CSU Early Start Program (ESP)

Early Start students

Early Start is a Smart Start!

The Early Start Program was mandated by the CSU Board of Trustees in response to numbers of new students requiring remediation in mathematics and English. The goals of the Early Start Program include better preparation of new students in mathematics and English by starting in the summer preceding Fall enrollment, provide better assessment of academic preparation and improve students' likelihood of a successful completion of a college degree.

CSU Early Start Details:

  • Early Start is required for freshmen who have not fulfilled the Entry Level Math (ELM) and/or English Placement Test (EPT) proficiency requirements or other exemption criteria.
  • The program takes place the summer before the freshman year.
  • In May, CSU campuses will provide students required to participate in Early Start instructions on how to sign up.
  • Students can complete the CSU Early Start program at CSUEB or at another CSU location. A listing of CSU Early Start program options at the 23 CSU campuses will be posted on the Early Start “Smart Page".
  • Each CSU Early Start math and English class costs $182 plus a fee of $1 for Health Facilities and $1 for the student union at each campus enrolled. Depending on the campus, there may costs associated with campus parking and course instructional materials. Assistance for some Financial Aid students is available in the form of an Early Start Fee Waiver. 

Early Start at Cal State East Bay

Freshman admitted to CSUEB who do not meet the exemption criteria must participate in the CSU Early Start program during the summer. Notices of required participation will be sent starting in May. Students can complete the Early Start program at CSUEB or at another CSU location.

 Early Start classes at Cal State East Bay will be offered at both the Hayward and Concord campus in the summer. CSUEB’s two-week Early Start math class is an online course with all instruction offered online. CSUEB’s three-week Early Start English class is not online; it is offered in a traditional classroom format at the Hayward or Concord campus. For information about specific course dates visit the CSU Early Start Course search site.

Early Start Costs

Early Start Program offered at any of the CSU campuses have a common fee. The current fee estimate is $182 per unit plus a fee of $1 for Health Facilities and $1 for the student union at each campus enrolled, and is subject to change based on approved fee increases. Fees for campus parking and course instruction materials may also be charged. California residents who apply for financial aid and have an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) of $5000 or less may be eligible for a waiver of the per unit fee.

Cal State East Bay Freshman Admission Timeline

SAT or ACT Scores due to CSUEB March 15
EPT/ELM Placement Testing Strongly encouraged to complete prior to March; no later than May 3 test administration.
Intent to Register Priority Deadline May 1
Applicants start to be notified if required to participate in Early Start Mid-May
Deadline to register on Early Start Smart page July 15
Deadline to complete Early Start Program activities Late-August (tentative)

Contact Us

Students with questions about the Early Start Program can contact the CSUEB Early Start Program office in the following ways:

For answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Early Start Program, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page

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