Running Start

  • girl standing against a locker

The Running Start Program is a partnership between Yakima Valley College (YVC)  and Washington State public high schools. The program offers eligible high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to enroll in regular college classes and receive both high school and college credit for those classes.

About Running Start

Earn up to two years of college tuition free.

Study subjects not offered at your high school.

 Participate in advanced level courses.

Earn your Associate Degree.

Experience a college atmosphere.

How Does Running Start Work for High School Students?

Tuition charges are paid for by the high school .

Students are responsible to pay fees and purchase or rent textbooks and supplies.

To be eligible for Running Start, students must meet minimum placement requirements of English 101 and math level 4.

Additional Information about Running Start

What will this do for you

  • Earn up to two years of tuition-free college credit, getting a head start on college
  • ​Take courses that may not be offered at high school
  • Select from a diverse offering of classes
  • Experience a college environment while in high school, easing the transition to college life
  • Experience college clubs and activities (except for intercollegiate athletics)
  • Try a different educational setting, an advantage for those who find that the traditional high school does not fit their needs

Just so you know

  • College classes discuss adult topics; students must be mature enough to handle a variety of conversations and assignments
  • College level classes demand that students work more independently and at a quicker pace than high school classes
  • Students are responsible for their own transportation
  • Scheduled college classes could conflict with high school classes and high school extracurricular activities
  • Students are expected to attend classes at the college regardless of differences in school breaks and holidays
Quarter Start Priority Application Deadline Final Application Deadline Classes Begin
Winter 2024 N/A November 9, 2023 January 2, 2024
Spring 2024 N/A February 16, 2024 April 1, 2024
Fall 2024 April 12, 2024 August 8, 2024 September 23, 2024

Students attending a private school or participating in home-based instruction may apply for Running Start. Interested students follow the regular Running Start application process. Once the student is deemed eligible for Running Start, students should then visit their resident public school district office for further instructions regarding public school enrollment.

Students must be considered a junior or senior to be eligible for Running Start. Running Start enrollment procedures for private and home-school students vary by district, and the public school district and/or public high school determines the student’s grade level.

All students must be enrolled through a public school district and will need to get the public high school counselor’s signature on the quarterly Enrollment Verification form.

Want to know which YVC classes will be accepted for high school credit?

Click on your school to find out which YVC classes will count for high school and college credit. Each student’s high school record will determine which courses must be completed for high school graduation. Each quarter students must meet with their high school counselor to discuss their educational plan and complete an Enrollment Verification form.

Remember, the high school counselor will guide students through their high school experience and YVC Running Start advisors can help with college-specific information.

East Valley High School
Ellensburg High School
Grandview High School
Granger High School
Highland High School
Kittitas High School
Mabton High School
Naches High School
Prosser High School
Selah High School
Sunnyside High School
Toppenish High School
Wapato High School
West Valley High School
Zillah High School
Yakima High Schools

All public and private colleges in Washington accept college-level academic Running Start credits in a manner consistent with standard transfer equivalency policies.

Generally, students who complete college credit while in high school will apply to four-year colleges and universities as freshmen, and they will receive transfer credit after being admitted to the college. Students must complete the freshmen application requirements including taking the SAT or ACT test, and completing the core high school requirements.

A student who completes an Associate of Arts degree at a community college in Washington will have satisfied, in most cases, all of the general university requirements for the first two years at the public universities in Washington.

Students should find out about specific requirements for admission into individual major departments (School of Engineering, School of Business, etc.) and other specialized departmental requirements. In some majors, e.g. Engineering, it is not possible to meet all the departmental requirements and earn an A.A. degree in two years. In cases like these, it may be more advantageous to meet the departmental requirements rather than the A.A. degree requirements.

Even though YVC​ has transfer agreements, it is advisable to work closely with the four-year colleges and universities for a successful transfer.

Transfer Guide

School (Public) Transfer Guide Running Start Admission Information
Central Washington University CWU Transfer Guide CWU RS Admissions Policies
Eastern Washington University EWU Transfer Guide EWU RS Admission Policies
The Evergreen State College TESC Transfer Guide TESC RS Admissions Policies
University of Washington UW Transfer Guide  UW RS Admissions Policies
Washington State University WSU Transfer Guide WSU RS Admissions Policies
Western Washington University WWU Transfer Guide WWU RS Admission Policies
School (Private) Transfer Guide Running Start Admission Information
Gonzaga University GU Transfer Guide GU RS Admissions Policies
Heritage University Heritage Transfer Guide  
Pacific Lutheran University PLU Transfer Guide PLU RS Admissions Policies
Seattle Pacific University SPU Transfer Guide SPU RS Admissions Policies
Seattle University SU Transfer Guide SU RS Admissions Policies
University of Puget Sound UPS Transfer Guide** UPS RS Admissions Policies
Whitman College Whitman Transfer Guide Whitman RS Admissions Policies
Whitworth College Whitworth Transfer Guide Whitworth RS Admissions Policies

** Read UPS Admission Policies first

Washington state law allows a community or technical college authority to issue a high school diploma or certificate as provided under this section: 

An individual enrolled through Running Start who satisfactorily completes an associate degree, including an associate of arts degree, associate of science degree, associate of technology degree, or associate in applied science degree, shall be awarded a state high school diploma from the college upon written request from the student. (These individuals are not required to complete the State Board of Education’s graduation requirements.)​ 

Additional details on the agreement with the SBCTC in conjunction with the Superintendent of Public Instruction can be found under Chapter 4.60.20

YVC high school diplomas are accepted at four-year colleges and universities and will be listed on a student’s YVC transcript. See a Running Start Advisor for more information.

Running Start Student Profile

Running Start Information Video