Your road to academic success


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is FASTrack?

FASTrack is a first-year learning community that helps students transition from high school to college. Students benefit from smaller classes, individualized advising and mentoring, and a community of supportive peers. FASTrack makes our big university feel smaller. FASTrack students earn higher GPAs, go on academic probation less often, and return for the sophomore year at higher rates than their peers. FASTrack is selective and will fill to capacity by the summer.

2. How do I apply for FASTrack?

Visit and complete a brief application. We are accepting applications now for next academic year.

3. Can I apply to FASTrack before being accepted into the university?

Yes, you can apply to FASTrack even while awaiting UM’s admission decision. Obviously, though, you cannot participate in FASTrack unless you are fully admitted and attending UM.

4. How many hours are recommended for first year students in FASTrack?

Most FASTrack students take 15 hours per semester. This course load will keep you balanced and on track to timely graduation. During summer orientation, you will meet with your FASTrack advisor to create your own, individualized schedule.

5. Is this a remedial program?

No, FASTrack is not a remedial program.

6. Can anyone apply to FASTrack?

Any incoming first-year student can apply. FASTrack works for any major. We discourage applications only from students who will participate in Developmental Studies, the Honors College, the Croft Institute, and/or Luckyday. Those learning communities offer many of the same benefits as FASTrack.

7. Does FASTrack have a reserved dorm for students?

Yes, Burns Hall, a contemporary residence hall, is reserved exclusively for FASTrack students. This is only an optional benefit. FASTrack students can live in any residence hall on campus and participate in FASTrack.

8. If I’m accepted into FASTrack, do I have to live in Burns?

No, you can live in any residence hall and participate in FASTrack. Burns Hall is awfully nice, though!

9. If I’m in FASTrack, can I live with a roommate who is not in FASTrack?

Yes, you can be in FASTrack and live with a roommate who is not. The only exception: if you choose to live in Burns Hall, you must room with another FASTrack student.

10. How long does it take to be accepted into the FASTrack program?

We process and review applications on a rolling basis between January and July. If you apply during this period, you will be notified within 2-3 weeks of submission.

11.Is there an additional cost to FASTrack?

Applying to FASTrack is free. If you are accepted and choose to participate, there will be a one-time fee of $440 applied to your Bursar bill. This one-time fee is the only cost. Students who are Pell-eligible will not be responsible for this fee.

12. When does registration for classes start?

You will register for classes during your summer orientation. As a FASTrack student, three classes will be reserved for you, no matter your orientation date. This is a major advantage of FASTrack!

13. What classes are required in the FASTrack program?

All FASTrack students take EDHE 105, Writing 101, and either Psychology 201 or Sociology 101 in the fall semester. You will take these classes with your cohort of 20 students. FASTrack makes our big university feel much smaller during the first semester.

14. What if I already have credit for Composition/Writing from a community college or AP exam?

You can still participate in FASTrack. In fact, our writing classes are incredible. We will strengthen your writing skills, no matter your starting point. As your parents will tell you, this is the key skill for success in college and in life. If you are in FASTrack, you will take Writing 101 in the fall with your small cohort from an exemplary teacher. No exceptions are made to this policy.

15. I’m a Provost’s Scholar. Can I still participate in FASTrack?

Yes, we have many Provost’s Scholars who participate in FASTrack. The programs are complementary.

16. Can I take any classes I want in FASTrack?

Three of your classes will be chosen and reserved, ready for when you arrive to orientation. At summer orientation, you will work with your FASTrack advisor to choose two more courses. We will always recommend courses that will move you closer to graduation. That goal may seem distant now, but you will soon take the first important steps!

17. Are summer courses required in FASTrack?

No. FASTrack happens during the fall and spring semesters of your first year. Some students do choose to take a summer course or two at another university or college before arriving. Other students take courses through UM’s Jumpstart program. Such summer programs can be a good idea. Just remember to avoid Writing 101, 102, EDHE 105, Psychology 201, and Sociology 101. You will take these courses in FASTrack!

18. Can students take winter session classes as a freshman while participating in FASTrack?

Yes. You can discuss winter session options with your FASTrack advisor in October of your first semester.

19. What is an academic mentor?

As a FASTrack student, you will have an academic mentor on your side. These are fabulous people who are ready to help you navigate your first year of college. Academic mentors offer all kinds of encouragement and advice, from how to find tutors to how to manage your time wisely. Your academic mentor will be available to you all year long—and beyond. They are important allies in your path to success.

20. Why do I need FASTrack? I did fine in high school, so I’m pretty sure I won’t need extra help in college.

You will benefit from FASTrack even if you never encounter a problem in college. Smaller classes, handpicked teachers, a strong sense of community, positive peers, friendly mentors: these are benefits that will help you maximize your experience and earn your best grades. At the same time, college is very different from high school, and you never know what challenges you might encounter. FASTrack students have lots of extra support available and ready, if needed.