Frequently Asked Questions
This FAQ is intended for students considering the Running Start program.
- What is the Running Start Program?
Running Start is a program which allows eligible juniors and seniors in public Washington state high schools the opportunity to earn both college credit and high school credit at the same time.
- Who qualifies for Running Start?
Students under 21 years of age who are enrolled as a junior or senior in a public Washington state high school, who have not earned a diploma, and who have placed in English 101 and/or college level math on the Compass Test.
- What type of classes can Running Start students take?
By placing into ENG 101 students are eligible to take many courses including selections from social sciences, business, world language courses, and others.
For natural science courses students must place into a minimum of MATH 084. It is recommended when taking the COMPASS Test that students take both the MATH and English sections even if they are not planning on taking MATH through Running Start.
For math courses Running Start only pays for courses above the 100 level. MATH placement is determined by a student's COMPASS Test results and not high school math level.
Here is our current class schedule. Upcoming quarterly schedules generally post approximately three to four weeks before registration begins.
- How are college credits awarded for high school classes?
In general five college credits are equivalent to one high school credit. Many students are able to complete their high school requirements at the college very quickly.
- Can a Running Start student attend college full–time?
Students may enroll in a combination of college and high school classes or attend full–time at the college. It is important for students to plan their schedule wisely leaving sufficient time for home work, transportation, and other activities.
- What are some advantages of the Running Start Program?
- Students save time and money.
- A student who attends RS full time for two years could be a college junior by high school graduation.
- Public Washington State colleges have agreed to accept college credits earned from Running Start.
- Students have the opportunity to experience college–life.
- Students have access to many resources on the college campus. i.e. Career Library, Transfer Advising Center, Tutoring Center, etc.
- Study is accelerated and students find it exhilarating to be in a classroom with students from diverse backgrounds, age levels, and perspectives.
- There are a broad selection of classes available through Running Start.
- Running Start Counselors and Advisors are available to assist students.
- What are some of the challenges of the Running Start Program?
- Certain selective colleges will not accept college credits for which high school credit was given.
- Students may not qualify for some scholarships at four–year institutions.
- Schedule coordination and transportation may be difficult for students with courses at the high school and college.
- Schedule Planning may be difficult because the college is on a quarter system and most high schools are on a semester system. Breaks may not coincide.
- Grades for Spring Quarter may not be available in time for high school graduation.
- Students pay for books and transportation and a one–time student ID card fee. Books can be expensive.
- The pace of classes is much faster than in high school. Courses that take a year to complete in high school must be completed in 11 weeks.
- What is the Student Privacy ACT or FERPA?
Student Privacy Act
Running Start students have the same rights and responsibilities as any other college student. All student educational records are maintained according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), concerning information that becomes part of the permanent record and governing the conditions of its disclosure. Only the student's name, dates of enrollment, and degrees earned can be released without the student's authorization. If you would like access to your student's records, they need to grant the Running Start staff permission to talk to you by filling out a Records Release Form. All college credits earned are posted to the high school transcript, and available through the student's high school.
- Home School and Private School students
In order to have your college tuition paid through Running Start funds, you first need to enroll in your local public high school. Since districts can have different enrollment processes, it's best to inquire at the district office about how to enroll your student for the purpose of accessing Running Start.
Once enrolled, you can complete the process for taking college classes through the Running Start program. Also, while your private school staff can advise you about which college courses meet graduation requirements, the public school counselor or other designated staff must sign off on your Running Start Enrollment Verification Form each term.