An Early Start, is a Smart Start!

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Early Start is an enrollment requirement for many First-time Freshmen (FTF)

The CSU wants to help first-time freshmen applicants get an “Early Start” toward their preparation for college level work. New freshmen who need extra preparation to be ready for college-level English and/or math must start that process no later than the summer before their first term.

Multiple measures determine that you need extra coursework to be ready for college level courses in English, math or both, you must enroll in Early Start courses the summer before your first term at Sacramento State or at another CSU.

You will be notified throughout the application, admission, and registration process about this requirement. Admissions decisions are typically made by March, giving you several months to choose from a variety of Early Start options prior to starting courses in the fall. Once you have applied, you can find out if you need to participate in Early Start via the Student Center accessed through My Sac State. Review the “I have applied” webpage to create your SacLink account and access My Sac State if you have not already done so.

The Early Start course is academic preparation for your college success. You will need to take the Early Start course depending on your how you score through multiple measures including assessment tests, high school grades,  and coursework.  If your multiple measure qualifications as a first time freshmen fall in these standards, Early Start is required.  

Multiple Measure Qualifications:

  • CAASP/EAP: standard nearly met or standard not met
  • SAT: 510 or below
  • ACT: 19 or below
  • High school work: Below a 3.3 GPA in Math

If you do not complete your Early Start course or receive an approved paticipation waiver, you could be placed on administrative probation and/or prevented from registering for class.  For more information about multiple measures, click here:

Early Start course is designed to prepare students for college level mathamatics. If you are recommened for the Early Start course it is because you would benefit and excel with extra support.   If your multiple measure qualifications as a first time freshmen fall in these standards, Early Start is required. 

Multiple Measure Qualifications:

  • CAASP/EAP: Standard met
  • SAT: 520-560
  • ACT: 20-22
  • High school work Math GPA of 3.3 or better

The following students are exempt from Early Start, and will not be required to participate in Early Start:

  • Students who received qualifying scores in the appropriate areas of the EAP, SAT, SAT Subject, ACT, or AP exams
  • Students who took an approved *college-level English course and earned a C or better
  • Students who took an approved *college-level math course and earned a C or better
  • International students and non-resident students who reside outside of California
  • Students participating in the Sacramento State Educational Opportunity Program (EOP) Summer Bridge Program
  • Students completing the Directed Self Placement Program activities (English) at Sacramento State.

*College-level courses are those completed at a 2 or 4 year college - NOT college prep classes completed at a high school.

Step 1: Early Start course will be available to admitted students that submitted their Intent to Enroll in early May.

Step 2:  Students must complete the required program Placement Learning Understand Math (PLUM) for Math prior to enrolling in the Early Start courses.

To complete the Placement Learning Understand Math (PLUM) for Math   follow these directions:

  • All first time freshmen must participate in PLUM
  • Login to: My Sac State
  • Once you are logged in CLICK on CANVAS
  • CLICK on COURSES ICON in the side bar
  • Complete PLUM exercise and following prompt
  • Plan to complete this requirement no later than June 1, 2018

Step 3: Once PLUM is complete through your My Sac State Course, if Early Start is required, you will be redirected to Knewton to complete your course.

Step 4: Complete Early Start course and pay fees online. Course is completed online and $17.

*Please note that there are no Writing/English Early Start Programs. Completing the Direct Self Placement (DSP) for English through your My Sac State will ensure you are placed in the correct course.  

Questions from students who plan to enroll at Sac State Early Start can be directed to the Admissions & Outreach Office at (916) 278-1000.

  • Currently, fees for Early Start Course are only $17. Fees are due upon registration for the course, and must be completed online. Fees are due upon registration and must be paid by the registration deadline.

Yes we do—consider the following:

  • Consider retaking the ACT or SAT if possible. ACT and SAT tests must be taken no later than December for admission purposes, but can be retaken for Early Start and exemption purposes.
  • Complete your Directed Self Placement Program activities (English).
  • Complete you PLUM and DSP testing prior to your orientation day to ensure you select the correct course schedule.
  • Confirm if you need to take the ALEKS PPL testing for your major click here.

Here are some of the resources we mentioned on this page:

The following links will display the various email messages that are sent regarding the current Early Start cycle for admitted students:

(coming soon)

Please see the Communications Archive on the Admissions & Outreach web site for other admissions-related communications.