Do Colleges Like Running Start

As someone who has personally gone through the Running Start program, I understand the concerns and questions many students have about its impact on college admissions. The Running Start program allows high school juniors and seniors to take college-level courses for both high school and college credit. This means students can get a head start on their college education while still in high school. However, the big question remains: do colleges like Running Start?

Advantages of Running Start

From my experience, there are several advantages to participating in Running Start. First and foremost, it can significantly reduce the cost of obtaining a college degree. By completing college courses while in high school, students can potentially graduate from college early or have more flexibility in their course schedule, ultimately saving money on tuition and related expenses. Furthermore, participating in Running Start can demonstrate to colleges that a student is capable of handling college-level coursework, which may strengthen their college applications.

Considerations for Colleges

When it comes to how colleges view Running Start, it’s important to recognize that each institution may have its own policies and preferences. Some colleges may be very supportive of Running Start and view it as a strong indicator of a student’s academic ability and motivation. These colleges may offer generous transfer credit for Running Start courses, allowing students to enter college with a significant number of credits already completed. On the other hand, some colleges may have more stringent transfer credit policies, which could impact the extent to which Running Start credits can be applied towards a degree.

My Experience

Personally, I found that the colleges I applied to were generally supportive of my Running Start experience. I made sure to communicate the rigor of the college-level courses I completed and how they prepared me for the academic demands of a four-year institution. Additionally, I took advantage of the opportunity to obtain an associate degree through Running Start, which further demonstrated my readiness for college-level work.


In conclusion, while the perception of Running Start may vary from college to college, the overall consensus is that participating in the program can be a valuable asset in the college admissions process. It’s important for students to research and understand how their target colleges view Running Start and to effectively communicate the benefits and skills gained through the program in their college applications. Ultimately, my experience with Running Start was positive and played a significant role in my college admissions journey.