Running Start College Information

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Running Start Information for Parents

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Running Start (RS) is a statewide program that allows eligible high school juniors and seniors to attend community college tuition-free, earn college credits, and transfer to most 4-year colleges and universities in Washington. Although not required, it is highly recommended that students considering RS, hold a high school GPA of 3.0 or above.

Students new to Running Start are required to attend an orientation or complete the orientation online at South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) prior to enrolling. College Advisors assist students when planning the two year degree requirements and, high school counselors advise students for high school graduation requirements..


Please review all the details on this page provided by South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC), to see if the program is right for you.


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ORLA RS students need to email Stacey Anderson to arrange a meeting for enrollment.


RS students who are homeschool only need to email the forms to Leilani Stewart for signature.


  • Students are required to take a computer placement test (CPT) at the college for entrance into Running Start.

  • RS students pay no college tuition however, they are responsible for the purchase of textbooks, supplies, transportation and other necessary fees (can be up to $350 per quarter). Tuition costs for up to 18 community college credits are paid for by the State of Washington. Limited financial resources may be available through the college to help with these costs.

  • Course work is more intense and more material is covered in a shorter period of time at the college.

  • The rules of confidentiality and attendance reporting are different than the high school. A college has no obligation to provide progress reports or to report a lack of attendance. Grades will only be issued to the student.

  • Running Start is only available to students during the high school academic year and therefore students taking classes during the college summer session are required to pay tuition. It is the student's responsibility to provide an official college transcript to the high school registrar for grades received in a summer quarter.

  • The college calendar is different from the high school calendar. A college student may be required to attend class during a public high school vacation. The first week of spring quarter at the college is generally the week of spring break for the high school and students are expected to attend classes at the community college. The start of the college quarter frequently occurs two weeks after the start of the high school trimester and final exams are usually a week or more after high school finals.

  • The expectation is that college classes will be arranged around year long required classes at ORLA.

  • It is the Running Start student's responsibility to adhere to the ORLA Course Transfer Guidelines in regards to ORLA graduation requirement equivalencies.