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Students are eligible to enroll in Running Start if…

  • They are in 11th or 12th grade at the beginning of the school year.
  • They are registered in a Washington public school district. Private and home school students are eligible to participate but must register in a Washington State public school. Running Start students are not required to attend the public school.

Is it Right for You?

We want you to be successful in Running Start. The program takes self-motivation, discipline and excellent study skills. It is a great opportunity for high school students who want an academic challenge or a different high school experience. But, you need to be prepared for the independence, fast pace and time demands of college classes.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • Community college classes are taught at a faster pace than high school, often covering as much material in one quarter (11-13 weeks) as some high school classes do in one year.
  • Classes require a lot of prep and study time—up to two hours for each hour of class.
  • Classes and programs occasionally discuss sensitive subjects, including sex, violence and religion. Class discussions are open and candid. 
  • The community colleges operate on a quarter system. That means college and high school holidays and vacation periods don’t always align. You still need to attend college classes even if your home high school has the day off.
  • As a college student, you are responsible for following the college code of conduct, attending class, seeking academic help and addressing problems directly with instructors. As mandated by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Running Start student records are confidential and can only be accessed by the student. Parents cannot contact instructors or other school personnel on their student’s behalf. 
  • Running Start students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average or better.