While tuition for college-level courses (up to 18 credits) is covered by your school district, Running Start isn’t free. You should expect, when entering the Running Start program, the following costs –
- Testing fee – $15.00. Please see the Testing Center website for fee information.
- Admissions fee – $25.00 effective August 1, 2010
- Comprehensive student fee: parking, transcripts, and graduation expenses: $1.50 per credit ($15 maximum)
- Technology fee: to advance the use of technology by students: $3.50 per credit ($35 maximum)
- Fort Steilacoom Recreation Center Fee: building costs of a multi-purpose student recreation center for students at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom: $3.50 per credit ($35 maximum)
- Puyallup Fitness and Recreational Fee: the costs of a fitness and recreational center for students at Pierce College Puyallup: $4.25 per credit (No maximum)
- Textbooks – All students are expected to pay for their own textbooks. Textbooks can be very expensive, ranging from $50 – $200 per class. Please plan ahead so you can cover these expenses.
- Course fees – Certain courses have fees attached to them. For instance, all full-online courses have a $40 fee per course. Science or art courses may have a materials or lab fee. You will see this fee when you look at the course in the bulletin.
- Transportation – Students are responsible for their own transportation. Both campuses are served by Pierce Transit. Parking is available on campus for students who prefer to drive themselves.
- Food – Students must pay for their own food. Because students will be creating their own schedules, if they want a break to eat, they will need to plan their schedule accordingly. Both campuses have a cafeteria and the Fort Steilacoom campus has a coffee stand where students can purchase snacks.
Please note that many of the fees are based on the number of credits you are taking and are quarterly fees, meaning you will have to pay them each quarter.
Student and course fees will need to be paid at the time of registration. Students will be withdrawn from their classes if they do not pay their fees.
Pierce College does offer a fee waiver and a book assistance program to qualifying students. For more information about this, please view the Running Start Student Fee Waiver and Book Loan Application. Please review the document carefully and note that the fee waiver does not apply to all fees.
Fees are subject to change at any time.
See an example of fees and textbook costs for a possible schedule below.
This student is taking courses at the Fort Steilacoom campus. Students taking 10 credits or above at the Fort Steilacoom campus all pay a mandatory $85 fee each quarter unless they have a fee waiver. (Fees above 10 credits at the Puyallup campus are slightly higher.) Two of the courses this student is taking also have a class fee, bringing the total fees to $111.50. Please keep in mind that even if you qualify for a fee waiver, it only applies to the mandatory fee, not class fees.
Notice that there are two prices listed for each book – a used price and a new price. If you purchase used books, you’ll save a lot of money.
The fees and textbook expenses would be $454.16 with new books and $368.52 with used books.
The above is an example of how much fees and books can cost each quarter. Your own fees and books costs will depend on what classes you take.