Running Start

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Running Start Information


Considering Running Start?

Running Start is a program that allows 11th and 12th grade students enrolled in a Washington State pubic high school to take college courses at Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges. Students earn both high school and college credits for these courses. Running Start students and their families do not pay tuition but are responsible for mandatory fees, books, and transportation.

To Get Started


In response to COVID-19 all student services are being provided remotely at this time.

1. To Qualify

  • Be registered as a junior or senior in a Washington State public high school
  • Be under 21 years of age
  • Placement into college level English or Math, see placement options under #4 English & Math Placement.
  • If enrolling in a Workforce Education program (Welding, Industrial Systems, Automotive, etc.), students must place into the appropriate English for that program.

2. View A Running Start Information Session

Running Start Sessions
Due to COVID-19, we’re providing the Running Start Sessions online. Watch the video below.

English Running Start Information Session Fall 2020


Spanish Running Start Information Session Fall 2020


3. Apply

Prospective Running Start Students must complete an Admissions Application. To learn more, visit Admissions & Registration

  • Apply online here.
  • A printable version of the application form is available here.

  • Once your application is processed and you have qualified for the Running Start Program, you will receive an acceptance letter via email that includes your student ID number, a link to online Viking Orientation, and information on signing-up for New Student Registration.

4. English & Math Placement Options

To be eligible to participate in the Running Start program, students must place into college level English (ENGL&101) or college level math (MATH&107 or higher).

Placement Options here:

  • Winter 2021 placement guide: Use high school transcripts or PSAT scores for math and/or English placement. OR take the temporary FREE, online math placement test. ​Please see instructions for this option. For English placement, students that do not qualify to use high school transcripts (3.0 grade point average within last 10 years) or another Alternative Placement option will be placed into English 098. The first day of class, students will be evaluated and moved to the appropriate English course. Visit the Testing Center​ page for more information.
  • Alternative Placement Options: Smarter Balance Assessment, ACT/SAT, prior learning, and more!

If enrolling in a Workforce Education program (Welding, Industrial Systems, Automotive, etc.), students must place into the appropriate English for that program.

While math placement is not required for Running Start eligibility, a math placement assessment will be required prior to enrolling in a math course and some science courses.

Email alternative placement documents to

Alternative placement documents include:

High School transcript
PSAT Reading & Writing scores
Smarter Balance Assessment English scores
College transcript(s) for credits earned

To schedule a placement test appointment, contact the Testing Center at (509) 793-2064 or

English Placement Test fee $10.00
Math Placement Test fee $10.00

5. Meet With Your High School Counselor

This session will help you determine what classes you must enroll in to complete your high school graduation requirements.

6. Online Viking Orientation

All new students are required to complete an online Viking Orientation. This orientation session will provide you with important information you need to know as a student at BBCC, the online orientation is a resource for you to refer back to anytime. After you have viewed the online orientation, you will select the New Student Registration session you would like to attend. Registration for fall quarter classes will take place during the New Student Registration session. Once your application for admissions has been processed, you will receive your Big Bend Community College an acceptance letter through email, with a link to Viking Orientation.

7. Attend New Student Registration

At New Student Registration, an advisor will help you understand your placement results, find essential resources on the BBCC website, and help you register for your first quarter classes.  Note: At the end of the Viking Orientation, you will sign up for a New Student Registration session. Follow the directions provided for you in the online orientation. 

8. Running Start Enrollment Verification Form

  • Running Start Verification Form here (fillable document)
  • All signatures (high school counselor, parent/guardian, and student) must be on the form. BBCC will accept your typed name in the signature space if you are unable to sign the document. Instructions on how to complete a fillable document here. Once the form is completed, please email it to
  • BBCC staff will provide the College Running Start Advisor/Representative signature when the form in received in our office.
  • Submit the completed form to the Admissions office by emailing it to before the tuition due date. Note: This form is required every quarter.
  • Students who do not submit the Verification form by the tuition due date will be dropped from classes.
  • Important Dates & Deadlines.
  • Running Start students who qualify for Free or Reduced-Price Lunch receive a fee waiver covering technology fees and tuition if registered for more than 15 college-level credits.  High school counselors verify eligibility on the Verification Form.  Students from Othello, Warden, Soap Lake and Royal City High Schools also need to complete and submit the Running Start Fee Waiver Eligibility Form to
  • *Fillable form directions here.

Verification Submission Process for FALL 2020

In response to COVID-19 all student services are being provided remotely. Find the fillable Running Start Verification Form here. BBCC will accept your typed name in the signature space; see instructions for submitting a fillable form here. Once the form is completed please email it to For assistance with this step, please contact our Dual Enrollment Coordinator, Edgar Montoya
Verification Forms must be turned in by the tuition due date each quarter, failure to submit the completed from may result in being withdrawn from registered courses.

9. Pay Student Fees

Be sure to pay on time, missing the due date may mean removal from classes you registered for. Check here for due dates!

  • Payment options: by phone (509) 793-2018 or online here.
  • For a payment plan option, visit STEPP Payment Plan, contact the Business Office (1400 bldg), or call (509) 793-2018 to get started.

Do you have questions about the Running Start Program, eligibility, or how to submit required documents?

If yes, contact Edgar Montoya at, (509) 793-2346. 

What is Running Start?
Running Start allows high school juniors and seniors to take tuition-free college courses earning credit for both high school and college.  The Running Start Program pays the tuition and students are responsible for books, supplies, lab fees, and transportation.
Students interested in applying for the Running Start program at Big Bend Community College must first contact their local high school to determine eligibility and graduation requirements. 
To Qualify:

·         Be registered as a junior or senior in a Washington State high school.
·         Be under 21 years of age.
·         Provide approved English and math placement information and place into a college-level English OR math course. If enrolling in Work Force Education (Welding, Industrial Systems, Auto, Aviation Technology, etc) programs, you must place into approved English or math for that program.

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS)

TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded program that serves FAFSA-eligible students who are first-generation, low-income, or living with a disability. 

Services include:

  • academic advising
  • online tutoring
  • transfer support
  • and personal development for its participants.

Interested in joining? Apply online here.

Help choosing a career

Still deciding? Big Bend Community College provides easy-to-use tools to help you explore, set career goals or make changes along the way.  Let us help you move along a route that is just right for you.

Click here to see more.



Q. What is Running Start?

Created by the state Legislature, Running Start allows qualified high school juniors and seniors to enroll tuition-free in college courses as part of their high school programs of study.  Books, supplies, lab fees, and transportation are the responsibility of the student.

Subject to total credit load limitations, high school students attending BBCC under the Running Start program may simultaneously earn high school and college credits.  Students interested in applying for entry to BBCC through the Running Start program must first contact their local high school to determine eligibility.  Application of college courses toward meeting specific high school graduation requirements is determined by local school districts.  Prior to college registration, school district advising and approval/certification of student programs is required.

Under the provisions of Running Start, college enrollment must be limited to college level courses (numbered 100 or above).  All BBCC Running Start students are required to meet minimum proficiency standards in mathematics and English prior to acceptance/registration.  Minimum proficiency standards for academic transfer courses are: Placement into English 101 or college-level mathematics (MATH course numbered above 100).

Students who will take only professional/technical courses, such as welding, industrial systems technology, etc., may qualify by placement into the required English and mathematics for that program.  Please see the current Big Bend Course Catalog for specific program requirements and required placement.

Q. What is college like?

Once enrolled all students receive the same support services and are subject to the same policies, procedures and academic standards.  Faculty members expect students to take part in classroom discussions, complete homework assignments, practice good study habits, and respect instructors and other students.  Students must meet class deadlines, be prepared, ask questions and adhere to the student code of conduct.

If students need help or additional information, it is their responsibility to contact the instructor.  On the first day of class instructors provide a course syllabus with their office location, office hours and phone number.

College courses often include material and classroom discussions intended for mature students.  A student may be academically prepared for college courses, but not prepared for some subject matter.  Big Bend students come from many different cultures, may be any age, have different abilities and disabilities and have wide ranging backgrounds.  Students and their families should consider carefully whether an individual student is ready for the college environment.

BBCC follows federal guidelines concerning access to student records.  The college will not provide information regarding student attendance or progress without the student’s written permission.  Faculty will not discuss a student’s progress with anyone without written permission from the student.

Q. What are the costs?

Tuition for up to 15 college level credits per quarter is paid by the school district with a basic education allotment from the state.  Regulations regarding Running Start limit total credits allowed in high school and college to the equivalent of 1.2 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs).  This limit means that an individual student may be allowed less than the 15 credit maximum because of courses being taken at the high school.  Please speak to your high school counselor to determine your allowed credits. Students must pay all fees, including lab fees and the technology fee of $5.65 per credit each quarter.  Students must also pay for any credits beyond the number authorized by the high school and for all credits for courses numbered under 100.  BBCC must receive a completed Running Start Enrollment Verification Form  each quarter in order to be paid for tuition.  The form should be turned in to the Admissions/Registration office on or before the tuition due date every quarter.  The technology fee will be waived for students who qualify for free or reduced price lunches at the high school.  Please provide documentation of eligibility with your Running Start Authorization form.  Documentation is required once per academic year.

Students must pay tuition for all courses numbered under 100 (below college level).  This includes mathematics courses which are not college level, such as MATH 098 and MATH 099.

Tuition for any credits above 15, or above the maximum authorized by the high school, must be paid by the student and will be charged at the usual rate for credits 1-10 as shown in the quarterly course schedule.

A student’s classes will be dropped if the enrollment verification form is not received and any balance due paid by the tuition due date published in each quarterly schedule.

Students must also pay for their own textbooks and transportation.

Students may estimate the cost for books by visiting the BBCC Bookstore in Building 1400 or online at

The Running Start program does not include Summer Quarter.

Q. How do I enroll?

  • Meet with your high school counselor to discuss your interest in enrolling as a Running Start student.  Have your counselor explain your remaining high school graduation requirements and check college course equivalencies to high school requirements.
  • To qualify for Running Start you must place into college level English or (see summer/fall 2020 placement information link here)
  • Complete and submit the BBCC Application for Admission. (this links to the form …add online application)
  • Add online Viking Orientation information here
  • Attend a New Student Registration session. Reservation is required.
  • Meet with a high school counselor to complete the Running Start Enrollment Verification form.  The form must be filled out completely and signed by the counselor, the student, and the student’s parent/guardian. (see instructions in section above)
  • Submit the signed Running Start Enrollment Verification form to the Admissions Office at on or before the tuition due date each quarter.  Fees must be paid by the tuition due date.

Q. Am I eligible?

To be admitted to BBCC as a Running Start student, students must:

  • Be registered as a junior or senior in a Washington state public school
  • Be under 21 years of age
  • Complete the BBCC English and mathematics placement tests or provide other approved placement information, and qualify by placing into ENGL& 101 or a college level mathematics course (MATH course numbered above 100).  Placement in both English and mathematics is required, even if you do not intend to take courses requiring a specific placement at Big Bend Community College.   Please see the Placement Testing webpage for information about testing and available placement alternatives.

Students who will take only professional/technical courses, such as Welding, Industrial Systems Technology, etc., may qualify by placement into the required English and mathematics for that program.  Please see the current Big Bend Course Catalog for specific program requirements and required placement. 

Home schooled students and students attending private schools must be evaluated as at the junior or senior level by a public high school official and enroll at that school.  Students may receive advise from other sources, but the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form must be signed by the local public high school counselor or designated staff member every quarter.

Students who have passed the GED and who do not have a high school diploma may enroll through their respective high school and be eligible for the Running Start program until the age of 21.

All students are limited to enrollment in the Running Start program during a maximum of 2 academic years  or 3 college quarters as a junior and 3 college quarters as a senior.

*Students are responsible to pay for any courses numbered below 100 (e.g. MATH 099).

Q. Where can I get more info?

For additional program information, students may contact their high school counselor or the Dual Enrollment Coordinator, Edgar Montoya at (509) 793-2346, Parents and students please go to step 2 to view a Running Start Information Session.

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