Running Start


Running start student poses with parentsParents and family members play a big role in their student's education. We want to provide you with important information about Running Start and academic policies at Green River College so you can help support your student's educational endeavors.

If you are the parent or guardian of a new Running Start student for fall 2017, please join the Running Start staff for important tips to help make your student's college experience positive, productive and successful.

Please register for one of the following event dates so we can plan accordingly for refreshments. Each event begins at 6 p.m. and runs about one hour.



See our 2017 Running Start Parent Night Event Prezi Presentation.

Running Start is a good fit for students who:

  • Are prepared for the challenge of rigorous college-level coursework.
  • Are motivated to participate in the college environment and possess the maturity to do so.
  • Are self-starters with good time-management skills.
  • Seek traditional, online, or hybrid class formats.

Green River’s Running Start program at a glance:

  • 1,500 students participate from over 30 high schools across 15 school districts.
  • The average GPA of a Running Start student is 3.0.
  • Mixture of students who enroll full-time and part-time at Green River.
  • Student pursue both transfer and career/technical education programs.
  • Students can participate in campus activities and leadership, with the exception of athletics.

Getting Started

You can find more information about Green River's Running Start program such as eligibility criteria, steps to apply, and contact information by browsing our website. Please click "Prospective Students" to the right for more information about our program.


The Running Start program covers tuition for up to 15 college-level credits (courses numbered 100 or above), depending on the number of classes a student takes at their high school. However, there are other costs that Running Start does not pay for:

  • Assessment Fees: The COMPASS is $10 per section (reading and math).
  • Textbooks and supplies: Costs vary depending on textbooks and supplies required for each class. The average cost of books and supplies for a full-time student is $300 per quarter.
  • Student-voted fees: These include facilities fee, technology fee, student center fee and special services fee per quarter. 
  • Class fees: Cost varies per quarter according to enrollment; see quarterly class schedule for details.

Fee Waiver and Book Loan Program

Running Start students can take advantage of the Fee Waiver and Book Loan Program which assists students by waiving the cost of quarterly student-voted fees as well as allows students to loan textbooks.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Student is eligible for the Free or Reduced Lunch program in the high school district they are enrolled through, OR
  • Student is a foster youth, OR
  • Student's family income falls within the income chart established by the state in awarding the State Need Grant (listed on application)

Applying for the Fee Waiver and Book Loan Program:

  • Complete the Fee Waiver and Book Loan Program Application and submit form to the Running Start Office located in SA 126.
  • Applications must be submitted no later than the Friday before the first day of the quarter. Only one application is required for the duration of the student's time in the Running Start program at Green River College. Applying for the Fee Waiver and Book Loan Program cannot retroactively cover fees owed from quarters prior to application.
  • Student will receive an email with directions on how to request textbooks after your application has been processed.

Student Support

Transitioning to College

As your student transitions to college, here are some tips on ways you can support your student's education.

  • Encourage personal responsibility; unlike high school, college is voluntary. Students must ensure they attend class and complete their own assignments. Students should track their own progress in classes, progress reports are not given. Students should be aware of important dates and polcies related to academics and registration. Also, while Green River College offers many resources including tutoring, advising, accommodations, and more, students must seek out services they wish to access.
  • Encourage your student to communicate with their instructors if they have questions regarding course material or policies.
  • Students should check their Green River student email on a regular basis. This is how the College will communicate with students. Set email forwarding if needed, so your student's email will be sent to an email address that is checked regularly.
  • Attendance is important. Even though instructor's will usually not take attendance, students should talk to their instructors if they are sick or plan to miss a class.
  • Encourage your student to manage their own schedule; including planning their course schedule between high school and college, scheduling time for daily homework and studying, work, extracurricular activities and family commitment.
  • Course materials are not censored; students should display maturity and be open-minded to learning materials.
  • Running Start students begin making a permanent college transcript, which follows them to other institutions.
  • Student's academic performance during Running Start can impact future financial aid eligibility.
  • Time spent at Green River College reduces the overall time period your student can be considered for financial aid at Green River College.
  • For more information about helping your student transition to college, please view this PowerPoint presented at Parent Night for parents of new Running Start students. 

Student Privacy

Running Start students have the same rights and responsibilities as any other college student. All student educational records are maintained according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, concerning information that becomes part of the permanent record and governing the conditions of its disclosure. Only the student's name, dates of enrollment and degrees earned can be released without the student's authorization. Students must provide written permission allowing Running Start staff to disclose information pertaining to the student's academic records to parents or other family members by filling out a FERPA waiver form. All Green River classes and grades earned are posted to students' high school transcript and are available for viewing through the school district's Skyward portal.

Class Registration

Each quarter, Running Start students must obtain an Enrollment Verification Form from their high school counselor. It must be complete and include parent or guardian signature prior to submitting it, at least two weeks before registration begins. Below are dates for upcoming registration periods.

Quarter Returning Student Reg Begins New Student Reg Begins Deadline
Fall 2016 May 3, 2016 May 16, 2016 September 12, 2016
Winter 2017 November 8, 2016 November 21, 2016 December 27, 2016
Spring 2017 February 7, 2017 February 20, 2017 March 20, 2017


Degree Planning

While many students choose to participate in Running Start to earn dual high school or college credit to satisfy high school graduation requirements, students who attend Green River College full-time can potentially earn an associate degree by the time they finish Running Start. Green River College offers many degrees that Running Start students can pursue. There are several associate degrees designed for students who plan to transfer to a university and there are numerous career and technical programs that provide training for a specific career field. If your student intends to complete an associates degree through the RUnning Start program, careful planning is involved. Below are some resources to help you and your student navigate these options:

  • Areas of Study: Lists all Green River College degree options and degree requirements.
  • College Transfer Center: Provides information and resources for transferring to a university; including transfer equivalency guides, tips for transferring, transfer event calendar, and important dates and deadlines.
  • Catalog: The College catalog porvides information related to the student code of conduct, academic policies and procedures, degree requirements, course descriptions and prerequisites, and campus departments.
  • Class Schedule & Schedule Planner: Tools to help students plan their schedule. Lists classes offered each quarter.
  • Degree Planning Workshop: This mandatory workshop is for all new Running Start students who are taking 10+ credits per quarter or plan on earning a degree at Green River. All other Running Start students are welcome to attend as well - your student will learn a lot! We will cover how to choose a degree based on a major or career interest, the ins and outs of transferring to a university, and how to plan classes for future quarters.
  • Academic Advising: After attending a degree planning workshop, students are welcome to meet with an educational planner to discuss further degree planning. Please call (253) 833-9111 ext. 2674 to schedule an advising appointment.

Most Green River students are transfer-bound to a four-year college. The direct transfer agreement degrees are accepted by many in-state universities and some out-of-state. When a student is accepted at a college or university and transfers with an associate degree, the instutition considers all credits to satisfy general education requirements and will view the student as a junior upon transcript evaluation. However, most universities require Running Start students to apply as freshmen if they transfer immediately following high school graduation. Running Start students may apply as transfer students if they complete one quarter of community college in fall quarter after high school. Green River College general education credits transfer well, regardless of the direct transfter agreement. Always check with the receiving institution regarding credit transferability.

Academic Standards

The Running Start program at Green River College hold students to an Academic Sandards policy. Running Start staff track students' academic progress and ensure students are successful in their coursework. Each quarter, students must demonstrate satisfactory progress by:

  1. Earning a minimum 2.0 quarterly grade point average, and
  2. Completing all enrolled credit
  • Failure to earn credit in coursework results in an "I", "NC", "W" or a grade below a 1.0 on the transcript.
  • Students have a small window of opportunity to withdraw from a class and not have it post to their permanent transcript: follow the important deadlines published in the quarterly class schedule to remain informed.

After the end of each quarter, grades are reviewed and students falling below standards will be notified of their academic standing. Students must complete an academic success plan and self-evaluation before the registration period for the following quarter begins. Students are encouraged to meet with an Educational Planner to discuss strategies for improving success. Students have three opportunities to demonstrate satisfactory progress. After three quarters of not meeting academic standards, a student will be dismissed from the Running Start program at Green River College.

Running Start Academic Standards

Information Sessions

Are you considering participating in the Running Start Program at Green River College? Attend an information session to learn about the program's benefits, challenges, eligibility requirements and more.

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