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Running Start

At CWU & Online

Running Start at CWU

CWU welcomes Running Start students to our beautiful and historic campus in Ellensburg, located in the heart of Washington. Visit Ellensburg to find out how easy it is to get around campus, how friendly our students and faculty are, and how much you're going to love CWU in Ellensburg.

Running Start Online

Students will enjoy all of the regular benefits of Running Start with the added advantage of being able to fit coursework into their busy schedules when it works best for them.

Application Process

  • Contact your high school counselor for a Running Start application or download one here.  (Updated application forms are sent to area high school annually each January.)
    Please Note: It is important that the high school counselor sign the application to confirm the student's grade-level and their intent to participate in Running Start.
  • Submit your completed application, a copy of your most recent high school and/or college transcript, if applicable, and SAT, ACT or ACT Residual* test scores directly to the Running Start office.

Please Note: The ACT Residual* test scores from CWU do not transfer to other Universities.

Central Washington University
Running Start Program
400 East University Way
Ellensburg WA 98926-7433

Application Review, Advising and Student/Parent Orientation

The Running Start office will review the application materials and notify the student of his/her admission status. Upon admission, information and next steps will be sent to students regarding placement testing, if necessary, an advising meeting, and student/parent orientation.  Student/parent orientations are scheduled for all new Running Start students typically in August of each year prior to the start of the college academic year.

Admission Criteria

The Following criteria are used for admission of Running Start students on the CWU campus:

  • Applicants with a 3.4 or higher cumulative GPA are admissible without standardized test scores. However, all students are encouraged to submit SAT, ACT or ACT residual test scores which will be used to determine placement into appropriate Math and English courses. Students who do not submit SAT or ACT test scores will be assigned to take the COMPASS test upon admission.
  • Applicants who do not have a cumulative GPA of at least a 3.4 must submit SAT, ACT, or Act Residual test scores for admission consideration.
  • Admission to Central Washington University is based on an Admission Index of 28. The AI is based on a student’s high school GPA and standardized test scores. An AI calculator can be found on the CWU Admissions webpage at
  • Home schooled students are required to submit SAT, ACT or ACT Residual test scores for admission consideration.