What is Running Start?

  • Running Start allows high school juniors and seniors to take tuition-free college courses earning credit for both high school and college.  The Running Start Program pays the tuition and students are responsible for books, supplies, lab fees, and transportation.

    Students interested in applying for a Running Start program must first contact their local high school to determine eligibility and graduation requirements. 

    To Qualify:

    • Be registered as a junior or senior in a Washington State high school.
    • Be under 21 years of age.
    • Provide approved English and math placement information and place into a college-level English OR math course.



OHS Information

  • There are a number of things to think about when deciding if Running Start is right for you or your student.  Talk with Mrs. Ryan early if this is a route you would like to explore. Here are some questions, in no particular order, to ask yourself or your student: 

    1. Are you wanting to enroll in running start full time and stop taking all classes at the high school? 
    2. Are you wanting to explore taking 1 maybe 2 college classes at a time while continuing to be enrolled in a couple of high school courses? 
    3. Are you a student who is able to work independently? 
    4. Are you a student who is able to learn online or do you learn more when you have a class you have to attend? 
    5. What do you want your high school career to be like? 
    6. Is saving money on college an important piece for you and your family? 

    Most OHS students take 1 or 2 college courses at a time while being enrolled in a couple of high school classes.  This requires students to take Running Start courses online only.  Usually students who want to engage in Running Start, have to be willing to give up taking a course at the high school.  State law has limitations on how many hours students can be enrolled in running start and high school at the same time.  The table below is a general table that shows how many high school courses you can take at OHS while being enrolled in running start WITHOUT accuring extra fees. 

    Number of HS Courses Enrolled in  Number of avalialbe college credits to enroll without accuring extra fees 
    5 5
    4 8
    3 10
    2 13
    0-1 15

    In general, most of the college classes high schools students take are 5 credit courses. If you take 1 college course during every college quarter, you would earn 15 college credits from 3 different classes during the school year. 

    If everything sounds good so far, then you may be ready to apply and take your college placement tests.  In order to engage in running start you have to take the college placement exams, AND you HAVE to place into the college level courses for English or Math. Each college has a slightly different application and testing process.  See each college tab for specific information. 



How does grading work?

  • In high school, students recieve letter grades for their courses while students in college recieve a numerical grade.  Below is the grading equalicy chart that shows how high schools convert running start grades into letter grades. 


    4.0 - 3.8        A    Superior achievement

    3.7 – 3.5       A-

    3.4 – 3.2       B+

    3.1 – 2.9       B    Above average achievement

    2.8 – 2.6       B-

    2.5 – 2.3       C+

    2.2 – 2.0       C    Average Achievement 

    1.9 – 1.6       C-

    1.5 – 1.3       D+

    1.2 – 1.0       D    Minimum achievement

    Below 1.0    F      Failing