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Dual Credit

The applications for the Dual Enrollment Scholarship Pilot – Cycle 3 for 2024-25 is currently closed as we have received more than anticipated submissions. For those who have applied, please refer to the Dual Enrollment Scholarship Pilot Application Guidance for detailed description of the program and implementation requirements.

Dual credit programs allow students to earn high school and college credit simultaneously. Students who earn college credit are more likely to graduate high school, enroll in college, and complete college degrees.

There are three main ways that students can get dual credit. 

1. Credit by passing a college course

Complete and pass college courses through Running Start and College in the High School. 

2. Credit by examination 

Earn a score of 3 or better on standardized exams. Exams include Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge International Program.

3. Credit by articulation

Complete career and technical education (CTE) dual credit courses. 

Although multiple dual credit programs are offered in Washington, not all programs are available at all high schools. Learn more about specific programs in the tabs below.

Dual Credit Programs in Washington State

Running Start

Running Start

Washington's Running Start program allows 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses at Washington’s community and technical colleges and at Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Washington State University, and Northwest Indian College. Running Start courses are regular college courses offered on the college campus. Students pay no tuition. However, they do pay for transportation, books, and fees. WSAC administers the Dual Enrollment Scholarship Pilot Program and provides funding for low-income eligible students enrolled in dual credit programs. 

College in the High School

College in the High School

College in the High School (CiHS) programs provide college academic courses to 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. Courses are taught at the high school, by high school teachers, with college curriculum, college textbooks, and oversight by college faculty and staff. There are now no tuition fees for CiHS programs offered by public colleges.

Washington Reviewed College in the High School Programs
2024-25 School Year

NACEP Accredited 
  • Central Washington University
  • Centralia College
  • Eastern Washington University 
  • Edmonds College 
  • Everett Community College 
  • Lewis-Clark State College
  • University of Washington Seattle
  • Wenatchee Valley College 
  • Whatcom Community College
Washington Reviewed and Approved 
  • Bellevue College 
  • Big Bend Community College
  • Cascadia College
  • Clark College
  • Gonzaga University
  • Lower Columbia College
  • North Seattle College
  • Seattle University
  • Skagit Valley College
  • South Puget Sound Community College 
  • Walla Walla Community College

Credit by Exam

Credit by Exam

Some programs award dual credit based on standardized exams. These programs include:

In these programs, students take rigorous high school courses, taught by high school teachers, at the high school. Upon completion of the course, students may take a standardized exam. Depending on how they score, they may earn college credit. Colleges award varying levels of credit based on exam scores. Students do not pay tuition but do pay fees for the final standardized exams. Fee waivers may be available for lower-income students if funding is available.

Students should reach out and talk with an admissions contact on any questions about course equivalencies and transfer. Follow the links below to determine which colleges grant credit for which exams and scores.

Dual Credit Equivalencies at Washington's Public Four-Year Colleges
Dual Credit Equivalencies at Washington's Two-Year Community and Technical Colleges

CTE Dual Credit

CTE Dual Credit

Career and technical education (CTE) classes combine academics with technical skill development to prepare students for advanced education and professional careers. The CTE Dual Credit program helps students transition from high school into professional-technical programs. CTE Dual Credit is a joint effort between K-12 schools, community and technical colleges, and the business community. Courses are taught by high school teachers, at the high school. Students do not pay tuition.

More Dual Credit Programs

More Dual Credit Programs

Visit the program links below for information about other programs.

Bright Future Program

Seattle Vocational Institute (SVI) offers an award-winning dual-credit program for 11th and 12th graders called Bright Future. Students enroll in allied health, business computers, pre-apprenticeship construction, or Cosmetology at SVI. Bright Future combines workforce education programs with academic programs. In addition, it offers comprehensive case management, including academic and career advising. Students earn a high school diploma and a certificate of mastery from a community and technical college. They also gain work experience. Finally, the program helps graduates in their transition to work, further education, or both.

Career Link

Career Link is a high school completion program at South Seattle Community College for students ages 16 to 21 who no longer attend traditional high school. The program supports personal and academic growth, and helps transition to postsecondary education. Students may earn dual credit for high school completion and college credit. Youth who enroll in the program attend full time at no cost.

Gateways for Incarcerated Youth

The Evergreen State College faculty members lead seminars at juvenile correctional facilities for college credit, at no cost to youth. Evergreen students and volunteers serve as academic mentors and coaches in the Gateways for Incarcerated Youth program.

Gateway to College

Gateway to College assists students ages 16 to 21 who have dropped out of school or are in danger of dropping out. Eligible students may qualify for this program to accumulate high school and college credits at the same time. This allows students to earn a high school diploma while progressing toward a certificate or associate degree. 

Technical College Direct Funded Enrollment Programs

The programs linked below allow students to earn high school and college credits at the same time, while progressing toward an associate degree or certificate. Students who enroll have access to most of the training programs and support services at any of the three participating colleges:


Dual Credit Legislative Background

With the passage of SSSB5048, beginning September 1st, 2023, institutions of higher education must provide enrollment and registration in College in the High School courses at no cost for students in grades 9 through 12 at public high schools. High schools that provide a College in the High School course must provide in a notification to parents and guardians of students in grades 8 through 12 that there is no fee for students to enroll in a CHS course. 

The parental and guardian notifications must also explain that enrolling in a CHS course automatically starts an official college transcript with the institution of higher education offering the course regardless of student performance, and that college credit earned upon successful completion of a course may count only as elective credit if transferred to another institution of higher education.

Launch Year Act requires all public high schools in Washington to increase the number of dual credit courses offered to students. The program grew in 2015 (E2SHB 1546) to provide Running Start students with funding. These funds can be used for transportation, books, and fees.

Dual Enrollment Scholarship Pilot Program

The 2019 Legislature passed House Bill 1973 establishing the Dual Enrollment Scholarship pilot program to be administered by WSAC. The 2020 Legislature passed Senate Bill 6374, expanding the DES pilot program to cover apprenticeship materials for eligible students. The scholarship was available to students enrolled in dual credit programs like College in the High School (CiHS) and Running Start (RS). Senate Bill 5048 which passed in the 2023 session has eliminated the need to use these funds for CiHS programs.

Eligible students must qualify for free or reduced-price lunch (FRPL), be enrolled in Running Start (RS) courses at a pilot site location, and have a minimum GPA of 2.0. For RS, grants are distributed to the participating colleges and universities. Scholarships cover course fees/lab fees and provide a textbook voucher.