Skip to main content


Aggie Smart Start Program

Limited to the first 100 qualified first-year students


FranklinCovey logo
USU Housing logo


Get A Jump Start On College

It's called the "Smart Start" for a reason! With internationally recognized training from FranklinCovey and outstanding academic support, it's no surprise that Smart Start students achieve better academic results than other students.



After participation in the program, students will:

Be better prepared to achieve their academic goals and improve their college experience

Have an increased knowledge of campus academic resources and procedures

Identify as Aggies and be integrated into the greater Aggie community

Have developed better self-management skills modeled on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and the 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity


For the last 13 years in a row, students living on campus have achieved higher average GPAs while carrying heavier class loads than students living off campus.

GPA chart comparing on-campus and off-campus students at USU



To qualify, students must:

  • Be a first-year student
  • Live in Central Suites or Mountain View Tower for the 2018-19 academic year
  • Be registered for a minimum of 12 credits each semester of program participation
    • If a student drops below 12 credits, he or she must obtain written permission to keep the rent credit from the Program Coordinator (Tyler Thomas)
  • Register for Connections, the university’s orientation course

Program Requirements

  • Meet with his or her Academic Peer Mentor once a month for each month of program participation
  • Attend the USU 2160 course regularly (1 hour/week) and receive a passing grade
  • Participate in a weekly goal setting session (10-15 min/week)
  • Attend a minimum of the three team/cohort workshops each semester (offered monthly)
  • Attend the Aggie Smart Start closing banquet


The Aggie Smart Start Program is an academic support program designed to help first-year students living in Central Suites and Mountain View Tower at USU persist and thrive in college. Students in the program participate in a once-a-week session for a FranklinCovey course, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People for the Fall Semester and The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity for the Spring Semester (over $3,000 value!). In addition, program participants will meet regularly with an academic peer mentor and participate in academic support workshops. Students will also receive one university credit each semester that they participate in this course, as well as a $150 rent credit per semester.

Academic Peer Mentors

The Aggie Smart Start Program offers exceptional academic support and monthly one-on-one meetings with an Academic Peer Mentor. The mentoring is a valuable element to the program to help first-year students navigate the challenges of college academics. Students will set weekly goals with their Academic Peer Mentor and attend monthly workshops with other students. Through the mentoring program, students are better prepared to achieve their goals, have an increased understanding of on-campus resources, and are able to identify as Aggies with other students in their housing community.







For participating in the Aggie Smart Start Program, students will receive the following materials:

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Signature Edition 4.0 Participant Materials
  • Textbook - The 7 Habits of Highly Effective College Students, Sean Covey
  • The 5 Choices to Extraordinary Productivity Particpant Guidebook
  • All Access Pass Plus - Access to 100s of training videos and materials
    • 130 FranklinCovey InSights (Single Point E-Learning Lessons)
    • 25 FranklinCovey Excelerators (E-Learning Courses)
    • Digital participant materials and more
  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People App




Related FranklinCovey Videos








What Students Are Saying


“I have a lot of respect for this program and what it can do for students and would definitely recommend the Smart Start program to any incoming freshman to Utah State because of the social support network of mentors and friends that it creates.” - Nicholas, Smart Start Participant


“I have enjoyed having monthly activities to look forward to that help me take a break from studying and student life, where I can do fun activities with friends in a safe environment. Erika has been a great resource and she really takes time to listen to me and help me whenever I have needed it. I know if I ever have a problem, she will be able to direct me to a helpful resource.” - Lindsey, Smart Start Participant


"This experience has prepared me for school, as well as given me friends to socialize with. I've enjoyed getting to know people and also learning more about myself through the workshops.” - Katlyn, Smart Start Participant


“Aggie Smart Start was a great opportunity! It definitely helped me get settled in and meet some great friends. It's by far the best way to start your first year here. It eases the tension and lets you warm up to the idea of college. Aggie Smart Start along with the Connections course is a fantastic way to hit the ground running. I can’t stress how much Aggie Smart Start helps you socially.” - Tyler, Smart Start Participant


“The first few meetings were awesome, both because of the fun of playing out in the sun with fellow incoming freshman and the content that we learned about from Steven Covey's "7 Habits". In fact, it was Smart Start that inspired me to read that book, and I can honestly say that doing so has changed my life. I can see the things that I do differently now through models like the one's that Covey created and some of my own too.” - Nic, Smart Start Participant


Aggie Smart Start Application

The Aggie Smart Start Program is limited to the first 100 qualified first-year students.

The application deadline for the 2018-2019 school year has passed.