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Running Start


Please note that the CWU Running Start offices in Ellensburg and Sammamish are working remotely at this time. We are still here to serve you and have put together a number of resources to make sure you can access our staff and the help that you need, both on campus and off. You can view these on our Online Learning Resources page

Learn more about our programs by viewing our virtual information session.
Meet with one of our advisors in an online advising session or contact them via email.

Admissions Information

Testing Information

How do I qualify? 

Applicants must be a junior or senior enrolled through a public school district in Washington State. Homeschool and private school students should contact their local school district office for information about enrolling in the district to access Running Start.

• Applicants with a 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher* have met the admissions requirements. 

• Applicants with a 2.00 - 2.99 cumulative GPA* will be considered for admission through a comprehensive review process, which takes into consideration: high school GPA, placement test scores, personal statement, high school grade trends and course rigor. For those with a 2.00 - 2.49 GPA, a personal statement is required.

• Home school students are evaluated on an individual basis and must submit both homeschool transcripts and appropriate test scores. 

To be considered for admission, students must have at least a 2.00 cumulative GPA in high school and any applicable college work. 

*Test scores are required for English and math placement and for all students with a cumulative GPA below 3.0. 


Students can apply by creating an account and completing the online Running Start application here. Students will need to provide all information requested and submit a copy of their high school transcript before submitting the application. Students with appropriate test scores should also submit a scanned copy of their test scores in the online application. 

NOTE: You cannot be logged into a CWU account of any kind (MyCWU, Outlook, or Canvas) and complete the application. If you receive an error message, please clear your browsing history and open the application in a new window. 

Students will be notified via the email they provided in their application of their status and whether any additional information is needed.

If you have questions about your application, please email us at

Placement Testing 

Please note that Testing Services is currently closed due to COVID-19. ALEKS math placement testing and the Accuplacer English Placement Test are available for you to take from home. Please see the Testing Services website for directions on scheduling your tests:

In order to register for a particular class, students must meet the eligibility requirements as stated in the CWU Course Catalog. Requirements usually vary between classes, but two common requirements are either successfully passing previous course work and/or placement testing. Please see the CWU College Catalog for a full listing of appropriate placement tests and scores.  Please see below for resources and study guides. 

Testing Resources

CWU English Placement Exam
The English Placement test at CWU consists of a reading comprehension test (Next-Generation Reading) and a writing test (WritePlacer). These are computerized tests. The reading comprehension test is not timed. Students have 60 minutes to complete the WritePlacer.

Next-Generation Reading Exam Sample Questions
WritePlacer Sample Essays

Accuplacer Next-Generation Math Placement Exam
The Accuplacer Next-Generation Math Placement Exam consist of three different math tests: 1) Arithmetic, 2) Quantiative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics (QAS), and 3) Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF). The exam is an adaptive test that starts in Quantiative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics (QAS). If a student answers enough questions correctly, the student will then move in to the Advanced Algebra and Functions (AAF) exam. If a student answers too many questions in QAS incorrectly, the student will move in to the Arithmetic exam. 

Next-Generation Arithmetic Sample Questions
Next-Generation Quantiative Reasoning, Algebra, and Statistics Sample Questions
Next-Generation Advanced Algebra and Functions Sample Questions

ALEKS Math Placement
The ALEKS exam gives students five attempts to get their best score. The first attempt is taken from your computer at home and is not used for placement. This is a diagnostic tool that reveals your strengths and areas for improvement. Based on your performance on the diagnostic attempt, you will then have access to practice modules to prepare you for attempts 2-5. These will help to prepare you to get your first best score on the proctored attempts. You must wait 48 hours after your first attempt and complete 3 hours of practice modules before your second attempt. 

Attempts 2-5 must be proctored and can be at taken at home. Testing Services has information on their website for how to take the proctored test from home

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