Running-Start | Cascadia College

Running Start and College in the High School

Earning college credit while you're still in high school has plenty of advantages. Save money. Make connections. Build your resume. And have fun while doing it.


Running Start and College in the High School

Running Start

Running Start is a statewide partnership between colleges and local high schools. The program allows high school juniors and seniors to attend the college tuition-free and earn credits that count for both high school and college. 

  • Tuition is free. The public schools cover the tuition for Running Start students; however, students are still responsible for fees. Students who qualify for free and reduced-price lunch may also qualify for some fees to be waived.
  • Full-time Running Start students are on track to earn an Associate degree.
  • Class are offered at Cascadia College's Bothell Campus, Online, Hybrid, or at the Cascadia College Redmond Together Center satellite campus.
  • You'll have full access to the University of Washington's library system as a Cascadia student.
  • Cascadia's average class size is 21 students!

Apply to the Running Start Program

Ready to start the application process? Begin on the Get Started page.

Frequently asked Questions (FAQS)

High school juniors and seniors (as well as rising juniors transitioning from their sophomore to junior year over summer) can take up to 21 college credits per quarter at Cascadia College. The public school district pays Running Start tuition. Students can enroll in Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring quarters. Students can apply to begin as a Running Start student in any of these quarters.
Students earn high school and college credits simultaneously. Each five-credit Cascadia course will earn one year of the subject at the high school. For example, a student taking English 101 at Cascadia will earn one year of high school English. Students have access to any Cascadia course for which they meet the prerequisite.
  • Students are responsible for paying all college fees by the quarterly tuition deadline. The number of credits students can take tuition-free is determine by the number of classes taken at the high school. Students who are eligible for free/reduced cost meals pay only lab and studio art fees. Books and transportation costs are the student’s responsibility. Students are responsible for tuition for under-100 level classes and any classes taken during Summer Quarter or the Pre-Fall session.

Students must place into English 95 or English 101. English 95 is not a college-level class. Because it is an under-100 level class, students are responsible for paying full tuition for English 95.

Yes, some students choose to take some of their classes at the high school and others at the college. Students who take some classes at their high school will be eligible for fewer credits of free tuition at Cascadia. Students can pay for additional credits above the number of eligible credits.

Students register with their local homeschool network or the public school district.

Yes, you are still a student at your high school.

Running Start is a great option for motivated, independent students who are ready to accomplish college-level work. Running Start students must meet the same academic expectations as other Cascadia students. Cascadia grades appear on both the high school and college transcript.

  • Running Start students who have a 504 or IEP Plan should contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office to schedule an Access Meeting Appointment. Accommodations from a 504 or IEP Plan do not directly transfer over to Cascadia College. All Cascadia students (including Running Start) must engage in an interactive process with SAS to determine what accommodations they are eligible for. To schedule an Access Meeting, or if you have any questions, please email SAS at
After admission to Running Start, you will attend a CORE orientation online or on campus. Academic Advisors will help you register for your first quarter’s classes. After your first quarter, you will register for your classes on your own.

College in the High School

College in the High School programs provide college-level academic courses to 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grade students. Courses are taught at the high school, by high school teachers, with college curriculum, college textbooks, and oversight by Cascadia college faculty and staff. Best of all: you can earn college credit at Cascadia.

  • Students pay fees, but typically far less than regular college tuition.
  • Students may also pay for textbooks.
  • Located at the high school.

Contact your high school to find out which College in the High School classes are offered.