Running Start

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* In light of COVID-19, Running Start services have moved online. For current students to schedule a virtual appointment or other inquiries can be directed to

WSU Tri-Cities Running Start Program

Washington State University Tri-Cities is proud to offer the Running Start program for qualifying high school juniors and seniors.  The Running Start program allows students to attend classes on the WSU Tri Cities campus and receive both high school and college credit simultaneously.

We partner with all Mid-Columbia high schools, along with surrounding school districts, including Prosser, Connell, Columbia, Kahlotus, Finley, Kiona-Benton, Omak and Grandview.

There are many benefits to students participating in the Running Start program at WSU Tri-Cities, including developing skills that support academic achievment, the ability to pursue degree interests and students can take up to 15 college credits per semester, tuition free.  Running Start students may attend WSU Tri-Cities full-time or combine their classes between the high school and WSU Tri-Cities. 

Kate McAteer
Vice Chancellor
for Academic Affairs


As the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, it is my pleasure to oversee the Running Start program on campus. This avenue for dual credit provides students with the opportunity to earn affordable college credit while earning their high school diploma. Students in the region have access to rigorous course work with highly talented faculty who are invested in their success.

Running Start students at WSU Tri-Cities engage in an authentic college experiences that puts them on the path to a successful academic career. I invite you to visit campus, meet our helpful staff and explore the possibility of getting a head-start on your college education.

Fall 2021 Application – NOW CLOSED!
Deadline to apply: April 1st

Participation Criteria

1) Students who have a 3.50 or higher cumulative, unweighted high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) are admissible after submitting their high school transcript.

2) Students who have a 3.30 to 3.49 cumulative, unweighted high school GPA are reviewed for admission by a WSU faculty committee.  Additional information is requested to assist the committee in making their determination, including:

  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Test scores, if applicable (PSAT, ACT, PLAN )

3) Homeschool students are reviewed for admission by a WSU faculty committee on an individual basis.  Additional information is requested to assist the committee in making their determination, including:

  • Personal statement
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Test scores, if applicable (PSAT, ACT, PLAN )

 4) Students whose cumulative high school GPA is below 3.30 at the time of application are not eligible for consideration but are encouraged to improve their GPAs and apply the following academic year. 


Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative WSU grade point average to remain eligible for WSU Running Start.  If a student’s grade point average falls below 2.0, they are dismissed from Running Start and return to their high school.  Students may reapply for admission after one semester at the high school.

1.  Submit an online application – Fall 2021 Application now open 

  • You will upload or email the following required forms with your application:
  • Unofficial high school transcript ~ Mid term grades are not accepted
  • Parent permission form
  • FERPA form
  • Home school students and students with 3.3-3.49 GPA will be contacted to submit additional documentation, including:
    • Letters of recommendation from teacher and/or counselors
    • Personal statement detailing your educational goals
    • Standardized test scores, if available (PSAT, PLAN)

2.  Students will be contacted by email regarding their admission status

3.  Set-up WSU Network ID

  • Students will receive an email from WSU Pullman to the email provided on application, with instructions on how to create a Network ID. A link will be provided from a WSU OKTA email account to activate your Network ID. The link is only active for 7 days. After the 7 days, you may need to contact The Crimson Service desk in Pullman or try activating your account by going on Once a Network ID is created, students will be able to log into MyWSU and check their WSU emails.  This step is required prior to placement testing

4.  Complete Placement Testing

5.  Meet with High School Counselor

  • Students must meet with their high school counselor to identify their remaining high school requirements
  • Academic advising at WSU will be based on these requirements

6.  Attend WSU Advising

  • Upon completion of the above listed steps, students will receive information on scheduling their WSU advising session via email

7.  Enroll in Classes

  • New student enrollment opens: TBA
  • Students will log into MyWSU and officially enroll in selected courses

8.  Attend Orientation – Fall semester only 

  • Students are required to attend a half-day orientation. Attendance confirms your fall enrollment at WSU TC.  Students who are not able to attend are required to attend the Running Start office prior to the event.  Students who do not attend without prior notice, will be dropped from fall classes.

9.   Buy or Rent your Textbooks                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  WSU TC Bookie

10.   Pay Course Fees                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Course fees, if applicable, are due by the end of the first week of classes

  • Complete the online application for Running Start
  • Submit the Parent Permission Form and FERPA
  • Submit unofficial high school transcript
  • Submit supporting documents if you are a homeschool student or cumulative High School GPA is between 3.30-3.49

 Note:  All forms must be submitted before admission status can be determined. Completed documents can be submitted within the online application or via email 

All Running Start students are required to meet with an advisor in order to set up their course schedule each semester.

Following Math Placement & Writing Placement, the RS office will notify students regarding their initial academic advising appointment.

Students will work closely with their WSU advisor and with their high school counselor to ensure they are on track for high school graduation and a successful academic year.


Jaime Hough
Academic Advisor, Academic Advising


See our Frequently Asked Questions about WSU Running Start and contact us with any other questions or concerns.

Running Start Information Sessions

Sessions will be held virtually through zoom.
Students & parents are required to register based on the school the student resides.
WSU Tri-Cities will also host two Info-nights where all schools are welcome.

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