Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. When should I take the EPT/ELM test?

You should take the EPT/ELM as early as possible, and no later than the deadline on May 6. CSUDH strongly encourages students to take the tests by March.

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2. What EPT/ELM scores will require me to participate in Early Start?

Students who score the following on the EPT/ELM tests will be required to participate in Early Start:

EPT Score = less than 147

ELM Score = less than 50

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3. What test scores do you look at if EPT/ELM scores are not on file?

If EPT/ELM scores are not on file, CSUDH will look at SAT/ACT/EAP scores to determine if Early Start is needed. Students who score the following on these tests will be required to participate in Early Start:

SAT Math/Math Level 1/Math Level 2 = less than 550

SAT Critical Reading = less than 500

ACT Math = less than 23

ACT English = less than 22

EAP = not exempt

Students who score the following on these tests will need to have taken the EPT/ELM by May 6, 2017 to be placed into the appropriate Early Start Class:

SAT Math/Math Level 1/Math Level 2 = 480 or below

SAT Critical Reading = 450 or below

ACT Math = 19 or below

ACT English = 18 or below

EAP = not exempt


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4. How can I satisfy my Early Start requirement?

If you are required to participate in Early Start, you have several ways to satisfy this requirement:

Retest and earn a qualifying score on the required tests within the set deadlines (see minimal score requirements for tests listed in questions 2 and 3). Remember: Submitting SAT and ACT scores to CSUDH can help you satisfy your placement and Early Start requirements. Note: The EPT may only be taken once.

Earn a score of three or above on AP exams.

Enroll and complete Early Start courses in Summer 2017. 

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5. What happens if I don’t complete Early Start?

If your test scores require you to complete Early Start and you don’t, you will not be permitted to take classes in the fall 2017 semester.  This will result in having to reapply to the University for the following fall semester.   

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6. How much does Early Start Cost?

Students will pay the same $182 per unit fee for any Early Start program offered through any of the CSU campuses. This fee is subject to change based on approved fee increases. Campus parking and materials are not covered by this fee.

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7. Is financial aid available for Early Start?

Yes. California residents who file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have a significant financial need may be eligible for the Early Start Program Waiver, a tuition fee waiver for the course . The waver will not cover books, course materials or summer parking permits.

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8. When and where can I meet my Early Start requirements?

If you’ve been admitted to CSUDH for fall 2017 and are required to participate in Early Start, you’ll need to complete Early start courses in English and/or math during summer 2017.

Early Start courses will be offered this summer at CSUDH and other CSU Campuses.  A list of courses for each CSU campus will be available in mid-March at

If you plan to attend CSUDH, complete your Early Start courses this summer on campus.

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9. What is the Summer Bridge Academy and does it meet Early Start requirements?

Summer Bridge Academy is a no-fee, 6-week intensive summer course offered to select students who are required to complete supplemental coursework in English and math before beginning their first semester at CSUDH.

Summer Bridge Academy offers qualified students the opportunity to meet their Early Start requirements. Spaces are limited, and enrollment is by invitation only. To learn more about Summer Bridge Academy and whether it’s an option for you, visit CSUDH.EDU/SummerBridge.

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10. Is there an Exception Policy?

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Students may petition for exception to the mandatory Early Start Program requirements by submitting an Early Start Petition for Exception form to the Office of Admissions and Records. All first-time freshman students designated for the Early Start program are expected to participate by beginning developmental courses in the summer before their first semester but may be granted an exception in cases where they can document for serious and compelling reasons, such as work requirements, familial responsibilities, travel, and financial reasons.

Students wanting to petition for exception to the Early Start policy must submit a formal written appeal addressing the reasons for not completing the program requirements and include a plan for how they will meet the developmental course requirements. Appeals for exception will be reviewed by the Early Start Exception Committee and are not automatically granted.

Note: Students who fail to complete the Early Start Program will not be eligible to enroll in the fall semester.  Students who do continue must successfully complete all their developmental courses by the end of their second term or they will be subject to disqualification from the university in the spring and forfeit the right to petition to complete developmental coursework in the summer term.

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11. How do I sign up for Early Start?

Once you’ve taken your EPT/ELM, completed your intent to enroll, and told us how you plan to meet your Early Start requirement, follow these steps to sign up for Early Start.

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