Running Start

Running Start is a program that allows 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses at Washington's 34 community and technical colleges. Students earn both high school and college credits for these courses and may attend full time at the college, or part time at both the college and the high school. Running Start students and their families do not pay tuition. They are responsible for mandatory fees, books and transportation. Students receive both high school and college credit for these dual credit classes.

Becoming a Running Start student is a big decision and taking college courses during your high school years is not for everyone. Please spend some time to thoroughly read through the Running Start program information on the college websites listed below, as this will help you determine if you are ready for college level work. After you’ve decided that you want to enroll in the Running Start program, you MUST complete that college's steps to apply.  The steps outlined below are the typical steps to apply to Cascadia Community College. You must complete steps one through four (below) before moving on to step five and meeting with your counselor. Students typically begin the application process in April for fall admission to the program.

The steps below are for Cascadia.  If you plan to apply to a different college, go to that college's Running Start website for their directions.  

  1. Attend a Running Start info session either at Cascadia College or at Bothell High School. Cascadia hosts several info sessions and Bothell will host one, typically held in February/March of each school year. (BHS will announce this info session via email). 
  2. Complete the online college application.
  3. 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 tuition for English 95 (English 100 is college-level and tuition is paid for. Placing into English 101 is ideal).-The math portion of the exam is not required for Running Start eligibility, but is required to take math courses and many science courses.
  4. Apply to the Running Start program by submitting the Running Start contract and placement results to the college’s Running Start office.
  5. Once the Fall class schedule is posted for the college, meet with your high school counselor to receive guidance on classes for your first quarter at the college and complete the EVF form. Following that, you're ready to register for your courses with the college by attending a CORE session.

Helpful Links:
Running Start Equivalency Chart (find out what college classes count for at BHS)
Running Start Enrollment Verification Form (RSEVF)
Summer 2024 Running Start Enrollment Verification Form (RSEVF)
What to complete on your EVF
RSEVF Instruction Presentation
College Readiness for Students with Disabilities - Educators and Parents

College Running Start Links:
Cascadia Community College
Bellevue College
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Edmonds Community College

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

A student who, at the beginning of their senior academic year, has not met the district’s high school graduation requirements for total credits is eligible to attend Running Start until the end of the school year. Students who have completed all the credits needed for high school graduation before the beginning of a school year are not eligible to participate in Running Start in accordance with WAC 392-169-020. 

Running Start funds Fall, Winter and Spring quarters at local community colleges. Summer tuition is sometimes funded and depends on a few factors. Seek guidance from your Running Start college of choice for their enrollment steps for Summer Quarter. Students are responsible for books, fees, and parking. Courses numbered 099 or below are not considered part of Running Start and will not be funded by the school district.

Tuition funding for RS is based on the following BHS class to college credit ratio:

# Of BHS Classes

College Credits Funded



1 18
2 16












Conversion of college credit to high school credit (most quarterly college classes are 5 credits):

College Credit

High School Credit







3 .6
4 .8








College and high school calendars often do not match (quarter start date/end dates, vacations). Taking classes at both RS and BHS requires careful planning and part-time RS students will find that mid-winter and spring vacations at BHS do not align with breaks at the colleges.

Running Start should be a yearlong commitment. Due to timelines and calendars often not matching, starting or ending the program midyear may adversely impact high school credits and progress toward graduation.

Each quarter, students must meet with their BHS counselor to review their graduation status and complete the Enrollment Verification Form (EVF). Students are responsible for making an appointment with their high school counselor. The EVF is required by the college running start office to fund your college tuition. Students who register for college courses that are not authorized on the EVF form by the BHS counselor risk progress toward graduation.

Running Start courses taken to fulfill high school graduation requirements must be listed on the Northshore School District’s Equivalency chart. Please consult with your counselor regarding the courses you can take for graduation credits if you are unsure.

It is recommended that all BHS graduation requirements are completed at the college by Winter Quarter of senior year. Leaving required credits for Spring quarter may put graduation at risk as some college classes are not offered every quarter or may be full.

Colleges treat Running Start students as college students. Colleges will not communicate with a parent/guardian without a signed release on file with the college.

Colleges automatically report quarter grades to BHS and these grades are permanently posted to the high school transcript.

If students have a question about ANYTHING related to college procedure, policy, or resources, it should be directed to the college, not BHS staff.

Students are responsible for monitoring all RS deadlines. The earlier students register, the better their chances to enroll in their desired college courses. There is no guarantee that students will be able to register for their desired classes at the college.

College courses frequently require a high level of self-discipline. The college will not send progress reports or warnings. Students are fully responsible for monitoring their own progress. Colleges do not provide progress reports to high school staff or parents.

Students with disabilities who have an Individualized Education Plan or a 504 plan are responsible for informing and providing documentation to the Community College. Accommodations are not automatic. Each college has their own evaluation process. See College Readiness for Students with Disabilities.

It is the responsibility of RS students and parents/guardians to stay informed regarding high school diploma requirements, BHS news and events, college application/testing deadlines, and graduation ceremony information. This can be done by visiting the BHS website, closely monitoring student email accounts, and reviewing StudentVue.

RSEVF Instruction Video