Ballard High School

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Running Start

Running Start General Information


Running Start Info Sessions March!

  • Running Start Info Sessions for interested students in grades 10 & 11 are held on March 13, 20 and 27. Refer to the Running Start News post for more details.

What is Running Start?

Running Start is a program for High School Juniors and Seniors to take college classes at Washington two year colleges and earn high school and college credit at the same time.

As Running Start is a dual-credit academic program students receive both high school and college credit for these classes which can accelerate their progress through completing specific credit requirements for high school graduation and course requirements for a technical certification or Associate’s Degree.

Tuition is free in college-level courses. However, the number of college credits each student may take free of tuition costs depends on how many classes the student is concurrently taking at the high school. Students are responsible for tuition for pre-college courses (numbering below 100) and any credits that exceed their allowable limit. Students are responsible for the cost of books and transportation; however, fee waivers for these expenses (not including transportation) are available for students who qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Students Please Note: Running Start students must take full responsibility for keeping up-to-date on what’s happening at Ballard HS, including important dates and deadlines (AP Tests, Winter Ball, Senior Prom, Yearbook Portraits, Grad Ads, Ordering Graduation Supplies, Graduation Rehearsal Dates and Times, Senior Meetings and any other Senior related events).

Students can sign up on the BHS Newsletter Sign Up Form and reading the BHS Newsletter is one of the best ways to stay informed of upcoming events and deadlines.

Running Start Steps & Checklist

Steps to Getting Started & Eligibility

  • A High School Junior or Senior
  • Place into college level English OR math on the placement test (taken at the college)
  • Some colleges will accept your ACT, SAT, or high school transcript for placement in lieu of the placement test. Check the college websites for more information.

Steps to Getting Started

  1. Decide which two-year college you want to attend by visiting several campuses and checking out their course offerings on their websites. 
  2. Check the Running Start procedures on the website of the college you wish to attend. Some will require you to register as a student online or in person before taking the placement test. Some may require that you attend an orientation session at the college.
  3. Take placement test(s). All Running Start students must demonstrate eligibility for either college-level English or college-level math. This can be demonstrated through several methods, such as placement testing, test scores, or transcripts. For more information check the college Running Start websites. 
  4. Schedule an appointment to meet with your high school counselor. Bring your Running Start packet to this meeting and a signed copy of the Running Start Participation Agreement form for Ballard High School. You will decide together which classes you will take at the college and which classes you will take at BHS. Your counselor will sign the Enrollment Verification Form included in your Running Start packet.
  5. Take your completed Running Start Packet, including the Enrollment Verification Form, to the college. You will meet with the Running Start Advisor and register for classes.
  6. If you are planning to begin Running Start classes for the Fall Term, try to complete all of the above steps during May if possible. This is the priority date for most colleges. Most colleges will still accept your applications after this date, but courses will begin filling up, limiting your choices if you apply late. Check each college website for their specific dates and deadlines. You can also begin Running Start during the school year by entering the college Winter Term or Spring Term, but the logistics are more difficult. 

Once Enrolled

The college will send your grades to BHS at the end of each quarter to be posted on your BHS transcript. If you need an official college transcript you will need to request and pay for an official copy from the college registrar where you took Running Start classes.

Ballard HS Running StartChecklist

Below are the steps for students who wish to apply to Running Start for next school year 2024-2025. These steps should be completed by the end of May to ensure priority registration for college classes. 

Check each college website for specific dates & deadlines

  1. Attend a BHS Running Start Information Session. 
    • Information sessions will be held every Wednesday in March 2024: March 6, 13, 20, 27, at lunchtime in Room S217.
  2. Decide which two-year collegeyou want to attend.
    • You may choose any community or technical college in Washington State, but MUST be able to transport yourself there.
  3. Register as a Running Start studentat the school you wish to attend.
    • Each college will outline their procedure for registering as a Running Start student on their website. Follow their specific step-by-step instructions.
  4. Take the placement test(s) for English and Math.
    • You must take the English placement test (or use alternate method for placement) in order to do Running Start. You only need to take the Math placement test if you plan to take math at Running Start. For more information about the placement tests check your college Running Start website.
  5. Read and sign the BHS Running Start agreement form and return it to your school counselor.
  6. Decide if you will do Running Start full-time or part-time (hybrid). 
    • Create a proposed schedule of your classes for the fall. Look at your college website for their Fall class schedule to find classes. Consider timing so that if part-time, your BHS and Running Start classes don’t overlap. 
  7. Fill out your Enrollment Verification Form (RSEVF) with the college classes you intend to take.
  8. Once you have completed ALL the above steps, contact your high school counselor to finalize your class schedule. 
    • Once your schedule is finalized, your counselor will sign your EVF.
  9. Submit all completed Running Start documents, including the Enrollment Verification Form, via e-mail to the college (following their procedure).
    • You will register with the help of the Running Start Advisor at your college, likely via a virtual group registration session.

Running Start Overview

Students and Parents must sign the Running Start Memorandum of Understanding before students are allowed to enter the Running Start program from Ballard High School. Please review the information below regarding eligibility, enrollment process, and expectations.

Eligibility Requirements

Juniors and Seniors enrolled at Ballard High School are eligible for the Running Start program.


Home-schooled Juniors and Seniors living in the Seattle Public School District, who enroll at Ballard High School, may access the Running Start Program. Home-schooled students are required to register with the Seattle Public Schools. If they are seeking a Seattle Public Schools diploma, they are held to the Seattle Public School graduation requirements.


Any student enrolled as a “fifth year senior” will be considered to be in grade 13 and not eligible for the Running Start program except under special circumstances. Provided that a student who has failed to meet high school graduation requirements as of the end of the student’s twelfth grade regular academic year (September to June) due to the student’s absence, the student’s failure of one or more courses, or another similar reason may continue Running Start enrollment for the sole and exclusive purpose of completing the particular course or courses required to meet high school graduation requirements, subject to the enrollment limitation established by this contract.

Enrollment Process

  1. Apply online to a local college such as North Seattle College, Seattle Central College, or South Seattle College.
    • In the application when asked what your intended major area of study is, please answer: Running Start.
    • Within two business days of submitting your application, you will receive an email with your Student ID (SID) number.
  2. Take Placement Test at the college. You must place into English 101 or college level math to qualify for part time, for full time place into both.
    • Pay testing fee, bring photo ID, and Student ID number.
    • There are alternative ways to place into college level courses. See Placement Testing section at the college’s Running Start website.
  3. Meet with your high school counselor to fill out the Enrollment Verification form (RSEVR) quarterly. You are also required to bring along a signed Ballard High School Running Start Contract, proof that you placed into English 101 and/or college-level Math.
  4. Contact your college to schedule a registration appointment. Please bring the following materials:
    • Completed and signed Running Start Enrollment Verification form
    • Running Start Contract form signed by student and parent/guardian
    • Copy of your Placement scores or alternative placement documents
    • Book loan/fee waiver form signed by your High School Counselor
  5. Get your Student ID card

Student Expectations & Responsibilities


  1. Students are responsible for determining how high school and community college courses meet two-year and four-year college requirements and requirements of specific programs. Students are STRONGLY encouraged to attend one of the Running Start Advising Sessions hosted by the Running Start Office and to become familiar with the graduation requirements as listed on the websites of each of our local community colleges.
  2. In order to assure that Running Start courses meet Seattle Public School District graduation requirements, students will be required to have college Enrollment Verification Forms (EVF) reviewed and accepted by a school counselor at Ballard High School prior to enrollment at the community college. If the student makes a schedule change at the community college, it must be communicated to the high school counselor in order to assure that the student is meeting specific graduation requirements.
  3. Students are required to complete an Enrollment Verification Form each quarter which will need to be signed by the high school counselor. It is the student’s responsibility to make an appointment at least two weeks before registration each quarter for an advising session with the high school counselor. It is further the student’s responsibility to come to the advising session prepared with a requested schedule of classes for the next college quarter.
  4. Running Start enrollment at community colleges is limited to Fall, Winter and Spring quarters.
  5. Students are responsible for arranging their college class schedule, so it does not conflict with their high school schedule. High school courses are offered in two 18-week semesters. College courses are offered in three 10-week quarters beginning in September, January, and March.
  6. Students who fail to enroll in or complete mutually agree upon courses at a community college may not re-enter high school courses during the same semester. Exceptions for circumstances beyond the student’s control may be appealed to the high school principal within the first three weeks of Fall quarter at the college. If approved, the student will be required to make up all missed work and tests.
  7. Students are responsible for all non-tuition costs at the community college including class fees.
  8. A three (3) credit community college class equals a .6 high school credit. A five (5) credit community college class equals a 1.0 high school credit. Maximum combined enrollment between high school and college classes will be limited 1.2 FTE. Ballard High School students are expected to be full time students between the high school and the college.
  9. Students may participate in sports at the high school, but not at a community college. In order to be eligible to participate in high school athletics, the student must be considered a full-time student; therefore, students taking classes ONLY at the college must carry at least 12 credits per college quarter. Students may participate in drama or music at either the high school or community college.


  1. Students are responsible for keeping current with BHS information through use of the BHS website, such as the Daily Bulletin, Senior Information, etc.
  2. High school officials will not be able to inform students or parents of progress in college course or graduation status, nor issue diplomas, until college transcripts are received by the high school.


  1. All community college courses will become part of the student’s permanent college record and college grade point average as well as high school GPA and record. Only students have access to their own college grades and records; parents wishing to have access to student’s grades must make an appointment to discuss the issue with the Running Start Coordinator at the college.
  2. College instructors do not notify parents or the high school when a student is failing or not attending a class.


  1. Grades received the attending college in Running Start classes will be used in computing the student’s high school G.P.A. All college grades will be entered on the student’s high school transcript.
  2. Transferability of Credits: Washington state (public) four-year institutions recognize community/technical college credits. Some in-state private colleges and out-of-state universities do not recognize college credit taken during high school. All Running Start students are advised to check with the four-year college they plan to attend to be sure their credits will be accepted.


  1. In order to participate in graduation, seniors must have completed all graduation requirements prior to the Spring term of their Senior year.
  2. Students who earn their AA degree from the community college will not earn their high school diploma from Seattle Public Schools. Students earn their high school diploma from the state of Washington after completion of their AA degree.
  3. Participating full-time in Running Start (earning an AA degree) eliminates students from Valedictorian/Salutatorian

Student Conduct

  1. Students will be treated as college students while attending the community college, expected to adhere to the same college rules, expectations, and procedures as all other college students. Students are responsible for knowing and following all rules, guidelines, and deadlines of the Running Start program at the specific college they are attending.
  2. Accessing Ballard High School Campus Expectations: Running Start students may enter high school campus only if they have a scheduled period at the high school. Otherwise, Running Start students are only permitted to enter the high school campus for appointments only or the library.

Additional information can be found on the district Running Start and Advanced Level and Dual Credit Courses page.

College Websites

Resources and Forms

Please visit the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction website to download a PDF of the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form (RSEVF).