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Running Start

What is Running Start?

Running Start is a special opportunity program in Washington in which 11th and 12th grade students may apply to enroll in courses or programs in colleges without charge, except for books, labs, and other fees. Students will receive dual credit (high school and college) for successful completion of coursework. An official transcript will be maintained at each institution.  We partner with Lower Columbia College (Longview, WA) and Columbia Basin College (Pasco, WA).


  • Student must have achieved a Level 3 or 4 score on the Smarter Balanced ELA & Math state assessments OR take the College Placement exam at the college OR submit a transcript to the college
  • Student must place high enough to take 100 level courses or higher

The Process

  1. Student and parent/guardian attends an information program at the High School. If you are unable to attend, please make an appointment to meet with Mrs. Lee.
  2. Student will choose which college they want to attend and apply on that college's Running Start website.
  3. After being accepted, student will meet with a college advisor to develop a plan at the college and meet with Mrs. Lee to develop a plan for the school year.
  4. Student will select class(es) for the quarter and complete an Enrollment Verification Form (EVF) (must be completed each quarter) for the upcoming quarter with that information. Form must be completed by student, Mrs. Lee, and signed by parent/guardian.

Few Other Notes

  • Student may be enrolled for a maximum 1.4 Full Time Enrollment (FTE) for each quarter. This includes the combined number of high school and college courses taken each term.
  • Student Athletes must complete a WIAA form that is available from the Athletic Office.
  • Students are required to pay for the cost of the textbooks and any fees that each class may have as well as the cost for any credits taken at the college in excess of the maximum FTE of college credit hours allowed for each college quarter: college classes + semester high school classes.
  • It is the student's responsibility to know important college deadlines and dates. As a college student, parents are not privy to information. Colleges prefer to deal with students directly. 
  • Students who are new to Running Start will stay enrolled in their Fall GHS classes until their college classes begin. Once classes begin, the student must notify Mrs. Lee so she can remove them from the GHS classes.
  • Students struggling with their courses should first communicate with their professors and then Mrs. Lee.
  • Students who fail Running Start courses are at risk of falling behind on their graduation requirements and will have to work twice as hard to make up for the failed class.

Running Start Files