Program Overview

Program Overview

What is Running Start?

Running Start is a program that allows Washington State 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses at community and technical colleges. Running Start students and their families do not pay tuition, but they do pay mandatory fees, buy their own books, and provide their own transportation. Students receive both high school and college credit for these classes, thus accelerating their progress through the education system. Learn more about Running Start at the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges website (

Who is eligible for Running Start?

There are some restrictions on who can participate in the Running Start Program at Lower Columbia College.  You must meet the following criteria in order to join Running Start:

  • Have enough high school credits to be considered a high school junior or senior.


  • Have at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA in your high school classes.
  • Have a 3.0 GPA or better in all high school level English/Literature classes.


  • Score a 3 or 4 on the English and math portion of your Smarter Balanced assessments.

Why should I participate in Running Start?

  • It can save you THOUSANDS of dollars.
  • At Lower Columbia College it’s a savings of $1,424.60 per quarter and $4,273.80 per year!
  • If you stay on track as a full-time LCC student, you may earn your two-year transfer degree AND earn a high school diploma at the same time!
  • It gives you an academic jump start into college and exposes you to college level instruction.
  • It allows you the best of both worlds: high school and college.

What about sports, music and other activities?

At high school you can still:

  • Do sports, dance, and cheer.
  • Be in clubs, organizations, student government, band, and choir.
  • Go to dances, games, and events.

At Lower Columbia College you can:

  • Get into all of the sports, musical, and theatrical events for free.
  • Run for office and participate in the LCC student government (ASLCC).
  • Access free tutoring and use of the fitness center.
  • Participate in student events like the Back to School Bash, Red Devil Fitness Classes, and Red Devil Days.

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