Humboldt State University

Office of Admissions

Applying to HSU

Apply Online

Am I Eligible?
CSU Early Start Program (ESP) at Humboldt

The Early Start Program requires incoming freshmen who do not demonstrate readiness for college-level math and/or English to participate in Early Start math and/or Writing courses during the summer before coming to the CSU. The goals of Early Start are to better prepare students in math and English before their first semester, thereby improving their chances of completing a college degree. Early Start Math is designed to help you score higher on the Entry Level Math (ELM) exam, possibly testing out of remediation. Early Start Writing is designed to help you learn the skills needed to write at the college level. It will also help with “directed self-placement” for English at HSU.

Fall 2015 Freshman Admissions and Early Start Important Dates »

CSU Early Start Details »

How will Early Start be implemented at Humboldt State? »

Who must participate in the Early Start Program? »

What is the difference between the Smart Page and registering for Early Start classes? »

How much will it cost? »

Where can I get more information? »

Student Voices »

Fall 2015 Freshman Admissions and Early Start Important Dates

Event/Deadline
  • The Early Start Smart Page (ESP) is available April 21. This is how you will choose the campus where you will take your Early Start class(es). Please visit www.csusuccess.org/earlystart for course offerings.
  • Deadline to accept HSU offer of admission/Sign up for Orientation – May 1, 2015
  • Registration begins for Early Start courses on May 4, 2015. Please look for an email from the campus you chose for each course on your Smart Page.
  • Priority deadline to complete ESP Smart Page – June 5, 2015
  • Deadline to complete ESP activities – August 14, 2015

∧ Back to Top

CSU Early Start Details

  • Early Start is required for incoming freshmen whose scores on the Entry Level Math (ELM) and/or English Placement Test (EPT) are below the proficiency requirements.
  • The program takes place the summer before the freshman year.
  • Upon admission, CSU campuses will inform students who are not exempt, how and where to sign up for Early Start.
  • Early Start Math and English courses are offered by every CSU campus (online options available).
  • Financial aid will be available for those who demonstrate need (see below for details).
  • Early Start Math is designed to help you improve your score on the Entry Level Math (ELM) exam. Students who participate in Early Start Math are likely to improve their ELM scores enough to test out of remediation or move up one level and need one semester of math remediation instead of two! They also have a better GPA at the end of their first semester than students who do not participate. For Fall 2015, students who do not participate in Early Start may have their enrollment cancelled.
  • Early Start Writing is designed to help you be better prepared for college-level writing in all of your classes, not just freshman composition courses. Students who participate in Early Start Writing are more likely to persist beyond their first year of college and have higher GPAs than students who do not. For Fall 2015, students who do not participate in Early Start may have their enrollment cancelled.

∧ Back to Top

How will Early Start be implemented at Humboldt State?

Early Start Math – ESPM 55: A one-unit course using a web-based learning and assessment program to help students prepare for college-level math. The fully-online four-week sections of ESPM 55 are scheduled for July 6, 2015 through July 31, 2015. Completion of ESPM 55 will satisfy the Early Start requirement, but students who also wish to advance in their course placements will need to take a proctored exam after the course is over; students coming to HSU in the fall can take the ELM on campus before the semester begins.

Early Start Writing – ESPW 55: An online one-unit course preparing students for a range of college-level reading and writing tasks in different disciplines, with a particular focus on developing students’ skills in evaluating their own work. After taking the course, students will have the opportunity to adjust their placements for freshman composition. ESPW 55 is July 6, 2015 through July 31, 2015.

∧ Back to Top

Who must participate in the Early Start Program?

Math: All students who have not demonstrated college readiness must participate (ELM score less than 50). Please note that students who were deemed conditionally exempt in math based on the Early Assessment Program (EAP), SAT Math scores between 490 and 540, or ACT Math scores between 20 and 23, will be required to participate.  If you pass your Senior Year Math Experience, you will become exempt from the ELM.

English: All students who have not demonstrated college readiness must participate (EPT score less than 147). Please note that students who were deemed conditionally exempt in English based on the Early Assessment Program (EAP), SAT Verbal scores between 460 and 490, or ACT English scores between 19 and 23, will be required to participate.  If you pass your Senior Year English Experience, you will become exempt from the EPT.

I'm really happy I had the chance to participate in this course. It really helped to make a difference between college and high school, it helped me figure out a solution to my writing issue, and also, it helped me to get more confident in myself.” Early Start Writing student, 2013

Exemptions - The following freshmen will not be required to participate in Early Start:

  • International students and residents of other states

HSU freshmen will be given priority to participate in HSU Early Start English and Math.

Students may also participate in an Early Start course offered at any other CSU campus. This may be appropriate for non-local students.

Many CSU campuses are planning to offer online course options as well. Please refer to www.csusuccess.org/earlystart. Some campuses have limited space in both on-campus and online classes and give priority to students who will attend that campus in the fall.

∧ Back to Top

What is the difference between the Smart Page and registering for Early Start classes?

The Smart Page is the first step in the process. It is used to tell HSU where you will participate in Early Start classes, but it will not register you in any classes. The Smart Page for HSU is available to you from April 21 through July 15, 2015.

The next step is very important. After you have chosen a campus for Early Start, you will hear from that campus and get information on how to register for the class(es). Each campus has different timelines for this process. At HSU, Early Start class registration is from May 4 through July 6, 2015. It is very important to complete your registration according to the directions sent to you by the campus; if you don’t take this step, you won’t be enrolled in the classes you want to take.

∧ Back to Top

How much will it cost?

Early Start Programs offered at any of the CSU campuses will have a common fee. The current fee estimate is $182 per unit and is subject to change based on approved fee increases.

The additional cost for the web-based computer program used in Early Start Math is $32.00 for a six-week subscription. Neither of HSU’s Early Start courses requires you to purchase a textbook.

California residents who apply for financial aid and have an Estimated Family Contribution of $5,000 or less will be eligible for a waiver of the per-unit fee.

∧ Back to Top

Where can I get more information?

For freshman application and admission requirements, see Freshman Admission. For ELM and EPT testing dates and information, see HSU Testing Center. For financial aid application procedures and information, see HSU Financial Aid. Or email earlystart@humboldt.edu.

∧ Back to Top

Student Voices

Please take a minute to watch this video about Early Start. You will hear from students and CSU staff about how Early Start will help improve your understanding of math and writing and help in your first year of college.

∧ Back to Top