Washing State University Tri-Cities is proud to offer the Running Start program for qualifying high school students. Upon acceptance to this program, high school juniors and seniors can take free* WSU courses on the Tri-Cities campus while earning high school credit. The courses they take here will fill high school requirements and earn them college credits.
Students can take up to 15 credits at WSU, paid for through the school district, which would equate to a full-time schedule at their high school. If desired, students can split their schedules between the high school and university in order to continue participation in high school extra-curricular activities.
*A balanced full- time schedule either at the university or split between the high school and university is covered and paid for by the student’s school district as long as the student does not exceed state full-time FTE limitations. If a student exceeds full-time credit status, they are required to pay for the overloaded credits.
As a parent, it is a great experience to see your child go through such a unique program. I also save tons of money with both of my daughters in the WSU Tri-Cities Running Start program....I love seeing my daughter get ahead on her education, and I cannot wait until my second daughter begins in the fall. I would recommend this program to all of the students who think they are up for the challenge.” – Veronica I., parent of Diana.
Students who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher meet the assured admission criteria and are not required to submit standardized test until officially applying to WSU Tri-Cities after high school graduation. However, all students are encouraged to submit PSAT, PLAN, SAT, ACT, or ACT Residual scores.
Students who are below the cumulative GPA of 3.50 or are homeschooled must submit PSAT, PLAN, SAT, ACT, or ACT Residual scores for admission consideration.
An admission index of 60 is required for admission. The admission index combines cumulative GPA and standard test scores to generate an outcome.
Homeschooled students are evaluated on an individual basis.
Complete Your Application
Fill out an application and get it signed by your high school counselor to verify grade level.
Applications are available at your high school counselor’s office, Running Start office, and online.
Submit Your Application and Transcript
Mail or personally deliver your application and transcript to the Running Start office (CIC 201). There is no application fee and an unofficial transcript from Power School, etc. is acceptable. Submit your required standardized test scores for consideration if you have not met the 3.5 cumulative GPA requirement,
Wait for Your Admission Decision
Our Running Start Advisors review the application to make sure all application components have been included. Students with an incomplete application receive an email and a phone call stating what is missing from his or her application.
Students who are admitted will receive an email notifying them of the good news. Note that admissions to the Running Start program is not considered for general admission to a degree-seeking program at WSU Tri-Cities.
After You’ve Become a Coug
Upon admission, students will receive all relevant information about the Writing Placement Exam and Math Placement Assessment. The placement scores determine appropriate which WSU Tri-Cities English and Math courses are appropriate for the student to take. The testing fees are sponsored by the program.
In August, the Running Start office hosts mandatory orientation sessions for new Running Start students and their families.
All Running Start students are required to meet with an advisor in order to set up their course schedule each semester. Upon receiving placement results, the RS office will notify students about scheduling their initial advising appointment. Each RS student will work closely with their advisor in the Running Start office and with their high school counselor to ensure they are on track for a successful academic year and high school graduation.
Advising sessions for the Running Start Program are held in the High School Programs Offices in the CIC building, in rooms 201C and 201 AG. Before this appointment, students will receive “advising packets” in the mail with everything they need to complete in order to have a successful advising session.
WSU Tri-Cities Running Start Information Nights are a great way to familiarize yourself with the program and to ask questions. The events are hosted on campus and at various high schools.
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.