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Running Start Coding Guidelines

Waiver Purpose: Running Start

The Running Start program is available for eligible 11th and 12th grade students.

Fee pay status: R# or S#

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Eleventh and 12th grade students or students who have not yet received the credits required for a high school diploma and are eligible to be in the eleventh or twelfth grades may apply and enroll in courses or programs. No tuition or S&A fee is charged to the student, up to 18 credits, however students are required to pay other mandatory fees assessed by the college.

Note: Running Start students qualifying as low income may be eligible for a waiver of certain mandatory fees. See Running Start Fee Pay Status — M# or N#.

RCW 28A.600.390 – Running start program – rules.


Waiver Purpose: Running Start Fees

This is a mandatory waiver of fees for eligible Running Start students.

Fee pay status: M# or N#

Running Start students not eligible for a low-income waiver are coded to fee pay status R# or S#

Running Start students attending community and technical colleges must pay mandatory college and/or student voted fees as established by the community and technical college. Colleges must however waive mandatory college and/or student voted fees for eligible low-income Running Start students.

Note: As Running Start students, no tuition or S&A fee is charged to these students in the same way as students coded under Fee Pay Status - R# or S#.

This waiver is not included in the 35 percent legislative limit.

RCW 28A.600.310(2)(3) - Running start program — enrollment in institutions of higher education — student fees — fee waivers — transmittal of funds — report on program financial support.

  1. In lieu of tuition and fees (operating, building and S&A fees) Running Start students shall pay to the community or technical college all other mandatory fees as established by each community or technical college.
  2. The institutions of higher education must make available fee waivers for low-income Running Start students.
  3. Each institution must establish a written policy for the determination of low-income students before offering the fee waiver.
  4. Language in the bill referring to proration of charges based on credit load does not apply to the mandatory fees assessed by community and technical colleges.

A student shall be considered low-income and eligible for a fee waiver upon proof that the student is currently qualified to receive free or reduced-price lunch. Acceptable documentation of low-income status may also include:

  1. Student has been deemed eligible for free or reduced-price lunches in the last five years
  2. Family income of equal to or less than 50 percent of the state median
  3. Family income less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level
  4. Receiving any state or federal assistance funds
    Foster youth
  5. The term "mandatory fees" does not apply to all charges assessed by colleges. As noted in previous AAG guidance, charges for "consumable supplies, textbooks, and other materials retained by the student" are not within the definition of fees and therefore not subject to the mandatory low-income waiver provisions.
  1. Each college must establish a written policy for determination of low-income Running Start students. Eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch must be one qualifying status.
  2. The Running Start Coordinator or designate will review the documentation and approve fee waiver at time of initial advising or thereafter for family financial changes. Running Start students should not be asked to fill out the FAFSA to establish eligibility.
  3. At time of registration, Running Start students receiving a waiver will be identified by the Fee Pay Status code 50.
  1. Supply waiver documentation at time of advising and no later than the first class day.
  2. Notify Running Start Coordinator or designate of family financial changes that may result in waiver eligibility.
  3. Pay mandatory fees if not eligible for low-income waiver.


Coding Guidelines Beginning Fall Quarter 2019-20


 Enrolled High School
Tuition-Free College Credit Regular FPS Low-Income Waiver FPS 
Weekly Minutes** Full-Time Enrollment Max Full-Time Enrollment Max Credits
0-341 0.00-0.20 1.00 15 R5 M5
342-457  0.21-0.27  0.93  14 R4 M4
458-557  0.28-0.33 0.87  13 R3 M3 
558-674 0.34-0.40 0.80  12  R2  M2 
675-790  0.41-0.47 0.73  11  R1  M1 
791-890  0.48-0.53  0.67  10  R0  M0 
891-1007  0.54-0.60  0.60  10* S9  N9 
1008-1123  0.61-0.67  0.53  S8  N8 
1124-1223  0.68-0.73  0.47  S7  N7 
1224-1340  0.74-0.80  0.40  S6  N6 
1341-1456 0.81-0.87  0.33  5 S5 N5
1457-1556 0.88-0.93  0.27  4 S4 N4
1557 or more 0.94-1.00 0.20  3 S3 N3

* Students qualifying for 0.60 FTE college enrollment and registering for exactly 10 college credits will be granted a 1-credit waiver for the 10th credit.

** Weekly Minutes based on high school bell schedule.

Q. Which FPS do I use on students that are eligible for Tuition Free Running Start credits per the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form?

A. It's important to remember that the FPS to use for a student qualifying for Running Start is the FPS associated with the Tuition Free Eligible Running Start Credits and NOT the number of credits for which a student registers. For example, a regular student is eligible for 3 Tuition Free Running Start credits per the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form and registers for 5 credits. You would use FPS of S3. A regular student will then be appropriately charged for each credit beyond the 3 Tuition Free Running Start credits and will be accurately accounted for in Research. For a Low Income Waiver student you would FPS of N3. A Low Income Waiver student will not be charged any
tuition regardless of how many credits they register for per State Board resolution #11-09-51. It is an individual college decision on whether to charge fees to low income waiver students who exceed the tuition and fee free RS credits.

Q. The student meets my college's qualifications for the Running Start Low Income Waiver of Fees (FAPC code W2A). How does this get applied?

A. Beginning Winter Quarter there are two sets of FPS codes, one for regular RS students and one for Low Income Waiver eligible RS students. Each college may decide to waive fees for Low Income Waiver eligible RS students for credits BEYOND the 1.2 FTE free RS credits. If a college decides to waive fees for all credits beyond the 1.2 FTE free RS credits for Low Income Waiver eligible students, then they will NOT add any fee codes to the BM1010, FPS screens for the new Low Income Waiver. If a college decides NOT to waive fees for all credits beyond the 1.2 FTE free RS credits, then they will need to do either of the following: add fee codes to the BM1010, FPS Screens, for the new Low Income Waiver RS and in cashiering waive all the fees on the credits that are eligible under the RS rules using FAPC code W2A; OR do not add fee codes to the BM1010, FPS Screens, and instead add Fees in cashiering

Q. When is a student eligible for a '10th credit waiver' of tuition (FAPC code W8A)?

A. Only a Running Start student who is eligible for exactly 9 Tuition Free Running Start credits and registers for exactly 10 credits is eligible for the '10th credit waiver' of tuition. Any student eligible for exactly 9 Tuition Free Running Start credits who registers for MORE than 10 credits is not eligible to have the 10th credit waived.

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Last Modified: 1/30/24, 3:55 PM

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