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Any Washington State high school junior or senior can enroll in Running Start, provided that they are already registered or register with a Washington public school district.  The only other qualifications for enrollment are:

  • College-level writing placement scores. (5 or higher on WritePlacer)- Click here to find out how to schedule a placement test.
    • OR
  • Qualifying score on the ELA Smarter Balanced Assessment. (3 or 4)

    • OR (starting for the 2019-2020 school year applicants)
  • Qualifying score on SAT Reading (500 or higher)
    • OR
  • Qualifying score on ACT English (20 or higher)
    • OR
  • Qualifying score on ACT Reading (21 or higher)
    • OR
  • AP English score of 4 or 5 (will receive English 101 credit)


Math is not a qualifying factor for the program. If a student wants to take a college level math or math-related course, qualifications for enrollment are:

  • College-level math placement score (Accuplacer)
    • OR
  • Qualifying score on math Smarter Balanced Assessment (3 or 4) and a grade of C or higher in Algebra 2 or higher at the high school.



The student must make the final decision regarding if they are ready for college-level coursework on a full time or part time basis. Students are encouraged to seek the guidance of their parents, high school counselors, and college personnel while considering Running Start as an option.  However, ultimately, it is only the student's decision to pursue this pathway. For more to consider see What to Consider First.

Home School and Private School Students

Home school and private school students must register with a public school district to take advantage of Running Start.