List of commonly asked questions about the Running Start Program at Lower Columbia College. If you cannot find an answer, please contact Running Start staff listed at the bottom of the page.
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The program allows high school juniors and seniors to attend Lower Columbia College tuition-free and have the credits count for both high school and college credit. College credits are paid for by the high school, saving families money as students begin their college careers. Participants are responsible for mandatory fees, books and transportation.
College credits completed in Running Start will transfer to most colleges and universities, saving the student time, effort and money. Students can select a schedule that works for them and allows them to easily coordinate classes, work, family, faith and other personal commitments.
Students can still participate in athletics and clubs at their high school, as much as they choose. Additionally, they can participate in clubs, events and activities at Lower Columbia College.
The program was created by the Washington State Legislature RCW 28B.50.535 in order to provide students an opportunity to take college courses while still in high school.
College credit is granted upon completion of the course requirements, and these credits normally transfer to most colleges and universities.
Your enrollment at Lower Columbia College creates your official college transcript. College transcripts are considered confidential information and are released to no one – including parents – without your permission (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).
At the end of each quarter, your grades are mailed to your high school and included in your high school GPA. Credits also apply to high school graduation according to individual school district policy.
Students are not guaranteed space in preferred college classes, and college schedules may conflict with high school classes or extracurricular activities.
Colleges operate on a quarter system which is different from the high school academic calendar. Holidays and vacations are different. Students are expected to attend classes at the college, even though their high school may not be in session.
Careful planning should take place before making the commitment to participate in Running Start. Students should work carefully with their high school counselor to make sure they complete all high school requirements.
FTE is calculated by how many minutes the student is in class at the high school during that semester. High school counselors determine the FTE.
Other funding programs are available, such as fee waiver program or book fund scholarship.
LCC operates on a quarter system which is different from the high school academic calendar. Holidays and vacation periods are frequently different. Students are expected to attend classes at the college even though their high schools may not be in session. Careful planning must occur in order to avoid conflicts in family and school activities.
The average credit load for Running Start students is 11 credits per quarter (approximately 3 classes). The maximum number of credits for which Running Start will cover tuition is 15 credits per quarter, providing you do not exceed the combined enrollment limit.
This includes evening and online courses. Your high school counselor can tell you which courses at LCC are accepted by your high school to meet specific graduation requirements, such as CWP or CWI.
Much would depend on whether you want to challenge yourself at the high school environment or want a different learning environment, such as Lower Columbia College. You should contact the university to which you plan to transfer to ask about their acceptance policies in regards to each of the above.
If you do not have a car or a driver's license, public transportation is available through River Cities Transit. Students with a current ID card can ride the bus at no cost. For more information see Parking Options at Lower Columbia College.
Some schools consider age appropriateness; others review credits and prior learning. In other cases, a standardized achievement test may be used in the absence of adequate documentation of a student's home-based education.
We will use your SSN/ITIN to report American Opportunity Tax Credit (formerly Hope Credit), to administer state/federal financial aid, to verify enrollment, degree and academic transcript records, and to conduct institutional research. If you do not submit your SSN/ITIN, you will not be denied access to the college; however, in accordance with state law (RCW 28B.10.042) and federal law (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), the college will protect your SSN from unauthorized use and/or disclosure. If you do not have a Social Security Number or if you do not wish to divulge it for privacy reasons, a randomly assigned Student ID (SID) number will be mailed to you.
Different schools accept different courses from LCC to meet specific requirements, such as CWP/CWI or Senior English. It is critical that you work with your high school counselor to make sure that you are meeting your high school graduation requirements. On this form, the high school counselor will indicate what specific graduation requirement each course meets, even if it is an elective.
If you do not earn your AA some colleges may not accept certain credits. Always contact the institution you are transferring to and ask them for input. Give them the class name and the description of the class in the LCC course catalog. The same is true for many private and out of state universities.
This takes careful planning, so be sure to ask the LCC Running Start office for advice. If you do not plan to graduate from a public high school, you have the option of asking the college to issue a State of Washington high school diploma upon completion of an associate degree.
However, Running Start students are not eligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics at LCC.
You will also need to ask your high school to mail your official high school transcript.