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Steps for Applying to Running Start

Your Steps to Becoming a Cardinal - Running Start Program


Download a printable version of "Steps to Becoming a Cardinal" here!

Step 1: Apply for the Running Start Program

Running Start applicants must submit the following in order to be considered for the Running Start Program:

  1. SVC application
  2. Information Release form
  3. High School Transcript (2.25 GPA or higher is required) or Intent to Homeschool form

To Apply Online:

Submit an Admission Application online at the Washington State Community & Technical College Web Admissions Center (Be sure to select Skagit Valley College after creating an account). Under "Intended Major Area of Study" you must type "Running Start." 

Note that you will be able to complete the Information release form online and upload electronic copy of your high school transcript in Step 3 below when you complete SVC's Application Supplement. You also have the option of bringing or sending these into an SVC Enrollment Services office.

Apply Here

To Apply in Person:

Submit the SVC Application form and the items above (the Information Release form and your high school transcript or Intent to Homeschool form) to the Enrollment Services Office. Applicants often find it helpful to submit all items in one packet, otherwise you will be able to complete the Information release form online and upload electronic copy of your high school transcript in Step 3 below when you complete SVC's Application Supplement.  


Step 2: Be Aware of Running Start Costs & Funding

Tuition: Running Start covers the cost of tuition up to a maximum of 15 credits per quarter. Running Start will not cover the cost of classes that are below college level (number below 100). 

Fees: Running Start students are required to pay the same mandatory fees as other college students. These fees include the General Fee, Student Technology Fee, ASSVC Self Assessed Building Fee and the Universal Technology Fee. Depending on the courses you choose to take, there may be specific course fees such as materials and/or lab fees.

Students who qualify for free or reduced meals in their School District are eligible to have their fees waived for up to fifteen credits they enroll in each quarter. It is the student’s responsibility to provide SVC with a copy of the documentation from their High School or District which shows their eligibility for this waiver each year.

Other Costs: All college students are responsible for obtaining their own textbooks and supplies. You can find the required and recommended textbooks and supplies at about a month before the quarter begins.

Here are some ways to acquire your textbooks:

  • Purchase textbooks from the Cardinal Bookstore or an online retailer.
  • Rent textbooks from the Cardinal Bookstore or an online retailer; note that it takes time to get these, so allow up to 2 weeks before the quarter begins.
  • The SVC Library has many textbooks on reserve for use in the library.

Even with these costs considered, Running Start remains an excellent opportunity for students to save time and money as they pursue higher education!

Step 3: Application Portal & Supplement

Once you have applied to Skagit Valley College and you receive notification that your application has been received, you will be sent an email to the email account you put on your application inviting you to sign into the SVC application portal to complete your SVC Application Supplement. This questionnaire will help us learn more about your goals.

When asked "What goal do you want to accomplish at Skagit Valley College?" you must choose "Enroll in Running Start." You will have the opportunity later in the supplement to designate if you are also seeking a degree.

Please note that you will not be able to move on to the next step of MySVC account creation until you complete and submit the application supplement and your supplement, transcript, and information release form have been reviewed. This review can take up to 5 working days. You will receive an email upon your acceptance to Skagit Valley College which will also include your next steps.

Once you complete the application supplement, you will be able to log back into the SVC Application Portal to view your completed steps and what the next step is in your enrollment process.

Application Portal

Step 4: Create Your MySVC Account

You will not have an SVC account created until you have received notification that your application has been reviewed and you have been admitted to Skagit Valley College. Once admitted, an SVC email account will be created for you. Please note that it can take up to 3 hours from the time you receive your acceptance email for your SVC account to process, so if you cannot set up your account right away please try again a few hours later. 

You will receive an email with your Student ID number (SID) and your PIN number to set up your account.

Set up your account here

Step 5: Online Orientation - Cardinal Pre-Flight

All new students will be required to complete the Cardinal Pre-Flight Online Orientation. Once your MySVC account is activated, you will have access to this self-paced orientation to programs, resources, opportunities and next steps at SVC. Please note that it can take up to 3 hours from the time you set up your SVC account until you have access to Cardinal Pre-flight Online Orientation, so if you cannot access it right away please try again a few hours later.

The Cardinal Pre-Flight Online Orientation is hosted on the SVC Canvas site. It will take approximately 1-2 hours to complete and can be accessed from any computer, tablet or phone with internet access.

Use your username and password to your MySVC account. If you are accessing the online orientation from your phone, you may consider downloading the Canvas app.

Begin the SVC Pre-Flight Orientation

Need assistance with this step or access to a computer? Visit one of our campuses or centers!

  • Mount Vernon Campus: drop in at the Student Success Lab located in Lewis Hall Room 114 (M-Th 1:30-4:30pm).
  • Whidbey Island Campus: visit the Library in Hayes Hall.
  • San Juan Center: visit the office at 221 Weber Way in Friday Harbor.

Step 6: Course Placement

In order to determine the best classes for you, your writing, reading, and mathematics skills will be assessed. There is more than one way you can be placed into courses; review your options below.

Placement Methods


Step 7: Meet with Your High School Counselor

Running Start Students must meet with their high school counselor (each quarter) to determine the number of credits they are eligible to have funded through the Running Start program and what high school graduation requirements they still need to fulfill.

High School Counselors must complete the "Running Start Enrollment Verification Form." Running Start students need to be sure to get the form signed by both a parent and a high school counselor/representative. This must be done every quarter in order for the Running Start student to register for classes at SVC.

If the student is a Home School student, he or she must go to their local school district office or high school to get the "Running Start Enrollment Verification Form" signed every quarter. Home School students are also required to give SVC a copy of the "Intent to Home School" form which has been filed with the school district office (this form is required once each year, at the beginning of the school year).

Step 8: Advising & Registration

Students will attend a Cardinal Take-Off New Student Group Advising session to register for classes. Before you sign up for your Cardinal Take-Off session, you must have already completed the Pre-Flight Orientation, have established your course placement and have met with your high school counselor.

Once you have completed the steps above, you will be sent an email invitation to access the SVC Cardinal Take-Off session options. Look for sessions specifically for Running Start students; if none are available, select a general "New Student Group Advising" session.

These scheduled sessions are for the Mount Vernon and Whidbey campuses only; to schedule a session at the South Whidbey or San Juan Center, please call the numbers below.

If you have questions, please contact the campus or center of your choice. Let them know you are a Running Start student!

  • Mount Vernon Campus: 360.416.7700
  • Whidbey Island Campus: 360.679.5319
  • South Whidbey Center: 360.341.2324
  • San Juan Center: 360.378.3220

Step 9: Cardinal Kick-Off and Attend Class

Attend New Student Orientation and learn about the many resources and services available to assist you in your educational journey. Sessions include: student success, e-learning orientation, student clubs, campus activities, and more. Meet other SVC students, instructors, and staff while getting acquainted with the campus before your first day!

Check here for more information

Print your schedule the day before the quarter starts so you know where to find your classes. If you have an online course, you'll find it in Canvas, where the SVC Cardinal Pre-Flight Online Orientation is. Welcome to SVC!