Running Start

Welcome to Running Start

Running Start allows academically eligible high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to earn college credit while fulfilling high school graduation requirements. Students may enroll in both high school and college classes or solely in college classes. 

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Running Start gives high school students the opportunity to take college level courses at CBC as part of their high school education. Students earn both high school and college credit for all courses that they complete, tuition FREE! Students can choose to take just one class per quarter or attend full time. 

  • Students can earn their AA/DTA (Associate in Arts & Sciences) transfer degree.
  • Earn up to two years of college coursework tuition free.
  • Study a variety of subjects not offered in high school.
  • Participate in advanced level courses.
  • Transition into a more independent learning environment.  
  • Prepare for future career and educational opportunities. 

To be eligible for Running Start the student must:

  • Have Junior or Senior standing in high school
  • Be enrolled in a Washington State Public High school
  • Test or place into college-level reading, English or math to qualify

A student will need to test and place into college-level reading, English or Math in order to qualify for Running Start. Students can take CBC's online Directed Self-Placement OR provide:

  • Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) scores
  • Official college transcripts
  • Official AP scores
  • Unofficial high school transcripts (math only)
  • Unofficial SAT/ACT scores (math only)

Yes! However, you must enroll in a public high school and be considered a junior or senior at the high school. You do not have to attend classes in the public high school in order to participate in Running Start, but you must have an Enrollment Verification Form signed by the appropriate high school counselor each term.

The Enrollment Verification Form (EVF) is a form that is completed each quarter before registration by the student with the signature of their parent(s)/guardian and their high school counselor. The purpose of this form is to track the combined number of credits in which the student is enrolled between their high school and the college. Each term, the student is responsible for meeting with their high school counselor to complete and submit this form. 

Note: Students will be unable to register for classes without a completed EVF. 

Running Start students will need to meet with their high school counselor to ensure they are taking classes that meet their high school graduation requirements.

Students may also meet with a Completion Coach at CBC to choose classes that go towards their college degree.

Yes, Running Start students may participate in summer quarter. However, it is dependent on their status. 

A new Running Start student that chooses to start summer quarter, is eligible to enroll in maximum of 10 credits. 

A continuing Running Start student can attend summer quarter if they have not met the 1.4 FTE. The student should meet with their high school counselor to submit a summer Enrollment Verification Form (EVF).

A graduating high school senior can attend summer quarter if they are 15 credits or less from earning an associate degree. 

Running Start students are responsible for quarterly fees and books. Running Start students will also be responsible for paying tuition and fees for any credits they take that is over the specified amount on their Enrollment Verification Form. 

Fees can be waived if the student is eligible for free or reduced lunch at the high school and submits their eligibility letter or attends a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) high school.  

Running Start does not cover tuition or fees for below college level courses. If a student decides to take a below college level course (anything below 100) they will be responsible for tuition and fees for that course.

  • Covers tuition and fees for any college level courses
  • Covers tuition and fees for any credits a student takes above their approved amount of credits that is specified on their Enrollment Verification Form
  • Qualifies the student for the Book Assistance Program

Students qualify for the need-based fee waiver if one of the following applies to them:

  • Students shall be considered low income and eligible for a fee waiver upon proof the student is currently qualified to receive free or reduced-price lunch at their high school
  • Students who attend a Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) school that provides free lunch to the entire school
  • Students who have spent at least one year in the Washington State Foster Care system since the age of 13 are also eligible for the fee waiver

If a student qualifies for the need-based fee waiver they must supply a copy of their K-12 subsidized Food Program Eligibility letter to the Running Start department via email.

Students attending a CEP high school will not need to submit a Food Program Eligibility letter, the need-based fee waiver will automatically be applied to their account.

The Running Start Book Assistance program loans books each quarter to students who qualify for the need-based fee waiver. The students must maintain a quarterly and cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher to participate in the program. Students will also need to return their books at the end of the quarter to continue to be eligible. 

To request an application email runningstartFREECOLUMBIA_BASIN

Running Start students are not eligible for Federal Student Aid (FASFA).

However, if a student needs financial assistance email runningstartFREECOLUMBIA_BASIN.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) governs and protects your rights to your individual educational records. The primary rights protected under FERPA are the students' rights to:

  • Review and inspect their educational records;
  • Have their educational records amended or corrected;
  • Control disclosure of certain portions of their educational records.

According to FERPA, college students are considered responsible adults and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them. While parents understandably have an interest in their student’s academic progress, they aren’t automatically granted access to a student’s educational records without the students written consent.

We encourage parents to consult with their student if they need their academic information. A student may give anyone permission to access their records by filing a Release of Information form (ROI).



Meet the Running Start Team!

Hi, I'm Istar. I grew up in Sunnyside, WA and completed my bachelor's degree at Washington State University.

Favorite quote: "All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." -Walt Disney


Hi, I'm Elizabeth. I grew up in Bridgeport, WA. I graduated from Washington State University Tri-Cities with a Masters in Educational Leadership. I was the first person in my family to attend college so I am very passionate about assisting students attend higher education. If you ever need help, please feel free to contact me! 

Favorite quote: "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." -Nelson Mandela

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Students walking around CBC's Pasco campus