What Is Running Start?

Running Start is a statewide college program for academically qualified juniors and senior high school students to enroll in courses to fulfill high school graduation requirements and earn college credit.

Running Start is available fall, winter and spring quarters. Students may enroll simultaneously in high school and college classes, or solely in college classes. College tuition for eligible classes is covered through Running Start. The maximum credits a student is eligible to take is based on the student's combined high school and college enrollment. See the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form on the Forms page for credit eligibility.

Students interested in enrolling in a summer course may do so at their own expense with their high school's permission. A completed High School Release Form on the Forms page must be submitted at the time of registration for summer enrollment.

High school graduation requirements are established by each school district. Students should check with their high school counselor to confirm the courses and number of credits required in order to graduate.

Important News

Running Start Book Loans

The Running Start book loan program is available for students who are eligible to receive the Running Start Fee Waiver. If you have been approved for the Running Start Fee Waiver, directions for requesting books are available in the Running Start Book Loan Instructions. The book loan application opens three weeks before the start of each term and closes one week after the start of second session each term.  Please submit your request early to ensure receipt of your books by the first week of the term.

  • Fall Term 2022:  Running Start Book loans for fall term open September 5, 2022 and close on October 17, 2022
  • Winter Term 2023:   Running Start Book loans for winter term open December 14, 2022 and close on January 23, 2023
  • Spring Term 2023:  Running Start Book loans for spring term open March 13, 2023 and close on April 24, 2023

Quarterly Running Start Fees

The Running Start Enrollment Verification Form (EVF) is required every quarter.  Submit completed EVF to EVF@pierce.ctc.edu to have your tuition adjusted.

Running Start and JBLM Courses

We are excited to share with you that Running Start funding can now be used for online and in-person courses offered through Pierce College at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). Classes held on Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) require installation access.  You must be able to meet installation security requirements to obtain temporary access credentials.  You will be required to present a valid government issued ID that meets Real ID Act regulations, e.g. WA Enhanced Driver’s License or US Passport, and provide a current registration and proof of insurance for the vehicle you are driving.  Sponsorship can only be extended to the student enrolled in JBLM classes.

Please note that online JBLM courses operate on a shorter, 9 week term. JBLM sections are identified by the sections “J” (for online session 1) and “ZJ” (for online session 2). The dates for each term can be found in the course details section.

We want to remind all Running Start students, regardless of where the course is offered, if you enroll in more credits than approved on your Enrollment Verification Form (EVF), you will be responsible for the additional tuition and fees, unless you qualify for a tuition and fee waiver.  If you are unsure, please contact runningstart@pierce.ctc.edu.