“CUNY Start didn’t just prepare me for the CUNY Assessment Tests; they prepared me for the college classes.”

– Freshta, CUNY Start alumna at QCC

Student and teacher in a classroom

Program Overview

CUNY Start provides intensive preparation in academic reading/writing, pre-college math, and “college success” advisement for students entering CUNY with significant remedial needs based on the results of their CUNY Assessment Tests. The goal of the program is to help students prepare for college-level coursework and reduce or eliminate any remedial needs prior to starting credit-bearing courses.

CUNY Start has many benefits to offer students. The program:

  • Prepares students for success in college coursework
  • Helps students reduce or eliminate need for remedial instruction
  • Provides full-time and part-time schedules
  • Costs only $75 (including materials), helping students save their financial aid for credit courses at CUNY
  • Allows students up to two opportunities to meet CUNY’s proficiency standards
  • Prepares students to make the most out of the college experience


  • Earned a high school or high school equivalency diploma
  • Admitted to CUNY and allocated to a CUNY Start campus
  • Received results on the CUNY Assessment Test that indicate need for remedial instruction in reading, writing, and/or math.
  • First-time freshman or matriculated student with limited credits
  • Able to commit to an intensive academic schedule and open to unique, student-centered instructional approach

*Colleges may have additional campus-specific eligibility criteria. Contact the CUNY Start program at your campus for more information. 

How to Enroll

  1. Complete all CUNY admissions requirements– Select a CUNY Start campus
  2. Take the CUNY Assessment Tests and receive your scores to determine remedial needs
  3. Attend an information session at one of the CUNY Start campuses
  4. Complete the online program application
  5. Interview with a CUNY Start staff member
  6. Submit a copy of your high school or high school equivalency diploma and complete any additional campus-specific requirements
  7. Pay your $75 student fee

Program Schedule

CUNY Start offers both a full-time and part-time program

  • FULL-TIME SCHEDULE: 25 hours/week; students attend both pre-college math and reading/writing.
  • PART-TIME SCHEDULE: 12 hours/week; students attend either pre-college math or reading/writing.
  • All students attend a weekly college success seminar.


CUNY Start operates on eight (8) CUNY campuses.

  • Bronx: Bronx Community College and Hostos Community College
  • Brooklyn: Kingsborough Community College and Medgar Evers Community College
  • Manhattan: Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Queens: LaGuardia Community College and Queensborough Community College
  • Staten Island: The College of Staten Island