Early Start

Early Start logo

Early Start is a program that gives freshman students a chance to get a head start on their degree by taking one or two courses before the fall semester begins. Early Start students participate in a living and learning community by moving in to one of the newest residence halls on July 6th - August 8, 2014, taking classes taught exclusively for Early Start students, and getting to know new friends, their professors, and campus leaders to truly get a head start on their college career.

Here’s what a few students, parents, and professors had to say after their Early Start experience:

"... I also wanted to thank you for all of your help this summer. Your teaching and patience have truly prepared me for the upcoming semester. You are a wonderful teacher and individual! Thank you for not only giving me, but all the other students a chance to learn and appreciate the history of music. I have thoroughly enjoyed your class!"
"Thank you for this great program and great experience of the college life."
"I have enjoyed Early Start so much! I think it will help me very much in this coming school year!"
"Just wanted to say THANKS again. You did a great job with the presentation, and we met Thomas in the hallway on Tuesday. I have a very good feeling that MSU will be a great experience for our son. You have done a wonderful job ..."
"these 'Earlies,' as I call them, are so good and so cool that I want to do anything I can that might help out. Frankly, these kids are a blast!! They are one of the most lively, fun, and enthusiastic groups of students I have ever taught in all my years here. I actually look forward to my 1:00 class every day. It is wonderful! Are you getting similar reactions from the other faculty? I imagine you must be. Anyway, thank you so much for having me be part of this program."

We are currently accepting applications for Early Start 2014. All students admitted to MSU are eligible to apply, and notifications of acceptance will be made on a rolling basis beginning in January. If you have questions or interested in learning more about Early Start 2014, send an email to earlystart@msstate.edu.

What is the Cost?

The cost of the Early Start program includes tuition, meal plan, and housing. The program fee is figured based on the number of hours a student takes during Early Start, in combination with a discounted housing rate and meal plan. Students in Early Start will typically enroll in either 4, 6, or 7 credit hours. The cost of books or specific course fees are not included in the program fee, as they vary by course.

Tuition Housing Meal Plan
*Same cost applies for residents and non-residents
4 credit hours (Biology) $832 $530 $425
6 credit hours (two 3 hour credits) $1248 $530 $425
7 credit hours (Biology + one 3 credit hour) $1456 $530 $425

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Courses Offered

All courses taught in the Early Start program fulfill university general education requirements. Courses will be offered in the General Education categories of Fine Arts, Humanities, Mathematics and Statistics, Natural Sciences, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Once students are admitted to the program, they will indicate their preferences for courses. Final selection of course offerings will be in part based on the student populations admitted to the program.

Fine Art
ART 1313 Art Appreciation

PHI 1103 Introduction to Philosophy

Mathematics and Statistics
MA 1323 Trigonometry

Natural Sciences
BIO 1134 Biology I

Social and Behavioral Sciences
PSY 1013 General Psychology

Early Start 2014 is also offering students the opportunity to combine one of the above listed courses with a college study skills course, LSK 1023 College Reading and Study Skills. This course is designed to help students understand the expectations of college courses, develop strategies of time management, enhance reading comprehension skills to maximize time for class preparation, and boost your study skills and habits. LSK 1023 is a credit bearing course that functions as an elective only for all degree programs.

Course Pairings

The above courses will be paired and students may indicate which courses are their preferences once they have been admitted into Early Start. The program coordinator will work with each student to ensure that the most appropriate course selections are made, based on a student's prospective major curriculum; any AP, dual enrollment, or transfer credit, and student preference.

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Housing will be provided in one of our newest residence halls on campus, Oak Hall. Students in the College Ready program will be able to secure sought-after housing assignment for their entire freshman year as a benefit for participating in either of the College Ready programs. If a student prefers a different residence hall for their freshman year, he/she will be given housing priority based on his/her MSU Fall Housing application. In our first two years of College Ready, we discovered that students strongly preferred the opportunity to remain in the same hall, in many cases the very same room for their entire first year.

All students accepted in a College Ready program and who have paid their $200 non-refundable deposit by April 1, 2014 will be given priority housing assignments for their Fall term. Applicants accepted after April 1 will be assigned their Fall Housing based on their original housing priority.

Oak Hall will be staffed with a Graduate Residence Director to oversee each building and a Resident Advisor on each hall to work with residents throughout the program.

Be aware, priority housing is contingent upon a student’s participation in the Early Start program, and MSU Housing reserves the rights to reassign a student who does not attend or complete the program. For more information about MSU’s Housing and Residence Life see: http://www.housing.msstate.edu/.

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Meal Plan

Students enrolled in the College Ready program will be required to purchase a meal plan for the special College Ready rate of $425. This meal plan provides Lunch Monday through Friday at Market Place at Perry Cafeteria plus $250 in flex dollars, which can be used at any of MSU’s on campus food vendors.

Marketplace at Perry is one of our Dining Halls that features all-you-care-to-eat lunch in the summer, with international entrees, grill, deli, salad bar, and more! Check out the NEW Comfort Line, International Station. We are located beside The Colvard Student Union and just steps away from the State Fountain Bakery. Flex dollars can be redeemed at any dining location, and any unused portion of flex dollars will be rolled into your fall semester. For more information about dining services: http://www.campusdish.com/en-US/CSS/msstatedining.

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Financial Aid

Student financial aid in the United States is funding that is intended to help students pay education-related expenses including tuition, fees, room and board, books, and supplies for education at a college, university, or private school. Financial Aid is available if you qualify. You must complete FASFA for 2013-2014 academic year since summer terms are considered part of the previous year. A step-by- step process is located at http://www.sfa.msstate.edu/howto/ and FASFA application is located at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/.

If you have any questions or need help navigating the Financial Aid process, please contact a Financial Aid counselor at 662.325-2450 or contact College Ready’s Coordinator, Dr. Angi Bourgeois at 662.325.1922 and ale65@msstate.edu

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Get Involved

Never a dull moment - the People's University has something for everyone. With everything Mississippi State University has to offer, each student can enjoy enriching experiences through organizations, clubs, and groups. There are more than 350 student organizations representing educational majors, religious groups, Greek affiliations, and club sports .And if you like to just hang out, we have places for that too. The Colvard Student Union is a three-story "campus living room" housing the Dawg House, Starbuck's, a Food Court and a Beauty Salon. The Sanderson Center also offers a multitude of choices through fitness activities and specialized classes. You can find all the fun and excitement you need as well as an enriching learning environment at Mississippi State University.


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When can I move into my residence hall for the College Ready program?
Students will move in between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday July 6th, 2014.

Do I have a choice of residence hall?
No. All students participating in College Ready 2014 will be housed in Oak Hall for the program. Oak Hall is MSU's newest residence hall, which opened in Fall 2012.

Can I stay in my College Ready residence hall for my freshman year?
Yes. This was found to be one of the greatest benefits. All College Ready students who want to take advantage of this premium housing selection for the fall should indicate Oak Hall as their first preference on their MSU Fall Housing application form. To take advantage of this benefit, students must be accepted and pay the $200 non-refundable deposit prior to April 1, 2014.

Can I move to a different residence hall for Fall 2014?
Yes. If a student prefers to move into a different residence hall, he/she will indicate their preference of residence hall on the MSU Fall Housing application form. Students participating in College Ready will be given priority in Fall housing assignments. To take advantage of this benefit, students must be accepted and pay the $200 non-refundable deposit prior to April 1, 2014.

If I elect to change residence halls after the College Ready program, do I have to move home between the end of the College Ready Program and Move-In Day for all Freshmen students?
No. You will be able to move directly from your College Ready program room into your new residence hall.

Do I have to live on campus for the College Ready Program?
Yes. Because the program is designed to create a special living-learning community, we require that all students live on campus in the designated residence hall.

If my roommate for the Fall semester is not in College Ready, can we still room together?
Yes. Every effort will be made to accommodate you and your roommate according to the preferences indicated on both of your MSU Fall Housing application preferences list.

Will I be taking classes with upper class MSU students?
No. You will be taking classes with College Ready students who are all first time freshman students like yourself.

Can I take other classes offered at MSU?
No. Not as a part of College Ready. The courses in the program are available only to College Ready students and all College Ready students will be restricted to these courses.

Do I have to buy a meal plan?
Yes. All participants in the program must purchase a meal plan.

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Secondary Education student helping high school students with classword A student walks through the drill field Students meeting on the steps outisde the business school A photo of McCool Hall's exterior