Running Start

Running Start is a partnership between local community colleges and public high schools. The program provides high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take college-level courses on a tuition-free basis. Running Start students, full or part-time, can apply credits earned toward both high school graduation and future college degrees at the same time. Students may attend any community college's Running Start program, but must apply for admission into Running Start. Performance on entrance exams, GPA and other factors may be considered in the admissions process.

Steps to Enroll

  • Learn about Running Start - Go to the college website you are interested in and find their Running Start information page. You may also attend an information session at the college or meet with your counselor to learn more about the program.
    Running Start presentation 
  • Complete placement - Get a copy of your Smarter Balanced Assessment Scores, PSAT scores or take a placement test.
  • Submit Application - Apply online.
  • Check your email - You will receive an acceptance email from the college with your student ID and the next steps to take.
  • Turn in Enrollment Verification - Make an appointment with your high school counselor. Remember that counselors need enough time to review all paperwork before signing. Please have parents sign the Enrollment Verification form prior to counselor review.
  • Review the Monroe School District Running Start Course Equivalencies

Local Community College Partnerships

Everett Community College
Cascadia Community College
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Edmonds Community College
Shoreline Community College

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are classes located?

Most Running Start courses are located on the college campuses; however, some of the community colleges that we partner with offer courses at various locations throughout our community.

Is transportation provided?

Transportation is not provided by the Monroe School District to Running Start courses.

How many college credits may students take?

Students may take up to 15 tuition-free credits per quarter, depending on their enrollment level at the high school. Up to 2 years of college may be completed while students are still in high school. It is possible to earn an Associate's Degree while still in high school.

Is it completely free?

While there is no cost for tuition, students must pay for class fees, books, transportation, parking and any courses taken that are not college level courses (courses numbered below 100).

Other things to know

Students are enrolled in regular college classes with adult students and are responsible for their own actions, participation and attendance. If enrolled in Running Start and high school classes, all policies and procedures regarding attendance and grades for Monroe School District courses are applicable.

Running Start is not available during summer quarter.