• Running Start

    Benefits and Considerations

    Benefits of participating in Running Start:

    • Students can register for up to 15 tuition-free college credits per quarter based on high school enrollment.
    • Earn high school and college credit simultaneously.
    • With careful planning, students can earn an associate degree along with their high school diploma.
    • Experience the rigor of college-level coursework and increased personal responsibility.
    • Wide variety of classes and degree options.
    • Flexible class schedule (day, afternoon, evening, hybrid, and online course options).
    • Participate in college activities and leadership opportunities, with the exception of intercollegiate athletics.

    Challenges of participating in Running Start:

    • Running Start is not entirely free. The average quarterly cost for a full-time Running Start student is approximately $200 in fees per quarter. Textbooks can range from $100-300+ per quarter. Fee Waivers for some costs are available for students that qualify for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch. Please see your high school counselor for more information.
    • Classes move at a faster pace than high school; a yearlong high school course is condensed into an 11-week quarter.
    • Colleges have a different break schedule than high school. Students are responsible for planning their schedules accordingly.
    • Parent/guardian access to student records is limited. The College must abide by strict privacy rules. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records without student written permission. We provide all Running Start students an opportunity to complete a Release of Information form.
    • College is an adult learning environment. Courses may cover controversial issues.
    • Students must arrange their own transportation to and from campus.

    *Adapted from Green River College


    • 11th or 12th grader enrolled in a public school
    • Have and maintain a 2.0 minimum GPA (transcript must include 1st semester of 10th grade)
    • Must place into college-level English by one of the following methods:
        • 3.0 cumulative GPA from past 3 semesters
        • Score a 3 or higher on AP Test for AP English Lit or AP Language and Comp
        • Score level 3 or 4 on ELA SBA (state assessment)
        • SAT English score of 480 or higher or ACT English &Reading combined score of 34 or higher
        • College placement test
          • Highline:  Accuplacer Score of 253 + 2.0 GPS 
          • Green River: College Success test score of 101 +

    *College level courses are considered 100 level or above.

    Currently Enrolled Running Start Students, Click HERE

    Click HERE to see School-Specific Information for Decatur High School, Highline College, and Green River College

    Click HERE to see the steps on how to enroll in Running Start

    Find the 2022-2023 Decatur High School Running Start Agreement HERE

    Links to Local Community Colleges: