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Securing your spot at NSO

The mandatory New Student Orientation (NSO) is the last step of the enrollment process for students newly admitted to CSI. All incoming-students with less than six transfer credits are required to attend NSO and must complete all the necessary steps of the enrollment process in order to become eligible to register for NSO. Students are strongly encouraged to review the steps below, which will guide admitted students through the enrollment process and to the road to becoming eligible to register for NSO.



  • You must first apply to the College of Staten Island (CSI) using the CUNY admissions application. After receiving an offer of acceptance to the College, you must inform the Office of Recruitment and Admissions of your intentions to enroll by visiting your CUNYfirst Student Center at (here are the instructions on how to claim/activate your account if you haven’t already) or submitting the Admission Response Form/Commitment Deposit
  • If you applied for financial aid using the FAFSA and your SAR has an estimated family contribution (EFC) of $3000 or less, you may be waived from the commitment deposit

For more information about applying to CSI, offer of admission, and the college’s commitment deposit, please contact the Office of Recruitment and Admissions at 718.982.2010 or visit building 2A, room 103.




All new students entering CSI must demonstrate proficiency in English and mathematics by meeting the benchmark scores on the Regents, ACT, or SAT exams, or with college-level English and math courses.

In the past, applicants who did not meet those benchmarks were required to take assessment and placement tests at a CUNY college to determine whether they were eligible for credit-bearing courses or required to complete developmental interventions. 

Rather than using assessment tests for applicants who do not meet the benchmark scores, CUNY now uses a proficiency index that combines overall high school grade point average with SAT and/or Regents exam scores. Applicants with High School Equivalency (HSE) credentials will be assessed for English and math proficiency using the subtest scores on HSE exams. The proficiency index will allow the college to determine whether the applicant has a good chance of earning a C or better in a credit-bearing math or English course without any additional support. Scores on the proficiency index, rather than scores on assessment tests, will be used to make the final determination of whether students are proficient or not and guide them to appropriate levels of developmental interventions. This includes Immersion Programs.

The Immersion Programs are intensive workshops which provide an opportunity for students who need to demonstrate proficiency to receive tuition-free instruction in English and mathematics during the Summer and/or Winter intersession. Students can satisfy the proficiency requirement in the discipline in which they receive instruction during the program.

English as a Second Language (ESL) students will be required to take the CUNY Assessment Test in Writing (CATW).

Unless exempt, international students in an F-1 status will be required to take the CATW during the International Student Orientation.



The outcomes of the proficiency index may impact your admission status and enrollment at the college.  An index greater than or equal to 60 in math, and greater than or equal to 65 in English will allow you to continue into credit-bearing courses. If the index is lower you will be guided to the appropriate level of developmental intervention. Please be aware of the following enrollment requirements:

All students who have

  • Deep developmental need in mathematics (score of 49 or below on the math index) must complete CSI's free July Math Immersion or Math Start program prior to enrolling at the College
  • Deep developmental need in English (score of 47 or below on the English index) and mathematics (score of 49 or below on the math index) must enroll in and complete at least one semester of the CUNY Start** program and achieve proficiency in either English or math in order to enroll at the College. 
  • In addition to the above policies, students admitted for a Spring Semester

  • Deep developmental need in mathematics (score of 49 or below on the math index) must enroll and complete the basic math course in Winter Immersion.  If they do not complete it, or choose not to enroll in immersion, they must enroll in Math Start and cannot enroll at the College.

**CUNY Start is a program of rigorous, intensive instruction in academic English and mathematics which prepares college-bound students to meet CUNY basic skills proficiency in English and mathematics.  CUNY Start is designed to help incoming college students minimize time in remedial course work and save financial aid for credit courses. At a low cost of $75 for the semester, the cost includes books and college success advisement in planning, choosing a career path and paying for college. Full-time CUNY Start students take both English and mathematics courses, as well as College Success Advisement. Part-time CUNY Start students take Pre-College Math plus College Success Advisement.

English as a Second Language (ESL) Students

If you qualify as an ESL student (including qualifying international students) you are exempt from the policies listed above. ESL students will be required to complete special English courses for non-native speakers of English. When possible, ESL students are encouraged to enroll in the CUNY Language Immersion Program (CLIP). Students with F1 student visa status (international students) cannot enroll in CLIP.



  • The Immersion Programs are intensive workshops which provide an opportunity for students who need to demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing and/or mathematics to receive tuition-free instruction during the summer and /or January intersession. Students are placed into the immersion programs based on their performance on the CUNY Assessment Tests. The Immersion Programs are coordinated by the Office of Academic Support
  • Students who enroll in the Immersion Programs are ready to be scheduled for the mandatory NSO
  • Students enrolled in the Immersion Programs, must not miss class instruction to attend NSO. Students must attend a NSO session that does not conflict with the program
  • Students are encouraged to act quickly in reserving their seat for an immersion program in order to ensure their ability to enroll at the College and for NSO.

For additional questions regarding immersion courses, registration for an immersion program, and the college remediation policy, please contact the Office of Academic Support at 718.982.3964 or visit building 1L, room 117.



  • Students will also receive an email invitation Mascotfrom The Center for Advising and Academic Success (CAAS) directing them to their VIP Page, which is set-up through the Office of Recruitment and Admissions, and will provide them with instructions on how to complete CART via Blackboard. Students must complete CART in order to register for classes. 

Additional information regarding CART is available here.

If you have any questions, please contact the Center for Advising and Academic Success (CAAS) at: Building 1A, Room 101; 718.982.2280;



  • Students must attend an in-person New Student Orientation (NSO) session. For more information on NSO, visit our FAQ page.
  • Students will receive an email invitation with instructions on how to register for NSO.

For additional questions regarding NSO, please contact the New Student Programs at or 718.982.2529


We look forward to seeing you at the College of Staten Island!