Running Start

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This article is about the educational program in Washington state. For the political organization, see Running Start: Bringing Young Women to Politics.

Running Start programs in Washington and Hawaii allow high school juniors and seniors to attend college courses numbered 100 or above, while completing high school. It is similar to other dual enrollment programs common at public and private colleges and universities in other states.

Washington State[edit]

The Running Start program in Washington state was piloted in the early 1990s and officially approved to begin in the fall of 1993. Washington currently allows students to enroll in Running Start classes tuition-free.

Running Start provides up to two years of paid tuition at any of Washington’s community and technical colleges, and at Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University, and Northwest Indian College.[1] High school juniors who can pass the entrance exam for a local community college may take part or all of their coursework at the community college. Successfully passing a course earns a student both high school and college credit.

Running Start students can complete a substantial number of their first two years of college credits early. After high school, they pay for fewer community college credits before moving on to four-year institutions. It is possible for a motivated student to earn both a high school diploma and a two-year college associate's degree simultaneously.

New state regulations took effect on July 26, 2011, limiting Running Start students to a 1.0 FTE (Full-Time Equivalent) limit for High School or Higher Education courses each, and a 1.2 FTE limit for both institutions combined. (1.0 FTE is equivalent to 15 college credits, or 1500 High School weekly minutes of instruction).[2] Students who wish to take more than 15 college credits may pay the regular tuition rate and still receive dual credit. Fee waiver for additional credits might be available if the student belongs to low-income family (e.g. enrolled in free or reduced lunch program in high school).

While tuition is payed for by your local high school, in the Running Start program there are some additional fees that must be handled. Running Start students are responsible for paying class fees every quarter. Textbooks may also have to be bought depending on the classes the student is taking. [1]

University of Hawaii[edit]

Open to most high school juniors and seniors, running start allows students to receive credit with their public high school as well as receive college credit from the University of Hawaii. Unlike Washington, tuition is sometimes charged, with costs varying from school to school. GEAR UP Hawaii currently offers a limited number of scholarships who currently receive free or reduced lunch. In order to participate in running start, students must first receive parental consent, complete an online application, have up-to-date vaccinations, take the ACT placement test, and complete a TB test. [3]


  1. ^ a b "Running Start". Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  2. ^ 07/26/11 Bulletin (PDF) 
  3. ^ "UHMC Running Start".