Early Start Frequently Asked Questions

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. 

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.

May I obtain an Early Start exemption?

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. See "Forms/Resources" for links to other Early Start programs.

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 Admissions if you have any questions about substituting a community college class.

Early Start Substitutes

Community Colleges courses that fulfill Early Start requirements are available online. 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 Admissions 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, the entire Early Start program will be online in 2021. Some classes may have required Zoom meetings.

Is financial aid available for Early Start?

If you have submitted a FAFSA and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $6,000 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.

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 on June 8th. 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.

How do I register for classes?

You may add classes to your schedule on MyFresnoState. See Registration for more information.

What are the fees for Early Start?

When are Program Fees due?

If you register between June 8th - June 28th, you must pay by 11:59pm on June 28th. If you register on June 30th 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 $6,000 or less are eligible for the Early Start fee waiver. Late or incorrect financial aid applications may 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.

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.

NOTE: If you are a host student (i.e. attending another CSU campus in the fall), contact your home campus staff for assistance with any unfinished financial aid paperwork. Monitor your fee waiver status on your home campus student account. It may take 1-2 business days for your waiver eligibility to update at Fresno State.

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

Students may register until the first day of class. 

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

Attending Early Start

Where are Early Start classes held at Fresno State?

All 2021 Early Start classes will be held online.

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.

Do I need a parking permit for Early Start?

You will need a parking permit if you park on campus during the program. 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.

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 contact the Bulldog Card Office.

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?

COVID-19 may affect available of many services. Click below to learn more about popular services:

Kennel Bookstore

Henry Madden Library

Student Health and Counseling 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.

COVID-19 may affect available of many services.

I need help finding a building on campus.