Running Start

Fighter Pilot Zeek

God and Perseverance
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
22
Dear members of the forum,

My name is Ethan. I've just finished my Sophmore year of high school with 21 credits. (I earned 7 high school credits while in 8th grade). I am now going through a program called Running Start.

Running Start allows Juniors and Seniors in high school to earn up to 15 college credits (this also earns the student 3 high school credits for every college quarter). Each college quarter counts as a whole year in high school. You may only do 3 classes at the college and it's all paid for.

So by the time I am done with high school I will have 39 credits and an AA degree. I will be doing this college program full time for the next two years. The classes that'll be taken include English, Spanish, Math, and Science.

So, will they see this as being greater than AP English, Spanish, Science, and Math since I am doing this at a real college?

Thank you,
Ethan
 

KLCman

Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
99
Dear members of the forum,

My name is Ethan. I've just finished my Sophmore year of high school with 21 credits. (I earned 7 high school credits while in 8th grade). I am now going through a program called Running Start.

Running Start allows Juniors and Seniors in high school to earn up to 15 college credits (this also earns the student 3 high school credits for every college quarter). Each college quarter counts as a whole year in high school. You may only do 3 classes at the college and it's all paid for.

So by the time I am done with high school I will have 39 credits and an AA degree. I will be doing this college program full time for the next two years. The classes that'll be taken include English, Spanish, Math, and Science.

So, will they see this as being greater than AP English, Spanish, Science, and Math since I am doing this at a real college?

Thank you,
Ethan

Keep doing what you are doing and make sure to keep up a high GPA and take the SAT or ACT a couple of times to get a high score in that.

Also, another important thing, besides academics (because you seem to be doing fine with your rigorous class load) is leadership experience. That is very important to have as well.

Best of luck!
 

grevar

CGA Admissions Partner
5-Year Member
Joined
Mar 5, 2013
Messages
543
As KLC said, leadership opportunities are likewise important. Take the hardest classes you can. Dual Enrollment classes are great but you also need to understand that if you receive an appointment you still have to start out as a college freshman. You may be able to test out of some of the classss you've already taken, that's debatable as to whether you'd want to do any or not.

Great that you are thinking about these things now.

Best of luck.
 

Fighter Pilot Zeek

God and Perseverance
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
22
As KLC said, leadership opportunities are likewise important. Take the hardest classes you can. Dual Enrollment classes are great but you also need to understand that if you receive an appointment you still have to start out as a college freshman. You may be able to test out of some of the classss you've already taken, that's debatable as to whether you'd want to do any or not.

Great that you are thinking about these things now.

Best of luck.
Yes, thank you go the reply.
I am currently in the Boy Scouts and am a Life scout. I am nearly able to earn my Eagle rank. I know the more the better in extracurricular activities, but it's going to be hectic.
 

Fighter Pilot Zeek

God and Perseverance
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
22
Keep doing what you are doing and make sure to keep up a high GPA and take the SAT or ACT a couple of times to get a high score in that.

Also, another important thing, besides academics (because you seem to be doing fine with your rigorous class load) is leadership experience. That is very important to have as well.

Best of luck!
Thank you for the reply! Much appreciated. I'll be joining the Coast Guard as a 4th generation, but first to be an officer. Looking forward to it.
 

DesertCaliMom

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2017
Messages
582
More ECs aren't always better. Quality over quantity. Be sure to choose an Eagle Project that challenges your leadership skills and log every man hour of your project. You'll be helping other Life Scouts and scouting for food, etc... each of those events is community service, too.

Remember the three points to the scout oath, living those will prepare you for your goal ;)
 

Cidgrad130

5-Year Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
65
FighterPilotZeek (not much chance of flying pointy-nosed jets in the Coast Guard BTW)-

There is a ton of advice on the forum about this subject, but ultimately you must make your own decisions about your HS experience. The program you are describing (Running Start) is fairly common across the country. Here in Florida it is known as "Collegiate HS." These programs are only suitable for a very small subsection of the HS population - and not the subsection that typically pursues an appointment to a service academy because of the limitations it imposes. Before deciding on this track I would ask yourself a few questions:

Are there a lack of AP/Honors classes available in your HS?
Do you participate in HS sports?
Are you involved in HS clubs/organizations that meet before or after school?
Does the community aspect of HS have any meaning for you?
Do you participate in HS academic teams?
Are you planning on attending an in-state university?
Is the prospect of attending a 4-year college program not financially possible?

Remember that an appointment to a service academy is not guaranteed for any candidate. So you must plan for multiple possible tracks towards reaching your degree. AP credit is much more widely accepted across the landscape of transfer credits than dual enrollment credits tend to be. As was mentioned above, dual enrollment and AA degrees will not transfer to any service academy. While AP credit will not transfer into an academy - it is much less limiting when trying to use it towards degree programs from across the country.

In short - you must make the decision that works best for you and your family. However, HS is not a competition to see who can finish with the highest number of credits or who can get an AA degree at HS graduation. You only get to be a HS student once...try not to sell that experience short. Good luck in whatever path you choose.
 

F15DOC

5-Year Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2013
Messages
281
Ethan,
I think taking any advanced classes, scoring well and doing well on your ACT/SAT are the most important Academic portion of your application.
Running Start in and of itself is not going to be a bonus for you when applying to Academies. The reason is that Running Start classes are typically not as challenging as AP classes and the Academies know this. If your HS has AP classes, they will likely serve you better in this instance. Running Start is good for getting an AA while still in High School and saving some college years and tuition when going to a standard 4 year university, but the classes are not looked upon as superior to AP High School classes.
My son's experience is a perfect example, he took a ton of AP classes in a very challenging HS, he has a friend that took Running Start and got her AA. His classes were far more challenging and far better at preparing him for Academy academics. She has her AA but honestly is not a top tier student even though she got very good grades in Running Start.
Now, with all that stated, there is no perfect formula, some Running Start classes will likely be better than others and will help prepare you.
I guess my main point in responding to this is to be aware and to not assume that your education in Running Start is superior or will make you a better candidate or prepare you more for rigorous academy academics, it simply won't.... Running Start is really designed for the student that wants to jump ahead and cut out some college years and save those higher tuition costs.
Just my 2 cents worth, some may disagree, but that is how I see it.
 

Fighter Pilot Zeek

God and Perseverance
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
22
More ECs aren't always better. Quality over quantity. Be sure to choose an Eagle Project that challenges your leadership skills and log every man hour of your project. You'll be helping other Life Scouts and scouting for food, etc... each of those events is community service, too.

Remember the three points to the scout oath, living those will prepare you for your goal ;)
Beginning on the project this upcoming week! The plan is to place row markers in cement next to the road at a family cemetary.
 

Fighter Pilot Zeek

God and Perseverance
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
22
FighterPilotZeek (not much chance of flying pointy-nosed jets in the Coast Guard BTW)-

There is a ton of advice on the forum about this subject, but ultimately you must make your own decisions about your HS experience. The program you are describing (Running Start) is fairly common across the country. Here in Florida it is known as "Collegiate HS." These programs are only suitable for a very small subsection of the HS population - and not the subsection that typically pursues an appointment to a service academy because of the limitations it imposes. Before deciding on this track I would ask yourself a few questions:

Are there a lack of AP/Honors classes available in your HS?
Do you participate in HS sports?
Are you involved in HS clubs/organizations that meet before or after school?
Does the community aspect of HS have any meaning for you?
Do you participate in HS academic teams?
Are you planning on attending an in-state university?
Is the prospect of attending a 4-year college program not financially possible?

Remember that an appointment to a service academy is not guaranteed for any candidate. So you must plan for multiple possible tracks towards reaching your degree. AP credit is much more widely accepted across the landscape of transfer credits than dual enrollment credits tend to be. As was mentioned above, dual enrollment and AA degrees will not transfer to any service academy. While AP credit will not transfer into an academy - it is much less limiting when trying to use it towards degree programs from across the country.

In short - you must make the decision that works best for you and your family. However, HS is not a competition to see who can finish with the highest number of credits or who can get an AA degree at HS graduation. You only get to be a HS student once...try not to sell that experience short. Good luck in whatever path you choose.
Thank you for the feedback, Cidgrad130. I don't plan on flying pointy nosed jets, but possibly the new C-130 Js. My family has been in the Coast Guard since, forever. None of whom have been an officer. I am planning on driving to my school for clubs and sports.
 

Fighter Pilot Zeek

God and Perseverance
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
22
Ethan,
I think taking any advanced classes, scoring well and doing well on your ACT/SAT are the most important Academic portion of your application.
Running Start in and of itself is not going to be a bonus for you when applying to Academies. The reason is that Running Start classes are typically not as challenging as AP classes and the Academies know this. If your HS has AP classes, they will likely serve you better in this instance. Running Start is good for getting an AA while still in High School and saving some college years and tuition when going to a standard 4 year university, but the classes are not looked upon as superior to AP High School classes.
My son's experience is a perfect example, he took a ton of AP classes in a very challenging HS, he has a friend that took Running Start and got her AA. His classes were far more challenging and far better at preparing him for Academy academics. She has her AA but honestly is not a top tier student even though she got very good grades in Running Start.
Now, with all that stated, there is no perfect formula, some Running Start classes will likely be better than others and will help prepare you.
I guess my main point in responding to this is to be aware and to not assume that your education in Running Start is superior or will make you a better candidate or prepare you more for rigorous academy academics, it simply won't.... Running Start is really designed for the student that wants to jump ahead and cut out some college years and save those higher tuition costs.
Just my 2 cents worth, some may disagree, but that is how I see it.
Your 2 cents are appreciated. Thank you for the response! I'll be working hard to achieve a good score on the ACT and SAT.
 
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