SVC CalendarApplyVisit SVCGive

Get a Running Start on Your College Education

The Running Start program allows students to take eligible, college-level courses at SVC, tuition-free. Credits earned may count towards high school graduation requirements AND college degree requirements. Review the important information listed below and in the tabs provided. It is strongly recommended that students attend a Running Start Information Session.

Get Started Online Information Session


Running Start Information Sessions

We offer information sessions for the Running Start program on both our Whidbey Island and Mount Vernon campus. These info sessions aim to answer questions about Skagit Valley College, the Running Start program, and the admissions/enrollment process. RSVP is desired but not required. During remote operations, we are offering Virtual Information Sessions. Attend a Running Start Information Session: View Session Dates and Times


Program Benefits

Earn Dual Credit!

Students can earn college credit and high school credit at the same time for the same class. A 5-credit, quarter long college course is equivalent to 1.0, or a full year or high school credit.

Save Money!

Running Start students do not pay tuition for eligible classes! Students are responsible for paying college fees, ineligible tuition, and supply costs.

Save Time!

Start college early and potentially earn an Associate’s Degree and High School Diploma at the same time! One 5-credit, quarter-long class equates to a year of high school credit.

Explore College and Career Options!

SVC offers a variety of academic and professional/technical degrees to choose from. Discover your passion at SVC!

Start Your College Experience!

Running Start students can join/create clubs, get involved with student life/events, get a Skagit Transit bus pass each quarter, and access FREE services like tutoring, mentoring, e-learning, and more. Students can also customize their schedules, whether they prefer morning classes, afternoon classes, or even online classes.


Program Considerations

Be Ready for College

Running Start students are treated like college students. Students should be motivated and be able to function in a more independent and mature environment. Late work may not be accepted and being absent does not excuse students from assignments. Students are responsible for communicating with their instructors if they will be absent.

Calendars and Breaks

SVC operates on a quarter system versus a semester system. Calendars and break schedules are different between the high schools and the college.

Communication is Key

Students are responsible for completing high school graduation requirements and/or college degree requirements. Checking in with the high school counselor and college advisor regularly is necessary for success. Course equivalency guides are available and high school counselors can provide students with remaining graduation requirements.

Running Start is not Free

Even though Running Start pays for eligible tuition, quarterly fees, books, ineligible tuition, and class supplies add up. Some fees may waived for students who qualify for free/reduced meals through their school district.

Navigating Two Worlds

Coordination of classes and transportation can be tricky to navigate at times. Students may also miss their classmates, teachers, and high school campuses while participating in Running Start.