believe you should be eligible for a waiver:

  1. Confirm that there are no Financial Aid-related activities on the "To Do" list in your MyFresnoState Student Center. Non-Fresno State students should review their student account at their home CSU campus.
  2. Contact the Financial Aid office at Fresno State and verify that all necessary documentation has been received. Non-Fresno State students should contact the financial aid office at their home CSU campus.

NOTE: Changes to student information for non-Fresno State students usually take 1-2 business days 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 up until the first day of each Early Start class. The last classes begin on July 9 (Math) and July 16 (English), HOWEVER 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 Blackboard.
Make sure to login to Blackboard using 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. See instructors.

Will I need to buy any textbooks for Early Start?

Some Early Start classes require reading materials that cost $15-30 range. Your professor will provide details about these costs when the class begins. 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. Early Start students will be able to purchase a special $20 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 (Joyal 156).

Can I stay in the dorms during Early Start?

Yes! Rooms are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis and cost $23 a night. Reservation dates must be consecutive.

Visit the University Courtyard website to download an application, or visit the Attrium Lobby for assistance.

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. 

Phone: 559.278.2811

Website: http://fresnostate.edu/studentaffairs/ssd/

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.