Class Information

How do CUNY Start and Math Start differ?
CUNY Start is a college success program that helps students address their remedial needs while they prepare for college-level coursework. In one semester, CUNY Start offers academic instruction in reading/writing and/or math, as well as academic advisement to help incoming CUNY students get a Strong Start in college. Students can enroll in CUNY Start in either the fall or spring semester on a full-time (25 hours/week) or part-time (12 hours/week) basis.

Math Start is CUNY Start’s accelerated, 8-week program that prepares students for success in college by fostering their full math potential. Based on the CUNY Start math curriculum and instructional approach, students attend class approximately 20 hours per week, and the classes are offered year round.

Where are CUNY Start and Math Start offered?
The program is offered at Borough of Manhattan Community College, Bronx Community College, College of Staten Island, Guttman Community College (Math Start only), Hostos Community College, Kingsborough Community College, LaGuardia Community College, Medgar Evers College, New York City College of Technology (Math Start only), and Queensborough Community College. Visit our “College” page for more information.

How long is the class?
CUNY Start is a semester-long program that is offered in the fall and spring. Students have the option of enrolling in the full-time program, which meets 25 hours a week for instruction in reading/writing and math. Students can opt for the part-time program, which meets for 12 hours a week of either reading/writing or math. All students attend a weekly college success advisement seminar.

Math Start runs approximately 8 weeks, during which students attend class 20 hours per week. Select colleges also offer Math Start in the evenings for students who cannot attend during the daytime; these programs are slightly longer and operate for approximately 12-14 hours weekly.

What Is It Like To Be A Student In A CUNY Start Or Math Start Class?
The CUNY Start/Math Start classroom is a warm and encouraging learning environment. Instruction is student-centered—which means that students are honored for the skills and experiences that they bring to the classroom, even as they are expected, with ample support, to be open to new strategies and to own their own learning on the path to becoming college-ready. Instruction focuses on questioning, where students are encouraged to think for themselves, individually as well as collaboratively in peer groups. Even as the CUNY Start/Math Start students grow to take charge of their own learning, they can depend on the support from the instructor, tutor, and advisor, so they are never alone in navigating challenging schoolwork. For a glimpse of classroom instruction, view our videos on the CUNY Start and Math Start pages.

Do I receive any other support and advisement as part of the program?
Each CUNY Start/Math Start class is taught by an expert teacher who has been trained in the CUNY Start approach and is there to guide and support the learning environment. Teachers work together to support students and guide learning before, during, and after class. Tutors and writing assistants are also available to support students in the classroom. Additionally, each student is assigned an academic advisor and attends a weekly “College Success” seminar that helps students learn about navigating campus life and transitioning to college-level coursework.

Is there homework?
Yes, students are given regular written homework assignments, in order to support rich learning. Teachers and tutors offer study and homework tips and encourage students to review on a daily basis what they’ve learned in class.

How is CUNY Start/Math Start linked to campus life?
CUNY Start/Math Start students have access to all campus resources, including academic and career counseling services, libraries, and athletic facilities.

Value + Benefit

How does enrolling in CUNY Start/Math Start affect my CUNY Assessment Test scores?
As a CUNY Start/Math Start student, you are given up to two opportunities to meet CUNY’s proficiency standards and satisfy any developmental needs you may have based on the results of your CUNY Assessment Test. Students who successfully complete the coursework will retake the CUNY Assessment test or take a content area exit exam as part of the overall class grade. A successful passing course grade is how proficiency is determined.

Why enroll in CUNY Start or Math Start when I can take the same type of class as a matriculated student?

CUNY Start and Math Start offer a number of benefits for students with significant remedial needs. Specifically:

  • Low Costs – CUNY Start and Math Start are a fraction of the price one would pay for a traditional remedial course. This enables students to save their limited financial aid dollars for courses that will earn them credits toward their degree.
  • Saves Time –  CUNY Start allows you to take care of up to 3 remedial needs in one semester, and Math Start students can eliminate their remedial math needs in just 8 weeks. In most cases, CUNY Start and Math Start completers are able to bypass required pre-college courses and start working toward their degree right away.
  • Dedicated Teachers – Teachers promote learning through CUNY Start’s signature student-centered instructional approach that encourages understanding through exploration, questioning, and peer-to-peer interaction.
  • Expert Advisors – Each CUNY Start/Math Start student is assigned an academic adviser and participates in a series of College Success seminar that focuses on preparing students to navigate campus life, transition to college level course work, and survive and thrive in college.
  • Entry to ASAP – CUNY Start/ Math Start is a pathway into CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), which provides matriculated students with a range of financial and academic supports and keeps students on track to graduate as quickly as possible.
  • Other Opportunities – By eliminating your remedial needs right away, you can take advantage of other scholarships and academic support programs that require no or less remediation.

What happens after I complete the CUNY Start/Math Start program?
CUNY Start and Math Start completers are significantly better prepared for college-level coursework, and in many cases, are able to bypass required pre-college courses.  Students who complete the program and receive a passing grade can immediately enroll in college credit courses and work toward their degree. Eligible CUNY Start/Math Start students also receive priority access to CUNY ASAP , the university’s nationally recognized college graduation initiative.

How is CUNY Start/ Math Start linked to ASAP?
CUNY Start and Math Start are a pathway into CUNY ASAP, which provides students with a range of financial and academic supports, such as a free unlimited MetroCard, textbook voucher, and a dedicated ASAP advisor, keeping students on track to graduate as quickly as possible. Once you enroll in CUNY Start/Math Start, your advisors will work with you to support your transition into ASAP as a next step.

Will my enrollment in CUNY Start/ Math Start be noted in my file and effect future course work?
Upon completion of the CUNY Start/ Math Start program, each student will receive a grade. Students who pass the course receive a “P” on their transcript and are eligible to enroll in credited courses.

Eligibility & Enrollment

What would qualify me for CUNY Start?
If you are a college-bound high school graduate or high school equivalency diploma recipient who has been admitted to CUNY but has not passed the CUNY Assessment Tests or met CUNY’s proficiency standards in reading, writing and/or math, you may qualify for our program. Visit our “Join” page for more information on program eligibility.

What would qualify me for Math Start?
If you are a college-bound high school graduate or high school equivalency diploma recipients who has been admitted to CUNY but has not passed the CUNY Assessment Tests or met CUNY’s proficiency standards math, you may qualify for our program. Visit our “Join” page for more information on program eligibility.

How do I enroll?
To apply to the CUNY Start/Math Start program, you must attend an information session and interview with a staff member. After you receive your CUNY Assessment Test results, you should contact the CUNY Start/Math Start program at your campus, sign-up for an information session, and submit the online application. Once you complete the process, you will need to pay the low cost student fee. Visit our “Join” page for more information.

Is this program for me if I am not fluent in English?
CUNY Start and Math Start instruction is given in English. Students not fluent in English may consider enrolling in the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP) prior to enrolling in CUNY Start or Math Start.

Dollars + Cents

How much does the program cost?
CUNY Start costs $75 and Math Start costs $35. The student fee includes all materials.

How does enrollment in CUNY Start save me money?
All CUNY Start programs cost a fraction of what one would pay for a remedial/ developmental course as a matriculated student. Students do not use their financial aid to pay for CUNY Start/Math Start. This low cost option enables students to save their money and limited financial aid dollars for courses that will earn them credit toward their degree. In addition, eliminating any remedial needs allows you to take advantage of scholarships and other academic programs that may provide financial support.

Do I receive any additional financial benefits in CUNY Start or Math Start?
CUNY Start and Math Start students that meet CUNY ASAP eligibility and plan to enroll in ASAP upon completion may receive free unlimited MetroCards through ASAP to cover their transportation costs while enrolled in the program. Once officially enrolled into ASAP, students will continue to receive MetroCards and academic support.