How Much of A “Running Start” Do Dual Enrollment Programs Provide Students?

We study a popular dual enrollment program in Washington State, “Running Start” using a new administrative database that links high school and postsecondary data. Conditional on prior high school performance, we find that students participating in Running Start are more likely to attend any college but less likely to attend four-year colleges in the year after high school graduation. Additionally, we find evidence that data limitations common to previous studies of dual enrollment have substantial impacts on the estimates of dual enrollment on college outcomes.