Running Start

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 achievement, the ability to pursue degree interests and taking 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. 

The Running Start application for the 2022-2023 academic year closed on April 1st.

Information regarding the 2023-2024 application will be available in Fall 2022.

Students who have a 3.50 or higher cumulative high school GPA (on a 4.0 scale) are academically eligible for consideration and reviewed for admission by a WSU faculty committee after submitting the following:

  • Unofficial high school transcript
  • FERPA Form
  • Parent Permission Form

Students who have a 3.30 to 3.49 cumulative unweighted high school GPA or home school students are reviewed by a faculty committee on an individual basis. Additional information is requested to assist the committee in making their determination.

Additional documents include:

  • Unofficial high school transcript
  • Personal statement (detailing education goals)
  • Two letters of recommendation (teachers, high school counselors, academic coaches, etc.)
  • Test scores if applicable (PSAT, ACT, PLAN)
  • FERPA Form
  • Parent Permission Form

In order for your application to be complete and reviewed, all documents must be emailed to tricities.runningstart@wsu.edu.

Once admitted, students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative WSU GPA average to remain eligible for WSU Running Start.

  1. Attend a Running Start info night
  2. Submit your Running Start application
  3. Check your email for follow-up information
  4. Complete FERPA and Parent Permission forms
  5. Submit unofficial transcripts
  6. Send additional documents to Running Start email if requested

Once Admitted Steps

  1. Take the math placement exam and writing placement exam
  2. Meet with your high school counselor to go over your graduation plan and submit the Enrollment Verification Form (EVF) to our office.
  3. Meet with the WSU Tri-Cities Running Start Advisor to select Fall semester college courses
  4. Enroll in Fall semester courses

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

New Running Start Students: 
  • Students will be sent an email with advising details and bookings link.
  • Students will set a tentative schedule with advisor and be provided an Enrollment Verification Form at the end of the meeting.
  • Students return a completed Enrollment Verification Form via email
    • Advising Hold is removed
    • Student can enroll
  • Login to MyWSU
    • Please Note: Upon enrolling tuition will be reflecting on account, this will not clear until early September.
Current Running Start Students: 
  • Students will be sent an email with advising details and bookings link

Students who have yet to pay their fees for the semester will need to make a payment before scheduling an advising appointment.

Please contact Running Start for additional questions.

Orientation To be Announced

Fall 2022

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