Running Start Program

Fast Track Your Child’s Education

What is Running Start?

Running Start is a Washington State funded program through public high schools for 11th and 12th grade students. The program helps them complete college credits before they graduate. At Renton Prep, we prepare students to have an easy transition to the program*. 

Since it began, Running Start has seen a huge increase in enrollment, with over 26,000 students participating in the program for the 2016-17 school year. With the right guidance and motivation, it is possible for a student to earn a high school diploma and a two-year college associate’s degree simultaneously.

(*Running Start is not associated with Renton Prep)

Get Ahead in School

You plan your courses to meet high school graduation requirements and can meet the requirements much faster than regular high school students because you get more credits sooner.

One quarter in the Running Start program = 1 year of regular high school classes.

If you finish your high school graduation requirements in the first year in the program, then you can take whatever you’re most interested in for the rest of your high school time in the Running Start program. You’ll have more time to develop and build your personal portfolio for potential merit scholarships at a future university.

Share a Passion for Learning

You get to learn with people who are serious about learning. “Senioritis” is the common case for 12th graders, but the chances of this happening in the Running Start program are far less common because your classmates choose to be there as you do.

Stand Out Among College Applicants

Universities are now finding that grades and tests are not the only indicators for how successful students will be. Students who have persistence and grit have a better chance of completing college. By showing that you chose to challenge yourself for two full years in college-level courses even BEFORE you were required to do so speaks to everything that universities are looking for. It highlights your goal to succeed in the university setting and shows that you are willing to put in the hard work in advance.

University Application

Running Start gives you more than just a high school diploma. You practice interacting with professors, managing course loads, and improving strategies for taking college-level tests. By the time you graduate high school, you will have the added practice of being a college student for two years and will enter a university with a greater skill set and college transcripts.

“The best thing you can do is to have goals and determine what it will take to reach those goals. Research everything you can find on your own and ask questions to professionals at the colleges and universities for the information you cannot readily find. I am happy you are asking questions and that is why I’m happy to point you to resources that will make your researching far easier and save you a lot of time in the process. Thank you for caring about your future and taking action to start making important choices now.”

– Dr. Michelle Zimmerman