Running Start

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.
    • Green River has 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)
    • Verify assessment requirements with the Placement and Testing Center at your designated college. Visit the testing center websites (below) for locations and hours of operations.
      • Highline College: ACCUPLACER Reading minimum score of 80, Smarter Balance ELA score of 3 or 4, or completion of English 091 with minimum 2.0 grade 
      • Green River: College Success Assessment (English score of 101-150 places you in English 101), SBA scores, AP/IB courses for English. Math eligibility determined by WAMAP exam. 

    *College level courses are considered 100 level or above.


    1. Pick up a Running Start packet from the counseling office and review it with your parent/guardian.
    2. Consult your counselor, teachers and parents/guardians about your readiness for college-level work and the college environment. 
    3. Apply for admissions at the college you plan to attend (see links below to be redirected to local college's Running Start pages).
    4. After receiving your SID and activation code, activate your account to access important student resources.
    5. Visit the Placement and Testing Center to verify assessment requirements. Bring a copy of your most recent unofficial transcript, Smarter Balanced Assessment scores, if available, a photo ID, and your college Student ID number obtained when applying for admissions.
    6. Obtain your test results from the Running Start testing center.
    7. Make an appointment with your Counselor. Bring your test results, Enrollment Verification Form, your signed Running Start Agreement (see below), Quarterly Program Application (Highline), and signed Fee Waiver, if applicable. Since registration is first-come-first-served, it is a good idea to have an alternate course schedule should your first choice classes be filled.
    8. Submit all of your Running Start application materials to the college Running Start office.
    9. Attend a new student orientation. Time/location to be provided by the college.
    10. Meet with the college Running Start advisor/counselor.
    11. It is imperative that you consider your Beamer courses and periods as you register for courses at Running Start. TB courses are year-long, while RS courses are offered on a quarterly basis (Fall, Winter and Spring).  Any conflicts should be avoided!  It is the student's responsibility to address these concerns with their Running Start advisor/counselor.
    12. Meet with your High School Counselor prior to registration opening before every quarter to get your Running Start Enrollment Form signed. You can not register for college classes unless you have your enrollment form signed each quarter.

    *The colleges may require a variety of fees (testing, activity, technology and other fees), in addition to textbook purchases. Textbooks should be purchased prior to the first day of classes and are the responsibility of the student. See your counselor for a Test, Fee Waiver, and Book Loan Program Form. For more information, contact your high school counselor or the Running Start Coordinator at one of the colleges.