Running Start Eligibility

To qualify for Tacoma Community College’s Running Start Program, students must meet the following requirements:

  • Be enrolled in a Washington State public high school.
    Homeschool and private school students can dual enroll through their local public high school or district.
  • Junior or Senior status according to high school.
  • Display college-level English skills.
  • Be at least 16 years of age by the start of classes.

English Qualifying Measures

Students will be considered at college level English if they meet any of the criteria below:

  • One semester of 10th or 11th grade English grade of B- or better
  • 10th grade Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) score of 3 or 4
  • SAT English score of 460 or higher
  • ACT English score of 19 or higher

If none of the criteria is met, we do offer an alternative English Portfolio option. Please reach out to Andrew Brottlund at or the English department for more information.

Math Qualifying Measures

Math placement is not a requirement to be accepted into the Running Start program. However, a math placement will be needed for courses that require a math prerequisite.

For placement, one of the criteria below must be met. Please email proof of your math qualifying measure to Math Advising Resource Center at Please include ctcLink ID in your message.

  • High school transcript with Advanced Algebra or higher course work.**
  • Math SAT (not the PSAT) score of 550 or higher
  • ACT score of 23 or higher

**Students must have a full-year of Advanced Algebra or a first semester transcript along with second semester progress report at least 10 weeks into the semester.

Homeschooled student or students with an out-of-state high school transcript cannot be placed using their high school transcript. Students must take the ALEKS Math Placement Assessment. For more information, please contact