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Frequently Asked Questions

Please click on each question below for answers to frequently asked questions. For a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions, please visit:

To be eligible for the Running Start program at SVC, students:
  • Must be enrolled in a public, Washington State high school;
    • Homeschool students must enroll with a public high school to participate in the program
  • Must be classified as a high school junior or senior under the grade placement policies of the school district;
  • Must be under the age of 21 as of September 1 of the school year;
  • Must have not earned enough credits to receive (or have already been awarded) a high school diploma or its equivalent (excluding GED) as of the beginning of the school year.

For a full definition and list of Running Start eligibility requirements, please review the Washington Administrative Code 392-169-020.

Yes, students can participate in Running Start full time or part time, either taking classes solely at the college, or a combination of classes at the high school and SVC. Quarterly college credit eligibility is based on the number of minutes that students are enrolled in high school classes. The more high school classes a student takes each semester, the less credits they may take at the college per quarter. In more technical terms, students who stay at or below 1.4 FTE (Full-Time Equivalency) of a combined high school/college schedule may attend Running Start tuition-free. Students who choose to enroll above their eligibility will pay college tuition for every credit in excess of the combined limit indicated on the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form by the high school counselor.

Running Start pays for the cost of tuition for eligible, college-level classes, up to 21 credits per quarter. Students are responsible for other college costs. Running Start students pay mandatory college fees based on the number of college credits they’re taking, unless they qualify for a fee waiver through the public school district.

  • The number of credits students are eligible for is determined by the school district, based on high school course enrollment.
  • Students are responsible to pay for all fees, books, supplies, and other materials required for their classes.
  • If credits exceed the allowable college credits indicated on the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form, or the allowable 1.4 FTE if enrolled in both high school and college, the student will be charged at the resident college tuition rate for the additional credits (1-10 credits rate). For example, if a student is eligible for 15 college credits, but enrolls in 18 college credits, they will be charged for 3 college credits at resident college tuition rates.
  • Running Start tuition funding applies to college-level classes have a number of 100 or higher, such as Psychology 100. Classes taken below college-level, such as Math 099, must be paid by the student at resident college tuition rates.
  • Running Start students who qualify for free or reduced-priced meals in their school districts, see the “What if I qualify for free/reduced priced meals at school?” FAQ.

Running Start students who qualify for free or reduced priced meals (or have qualified within the past 5 years) may be eligible for a fee waiver.

  • Students must provide documentation of eligibility.
  • Books, supplies, and transportation costs are not included with the waiver and are the responsibility of the student.
  • If eligible, students should complete the section referring to meal eligibility on the quarterly Running Start Enrollment Verification Form. Students may also submit an approval letter from their school district, dated within the past 5 years.
  • If credits exceed the allowable amount, even with this waiver applied, the student must pay course fees on each additional credit.

A 5-credit, quarter-long college class is equal to one year of high school credit, or 1.0 credit. Skagit Valley College sends a copy of the Running Start students’ transcript to the high school shortly after each enrolled quarter. The high school applies the same grade received at the college onto the high school transcript towards an applicable requirement. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure they are meeting high school graduation requirements, if they are pursuing a high school diploma from their sending high school. Course equivalency guides are available and high school counselors will recommend necessary courses to students. Any student who completes an associate degree may also be awarded a high school diploma through Washington State, upon request.

A maximum of eight college quarters is allowed for eligible high school juniors, up to their allocated 1.4 FTE credit amount. A maximum of four consecutive college quarters is allowed for eligible high school seniors, again up to their allocated 1.4 FTE credit amount. Note: In order to receive the full benefit of the Running Start program allowable under the law, students should start at the beginning of the first term of their junior year in high school. WAC 392-169-055 provides additional information regarding enrollment eligibility.

Transferability of college credits and whether they apply to a degree at a 4-year institution may vary. Students should always check with the university they plan to attend regarding transferability of credits.

Students should apply at and indicate “Running Start” as their area of study, and then follow the remaining enrollment steps. Once students have completed all prior enrollment steps, they will sign up for and attend a New Student Registration Day, where they will meet with an SVC advisor and register for classes for their first quarter. After their first quarter, students may register for classes online, provided they have submitted the quarterly Running Start Enrollment Verification Form to the Enrollment Services office. For a detailed list of enrollment steps, please visit the How to Get Started webpage.

Running Start students may participate in student life, clubs, tutoring, e-learning, and more! Running Start students are not eligible to participate in college athletics. Federal and state Financial Aid is not available to Running Start students but students are encouraged to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) or the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) in their senior year of high school if they plan to continue with their education after doing Running Start. Running Start students may apply for the SVC Foundation Scholarship each year.

Running Start students enroll into and attend classes like other students at Skagit Valley College. Classes are offered during the day, in the evening, or through e-Learning (online).

No, in fact, college student records are confidential, even to parents. Only students can change their records. If students would like someone to have access to their records under FERPA, students must submit an Information Release Form. Please note that course grades are reported to the high schools each quarter and college grades will also reflect on high school transcripts. An Information Release does not grant anyone else permission to change records or registrations.

Yes, with the permission of the Director of Dual Credit. Students will be charged full, resident-rate tuition and fees until the completed form is submitted to Enrollment Services at SVC. Students will need to get the form completed as soon as possible, once school resumes. Students in this situation may need to make changes to their SVC schedule after meeting with the high school counselor/district office and receiving guidance. It is the student’s responsibility to adjust their SVC schedule as needed. SVC advisors are available to assist with schedule changes.

  • The pace of college courses is faster than at the high school and requires motivation, self-discipline, and independence.
  • The college is an adult environment and Running Start students are expected to behave accordingly. Classes may contain adult/mature content.
  • The high school setting provides a different social network than the high school may provide.
  • Scheduling of college classes may conflict with high school classes, holidays, and extracurricular activities.
  • Skagit Valley College follows federal guidelines (FERPA): written permission from the student is required for instructors and staff to share records with parents/guardians.

Summer Running Start FAQs

  • Rising Juniors (for summer quarter between sophomore and junior year): These students are eligible to take 10 credits during summer quarter.
  • Rising Seniors (for summer quarter between junior and senior year): These students are eligible to take 10 credits, and must have available credit as part of their allotted 1.4 FTE for the year.
  • 5th Year Seniors: These students are allowed Running Start funding for only classes that they need to graduate high school.
  • After-Exit students: Students who have achieved high school graduation and are within 15 credits of earning their associate degree can receive Running Start funding during summer for those 15 credits (classes must be applicable to completing the associate degree).

Please note: There are Running Start Enrollment Verification Forms specific to summer quarter. You can find the latest copy of these forms on OSPI’s Dual Credit webpage.

No, there are specific Running Start Enrollment Verification Forms for the summer quarter based on calculating eligibility. You can find the lasted copy of these forms on OSPI’s Dual Credit webpage. As with the traditional form, students complete the summer quarter Running Start Enrollment Verification Form with their high school guidance counselor. We strongly recommend students do this well before the end of the high school semester in June. Once high schools close for summer, there is no guarantee students will be able to meet with their high school counselor to get this form filled out.

If students have additional questions, they are welcome to attend a Running Start Information Session.

Or contact the SVC Dual Credit Team at with your questions. We’re happy to help!

No, there is not maximum credit limit, however since summer is an abbreviated quarter (8 weeks in length), please do plan accordingly with the students.