Frequently Asked Questions

Processes and Procedures

Enrolling in dual credit programs such as Running Start or College in the High School may seem complicated because it is a different process than registering for your high school classes. But don’t worry. We’re here to help and we want to hear from you.

Some frequently asked questions are below. Still have questions? Let us know.

Dual Enrollment
What is Dual Enrollment?

Dual Enrollment is an enrichment opportunity that allows high school / home schooled students to earn college credits for courses taken through WSU Tri Cities while still being enrolled in high school. As a dual enrolled student, you are enrolled in both high school (or home school) and WSU Tri-Cities.

Who can take Dual Enrollment classes?

High school sophomores (College in the High School program only), juniors, and seniors or the home-schooled equivalent are eligible to participate in dual enrollment classes. In order to take these courses, you must demonstrate competence in reading, writing and math. Please click Running Start or College in the High School for more information.

What are benefits of Dual Enrollment?

Dual enrollment can provide students an opportunity to enhance their education by enrolling early in college courses. This allows students to progress toward their next academic goal without having to wait until high school graduation. Studies show that students who acquire college credits while still in high school are more likely to graduate from high school and continue their formal education.

In addition, dual enrollment:

  • Allows students to receive high school and college credit simultaneously
  • Can eliminate the duplication of courses taken in high school and in college.
  • Permits students to accumulate credits prior to entering college so they can be able to graduate from college early or on time.
  • Provides students with a wider range of courses giving them an opportunity to complete general education courses required at most colleges and also allows them to explore different fields before declaring a major.
  • Facilitates a seamless transition from high school to college. Students can get a taste of what college is like without being overwhelmed by a new environment. They can experience how their high school classes compare to college courses and how college professors differ from high school teachers.
  • Engages students by enhancing student learning throughout the senior year of high school.
  • And last but not least, lower the cost of a post-secondary education.
What are options of Dual Enrollment Classes?

Students can take Dual Enrollment classes at WSU Tri Cities campus.

Some interesting facts about Dual Enrollment.
  • A maximum of 45 quarter credits (or 30 semester credits for WSU students) you take as a dual enrollment student can transfer to four-year colleges. Read more about Washington 45 agreement.
  • Taking WSU courses as a dual enrollment student can save you time and money when completing a Bachelor’s degree.
  • Dual enrollment students can work toward a transferable General Education Certificate.
What is the parent's role?

High school students who enroll in WSU classes on campus or through their high school are officially entering college and establishing an official college transcript. In addition to the challenging coursework, students will become more independent. College professors and other college personnel will not talk with a parent without the permission of and presence of the student. The conversation is between the administrator/faculty member and the student. The parent’s role is to listen, give moral support and summarize information and agreements if needed.

What are the academic expectations?

Professors will provide a course syllabus that tells students exactly what is expected of them, when assignments are due, and how grading will be done. Collegiate coursework requires students to pursue their education in the classroom and on their own. Students are expected to be prepared for each class and should be prepared to offer information, thoughts and ideas to the class discussion. They may be asked to cover controversial topics and to confront questions without easy answers.

It is often expected that students will let their professor know ahead of time if they will be absent. If a student chooses to be absent from the class, he/she will still be responsible for the work due and to may need to get notes from the class from their peers.

Extracurricular activities may conflict with coursework. Help your student determine priorities, and decide if they are ready to take on the extra work and study required in a college course.

How can students advocate for them selves?

When questions or problems arise, encourage students to deal with the appropriate person. Help students think about how the problem can be approached, what information is needed and how to ask the right questions. If there are already policies regarding the issue, help him/her to find the information on the WSU Tri-Cities website.

Students are expected to reach out to their professor if they don’t understand content or expectations. Students should also take advantage of tutoring services offered by the College if needed. If the results of the meeting are not satisfactory, parents should help the student determine if he /she will accept the decisions or help determine who the student should approach next. With parental help, students can move from expecting parents to take care of issues and become comfortable as a self-advocate.

Running Start (English)
Can a student attend some classes at my high school while participating in Running Start?

Yes. Students may choose to either enroll full time or part time.

Are there limits to the Running Start courses I can access?

Yes. There is a limit to the number of courses/credits in which a student can enroll.


  • If the student attends WSU On-Campus full-time, they are limited to 15 credits.
  • If part-time WSU On-Campus, then the number of courses/credits is determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the number of courses being taken at the high school in combination with the university courses.
  • In-the-High-School student course limits are determined by agreement between WSU and the local high school’s administration regarding appropriate allocation of Running Start state funding.


I want to take more than my “eligible” amount of Running Start courses, can I?

Yes. Students who take more than the “eligible” amount of credits will pay at the per credit rate for every credit over the allowed amount.

Who determines which WSU courses will fulfill my high school graduation requirements?

Each school district determines equivalencies for their students. High schools are the final authority in granting their diploma, so it is vital to maintain contact with the high school counselor when choosing Running Start courses.

When applying to colleges after participating in Running Start, should I apply as a transfer student?

No. Students should still apply as a regular incoming freshman to be eligible for freshman financial aid and scholarships.

What expenses are associated with participation in Running Start On-Campus?

The cost of books, supplies, consumable fees (lab, technology, etc.) and transportation to/from campus are the student’s responsibility. The Running Start state funding addresses most of the student’s tuition expenses.

Can Running Start students participate in university campus activities, such as student government, organizations, and clubs?

Yes. With the exception of NCAA sports, Running Start On-Campus students may participate in activities on the university campus. However there may be additional fees or costs not covered by Running Start for some on campus activities.

Are Running Start courses and credits transferrable to any other colleges besides WSU?

Yes and Maybe. WSU Running Start courses are awarded WSU transcripted credits and generally are transferable to other Washington state public colleges and universities as well as those in the regional accreditation network of Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

However, all colleges and universities retain authority to determine how they will accept the credits toward general education requirements, electives or even program specific requirements. Very often admission and advising personnel can respond to how their institution would address use of WSU credits acquired under the Running Start program.

Are Running Start courses available for “home schooled” students?

Yes. Home schooled students are required to submit SAT, ACT or ACT Residual test scores for admission consideration. Contact our office for further information.

Any other key items to consider when taking Running Start courses?

Yes. The transition to Running Start On-Campus courses may require a greater degree of maturity (independence and socialization) than some high school students are prepared for, due to taking classes with older students, as well as commuting to/from and functioning in a university environment.

Yes. It is critical to carefully consider the student’s academic preparation for the courses they might take. A “failing” grade will become part of the student’s permanent record.

What type of placement testing/score do I need to be accepted into WSU Running Start program?

University placement testing is not required for admission into the WSU Running Start program. Math and English placement scores are used toward registration process. (You do not need a compass testing score for admission to the WSU Running Start program)

Running Start (Spanish)
¿Puede un estudiante asistir a algunas clases en la escuela secundaria durante su participación en Running Start?

Sí. Los estudiantes pueden optar por inscribirse a tiempo completo o para tiempo parcial.

¿Terminaran todas las clases y grados de WSU en la transcripción del estudiante?

Sí. Una copia de las calificaciones del semestre del estudiante será enviada a la escuela secundaria y los grados serán registrados en el expediente académico de la escuela secundaria del estudiante.

¿Hay límites para los cursos de Running Start que un estudiante pueda acceder?

Sí, hay un límite en el número de cursos/créditos en los que el estudiante puede inscribirse.

  • Si el estudiante asiste a la universidad tiempo completo, se limitan a 15 créditos.
  • Si el estudiante asiste a tiempo parcial a la universidad, a continuación, el número de cursos/créditos se determina sobre una base de caso por caso, en función del número de cursos que se toma en la escuela secundaria en combinación con los cursos universitarios.
  • Los cursos que puede tomar el estudiante en la High School son determinados entra la universidad y la escuela secundaria con respecto a la financiación estatal.
¿Puede el estudiante tomar más cursos de la cantidad "elegible " durante su participación en Running Start?

Sí. Los estudiantes que toman más de la cantidad “elegible ” de los créditos tendrán que pagar por cada crédito que pase de la cantidad de créditos permitidos.

¿Quién determina qué cursos de WSU cumplirán los requisitos de graduación de la escuela secundaria?

Cada distrito escolar determina las equivalencias para sus estudiantes. Las escuelas secundarias son la autoridad final en la concesión de su diploma, por eso es vital que el estudiante mantenga contacto con el/la consejero(a) de la escuela secundaria al elegir cursos en Running Start.

¿Cuándo el estudiante aplique a las universidades después de participar en Running Start, debe aplicar como estudiante de transferencia?

No. Los estudiantes todavía deben aplicarse como un estudiante de primer año regular para ser elegible para recibir ayuda financiera de primer año y becas.

¿Qué gastos están asociados con la participación en Running Start?

El costo de los libros, gastos de consumibles (tecnología, etc.) y de transporte desde / hasta la Universidad son responsabilidad del estudiante.

¿Pueden los estudiantes de Running Start participar en las actividades de la universidad, como el gobierno estudiantil, organizaciones, y los clubs?

Sí. Con la excepción de los deportes de la NCAA, los estudiantes en el programa de Running Start podrán participar en las actividades de la universidad. Sin embargo, puede haber unas actividades que requieren cargos adicionales o costos que no son cubiertos por Running Start.

¿Pueden los cursos y créditos de Running Start ser transferidos a otra universidad o colegio?

Por lo general sí. Los cursos de Running Start serán considerados como créditos de WSU y típicamente se pueden trasferir a otra universidad pública del estado de Washington o colegios acreditados con Northwest Comission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Sin embargo, todos los colegios y universidades determinan cómo van a aceptar los créditos para los requisitos de educación general, o electivos y requisitos de cada matricula. Muy a menudo, la admisión y el personal que asesoran a los estudiantes de cada colegio pueden responder a cómo su institución abordaría los créditos de WSU adquiridos bajo el programa Running Start.

¿Pueden los estudiantes que participan en “educación en casa” asistir al programa de Running Start?

Si. Los estudiantes que participan en la educación en la casa pueden asistir al programa pero deben entregar resultados de un examen de PSAT, SAT, o ACT con su aplicación.

¿Qué cambios están asociados con la participación en Running Start?

En la Universidad

La transición de estar en la escuela secundaria y empezar en la universidad puede requerir un mayor grado de madurez (independencia y socialización) que algunos estudiantes de secundaria se deben preparar para, debido a que tiene que los estudiantes tomaran clases con estudiantes de más edad , así como el funcionamiento en un ambiente universitario.

En la Escuela Secundaria

Es muy importante considerar cuidadosamente la preparación académica del estudiante para los cursos que pueden tomar. Una calificación reprobatoria pasará a formar parte del expediente permanente del estudiante.

¿Qué tipo de pruebas de colocación/puntaje se necesita para ser aceptado(a) en el programa de Running Start en WSU?

Ninguna. Pruebas de colocación de la Universidad no se requiere para la admisión en el programa de Running Start en WSU. Puntajes de pruebas son usadas para promover el proceso de registro. (El estudiante no necesita tomar el “compass test” para la admisión al programa de Running Start).

The 2017-18 priority application date has passed…