Early Start Program

The Early Summer Start program (ESP) provides students with a highly supportive initial college experience designed to create academic momentum, a less stressful transition to the college environment, and academic success. Any new freshman admitted to UNM may choose to participate in the ESP program.

Freshmen applicants specifically offered ESP as an admission requirement must participate in the ESP program and fulfill the following conditions in order to enroll at UNM in freshman status:

  • Enroll in one Lobo Connect summer bridge course (Summer 2021). 
  • Enroll in one English or math course at a regionally accredited college in the summer term immediately following graduation from high school. ESP participants enrolled in the summer term will have continuing enrollment for fall.
  • Freshmen participating in the ESP program from the Albuquerque area (including Bernalillo and Rio Rancho) may enroll at a UNM campus or Central New Mexico Community College (CNM).
  • Freshmen from outside the Albuquerque area may complete ESP requirements by enrolling in one English or math course at a regionally accredited college, including online courses. Evidence of enrollment in one course (a copy of the student's course schedule as an example), followed by an official college transcript when courses are complete, must be provided to the UNM Admissions Office in order to enroll in fall courses.

Information Sessions/Orientation

Information sessions will be held to provide an overview of the program. Dates and locations are as follows:

Information session information coming soon

ESP students are encouraged to register for a New Student Orientation session that is scheduled in early June -- prior to when summer classes begin.


  • Strong start at UNM
  • You will meet with a peer mentor throughout the course of the summer
  • Learn about college academic expectations
  • Build community with classmates/make new friends
  • Smaller classes
  • Become familiar with campus and the academic and student support resources

Campus Living

Campus housing is available during the summer, although it is not required. Contact UNM Residence Life & Student Housing for more information about summer housing options. Students living in residence halls must be enrolled in at least 3 credit hours.

Campus Resources

There are a variety of academic and support resources available for students. You will have the opportunity to take advantage of many resources on campus including, but not limited to the following:


We will assist you with registration for your summer course at UNM.  For the Summer of 2021, we will also be offering Lobo Connect summer bridge courses. Below are a few examples of some of the courses that will be available virtually (and some in-person):

  • ENGL 2993:  Build Writing and Communication Bridges
  • FYEX 1110:  EdReady Critical Text Analysis
  • FYEX 1110:  EdReady Math and Statistics
  • ENGL 1110:  Composition I
  • ENGL 1110X:  Composition I:  Stretch
  • Math 1215(X-Y):  Intermediate Algebra IA-IC

Summer 2021 Financial Aid

ESP participants who select to take their courses at UNM Albuquerque campus are encouraged to submit the 2020/2021 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) in order to be considered for summer 2021 financial assistance.

Fall 2021 Financial Aid

Remember, you will also need to file a 2021/2022 FAFSA in order to be considered for Fall 2021 and Spring 2022.


Please submit the ESP Acceptance Form that you received to the Office of Admissions.

UNM summer session classes begin in June or July!  Additional information regarding dates will be provided to you.

If attending CNM or another institution you will need to enroll in the summer term.

We encourage you to register for the Orientation in May/June. You will receive more information regarding registering for the session at the ESP Information Session and we will assist you in reserving your spot.

For questions regarding courses, contact Corine Gonzales at 505-277-1766 or corineg@unm.edu.

Students identified as ESP participants who experience extenuating circumstances or substantially improve their score may petition for fall enrollment by submitting a written request to the Admissions Office explaining their circumstances. Requests may be emailed to Deborah Kieltyka at deborahk@unm.edu.