The Center School


Running Start

General Running Start Information

Running Start is a program for High School Juniors and Seniors to take college classes at Washington two-year colleges and earn high school and college credit at the same time. Tuition is free for a maximum of 15 credits per quarter in college-level courses numbered 100 or higher. However, the number of college credits each student may take free of tuition costs depends on how many classes the student is concurrently taking at the high school.

Students are responsible for tuition for pre-college courses (numbering below 100) and any credits that exceed their allowable limit. Students are responsible for the cost of books and transportation; however, fee waivers for these expenses (not including transportation) are available for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Please Note: Running Start students must take full responsibility for keeping up-to-date on what’s happening at The Center School (TCS), including important dates and deadlines (AP Tests, Winter Ball, Senior Prom, Ordering Graduation Supplies, Graduation Rehearsal Dates and Times, Senior Meetings and any other Senior related events).

Students can sign up on the TCS Newsletter Sign Up Form and reading the TCS Newsletter is one of the best ways to stay informed of upcoming events and deadlines. Also, visit the Counseling Center for current updates.


  • A High School Junior or Senior (Students must have earned at least 12 credits by the end of their junior year)
  • Place into college-level English OR math on the placement test (taken at the college)
  • Some colleges will accept your ACT, SAT, or high school transcript for placement in lieu of the placement test.
  • Check the college websites for more information.

Steps to Getting Started

  1. Decide which two-year college you want to attend by visiting several campuses and checking out their course offerings on their websites.
  2. Check the Running Start procedures on the website of the college you wish to attend. Some will require you to register as a student online or in-person before taking the placement test. Some may require that you attend an orientation session at the college.
  3. Take the placement test. (Testing schedules can be found on the college websites.) You will need to bring your TCS student ID card and money to pay a fee to the test center in order to take the test. Students with free/reduced lunch may qualify for a fee waiver from their TCS counselor. For more information about the placement test and access to test prep materials, check the college websites. You will receive your test results the same day and if they show you qualify to take English 101 and/or Math 107 you are eligible for Running Start. (You should receive a packet of registration material when you complete the test.
  4. Schedule an appointment to meet with your high school counselor (Ms. Hayes at your Running Start packet to this meeting and a signed copy of the Running Start Participation Agreement Form (link below) for The Center School. You will decide together which classes you will take at the college and which classes you will take at TCS. Your counselor will sign the Enrollment Verification Form included in your Running Start packet.
  5. Take your completed Running Start Packet, including the Enrollment Verification Form, to the college. You will meet with the Running Start Advisor and register for classes.
  6. If you are planning to begin Running Start classes for the Fall Term, try to complete all of the above steps by May 1st if possible. This is the priority date for most colleges. Most colleges will still accept your applications after this date, but courses will begin filling up, limiting your choices if you apply late. Check each college website for their specific dates and deadlines. You can also begin Running Start during the school year by entering the college Winter Term or Spring Term, but the logistics are more difficult.

Once Enrolled

The college will send your grades to TCS at the end of each quarter to be posted on your TCS transcript. If you need an official college transcript you will need to request and pay for an official copy from the college registrar where you took Running Start classes.

Forms and Resources