Get Started

Ready to enroll as a Running Start student at South Seattle College? Check to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements and follow the instructions below.

We're excited you are joining our Otter family.


  • Must be a WA public high school student
  • Able to demonstrate eligibility for either college-level English or college-level math (see “placement testing” below for details)
  • Junior or senior standing

To learn more and explore the process of applying to the Running Start program, expand the sections below.

Become a South Seattle Otter!

Once you have applied - you will receive an EMPLID number, which serves as your student ID number. Please be sure to record your EMPLID and keep it someplace safe!

Before registering for certain classes, students will need to demonstrate college-level English or Math eligibility. This can be demonstrated through several methods, such as placement testing, high school transcripts, or SAT and ACT test scores. Check for a full list of placement options.

Students may take an English Self-Directed Placement at South Seattle College - this is a self-reflective tool that helps the student assess which English class would be the best fit for their academic ability. In order to take the test, you must have a student ID number (provided when you have applied to South Seattle College). Email your request to take the placement test(s) with your ID number and full name to The Student Assessment Services will then provide further directions on how to access the tests. This process can take 2 business days, so please plan appropriately.

Students may also take their Math placement test online by following these directions. Please include a copy of your test results with your Running Start application as we aren’t able to view results from the math placement test internally.

  • Some courses require an English or math assessment before you can register.
  • Students in Seattle Public Schools may be able to place into college-level math courses with their transcripts, depending on courses taken and grades earned. ACT and SAT scores may be used in place of placement tests as well.
  • Students may take an English Self-Directed Placement test and a Math Placement test online at the links above.
  • Your application will be reviewed and you will receive an email response from our office within 2 business days.
  • If your application is incomplete, a staff member will request additional information from you.
  • If your application is complete, you will be contacted to schedule an appointment with an advisor who will help you register for classes.
  • Finally, meet with a Running Start advisor at the college you wish to attend to discuss placement test scores and select courses you wish to register for.
  • We encourage you to schedule this meeting as early as possible in the registration process to successfully register for your desired classes before they fill.
  • It’s also a good idea to bring your parent/guardian with you when you meet with your advisor. Allow them to help you get started and cheer you on. Having a strong support network with help you be successful in college.

If you would like more information on what an advisor can help you with, please take a look at our Advising page.

Attend new student orientation to prepare for your first day. We offer Running Start orientations for newly enrolled students a couple of weeks before the start of every quarter. At orientation you'll get help preparing for the college environment and academic expectations.

Topics covered may include (and are not limited to):

  • When to start planning for next quarter
  • Time management skills and strategies of successful college students
  • Study skills & tutoring help
  • Services available to all enrolled students

There is no tuition cost for Running Start students, but there may be other fees associated with the classes you choose. Be sure to pay these fees at the cashier's office after you have registered.

Your enrollment is not complete until these fees are paid. You will be dropped from classes for failure to pay fees.