Pros and Cons

Before deciding whether you would be a good candidate for Running Start, identify the pros and cons of Running Start and use these to determine if you are a good fit for the program.


Tuition is free (some restrictions apply): Save thousands of dollars in college tuition even by partial participation in Running Start. Up to 15 colleges credits can be taken per quarter.

Experience College: The opportunity to experience post–secondary education while in high school is useful in making the transition from high school to college and further academic plans. 

1 College Class = 1 year of High School: One three-month college class (5 credits) equals 1 year or 1 credit of high school classes. 

More Course Options: Course selection options are more varied.

Career exploration: Students have an opportunity to take classes that apply to their chosen degree/career.


Maturity: Students need their own internal guidance. College requires more work in less time and with less support from teachers. Some students who are academically ready may find the independence and the speed of college classes overwhelming; they may benefit by remaining in high school classes. 

Socialization: The college environment may be an issue for some students. High schools provide social experiences and social networks for teenagers. The college provides adult social experiences. 

GHC operates on the quarter system: Most high schools operate on a semester system. Holidays and vacation periods may be different. Students are expected to attend classes at the college even though their high school is not in session. 

Some Costs: While most tuition is paid for, books and fees are not. There is a waiver for low income students for half the price of books and all fees, eligibility must be determined.