Rock Valley College

About Running Start

Running Start is a program that allows select, qualified, academically motivated students enrolled in Illinois District 511 public high schools an opportunity to earn both their high school diploma and associate degree concurrently by attending Rock Valley College full-time during their junior and/or senior years of high school!

  • Students are enrolled full-time at Rock Valley College.
  • Students receive both high school and college credit for college-level courses successfully completed.
  • RVC tuition is paid by the high school district; families are responsible for books, supplies, and transportation.

Students are able to accomplish this through a formal agreement between the college and each selected school district so that the courses taken for dual credit simultaneously meet the requirements for both a high school diploma and an Associate degree. The Running Start program is administered through the Early College office at RVC, working closely with counselors at the high schools.

Running Start provides an opportunity for students to work in a more challenging educational environment and to excel academically while completing high school and college requirements. While attending RVC, students earn credits toward an Associate degree and can transfer to a four-year institution in the same manner as other community college students. An important element of the Running Start program requires students to be both academically and socially ready for college. Students may also choose to maintain involvement in high school activities such as student government or sports.

Running Start provides a tremendous advantage to students who want to shorten the amount of time needed for completion of a college degree. An additional advantage of the program is that students reduce their overall college costs since they do not pay college tuition during their time in the Running Start program. This financial arrangement between the high school and RVC does not extend to textbooks. The cost of textbooks is the responsibility of the students and their families.

How to get started

  • Meet with your high school counselor to discuss your eligibility.
  • Take the RVC ACCUPLACER Placement test (photot ID required) OR submit ACT scores (these scores may waive a student from having to take the ACCUPLACER test). Check with your high school to see about group testing.
  • The Testing deadline for the Running Start Program 2018-19 is December 6, 2018.