May 18, 2024  
2023-24 Catalog 
    
2023-24 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Getting Started



Admission and Enrollment

College Services Building, Room 106
Email: admissions@btc.edu Phone: 360.752.8345

Prospective students must apply for admission to the college before they register for courses in a degree/certificate program. Students may only declare one program/major and can register for full-time or part-time, based on personal preference, availability of space, and/or specific program offerings. Many core courses within a program will be offered at various times throughout the program, as scheduled by the instructor. General education course offerings vary; some may be offered in online and hybrid format. In some programs, specific courses required for a degree or certificate may only be offered in certain quarters. Students should consult their College Navigator or BTC faculty advisor to assist in determining the best schedule option to meet their needs.

Full-time program students typically enroll in 15-21 credits per quarter: 15 credits if taking primarily academic classes and a higher credit load if taking core program classes. To qualify as full-time, students must enroll in at least 12 credits of program-related coursework. Part-time program students typically enroll in 6-11 credits. Not all programs allow for a part-time schedule. The maximum amount of credits a student may enroll in per quarter is 26. Enrollment in more than 26 credits requires written permission from your program faculty and approval from the program Dean.

Specific program information is defined in the Programs of Study  section of this catalog.

Multiple Program Enrollment

Students may officially declare only one degree or certificate program. Specific program information and requirements are defined in the Programs of Study  section of this catalog.

Although students may take classes for and pursue multiple programs simultaneously, quarterly financial aid awarding is restricted to the declared program on a student’s record. See the Financial Aid Handbook for more information.

Student veterans should work with the School Certifying Official and their College Navigator before enrolling in courses for multiple programs as their eligibility for education benefits through the Department of Veteran Affairs may be impacted.

Assessment Center

Placement Testing

Haskell Center, Room 116
Email: assessment@btc.edu Phone: 360.752.8335

The Assessment Center provides testing and proctoring a variety of educational, industrial, and career-related testing. For an overview of available testing opportunities, please see the Assessment Center page of the BTC website at www.btc.edu/Assessment. BTC’s Assessment Center is a member of the National College Testing Association and follows its professional testing standards. BTC is committed to ensuring equal access for participation in any college program, activity, or event.

Please be aware that we monitor the testing center via recorded video cameras. Cheating and misconduct are not tolerated. Testing candidates are expected to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity at all times, during all phases of the testing process, and agree to abide by the terms and conditions of testing set forth by the Assessment Center.

Testing in the Assessment Center is by appointment only. Email the Assessment Center with the exam you would like to schedule as well as days and times you are available to test. Please contact the Assessment Center through email or by phone to ask about different exam modalities.

GED Testing

Haskell Center, Room 116
Email: assessment@btc.edu Phone: 360.752.8335

GED testing is offered through the BTC Assessment Center. Visit GED.com for information about the computerized GED test, registering and scheduling your GED test, transcript information and more. Contact the Assessment Center for additional information. Students must present a government-issued picture ID at the time of testing.

Testing candidates under the age of 19 need to complete a Request for Approval to Test, available at their last school of attendance, with a signature from their former school administration. Students must access the GED website to request testing accommodations.

Enrollment Services

Program Admission Procedure

New students may be admitted into degree/certificate programs at the beginning of each quarter. Some programs have established entry dates or multiple start dates throughout the year. Contact Admissions at 360.752.8345 to schedule an appointment with a College Navigator for more information or to explore career options.

  1. Complete an online application for BTC programs through the Online Admissions Application Portal at: www.btc.edu/apply. Applications for college admission are accepted at any time. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Learn more at www.btc.edu/FinancialAid. Students may complete their Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) at wsac.wa.gov/WASFA if they are not eligible to complete the FAFSA due to immigration status, defaulted federal loans, or other issues with federal aid. Once BTC receives your FAFSA or WASFA other information may be requested from you to complete your file.
  2. Assess your starting point. BTC requires that persons seeking admission to a degree or certificate program of study demonstrate their ability to perform entry-level English (reading, writing) and math skills before enrolling in a technical training program. Exceptions to the published requisite scores for enrollment into specific courses may be determined by appropriate Deans or faculty. In extraordinary cases, exceptions to programs of study are made by the Dean(s) of the area of study or designee. Students may demonstrate their math and English skill levels by:
    1. Completing a placement assessment at BTC or another community/technical college in Washington State. Placement test scores are valid for three years. Persons returning or re-enrolling after three years with no other form of placement are required to retest to demonstrate current skill level regardless of previous score achievement.​ BTC will charge a placement test fee for testing through the BTC Assessment Center which includes one retest in each subject area that may be completed in a twelve-month period. Testers may not retest within five business days of the last attempt. The fee will be waived for all prospective students who are administered testing through Whatcom, Island, Skagit, and Snohomish County high schools, or a student who demonstrates financial need according to the Placement Fee Waiver. Once a student has started a class using a placement score, they may not retest in order to achieve a different placement.
    2. Students who place into Basic Education for Adults (BEdA) levels will be referred for additional testing in the Assessment Center or through Transitional Studies using a different assessment tool. Students who place into Basic Education for Adults (BEdA) or English Language Acquisition (ELA) classes must satisfactorily complete those courses at an appropriate level before enrolling in a technical program or college level course that has basic skill minimum requirements except when participating in an approved I-BEST pathway. Students who have not completed courses or placement tests in all subject areas (math, English) need to be tested or have placement scores in those areas for appropriate placement into courses.
    3. Providing an official college transcript indicating satisfactory completion with a 2.0 or better in English and/or math from an accredited college. 
    4. Provide Smarter Balance results in English and math with an appropriate score from no more than three years prior to the time of evaluation.
    5. Provide recent SAT or ACT results with an appropriate score of no more than three years prior to the time of evaluation.
    6. Providing a high school transcript documenting minimum grades in math and/or English classes of no more than three years prior to the time of transcript evaluation.
    7. Provide AP, IB, or CLEP test results with an appropriate score of no more than three years prior to the time of evaluation.
    8. Provide placement test results from another college with an appropriate score and of no more than three years prior to the time of evaluation.

Certain programs require higher placement in general education requirements in reading and mathematics.

  • Students interested in programs that require English Composition I (ENGL& 101 ), such as Associate Degree Nursing, must test into the course or complete preparatory coursework, such as Fundamentals of English (ENGL 092 ) and Reading Skills (RDG 085 ), or Oral and Written Communications (AENGL 100 ).
  • Students interested in programs that require Precalculus I (MATH& 141 ), such as Engineering, Instrumentation and Control Technology, or Electronics, must test into Precalculus I or complete Intermediate Algebra (MATH 099 ) at a minimum.
  1. GET Started at BTC. Meet with a Navigator as they help you navigate your Goals, create an Education Plan, and give you the tools to be Tech ready. An enrollment hold will be placed until the student meets with a College Navigator.
  2. Prepare to attend your classes. New students are encouraged to participate in optional Technology Camp.

Some programs have core program course requirements, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Criminal background check
  • Prerequisite course requirements
  • Evidence of high school completion or equivalent
  • Driving record (for advising purposes only) & valid driver’s license with no restrictions

Please view program description  for additional details.

Applicants seeking advanced placement admission should follow the procedures listed under Transferring & Earning Credits .

Admission and Enrollment Policy

  1. In accordance with WAC 131-12-010, any applicant for admission to Bellingham Technical College shall be admitted when, as determined by the President or their designee, such applicant:
    1. Is competent to profit from the curricular offerings of the College; and
    2. Would not, by their presence or conduct, create a disruptive atmosphere within the College inconsistent with the purposes of the institution; and
    3. Is eighteen years of age or older; or
      1. Is a high school graduate; or
      2. Has applied for admission under the provisions of a student enrollment options program such as Running Start or a successor program; or other local student enrollment options program.
  2. However, an applicant transferring from another institution of higher education who meets the above criteria, but who is not in good standing at the time of their transfer may be conditionally admitted to the College on a probationary status as determined by the president or their designee.

Any appeal of the Admissions and Enrollment Policy should be submitted under the general Student Grievance Procedure.

Local Enrollment Option

Bellingham Technical College will admit/enroll students to degree and certificate programs who:

  1. Is 16 years of age or older, and
  2. Meet the requirements of Section 1 and Section 2 of the Admissions and Enrollment Policy, and
  3. Are not currently enrolled in high school, or
  4. Are currently enrolled in high school, has written approval from their sending high school to enroll, and agrees to pay all regular tuition and fees.

Underage Admission or Enrollment Appeal

The College does not desire to replace or duplicate the functions of local public and private schools. Persons who do not meet the regular admission and enrollment standards and who are under sixteen (16) years of age may appeal for special admission to degree/certificate programs or continuing education courses. Requests for consideration of an underage admission or permission to register in a course must be submitted to the Vice President of Student Services in writing at least one week prior to the start of a quarter or start date of a continuing education class. The written request by the student must include evidence that the person:

  1. Is competent at an appropriate academic level and/or technical skill level.
  2. Demonstrates the ability to participate in an adult learning environment.

(Also see Local Enrollment Option listed above.)

Selective Admissions

Admissions entitles a student to enroll in college classes within a program. However, some instructional programs have selective application procedures and requirements that students must meet in order to progress through the program. In these cases, the College may not allow a student to progress through a program after general admission to the college is approved.

IMPACT! Open Doors Youth Reengagement

The IMPACT! Program provides an opportunity for a free college education for older youth (ages 16 to 21 years old) who have either left high school without earning a diploma or are not expected to graduate by the age of 21.

Flexible scheduling in the IMPACT! Program creates space for IMPACT! students to work closely with program staff to develop realistic education, career, and life goals. Once students are accepted into the program, they will work on earning their high school equivalency certificate (GED). Once their GED is complete, students may continue with college classes at BTC. Students who earn an associate’s degree receive a Washington State High School Diploma posted to their college transcript.

IMPACT! students are eligible to have most expenses for testing, books, tuition, and fees covered while in the IMPACT! Program.

The IMPACT! Program is part of the Open Doors Youth Reengagement system in the state of Washington to partner with local school districts to provide a dual-enrollment educational opportunity. This means all IMPACT! students are dually enrolled in the IMPACT! Program and a local high school. We work with both students and high schools to ensure this steps is completed. 

To learn more about the IMPACT! Program, or to obtain a current list of upcoming informational sessions, email impact@btc.edu or visit www.btc.edu/impact

Dual Credit (Earn college credit while still in high school)

BTC offers two pathways to students who want to earn college credit while in high school, giving students a great way to jump-start their college degree and save money. Students can check out our options, Running Start and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Dual Credit, through the BTC website at www.btc.edu. For more information, contact the Admissions office at admissions@btc.edu or at 360.752.8345. BTC also accepts Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) credit.

Advanced Placement (AP) 

Students who have completed college-level Advanced Placement courses in high school and have taken the Advanced Placement (AP) exams administered by the College Board may receive college credit in selected courses at BTC. AP scores may also be used to waive portions of the Accuplacer exam. To request credit based on AP scores, students must submit official AP test scores from the College Board to BTC’s Admissions Office. Credit will be awarded according to the Advanced Placement Credit Chart which outlines the minimum required scores and corresponding courses. See the college website for additional information at www.btc.edu.

International Baccalaureate (IB) 

Students who have completed IB courses in high school may receive college credit for selected courses at BTC. IB scores may also be used to waive portions of the Accuplacer exam. 

To request credit based on IB scores, students must submit official scores from IB to the BTC Admissions Office. See the college website for additional information at www.btc.edu.

Career and Technical Education (CTE) Dual Credit

CTE Dual Credit is a dual credit program offering high school students the opportunity to earn college credit for articulated high school courses. Working together, high school and college instructors have identified certain high school career and technical education courses that meet the course requirements of comparable college courses. These courses are identified as CTE Dual Credit approved. Students enrolled in these courses may be eligible to receive BTC college credit through the schools’ articulation agreements with BTC. 

Students who complete approved high school CTE Dual Credit courses with a grade of B or better and complete all required course competencies will be eligible for BTC college credit. However, the student will not automatically receive credit; they must complete online registration for the course in the Statewide Enrollment and Reporting System (SERS) and print, complete, and submit the registration form to the Whatcom County CTE Dual Credit Consortium. Registration instructions are available in the career and counseling centers at each area high school. All high school CTE Dual Credit courses articulated for college credit at BTC will be transcribed with the grade earned in the student’s high school course. Courses are only transcribed within the academic year the student completes the coursework. Backdating is not allowed.

Award of articulated credits through BTC does not guarantee or imply acceptance of such credits by other higher education institutions. To inquire about course acceptance/transferability, please contact the destination institution. For a list of eligible courses by high school and additional information, visit Whatcom County’s CTE Dual Credit website at www.btc.edu/ctedualcredit.

Running Start

The Running Start program provides tuition-free college-level courses for high school students (up to 15 credits per quarter, other costs apply).

To participate in Running Start, high school students must be of of eleventh or twelfth grade standing, as determined by the public high school or private-school district. (This includes students attending a private school or receiving home-based instruction.) Specific procedures regarding enrolling in courses under the Running Start program are available on the BTC Running Start website at www.btc.edu/RunningStart or from the BTC Admissions Office.

Transitional Studies

A Building
Email: ts@btc.edu Phone: 360.752.8494

Transitional Studies provides opportunities, resources, and practice in basic academic skills to foster student personal growth and independence to ultimately become life-long learners and active workforce members of the community.

Find out more about Transitional Studies programs online at www.btc.edu/TransitionalStudies.
The Transitional Studies program offers:

  • College Readiness, including reading, writing, and math
  • High school equivalency (GED) 
  • High school completion (WA State diploma)
  • English Language Acquisition (ELA) for immigrants and Limited English Proficient (LEP) DSHS clients 
  • Career pathway planning
  • Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST)

Adults seeking Transitional Studies classes should contact the Transitional Studies office for information. Transitional Studies hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Transitional Studies program is open to adults who meet the following requirements:

  • Need basic education skills (reading, writing, math, English language)
  • Lack a high school diploma or equivalency (GED)
  • Commit to regular attendance
  • Have ability to participate positively in an adult learning environment
  • 16 years or older and not enrolled in a K-12 school

Sixteen- to eighteen-year-olds must submit a Request for Approval to Test Form signed by a high school representative.

Veteran Services

Bellingham Technical College is honored to have veterans as part of our community and is committed to ensuring that all veterans, active-duty personnel, reservists, and their families have access to the educational benefits and resources entitled to them. BTC offers selected degree and certificate programs approved by the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board’s State Approving Agency (WTECB/SAA) for enrollment of those eligible to receive benefits under Title 38 and Title 10, USC. Veterans, Service Members, Reservists, and eligible dependents are encouraged to contact BTC’s School Certifying Official (veterans@btc.edu, 360.752.8387) for information on accessing education benefits, eligibility information, information about funding opportunities, and required paperwork. 

Students using federal education benefits are required to declare an approved degree or certificate program and authorized to enroll in only the courses necessary to satisfy declared degree or certificate requirements. All prior credits earned from military service and prior institutions must be evaluated and applied to the declared program or certificate. Transcript review is required by the Department of Veteran Affairs and is not an optional step. BTC College Navigators will provide students using federal education benefits with a degree plan or program of study that will outline the requirements to graduate and a timeline for expected completion of requirements. BTC’s School Certifying Official can provide military connected students with referrals to career and academic advising, academic counseling, financial aid and financial information, and accessibility resources.

It is the responsibility of the student to enroll in courses that satisfy declared degree or certificate requirements and stay in contact with the School Certifying Official to ensure continuation of benefits on a quarterly basis. This includes changes to the student’s enrollment status, such as adding or dropping classes, change of declared program, changes to tuition and fees, changes to residency or in-state tuition, and contact information. Veteran benefit recipients are required to maintain satisfactory academic progress according to the College’s policies. Federal education benefits are required to request the use of VA education and Department of Defense education benefits each quarter and must approve of their course enrollment before certification to the VA. BTC’s School Certifying Official is not authorized to enroll students in classes or certify a student for VA education benefits without their consent and quarterly request for use of federal education benefits. Failure to comply with Veterans Administration and Department of Defense regulations and College policies may result in termination or delay of benefits. This may also result in student responsibility for repayment of funds to BTC and/or the Veterans Administration.

BTC and the School Certifying Official will inform students using federal education benefits about the availability of federal student aid, not administered by the VA, before packaging or arranging student loans or alternative funding.

In accordance with Title 38 US Code 3679 subsection (e), this school adopts the following additional provisions for any students using U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) Post 9/11 G.I. Bill® (Ch. 33), Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (Ch. 31) benefits, or Survivor’s and Dependents Educational Assistance (DEA)(Ch. 35) benefits, while payment to the institution is pending from the VA. 

This school will not:

  • Prevent the student’s enrollment;
  • Assess a late penalty fee to;
  • Require student secure alternative or additional funding;
  • Deny their access to any resources (access to classes, libraries, or other institutional facilities) available to other students who have satisfied their tuition and fee bills to the institution.

However, to qualify for this provision, such students may be required to:

  • Produce the Certificate of Eligibility by the first day of class;
  • Provide written request to be certified;
  • Provide additional information needed to properly certify the enrollment as described in other institutional policies 

*GI Bill ® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about educational benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

International Students

Students wishing to enter the College as international students using an F1 or M1 visa must follow separate, additional admission procedures as outlined by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS).

Bellingham Technical College (BTC) issues the M-1 and F-1 Certificates of Eligibility for technical professional program and Direct Transfer Degree students. Based on program and length of study, the Principal Designated School Official (PDSO) will determine which VISA is most appropriate for international applicants.

The M-1 Certificate of Eligibility is issued for a period of 12 months. If enrolled in a program longer than 1 year, an Extension of Stay I-538 or application for M-1 VISA is required. M-1 students must be enrolled full-time every quarter (including summer quarter), may not change their program of study, and may not hold employment while in attendance at BTC.

In comparison, F-1 Certificate of Eligibility is not limited to the 12-month period but is issued for the length of the program. F-1 students may change their program of study and may hold employment on campus.

Before international students can be admitted into Bellingham Technical College or issued a Certificate of Eligibility Form I-20 for Student Visa, the following admissions requirements and steps must be completed:

General International Student Requirements:

  • Age Restriction: Applicants must be 16 years of age before enrollment.
  • Admissions Application: Applicants may complete and submit an application online through the Online Admissions Application Portal.
  • Placement Assessment: Applicants must demonstrate competency in English before an I-20 can be issued. English and math assessment is required before an application can be accepted for program entry. Students in the United States may take the BTC assessment test to accomplish math, sentence structure, and reading placement. BTC also accepts equivalent college placement scores, the TOEFL (contact Admissions for specifics), IELTS, or certain college coursework for assessment waiver. To inquire more about assessment requirements, please email Admissions at admissions@btc.edu or call 360.752.8345.
  • Other Requirements: The following programs have additional prerequisites or admissions requirements: Automotive Technology, Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Diesel Technology, Nursing, Process Technology, Radiologic Technology, Surgery Technology, and Veterinary Technician. Applicants to these programs should contact the Admissions Office at admissions@btc.edu or 360.752.8345 regarding requirements before submitting an application.

When the admissions process is complete and space is available, applicants are accepted into their program of study. Program start times vary depending on the program and space availability. Some programs have prerequisites, which may impact the VISA application time frame. Once confirmation of start date has been received, international program students must make an appointment with a Designated School Official in the Admissions Office to be issued an I-20 to begin the VISA application process. The following items are required for issuance of an I-20:

I-20 Issuance Requirements:

  • Confirmation of acceptance and start date: Applicants must receive confirmation that they have been admitted into a BTC program of study and given confirmation of when they will be allowed to begin their full-time program of study.
  • Financial Responsibility: Applicants must provide evidence of ability to finance educational and living costs while in attendance. Students independently supporting themselves must submit the International Student Verification of Funds form with the appropriate signatures. If the applicant is being supported by family funds or other patron, the party who provides the support should sign the Sponsor’s Statement of Support form. Bank verification showing the availability of funds meeting or exceeding annual program costs is also required.
  • Student Agreement: Applicants are required to read and sign and adhere to the International Student Agreement.

An official transcript must accompany any request for acceptance of transfer credit, prerequisite credit, or test waiver from the college or university attended. If the college or university is located outside the United States, the class and credits must be evaluated to the US grading/credit system by an independent credit evaluation agency. Several of these services are listed below.

Independent Credit Evaluation Services:

World Education Services www.wes.org

Foundation for International Services www.fis-web.com

International Education Research Foundation www.ierf.org

Class Registration

Students may select and enroll for a variety of courses intended for employment training, retraining, or upgrading, as well as for personal enrichment, and business and professional development. Degree and Certificate class information is published online under ctcLink Class Search. Continuing Education courses do not require an admission application in order to register and are published under Class Search.

Registration & Enrollment

  • A student is considered officially enrolled in a course or program after registering and paying all tuition and fees by published due dates.
  • Each student has the responsibility of registering for classes each quarter. For details about how to register, go to www.btc.edu/register. Each student is responsible to review the accuracy of the Student Schedule, and to make sure tuition and fees are paid in full by funding, payment, and/or set-up payment plan by the due date specified on the calendar, located at www.btc.edu/calendar.
  • Registering with instructor permission requires staff assistance. Use an Override Request Form or email the class instructor with enough details that Registration staff can add you to the class if your instructor forwards your email with instructor permission granted.
  • The maximum amount of credits a student may enroll in per quarter is 26. Enrollment in more than 26 credits requires a written recommendation from your program faculty and approval from the program Dean.
  • Students may be dropped for nonpayment from classes if the student’s tuition and fees are not paid in full when due.
  • Attend the first class! Students may be dropped from classes if the student fails to attend and there is no class participation in a course activity by the second day of class. Non-attendance and no course participation by the second class is considered a No Show.

Enrollment Dates and Times

  • Enrollment dates are posted on the calendar, located at www.btc.edu/calendar.
  • The Open Enrollment date is published on the calendar. Students who have completed the Admissions process may enroll beginning on this date.
  • Early enrollment is reserved for student veterans, currently enrolled Accessibility Resource students, and continuing degree or certificate students. Your assigned Enrollment Appointment can be viewed in ctcLink Student Center after the date posted on the calendar to “Check your Enrollment Appointment in myBTC”.
  • Refund dates and drop/withdraw dates are posted for full-quarter-length state-support classes. If your class is shorter, the dates are calculated on a pro-rated basis.
  • The last day to withdraw or change your schedule for quarter-length classes is published on the 2023-2024 Academic Calendar. Classes that are shorter than a standard quarter may have alternative dates. Contact Enrollment Services regarding specific classes if you have questions.
  • Check important Registration dates and deadlines on the BTC Calendar at www.btc.edu

Class Waitlists

Class waitlists are available for open enrollment classes. One-day classes do not have a class waitlist. There is no waitlist on a class reserved for a continuing cohort of students.

Students are responsible for choosing to be placed on a class waitlist and removing a class waitlist if they no longer wish to take the class. Students can view and manage class waitlists in myBTC. Students are automatically registered into class through the first night of the quarter. Instructor permission is required beyond the first day of class. Refunds will not be granted if a student registered into a class from a class waitlist and did not drop the class.

Changing Classes

Students add and drop classes via myBTC. Written requests are accepted on a signed Add/Drop Form, Override Request Form, or by a specific and detailed email from the student’s BTC email account. Non-attendance of a class for which a student is officially enrolled in does not constitute an official drop or withdrawal.

Students receiving financial aid should consult with Student Financial Resources before requesting to drop a class, as doing so may impact the financial aid award.

Students may change their schedule prior to the quarter start, as class space allows. Once the quarter begins, students will have the first five (5) instructional days of the quarter to change their schedule. Adding a class will depend on class space availability. Instructor permission is required to add a program class after the fifth day through the tenth day of the quarter. Academic/General Education classes require permission to add a class after the second (2nd) day of the quarter. A few programs require permission if the class has started. If there is a class waitlist, priority will be given to students based on their class waitlist position. If space is available and students have met all prerequisite requirements of the course, they may enroll. If the class is full, students may enroll in the class by obtaining written permission from the instructor. Classes cannot be added after the 10th day of the quarter without express permission from the instructor, Dean and Registrar.

Dropping Classes

Students may remove a class from their schedule via myBTC. Written requests are also accepted on a signed add/drop form, or by a specific and detailed email from the student’s BTC email account.

A class is dropped if the student removes the class by the census date of the class, which is the 10th day (excludes weekends and legal holidays) of the quarter or 20% of the class as calculated by the computer. A dropped class is removed from the student’s class schedule and transcript.

Withdrawal Procedure

  1. We strongly recommend that you meet with your College Navigator to discuss plans for withdrawal and potential plans for return.
  2. Removing a class after the class census date (the 10th day of the quarter or 20% of the class) results in a withdrawal. The class will appear on your student schedule and transcript with a W grade. This will not calculate into your GPA, but it may count as a class attempted for financial aid according to the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.
  3. Students receiving financial aid should contact Student Financial Resources to give notification of intent to withdraw and to determine the impact on their financial aid status of withdrawing.
  4. To officially withdraw from a course, students must withdraw online or submit an Add/Drop form to Registration by the quarterly withdrawal deadline. Refer to the online calendar for specific dates each quarter. Students who do not officially withdraw from the college, or never attended, will forfeit any refund to which they may be entitled and may be issued a failing grade by their instructor. For short classes, BTC calculates withdrawal deadlines based on start date, end date, and 75% of instructional days.
  5. Submitting a petition for Hardship Withdrawal allows students who cannot complete a quarter to be withdrawn from all classes by the last day of their enrolled quarter. Examples include 1) unanticipated medical emergencies (not short-term or chronic illnesses), 2) a call to active military duty, 3) a family crisis or emergency. Third-party documentation is required, and tuition and fee refunds apply only to medical reasons and military call up. No petitions for Hardship Withdrawals will be accepted after the last day of the quarter.
  6. BTC reserves the right to administratively withdraw students with notification under the following conditions:
  • Student meets the criteria of a No Show
  • Student has not paid tuition and fees in full by the payment deadline or financial aid funding has been terminated
  • Student has not successfully fulfilled the prerequisites for a class or program
  • Student has exceeded the three-time class repeat limit
  • Student is academically suspended, enrolled for the next quarter, and does not have an academic improvement plan by the 5th day of the quarter
  • Student violates the Student Code of Conduct

Cost of Attendance

When estimating the cost of attending Bellingham Technical College, consider:

  1. Tuition rates
  2. Program & class fees
  3. Books, supplies, uniforms, tools, and any additional items needed for your specific program
  4. Living expenses

Cost information is available online at www.btc.edu/tuition.

Tuition and Fees

All tuition and fees must be paid in full by the due date for the enrollment period. The College evaluates and adjusts the tuition and fees annually to conform to state legislative regulations and program/course costs. Adjustments in tuition and fees become effective at the time they are implemented. Because changes may be made during the academic year, an up-to-date listing of tuition and fees for any program is available on the BTC website. All applicants should go to www.btc.edu/tuition to obtain a current tuition and fee schedule at the time of application and before payment is due. Tuition and fee charges will vary depending on credit load and program fees.

Tuition

Tuition is based on residency. See www.btc.edu/residency. Tuition rates are published online at www.btc.edu/tuition

Program and Course Fees

Program and course fees are in addition to tuition and address distinct costs such as lab fees and assistants, supplies, materials, equipment, rentals, software licensing/replacement/upgrade, maintenance, and other operational costs.

Other Fees

  • Check www.btc.edu/tuition for up-to-date fee information for:
  • Official Transcript (order online)
  • Replacement Degree/Certificate diploma (per copy)
  • Replacement First Aid or CPR Card
  • Replacement Student Body Card
  • Background check for Health programs

Refund Policy for Tuition and Fees

State-Funded Credit Class Refund Policy

(Supported with State funds)

  • 100% refund if a student withdraws from a class through the 5th instructional day of the quarter.
  • 50% refund if a student withdraws after the 5th instructional day through the 20th calendar day of the quarter.

Classes with start and end dates other than the start and end of the quarter:

  • Refunds for state-supported classes that start before or after the regular quarter begins will be processed in proportion to the tuition and fee refund percentages above. Refund deadlines may differ for classes with different start dates and classes that start mid-quarter.
  • Refunds for state-supported classes that are shorter than the full quarter and begin any time during the quarter will be processed in proportion to the tuition and fee refund percentages above.
  • State-supported classes that meet only once must be dropped prior to the class meeting time to be refund eligible.
  • Instructional days are defined as days the college is in session, not including weekends or scheduled holidays.
  • Calendar days are defined as all days the college is in session, including weekends and scheduled holidays.

Self-Support Class Refund Policy

(Supported by student fees)

  • 100% refund if drop is submitted by midnight two calendar days prior to the start date of the class.
  • There are NO refunds after midnight two calendar days prior to start date of the class. A signed Add/Drop form is required to drop/withdraw after midnight two calendar days prior to the start date.

Canceled Class Refunds

  • A 100% refund will be made when Bellingham Technical College cancels a class.

Refund Information

  • The refund will be calculated based on the date the drop or withdrawal takes place online, or the date the Add/Drop form is submitted to Registration rather than the last day of attendance. No refund of tuition and fees will be made beyond the current quarter.
  • Students who fail to attend or stop attending a course or program without notice, and do not officially withdraw will forfeit all claims to the refund of tuition and fees, and may receive a failing grade of F.
  • Refunds for financial aid awards may be adjusted based on the type of aid received. Contact the Student Financial Resources Office at 360.752.8351 for more information.
  • Petitions for exceptions to the refund policy must be submitted in writing to the Executive Director of Enrollment Services for determination. Required documentation for consideration includes an Add/Drop form, and a Hardship Withdrawal Form with third-party supporting documentation. Circumstances warranting a refund exception are medical reasons or being called into military service of the United States. All petitions, forms and documentation must be submitted by the last day of the enrolled quarter.
  • If you are eligible for a refund, refunds are determined by your original payment method:
    • Paid online by credit card – 7 to10 business days – credit back to original card
    • Paid by credit card in person or over phone – 10 to 15 business days – credit back to original card
    • Paid by check or cash – 20 business days – refund by check
    • Paid by Nelnet – 20 business days – refund by check ($30 Nelnet Fee is non-refundable)
    • Any outstanding balance owed will be deducted from refunds.
  • Refund amounts are based on prior full payment of tuition and fees. If you have not paid in full, you may still owe a balance if you drop or withdraw from your class during a partial or zero refund period.

Enrollment Holds

An enrollment hold may be placed on a student’s record that will prevent the student from registering until action has been taken to resolve the issue. There are various reasons for holds that may include, but are not limited to:

  • Unpaid tuition and fees
  • Missing Admission documentation
  • Advising required
  • Academic probation or suspension
  • Student Code of Conduct
  • Overdue loaned books and equipment from programs
  • Library fines
  • Parking Tickets
  • Administrative Holds

Washington State Residency

Students will be initially classified as a resident or non-resident based on the information provided on the Admissions Application. Bellingham Technical College complies with applicable state laws regarding residency classification. Washington residency law is codified in RCW 28B.15 and further explained in WAC 250.18.

In general, a student is considered a resident for tuition and fee purposes under the following conditions:

  1. The student is a US citizen, or has permanent or temporary resident status, or holds Refugee-Parolee or Conditional Entrant status with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, or is otherwise permanently residing in the United States under color of law; and
  2. The student is financially independent for the current calendar year and the calendar year prior to which application is made (if the student is not financially independent, then their residency is based on whether one or both parents have met all residency requirements); and
  3. The student (or, if financially dependent, at least one of the student’s parents) is in Washington primarily for reasons other than educational and has officially established Washington as their true, fixed and permanent home and place of habitation for a period of at least one year prior to the start of the quarter of enrollment.

For information about how to request reclassification, BTC accepted waivers, and residency forms, including the Washington Higher Education Residency Affidavit (SB 5194) see www.btc.edu/residency.

Students taking only classes in Transitional Studies, Child & Family Studies, First Aid, or self-support classes are not subject to residency requirements. If you move from these classes into state-funded academic and/or vocational classes, residency requirements will be applicable.

BTC Tuition Waiver

Bellingham Technical College offers a partial Tuition waiver for U.S. Citizens and students holding Permanent Resident status who are residents of the 50 States and U.S. Territories other than Washington State. This waiver is applied as part of our Admissions process, and provides a waiver of a percentage of tuition costs for students who will pay out-of-state tuition rates. Washington State residents are not eligible for this waiver.

Tax Credit Information

Several education tax benefits are available to lessen the burdens of higher education. Tax credits such as the American Opportunity Tax Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit may be claimed for qualified tuition and educational expenses. After the end of each tax year, students will be mailed a 1098T form reflecting qualified payments to BTC from the Washington State Board of Community and Technical Colleges. This form, which is also viewable online using your student login information, can be used to complete the appropriate tax credit claim forms. Contact your tax advisor or the IRS for assistance with these credits or other tax questions.

Paying for College

Student Financial Resources
College Services Building, Room 101
Email: finaid@btc.edu Phone: 360.752.8351

BTC Federal School Code: 016227

The Student Financial Resources office provides access, aid, and advisory services for the BTC community to facilitate student enrollment, retention, and completion at Bellingham Technical College. Financial aid can assist with educational expenses which include tuition and fees, books, supplies and tools, housing and food, transportation, and personal expenses. To learn more about how to receive funding to complete a program of study, visit our website at www.btc.edu, read the Student Financial Aid Handbook on the Student Financial Aid page of the BTC website or contact our office. Print copies of the Student Financial Aid Handbook are available upon request in the Student Financial Resources office.

How to Apply for Financial Aid

Financial Aid Application Procedure

Complete and submit either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) online. The application collects financial data and other information used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is used to determine a student’s eligibility from various financial aid programs. Students may complete their FAFSA online at https://studentaid.gov. To use this site, you must create an FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov. Students may complete their WASFA at wsac.wa.gov/WASFA if they are not eligible to complete the FAFSA due to immigration status, defaulted federal loans, or other limitations for eligibility for federal aid. Once BTC receives your FAFSA or WASFA, other information may be requested from you in order to verify the information provided on your application and to determine your eligibility. Student Financial Resources staff will contact you via the email address on your application to notify you of any outstanding requirements that must be satisfied before an offer of financial aid can be made. Most of the necessary forms may be downloaded from myBTC, or from the financial aid forms section of the BTC Financial Aid website at www.btc.edu/financialaidforms.

Students must reapply for financial aid each academic year by submitting a new FAFSA or WASFA. Applications for the upcoming school year generally open on October 1. Each financial aid year begins with Summer Quarter and ends with Spring Quarter. Since some funding is first-come, first-served, you should apply as soon as possible.

Eligibility Requirements

In general, students are eligible for federal financial aid if they:

  1. Attend a financial aid-eligible program for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate at the college. Only classes required for a student’s aid-eligible program are included in the enrollment level for awarding purposes.
  2. Are a U.S. citizen, permanent resident of the United States, or an eligible non-citizen.
  3. Submit all required information and documentation.
  4. Maintain satisfactory academic progress in their program of study as defined by the financial aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy.
  5. Are not in default on any previous student loans or do not owe a repayment on any grants received from BTC or another institution. Some federal student loan borrowers in default may regain eligibility under the Fresh Start Initiative.
  6. Enroll in a minimum number of credits required for various financial aid programs.
  7. Are a high school graduate, have a GED, or have completed homeschooling as defined by state law or gained eligibility under Ability to Benefit.

Students who have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree (including degrees earned in a foreign country) are limited to receiving scholarships, institutional grants, student loans and work-study assistance. Students will be notified of their financial aid offer by email.

Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements

The Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for financial aid purposes intends to ensure students’ progress toward completion of their degree or certificate program. To maintain eligibility for all aid programs, students must meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) measures and fulfill reinstatement steps when required each quarter. All quarters of a student’s enrollment in an aid-eligible program are considered, including quarters in which a student did not receive financial aid. Attempted credits include repeated, failed, incomplete, and credits withdrawn from after census. Students who do not meet the SAP measures are notified by email. Students who experience extenuating circumstances may regain eligibility by completing an appeal or by fulfilling the requirements listed below. To learn more please see the Student Financial Aid Handbook on the Student Financial Aid page of the BTC website.

The SAP process for financial aid purposes may differ from College Academic Standards and Progress processes. See Academic Standards and Progress in Chapter 4: Policies, Requirements, and Records for more information.

Satisfactory Academic Progress Measures

  1. Grade Point Average. Students must maintain a 2.0 cumulative grade point average (GPA).
  2. Credit Completion. Students must complete the required number of credits based on their enrollment level as of the quarterly census date and complete a minimum of 66.67% of all attempted credits.
  3. Maximum Time Frame. Eligibility is limited to 150% of the number of credits required for completion of a student’s current program(s).

Satisfactory Academic Progress Statuses

At the end of each quarter, SAP measures are reviewed and students are placed on Good, Warning, or Suspended status for the following quarter. Students in Good, Warning, or Probation status may receive financial aid. Students in Suspended status are ineligible for financial aid. While in Suspended status, students may appeal to regain eligibility. After successfully appealing, students are placed on Probation for one quarter.

Federal Financial Aid Refund Policy

Students who receive federal financial aid are subject to the federal Return of Title IV Funds regulations. Under these regulations, eligibility for students receiving federal aid must be recalculated when a student withdraws from classes early or ceases to attend during the quarter. Students who do not complete 60% of the quarter may owe a repayment of federal aid. Financial aid funds are governed by state and federal regulations, and any amounts owed are separate from and may be in addition to balances according to BTC’s tuition refund policy. For a copy of the Return of Title IV Funds refund policy, please see the Student Financial Aid Handbook.

Types of Financial Aid

This is a brief summary of some of the financial aid available at BTC. For a more detailed account of awards and requirements, please see the Student Financial Aid Handbook on our website.

FEDERAL PELL GRANT
The Federal Pell Grant is free monetary assistance for educational expenses. Pell Grant is a need-based grant awarded to eligible FAFSA-filers. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher are not eligible. Award amounts are based on the Expected Family Contribution, Cost of Attendance, and enrollment level. Pell Grant does not have to be repaid, except under limited circumstances such as a withdrawal from courses.

FEDERAL SUPPLEMENTAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY GRANT (SEOG)
The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is awarded to students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. Funds are limited and generally only awarded to students who apply early.

WASHINGTON COLLEGE GRANT (WCG)
The Washington College Grant is available for Washington residents only. WCG is a need-based grant awarded to students from low- and middle-income families. Students may apply by completing a FAFSA or WASFA. Award amounts are based on the Median Family Income and enrollment level.

COLLEGE BOUND SCHOLARSHIP (CBS)
The College Bound Scholarship is an early commitment of state financial aid to eligible students who enroll in middle school and meet the pledge requirements. CBS is a need-based grant awarded to eligible FAFSA or WASFA filers. Award amounts are based on the Median Family Income and enrollment level.

SCHOLARSHIPS
Scholarships, like grants, offer free monetary assistance for educational needs. Scholarships are offered by the BTC Foundation, organizations associated with the college, and by outside agencies. Scholarships may be need-based or merit-based. For a current list of resources, please visit our website or read the Student Financial Aid Handbook on our website.

STUDENT WORK STUDY
Federal and State Work Study is a need-based financial aid program offering part-time employment to students. Funds are provided directly to students in the form of a bi-monthly paycheck based on the number of hours worked. Work Study jobs are posted on the Student Financial Resources website. Interested students should contact Student Financial Resources to assess their eligibility. State Work Study is available only to Washington state residents. Students must be enrolled at least half-time (6-8 credits) and may work up to 19 hours a week. 

FEDERAL DIRECT STUDENT LOANS AND PARENT PLUS LOANS
The Federal Direct loan program provides funds to students or parents of dependent students that must be repaid. Loans through the Direct Loan program are guaranteed by the federal government and are offered by request from students. Federal student loans do not require a credit check whereas approval of Parent PLUS Loans do require that borrowers pass a credit check. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 program-eligible credits (half-time) to qualify. Repayment begins after a six month grace period. The grace period begins after the student leaves school or enrolls for fewer than six credits during the regular academic year. Students may borrow an annual maximum amount based on their class level. If approved, parents may borrow up to the students cost of attendance, minus any other aid.

VETERANS BENEFITS
Veterans and spouses or dependents of veterans who are eligible for education benefits must apply for admission to the College. Contact the College’s Veteran School Certifying Official as early as possible before enrolling. Most certificate and degree programs are eligible for veteran education benefits. Call 360.752.8345 for an appointment with a College Navigator to discuss enrollment in an eligible program. 

Selected programs of study at Bellingham Technical College are approved by the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board’s State Approving Agency (WTECB/SAA) for enrollment of those eligible to receive benefits under Title 38 and Title 10, USC.

BTC FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS FOR STUDENTS
Over the past five years, the BTC Foundation has awarded an average of $500,000 in scholarships each year to an average of 50% of the new and returning students who apply. The scholarship application is available online at the beginning of Spring Quarter with the application deadline typically on or around June 30. Learn more at www.btc.edu/scholarships.

PASSPORT TO CAREERS SCHOLARSHIP
Passport to Careers assists former foster youth and Unaccompanied Homeless Youth with funding and specialized support services from a designated college staff member. Passport serves former foster youth who: 1) spend at least one year in foster care in Washington state after their 13th birthday, 2) enroll at least half-time in an eligible college by their 22nd birthday, and 3) are working toward earning their first degree or certificate.

Passport serves Unaccompanied Homeless Youth who: 

  1. Are not in the physical custody of a parent or guardian;
  2. Lack fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; and
  3. Experience homelessness on or after July 1 of the prior academic year, or during the current academic year before age 21.

For more information call 360.752.8460 or visit www.btc.edu/financialaid.

EMERGENCY FUNDING
The Student Financial Resources Office offers funding to students who experience financial difficulties that impact their ability to continue their education. BTC aims to make access to emergency funding as low-barrier as possible and is designed to be inclusive of all students regardless of whether they meet the traditional definition of a “needy student.” However, funding may be limited based on calculated need. Funding is reserved for BTC students who experience unexpected expenses only. Students may submit an emergency funding application to detail their circumstances and request funds. The Emergency Funding Committee reviews requests no later than one week after requests are received.

Workforce Funding & Student Support

Workforce Funding provides financial assistance and support services to needy students pursuing professional or technical programs. Students may be eligible for funding beyond the types of financial aid offered through the FAFSA (see Financial Aid section).

Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET)
BFET provides funding and services that assist students with achieving their educational goals. Students may participate in the BFET program if they receive or are eligible to receive federal Basic Food Assistance (food stamps) and do not receive TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). BFET participants may receive funding for school expenses such as tuition, books, supplies, and tools. In addition, BFET participants receive services provided by dedicated staff in support of achieving their educational goals. BFET at BTC facilitates childcare subsidy eligibility through the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Enrolling in the BFET program also keeps Basic Food recipients in good standing with DSHS so their food benefits will continue while they attend college. Call 360.752.8351 for more information and find us at www.btc.edu/workforcefunding.

Opportunity Grant
The Opportunity Grant program is designed to help low-income students prepare for and enter programs at Bellingham Technical College that will result in high-demand, high-wage occupations. The grant provides tuition for 45 credits and fees up to $200, as well as $1,000 for books and tools. The program is available to students below 200% of the federal poverty level who are Washington state residents, have earned less than an associate’s degree, and are interested in any of the following programs: Automotive Technology, Computer Networking, Computer Support Specialist, Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Electrician, Diesel Technology, Electronics, HVAC, Industrial Maintenance & Mechatronics, Instrumentation & Control, Machining, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Administration, Medical Office Support, Nursing Assistant, Nursing (full-time program students only), Paramedic and Emergency Medical Technician, Process Technology, Surgery Technology, Veterinary Assistant, Veterinary Technician, Welding, and Machining (eligible programs are subject to change). Opportunity Grant supports students through financial aid planning, program choice, academic advising, and support services. For more information on how to apply, call 360.752.8351 and find us at www.btc.edu/opportunitygrant.

WorkFirst
WorkFirst provides funding and support services to low-income parents who receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) through DSHS. WorkFirst may assist with tuition, books, and fees for qualified students. WorkFirst can financially assist parents who are receiving a TANF cash grant, and do not qualify for other types of financial aid to pay for tuition, books, and fees. Students in this program are required to work closely with the WorkFirst staff at BTC, even when other funding is paying for college. To apply, contact your Case Manager or Social Worker at DSHS. Students choose a career plan that may include development of basic skills, better employability skills, or a new career, in order to progress in a pathway toward employment. Contact WorkFirst staff at 360.752.8351 and find us at www.btc.edu/workfirst.

Worker Retraining
The Worker Retraining program is designed to help unemployed or displaced workers in a variety of situations. The Worker Retraining program may provide assistance to students who:

  1. Have been laid off or have received a layoff notice,
  2. Currently receive or are eligible to receive unemployment benefits,
  3. Have exhausted unemployment benefits within the last four years,
  4. Are displaced homemakers,
  5. Were self-employed but closed the business due to economic conditions in the community, or
  6. Are veterans who were discharged within the past four years.

The Worker Retraining program typically provides funding to eligible students during their first quarter of enrollment, or to bridge a gap in funding at any point in a program of study. In addition to potential funding for a quarter, Worker Retraining offers assistance in a variety of other arenas and coordination of programs and services with WorkSource and the Employment Security Department. To find out more, please contact the Bellingham Technical College Worker Retraining Coordinator at 360.752.8351 and find us at www.btc.edu/workforcefunding.

Undocumented Students
Bellingham Technical College (BTC) is committed to assisting all students succeed, regardless of citizen status. Washington State offers financial aid to eligible undocumented students through the Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA). Students may submit a WASFA at www.wsac.wa.goc/WASFA. Washington State Senate Bill 5194 allows eligible undocumented students to pay in-state tuition if they earned a high school diploma or GED before their first quarter of enrollment in college and maintained a primary residence in Washington for at least 12 consecutive months before their first quarter of enrollment. For more information on admissions, in-state tuition, and financial aid, please call 360.752.8468 or find us at www.btc.edu/undocumented.

Dual Program

Financial aid is limited to assist with a student’s primary program of study as indicated in the ctcLink system. The enrollment level associated with the student’s primary program is utilized for determining financial aid eligibility. Courses associated with additional programs are not included in the enrollment level. See the Student Financial Aid Handbook on the BTC website for the enrollment levels used for financial aid awarding purposes. Students are encouraged to consult with a College Navigator in the Advising & Navigation Services office if they wish to update their primary program of study.

Tuition Payment Plan

Nelnet Business Solutions, an approved third-party vendor, allows students to pay for tuition and fees gradually during the quarter. Tuition payment plans break down your tuition balance into affordable monthly payments. There’s no interest, payment options are flexible, setup fees are affordable, and it’s easy to enroll. Find out more at www.btc.edu/paymentplan.

Advising & Navigation Services

College Services Building, Room 106
Email: advising@btc.edu Phone: 360.752.8345

After students declare their intended program at BTC, they will be assigned a College Navigator who will help ensure they are on track with course planning and ready to enter their program of choice. Once the student is enrolled in their program, a faculty member will serve as their advisor for the remainder of the program. Their College Navigator in Advising & Navigation Services will stay connected with the student to assist with career development activities.  

College Navigators work with students in a variety of ways to help them achieve both their educational and career goals, including to: 

  • Set academic goals that are relevant to the student’s desired career field 

  • Create an education plan that helps guide a student in choosing courses for future quarters 

  • Learn about the different technology resources students use at BTC and practice tech readiness 

Enrolled students may find their College Navigator’s name and contact information in myBTC