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:
Green River Community College
Tacoma Community College