Current Running Start Students

COVID-19 Impacts

During this time, we encourage you to work with us virtually. You can use Zoom for walk-in services, or schedule an appointment with your Educational & Career Planner via Compass.
Some advising and enrollment supports are also available in-person with limited hours. Go to hours page>

Current Running Start Students

Looking to enroll in Running Start? Go to Running Start Future Students page>

Running Start allows 11th and 12th grade high school students to take college-level courses. Running Start credits can count toward high school graduation requirements as well as college degree/certificate requirements.

After your first quarter, registration will look different!  Instead of registering via New Student Advising & Registration, you will be assigned a day and time to register for the next quarter. Keep in mind that the college registers early, so you will want to pay attention to your SPSCC email for important reminders about registration. Use the suggested task list to help keep you on track:

During the Current Quarter

Week 2:  Make an appointment with your high school counselor to review your graduation requirements & to start filling out next quarter’s Running Start Enrollment Verification Form.

Week 3:  Review the class schedule and participate in Pathways Day to begin planning your future transfer and career plans.

Week 4:  Use Compass to make an appointment with your Educational & Career Planner at SPSCC to review Degree Planner & your high school graduation requirements.

Week 5:  Log into ctcLink to see your registration day & time (this is NOT an appointment with your Educational & Career Planner. This is when the online system will allow you to start registration).

Week 6:  If you have any last-minute questions before registration, take advantage of extended Advising, Career & Transfer Center walk-in services.

Week 7:  Registration begins for next quarter!  Log into ctcLink to complete your registration process. Make an appointment to have your high school counselor sign your Running Start Enrollment Verification Form and turn it in to Start Here or the One Stop (Olympia or Lacey Campus) or email it to

Parent Access to Student Records

Running Start students are considered regular college students and are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).  Parents/caregivers do not have access to student grades, class schedules, etc.

Students may give parents/caregivers permission to view this information by submitting the Release of Records form in person with photo ID to Enrollment Services (Olympia campus- building 22 or Lacey campus- building 1) or emailing the form with a copy of their photo ID to

I'm under 18, why don't my parents have access to my records?

You're choosing to participate in the Running Start program and therefore, choosing to be a college student. FERPA laws apply to your educational records just like any other college student. We encourage Running Start students to fill out the Release of Records, but it's not required. You may also pull or modify the release at any time during your enrollment at SPSCC by working with Enrollment Services.

If I fill out the Release of Records, can my parents see my class attendance?

College is very different from high school. Higher education doesn't have the required attendance laws that the K-12 system does. This means we're not tracking our student’s attendance in class or even their grades until final grades post at the end of the quarter. It's the student’s responsibility to show up to class and do the work. If they don’t, the result will be a failing grade!  Even with a Release of Records on file, we don't have access to your attendance or grades during the quarter. We encourage families to communicate with each other about how classes are going if there are attendance or grade concerns.

If I don't fill out the Release of Records, can my parents see my grades at SPSCC?

The Release of Records only protects access to your student record at the college. When you sign the Running Start Verification Form each quarter you're giving SPSCC permission to share information including grades, billing, registration, and attendance information directly with the high school. Once this information is released to the high school your parents have full access to it in accordance with the laws that govern the release of information to parents in the K-12 system. 

Choosing Classes

It's the student's responsibility to make sure that classes they're taking at SPSCC will count toward high school graduation requirements and stay within the funding limits (unless the student chooses to over-enroll and pay the tuition costs). Students must work closely with their high school Counselor and assigned Running Start Educational & Career Planner (ECP) to help navigate both high school and college requirements.

Why do grades matter so much?

Maintaining a strong grade point average (GPA) as a college student is very important! All SPSCC students are required to maintain a minimum 2.0 quarterly GPA to stay enrolled at the college. Grades for your SPSCC classes also go on your permanent SPSCC Official Transcript which you will be required to submit to any transfer college or university and potential employers.Your grades also go back to the high school exactly as they are at the college and will be added into your cumulative high school GPA.

What if I feel like I'm not doing well in my classes?

Reach out to your Educational & Career Planner (ECP) for help!  SPSCC has a lot of academic and personal support resources…all FREE to you as a student. If you aren’t sure what kind of help you need, start with your ECP and they can help guide you to the appropriate resource. Getting help is not a sign that you aren’t “smart” or not ready to be a college student. Successful students tend to be the ones who do use the resources at the college to help support them.

What if I want to earn my college degree and my diploma at the same time?

One of the benefits of Running Start is the potential to earn your degree by the time you finish high school. This takes a lot of careful planning to make sure you're also taking care of all your high school graduation requirements. You should meet with your Educational & Career Planner (ECP) every quarter to review your Degree Planner. This will help keep you on track and make sure you don’t miss any important classes toward your degree at SPSCC.

Paying Tuition and Fees

Running Start students have imposed funding limits that restrict the total number of credits they can take through the program. The funding limits table is available on the Running Start Enrollment Verification form (RSEVF).  Each quarter as you register for classes you will be charged full tuition. You must submit a new RSEVF by the tuition due date to reduce the tuition.

I turned in my verification form, why do I still owe fees?

The Running Start program only covers funding for tuition within the funding limits table. It does not cover the cost of the course, program, and student fees. Running Start students are responsible for paying the fees on their courses each quarter unless they qualify for and are approved for the Fee Waiver program. Fees are due by the tuition due date each quarter.

I turned in my verification form, why do I still owe tuition?

Running Start does not cover the tuition cost of:

  • Pre-College designated courses (courses numbered under 100 & Clippers Math)
  • Credits enrolled above the funding limits table
  • Courses not approved for 5th year senior graduation requirements

The cost of tuition in any of these situations is the responsibility of the student. If you have questions about your charges, please contact Enrollment Services at or 360-596-5241.

What happens if I don't pay my fees?

If you don't pay your fees by the tuition due date you'll be dropped from your classes for non-payment. It's important to check your SPSCC student email at least once a week during so you don't miss important messages and reminders.

Summer Quarter Enrollment

Running Start students can take Summer Quarter classes, but they have to pay the full tuition costs. The Running Start program doesn't pay for courses taken during the Summer Quarter. For information about tuition costs, please see the Tuition Table.

Grades from Summer Quarter are not automatically sent to the high school like the rest of the school year. If you have taken a class during summer quarter that you want sent back to your high school you'll need to fill out the Running Start Summer Grades Request form. Requests will be processed within 1 week of grades posting. You may not see the classes show up on your high school transcript until after the new academic year since high schools are closed over the summer.

5th Year Senior Enrollment

A current or former Running Start student may be eligible to continue past their natural 12th grade yar as a 5th year senior if the following conditions apply:

  • The student participated in Running Start at some point during their natural junior or senior year
  • The student is credit deficient as evaluated by the high school
  • The student can only enroll in courses necessary toward high school completion
  • The student will not turn 21 prior to or during the quarter they are enrolled

5th year seniors have a registration block on their account and must register in person with their signed RSEVF showing which courses are still needed for high school completion. If a 5th year senior chooses to enroll in courses not listed on the RSEVF, they will owe full tuition and fees on those selections. Students who think they may qualify for 5th year senior status should contact the Admissions Outreach Team for more information.