Running Start Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Requirements:

Students who want to enroll in Running Start MUST:

  • be under the age of 21 at the beginning of the school year.
  • be classified as a junior or senior in Washington.
  • not, as of the beginning of the school year, have received a high school diploma or earned the credits for a diploma (excluding a GED).
  • have a cumulative high school GPA of 2.5 or above. Students who want to challenge the 2.5 GPA requirement must submit an appeal letter describing readiness for college, traits, skills and habits you have for college success, and special circumstances.
  • qualify for college level classes in writing, reading and/or mathematics on ACCUPLACER, the college assessment.

Home school and private school students

Home school students contact the local school district where parents reside or file the Intent to Provide Home-based Instruction. Each district determines the process for home school students to access Running Start. OC requires authorization to access Running Start from a school district official (signature) with student grade level. Students submit the district authorization with the Running Start Application, assessment scores, and a high school transcript or parent recommendation.

Private school students must enroll in a public high school to participate in Running Start. Students may have dual enrollment in the private school and public school and do not have to take classes at the public high school.

Assessment placement scores to qualify for Running Start

Students must place into English 101, Composition (college level sentence skills and reading comprehension) to enroll in college classes other than mathematics. Students must place into Math 107/141 or above to enroll in mathematics classes. College level math placement is not required for Running Start admission. Students qualifying for both English and mathematics at the college level may enroll in any college class. Students interested in an OC vocational program may contact the Running Start office for information about the required English and mathematics placement scores.

Students with disabilities are advised to contact Access Services at 360-475-7540 or 1-800-259-6718 ext. 7540 for information about assessment accommodations before the assessment appointment is scheduled.

Assessment Information

Olympic College uses ACCUPLACER to determine appropriate course placement in writing, reading, and mathematics classes. ACCUPLACER is an un-timed individual assessment taken at a computer station that can route a student to several levels of math. Olympic College will also accept COMPASS or ASSET scores taken within the past 2 years (subject to change). Scores for ACCUPLACER, COMPASS or ASSET taken at another college must be faxed directly by the college to the OC Running Start Office at 360-475-7643.

Applicants should apply to OC and take the college assessment a quarter before they want to start classes. Students may take each section of the assessment twice in one calendar year. Placement scores are valid for two years. A $20 assessment fee is due to the Olympic College Cashier’s office prior to the assessment.

Fall classes (September) - schedule the assessment in March or April.
Winter classes (January) - schedule the assessment in October to early November.
Spring classes (April) - schedule the assessment in January or early February.

Preparation for the college assessment

  • Links that are helpful for ACCUPLACER information and writing and math review can be found at OC Webpage under Getting Started. Click on Assessment Placement under New Students Get Started, or go to http://www.olympic.edu/Students/Advising/ advisingassessmentplacement.htm
  • Access sample questions.
  • To concentrate better, get plenty of rest and eat properly before the assessment.
    Arrive early to find appropriate parking, pay the assessment fee, find the assessment center, and use the restroom.
  • Take the following items: OC student ID number, photo ID, and cashier’s receipt showing proof of payment for the $20 fee.