Running Start Programs: Factors to Consider

With a Running Start program, students can take tuition-free college-level courses. The earned credit might count towards the requirements for your college degree and high school graduation. Below, let’s explore the advantages of this program and things you might want to consider.

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Save money and time

The Running Start program Washington helps save students money for college education. Usually, this tuition is paid by the high school. You can earn dual degrees (high school diploma and associate degree) at the same time.

Allows taking classes unavailable in high school

Running start programs give students access to courses that aren’t found in the standard high school. Many students’ academic interests might not be met in high school, but a running start program allows them to flourish. They might also be getting a running start on their college degree.


Flexibility of classes

Students love the ability to set their schedule and the Running Start program allows them to choose from different college courses. These courses are provided to students in different formats such as traditional, enhanced, hybrid, online, and evening classes.


Acquaintance with the college life requirements

A running start program allows students to smoothly transition into university life. Just completing some classes of the Running Start programs gives students an edge as they are prepared for the expectations and requirements that they will face.

Explore career paths

A running start program gives students the chance to explore different interests by accessing the classes available. This helps them know what best they intend to study.

Factors to consider

  • Some academic students might not be emotionally or socially ready for a college environment. The speed and independence of college classes might be inconvenient for such students. Maturity is an important factor for being successful in a running start program.
  • In high school, teenagers can easily socially develop and network. However, this isn’t easily available at the college education level. However, a running start program allows them to participate in college activities such as clubs.
  • College courses are faster than in high school. Students might not be accustomed to such a fast pace. Classes that could take a year or semester in high school might take three months to complete in the university.
  • The classes in college are made for adult learners. Since contemporary societal issues would be discussed in classes, these contents won’t be censored for young students.
  • There is a less structured learning environment in college. Students would actively participate in independent study. Classes are taught at a faster pace than those in high school.
  • When students have their first college class, they start with a college transcript. This stays with them till they complete their college career. When students perform badly, it might affect their college plans. These poor grades will be transferred to their high school transcript.


A major advantage of the Running Start program lies in its ability to help students build their knowledge for the future. Additionally, having an associate degree while you graduate from high school should provide a debt-free future.

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