Skip to body

Running Start


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. 

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 call the campus you are applying to:
Ellensburg: 509-963-1351
Sammamish: 425-392-2110

Placement Testing

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

CWU offers students the option to take the ACT Residual, ALEKS, and Accuplacer English and Math Placement tests at the Ellensburg campus. Accuplacer testing is available at the Sammamish campus. Students who are unable to schedule testing at a CWU campus are welcome to submit test scores from other colleges.

  • Students in the Ellensburg area should check for available dates using the “Schedule a Test” link on the testing website. For questions, please contact Testing Services at 509-963-1847.
  • Students in the Sammamish area should contact CWU Sammamish at 425-392-2110 to schedule the Accuplacer test. For testing information, please see the Sammamish Testing page
  • Information about the different tests available and study guides are available on the Testing Information page. 
  • The Running Start office can pay for testing at CWU if a student meets criteria for the Running Start Book Loan and Testing Fee Waiver program. Please see the application for details. If you qualify for this program, you need to submit your application to the Running Start office before scheduling your test.

Please note that students wanting to enroll in to pre-calculus and/or calculus based math courses will need to submit qualifying ALEKS or Accuplacer test scores. 

Take the Next Step to Becoming a Wildcat.