Sep 19, 2021  
2016-17 BTC Catalog 
2016-17 BTC Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Getting Started

Admission and Enrollment

College Services Building, Room 106
Email: Phone: 360.752.8345

Prospective students must apply for admissions to the college before they register in the degree/certificate program. Students may register for full-time or part-time, based on personal preference, availability of space, and/or specific program offerings. Many courses within the 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 academic and career advisor or BTC faculty advisor to assist in determining the best schedule option to meet their needs.

Full-time program students typically enroll in 18-21 credits per quarter. Full-time students generally attend class six hours per day, five days per week. 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. To be eligible for Financial Aid students must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credits of program-related coursework. The maximum amount of credits a student may enroll in per quarter is 26. Enrollment in more than 26 credits requires written approval from the program dean. Specific program information is defined in the Programs of Study  section of this catalog.

Placement assessment is required for degree/certificate-seeking students in all programs except Child Development, Data Entry Specialist, Early Learning, Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Hypnotherapy, Personal Fitness Trainer, Project Management and Residential Home Inspection. Students seeking enrollment in these programs at Bellingham Technical College should use the Course Registration Procedure in the catalog. Students may also use multiple measures for placement assessment including transferred in placement test scores or transcripts from a previous college, Smarter Balance scores, SAT and ACT scores, or transcripts from a high school (up to five years from graduation) for evaluation instead of taking the ACCUPLACER test.

Assessment Center

Placement Testing

Building H, Room 4
Email: Phone: 360.752.8335

Student success in individual degree/certificate programs and in subsequent employment is closely related to the ability to read and compute. Acceptance into specific degree/certificate programs and course placement is determined in part by students’ demonstration of reading, sentence skills and mathematics competency at the level identified for program and course success. Students seeking enrollment in most programs must achieve required scores in reading, sentence skills and mathematics. BTC uses the College Board ACCUPLACER placement test to assess students’ academic skill levels. The ACCUPLACER testing requirement may be waived upon evaluation of the multiple measures mentioned in the Admissions and Enrollment section. Official high school or college transcripts are required from a regionally accredited college or university. ACCUPLACER waiver requests should be made to the Admissions and Student Resource Center. The ACCUPLACER is available on a drop-in basis through the Assessment Center. Visit the Assessment Center website,, for schedule, location and resources for test preparation. The first initial ACCUPLACER test fee includes one retest in each subject area within a 12-month period. Test scores are valid for five years. Students must present picture identification and payment receipt when they report for testing.

GED Testing

Building H, Room 4
Email: Phone: 360.752.8335

GED testing is offered through the BTC Assessment Center. Visit 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.

Additional Testing

The BTC Assessment Center also offers a variety of industry and program tests. To learn more, visit the website,

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. Applicants seeking program admission are encouraged to meet with an advisor or counselor to discuss specific plans prior to completing the application process. Contact the Admissions and Student Resource Center at 360.752.8345 to meet with an advisor, and receive program and schedule information. Advisors can also assist in exploring career options.

  1. Complete an online application for BTC programs through the Washington State Web Admissions Center at: Applications for program admission are accepted at any time. The application will be kept on file for a period of one year after the date of application. Applicants will need to reapply after one year of inactivity. Applicants who complete the admissions process and are placed on a program-ready list do not need to resubmit an application while waiting for a program opening. Students are encouraged to apply for financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. Learn more at
  2. Assess your starting point. Degree/certificate -seeking students need to determine their math and English starting points. Placement may be determined by multiple measures. These measures include:
    1. The ACCUPLACER assessment or equivalent placement test, to achieve required scores for the specific program or college coursework as defined below. If the assessment scores are below the level identified for the specific program, the student may meet with an advisor to identify an individual educational plan of study. The ACCUPLACER available on a drop-in basis through the Assessment Center. Visit the Assessment Center website, for schedule, location and resources for test preparation. The ACCUPLACER test fee includes one retest in each subject area within a 12-month period. Test scores are valid for five years. Students must present government-issued identification and payment receipt when they report for testing.
    2. Washington State CTC Approved Placement Reciprocity Agreement Policy. BTC will accept course placement from local skills assessment as well as course placement from pre-college math and English courses taken at any Washington State Community and Technical (CTC) Colleges within five years. If you have completed placement testing at another college or university within the last five years, you may not need to test. You may submit an Evaluation Request form and the official scores to the Admissions and Student resource Center for equivalency to the ACCUPLACER scores.
    3. An official college transcript from a previous college, indicating the applicant has completed a minimum of three (3) credits for a course in English and/or mathematics with a C (2.0) grade or above, which at that college is deemed a prerequisite for a course equivalent to
      the BTC course in which the student wishes to place, may have the ACCUPLACER requirement waived upon evaluation of an official transcript from a regionally accredited college or university and completion of the Evaluation Request form. Requests for evaluation of transcripts for ACCUPLACER waiver can be made through the Admissions and Student Resource Center.
    4. An official high school transcript with math and English GPAs, up to five years after graduation may be evaluated for placement. If the GPA does not meet the minimum GPA identified for a specific program, the student will need to take the ACCUPLACER assessment. The transcripts and Evaluation Request form should be submitted to the Admissions and Student Resource Center.
    5. Official Smarter Balance scores may be submitted for evaluation and placement. The scores and Evaluation Request form should be submitted to the Admissions and Student Resource Center. If the Smarter Balance scores fail to meet the minimum requirements, the student will need to take the ACCUPLACER assessment.
    6. Other tests (i.e., SAT, ACT, COMPASS, or ASSET) may be considered to waive all or parts of the ACCUPLACER assessment. Student must submit official test scores for evaluation to the Admissions and Student Resource Center.
    7. 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 Mechanical Engineering, Instrumentation and Control, or Electronics, must test into Precalculus I or complete Intermediate Algebra (MATH 099  ) at a minimum.
  3. Attend a mandatory Advising & Registration session to learn about important campus resources and register for classes. The advising and career advisors will assist you in selecting your classes for your first quarter.
  4. Prepare to attend your classes. New students are required to attend the New Student Orientation Kick-Off prior to the first day of the quarter. The kick-off is a place for students to make connections, learn about resources, meet faculty, take a tour of the program areas, and attend an optional Computer Boot Camp.

3. Some programs have additional admissions requirements, which may include but are not limited to:

  • Criminal background check
  • Prerequisite course requirements
  • Evidence of high school completion or equivalent
  • Driving record (abstract)

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

In accordance with WAC 131-12-010, any applicant to Bellingham Technical College seeking admission or enrollment shall be accepted on a space-available basis when, as determined by the president or designee, such applicant:

  1. Is competent to profit from the curricular offerings of the college. For degree/certificate programs, attainment of identified scores in reading comprehension, sentence skills and arithmetic or algebra on the ACCUPLACER or equivalent test is required.
  2. Would not, by his or her presence or conduct, create a disruptive atmosphere within the college inconsistent with the purposes of the institution.
  3. Is 18 years or older or is a high school graduate OR has a GED or has completed homeschooling as defined by state law or has applied for special student program admissions under the provisions of a student enrollment options program, such as Running Start or a successor program.

NOTE: To be eligible for federal or state Financial Aid, a student must be a high school graduate, have a GED, or have completed homeschooling as defined by state law.

Local Enrollment Option

Bellingham Technical College will admit a student to degree/ certificate programs and courses who:

  1. Is 16 years of age or older.
  2. Meets the requirements of Section 1 and Section 2 above.
  3. Is not currently enrolled in high school or, if currently enrolled in high school has written approval (if required) from the sending high school to enroll, and agrees to pay all regular tuition and fees.

(See Underage Admission or Enrollment Appeal listed below.)

Admission and Enrollment Policy Appeal Procedure

Persons who have been denied admission or enrollment may appeal the decision. The appeal should be directed in writing to the Vice President of Student Services. Such written petition must include, at minimum, the reasons that support reconsideration of the application or the policy. Any appeal to the Admission and Enrollment Policy must be reviewed and approved by the College President or designee. Persons may further appeal the decision of the Vice President of Student Services by requesting an Admission Appeal Hearing.

Underage Admission or Enrollment Appeal

The College does not desire to replace or duplicate the functions of the 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 short-term 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 date or registration date. Written request 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.)

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

BTC offers multiple pathways to students who want to start earning college credit while still in high school. This is a great way to jumpstart your college degree and save money. Check out our options, including: Running Start, College in the High School, Tech Prep, and Impact! For more information, contact our Admissions office at or 360.752.8345.

  • College in the High School

Bellingham Technical College (BTC) has agreements with some local school districts to offer College in the High School (CHS) courses. A College in the High School course is a dual-credit course provided on a high school campus, or in a high school environment, in which an eligible student is given the opportunity to earn high school credit and BTC college credit for the same course. College in the High School courses may be either academic or career/technical. Please consult your high school counselor, principal or teacher for information on which CHS courses are offered in your high school.

  • IMPACT! A Youth Re-Engagement Program for ages 16-21

IMPACT! Youth Re-engagement is a free program for eligible students that creates a path to academic and career success for students who have dropped out, or are at severe risk of dropping out of high school. The program is flexible, with each student working with an advisor to make realistic goals for high school completion and their career. The IMPACT! program has the ability to cover tuition, fees and books for students, with the ultimate goal of getting more students associate degrees and certificates, or ready to transfer to a four-year college or university for a bachelor’s degree. All students who graduate from a Washington State Community College or Technical College automatically receive a Washington State High School Diploma.

  • Tech Prep

Tech Prep is a dual credit program offering high school students the opportunity to earn college credit for approved 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 “Tech Prep 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 Tech Prep courses with a grade of “B” or better may request college credit by completing and submitting a Whatcom Tech Prep Registration form with the $25.00 Tech Prep fee. Registration instructions are available in the career and counseling centers at each area high school. All high school Tech Prep courses articulated for college credit at BTC will be transcripted with the grade earned in the student’s high school course. Courses are only transcripted within the academic year the student completes the coursework.

Award of articulated credits through BTC does not guarantee or imply acceptance of such credits by other higher education institutions. For more information, contact the Tech Prep coordinator via email at, or visit Whatcom County’s Tech Prep web site at

  • Running Start Application Process

Running Start is a statewide program that allows qualified high school juniors and seniors to receive a maximum of 15 college credits per quarter, tuition-free, while completing high school. Students are enrolled simultaneously in high school and college classes (or just college classes) and receive both high school and college credit for classes completed at a college.

At BTC, Running Start students apply to a professional technical program or a direct transfer degree and enroll in courses required for that specific degree/certificate. Running Start students are expected to attend and complete the entire course session and receive a satisfactory decimal grade in order to receive credit. Students are not eligible to challenge a course and receive a “CR” grade on their transcript. The Running Start program is not available during summer quarter; however, students interested in attending summer quarter may elect to self-pay tuition and fees.

All Running Start students, including homeschool and private school students, must obtain a completed Running Start Enrollment Verification Form from a public high school authority each quarter. Submitted forms must be complete and signed by a high school counselor or school district official, BTC Running Start Advisor, the student, and a parent/guardian. Students must register in person and pay class and program fees by the quarter due dates published at A waiver request form for the Running Start Tuition Fee is available for low-income Running Start students through the BTC Running Start Advisor. Running Start students must meet eligibility criteria outlined by Statute RCW 28A.600.310 and submit the waiver request form upon enrollment and no later than the first day of classes. Running Start students are still responsible for all other class and program fees, books, supplies, and transportation.

The steps to become a Running Start student at BTC are:

  1. Complete the BTC Running Start Application and meet with the BTC Running Start Advisor to discuss eligibility and determine plan of study. The student is responsible for notifying his or her public school district of the specific courses he or she intends to take and shall request confirmation of the amount of high school credit that will be awarded upon successful completion of the courses (WAC 392-169-050). A student’s public school district is ultimately responsible for determining his or her Running Start eligibility.
  2. Assess a starting point. The multiple assessment measures mentioned in the Program Admissions Procedures section may be used to determine their math and English starting points. The ACCUPLACER assessment is offered at BTC or, when available, at his or her high school. Running Start students may enroll in pre-college courses (numbered below 100), however, these courses will not be paid through the Running Start program. A student who scores are below the level identified for the program he or she has selected should meet with the BTC Running Start Advisor to discuss next steps.
  3. Complete the Running Start Orientation. Contact the BTC Running Start Advisor for more details.
  4. Complete the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form and make an appointment with the BTC Running Start Advisor. Once the advisor signs the form and helps select classes, the form is submitted to the BTC Registration Office to register for classes and pay applicable fees. BTC Registration will only accept the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form if all signatures - student, parent/guardian, high school counselor, and Running Start Advisor - are present on the form.

Students needing program information, or guidance in completing this process should schedule an appointment with the BTC Running Start Advisor at 360.752.8385.

Veteran Admission Process

Veteran students will follow a similar admission process as other students, however there are some additional requirements. 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. Below are the admission steps tailored for Veteran Students. You can also find these steps and more information on our website:

  1. Complete an online application for BTC programs through the Washington State Web Admissions Center at: Applications for program admission are accepted at any time. The application will be kept on file for a period of one year after the date of application. Applicants will need to reapply after one year of inactivity. Applicants who complete the admissions process and are placed on a program-ready list do not need to resubmit an application while waiting for a program opening.
  2. Apply for VA Education Benefits. To learn about VA education benefits, please review the Department of Veterans Affairs website. Next, you can complete the Veterans Online Application through the VONAPP website. It typically takes 6-8 weeks to receive your Certificate of Eligibility, so it is important to plan ahead. If you have questions or need assistance with your application please call 1-88-GIBILL1 (1-888-442-4551) to speak with an Education Case Manager.
  3. Send in your military and academic transcripts. The Department of Veterans Affairs requires that any other college transcripts and military training transcript be evaluated for transfer-in credit. This is not an optional step - all transcripts must be evaluated prior to admission. You will need to complete an Evaluation Request Form and have official copies of your transcripts from previous colleges and your Joint Services Transcript (JST SMART Transcript) delivered to BTC. Once we have all of your transcripts and the evaluation request form on file, the evaluation process typically takes up to 3 weeks. Veteran students using educational benefits are not permitted to opt out of prior credit evaluation. For more information regarding transcript evaluation and access to the Transcript Evaluation Policy please visit the Veterans Support page on BTC’s website at:
  4. Complete the ACCUPLACER Placement Assessment. If your transcripts are not sufficient to determine course placement you will need to complete a Placement Assessment. ACCUPLACER is not a pass/fail test, it simply measures your current skill level. Your scores will help you choose the right classes, make a plan, and obtain any needed support services. Starting with the ACCUPLACER means a more successful college experience. No appointment is needed to take the ACCUPLACER. Just pay the $25 fee to the BTC Cashier or Campus Store, and bring your receipt to your test. Plan to spend about two hours. Your Placement Test will be in Building H, Room H4 during the times scheduled below.
  5. Schedule an appointment with our Veteran’s Coordinator and Certifying Official. Our Veterans Coordinator will meet with you, so you can learn about on-campus resources and opportunities provided specifically for veteran students. Our certifying official will collect all required paperwork and documentation, you will need to work directly with our Certifying Official in regards to your VA Education Benefits. For more information about the required paperwork please visit our website.

Degree/Certificate Program Re-Admission Policy

Students seeking re-admission to degree/certificate programs may return one time only to the same program at priority placement for a negotiated re-entry date. Re-admitted students will be enrolled on a space-available basis, and will be required to re-submit a Degree/Certificate Program Admissions Application and meet any new program admissions requirements. This may include repeating the ACCUPLACER assessment to meet current program-level requirements. The Advanced Placement-Permission Slip, which can be obtained from the Admissions and Student Resource Center or via our website, will need to be completed by the student and turned into the Admissions and Student Resource Center when signatures are obtained.

Students seeking program readmission who have not officially withdrawn or who are seeking program admission in a different degree/certificate program must complete the BTC application process, including meeting all program admissions requirements at the time of application for enrollment. Students will be placed on the bottom of the program-ready list and will receive a registration access time in the order they applied.

New Student Orientation

New BTC students attend an Advising & Registration session during the enrollment process. Additionally, students who begin fall, winter, or spring quarter are required to participate in a New Student Orientation Kick off the day before the quarters begins. All orientation activities are mandatory. RSVP online at

International Students

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 Director of Admissions 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 new 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 must complete and submit an International Student Admissions paper application. The Washington State Web Admissions online application is not accepted for international students.
  • 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 ACCUPLACER Assessment to accomplish math, sentence structure, and reading score requirements. BTC also accepts equivalent college placement scores, the TOEFL (contact Admissions for specifics), or certain college coursework for assessment waiver. To inquire more about assessment requirements, please email Admissions at or call 360.752.8345.
  • Other Requirements: The following programs have additional prerequisites or admissions requirements: Automotive Technology, Dental Assisting, Dental Hygiene, Diesel Technology, Instrumentation, Nursing, Pastry, Process Technology, Radiologic Technology, Surgery Technology, and Veterinary Technician. Applicants to these programs should contact Admissions at or 360.752.8345 regarding requirements before submitting an application.

When the admissions process is complete and when 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 waiting lists of one to several quarters long, which can impact the VISA application timeframe. Once confirmation of start date and a registration appointment has been received, international program students must make an appointment with the Admissions and Student Resource Center 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

Foundation for International Services

American Association of Collegiate Registrars

Class Registration

Students may select and register for a variety of courses intended for employment training, retraining, or upgrading, as well as for personal enrichment, and business and professional development. Class information is published online as well as in the quarterly class schedule. Some BTC courses listed in the quarterly class schedule do not require admission in order to register.

Registration & Enrollment

  • A student is considered officially enrolled in a course or program after registering and paying all tuition and fees by specific due dates.
  • Each student has the responsibility of registering online or submitting a completed registration form to the Registration Office, reviewing the accuracy of the Student Schedule, and paying tuition and fees each quarter by the due date specified on the college calendar, located at
  • 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 or contact their instructor by the second day of class. Non-attendance, no online activity and no contact with the instructor by the second class is considered a “No Show.”

Registration Dates and Times

  • New Student Registration and General Registration date are posted on the college calendar, located at
  • Registration access times for Continuing Degree/Certificate Program Students are assigned by cumulative credits earned at Bellingham Technical College. Generally, continuing students register for Summer and Fall in May, Winter in November, and Spring in February. Check your individual access time in myBTC portal. Please register at your assigned time or as soon as you can after it.
  • Refund dates and drop/withdraw dates are posted for full-quarter length classes. If your class is shorter, the dates are calculated on a pro-rated basis.
  • The Last day to Withdraw or Change Your Schedule is the last day you may make any changes to your schedule for the quarter. (Exception: If a short class begins after this date, you may be able to add/drop/withdraw in writing. Contact the Registration Office regarding specific classes which start toward the end of the quarter.)
  • Check myBTC portal and the college calendar at for important dates and deadlines.

Class Waitlists

Class waitlists are available for open enrollment classes. (There is no waitlist on a class reserved for a 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. Class waitlists are managed in myBTC portal where classes are added and dropped. Students are automatically registered into class through the first night of the quarter. Instructor permission is required past 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 in myBTC portal. Written requests are also accepted in person on a signed Add/Drop Form, or by a specific and detailed email from the student’s email account. Non-attendance in a class for which a student is officially enrolled does not constitute an official drop or withdrawal.

Students receiving financial aid should consult with the Financial Aid Office 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 space in a class allows. After the quarter begins, students will have the first five (5) instructional days of the quarter (three (3) days in summer quarter) to change their schedule. Adding a class will depend on space available. Instructor permission is required to add a class after the fifth day of the quarter (third day in summer quarter). Academic/General Education classes require permission to add the class after the second (2nd) day of the quarter. 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.

Dropping Classes

Students may remove a class from their schedule in myBTC portal. Written requests are also accepted in person on a signed add/drop form, or by a specific and detailed email from the student’s 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 advisor 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. It will not calculate in your GPA, but it may count as a class attempted for Financial Aid satisfactory progress.
  3. Students receiving financial aid should contact the Financial Aid Office 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 college 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, you must withdraw before the last day of the class.
  5. If withdrawing completely from BTC, complete a brief Withdrawal Survey.
  6. Submitting a petition for a Hardship Withdrawal allows students who cannot complete a quarter due to unanticipated medical emergencies (not short-term or chronic illnesses), a call to active military duty or an emergency or family crisis to request to be withdrawn from all classes by the last day of their enrolled quarter. 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.
  7. 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 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 class repeat limit of a total of three times
  • Student is academically suspended, enrolled for the next quarter, and does not have an academic re-admission plan by the 5th day of the quarter
  • Student violates the Student Code of Conduct

Tuition And Fees

All tuition and fees must be paid 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 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. 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.

Estimated Program Costs

When estimating the cost of attending Bellingham Technical College, you will take into consideration

  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, and listed specifically for each program under “Degrees & Classes.”

Running Start

Students must submit a signed Running Start Enrollment Verification Form when registering and pay administrative, technology, and program fees each quarter. A waiver form for administrative fee charges is available for low-income Running Start students. Running Start students must meet eligibility criteria outlined by Statute RCW 28A.600.310 and submit the waiver request upon enrollment and no later than the first day of classes.

Running Start students are still responsible to pay all other program fees. Eligibility criteria and waiver forms are available from the Running Start Advisor.

Other Fees

Application Fee (separate application fee for select health programs) None

Criminal Background Processing Fee (for select health programs) $10.00

Student Body ID Card $8.00

GED Transcript $5.00

Replacement Student Body Card $5.00

Unofficial Transcript (available on website) None

Official Transcript (order online) $7.25

Replacement Degree/Certificate (per copy) $5.00

Refund Policy

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 which 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, including Washington Online classes and classes which start mid-quarter.
  • Refunds for state-supported classes which 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 which 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 students may be adjusted based on the type of aid received. Contact the Financial Aid Office at 360.752.8351 for more information.
  • Petitions for exceptions to the refund policy must be submitted in writing to the Director of Registration and Enrollment for determination. Required documentation for consideration includes an Add/Drop form, and a Hardship Withdrawal Form with third-party supporting documentation. Circumstances warranting an exception are medical reasons or being called into military service of the United States.
  • Refunds for payments made by cash or check will be processed through the Business Office and a check mailed within three weeks. Refunds for payments made by credit card will be processed back to the credit card in two business days. Outstanding debts to the college 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.

Washington State Residency

Students will be initially classified as “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 his/her 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 his or her 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, see

Students taking only classes in Basic Academic Skills, 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 US Citizens and students holding Permanent Resident status who are residents of the 50 States and US Territories. This waiver is applied as part of our Admissions Process.

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. At the end of each tax year, students will be mailed a 1098T form from BTC. This form, which is also viewable online using your student log-in 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.

Quarterly Program Costs

Estimated Quarterly Program Costs are located on each program’s website.

Paying For College

Financial Aid
College Services. Room 101
Email: Phone: 360.752.8351

BTC Federal School Code: 016227

Bellingham Technical College believes people should have the opportunity to achieve their educational goals, and we are here to help support your educational efforts. To help finance your education, you must become familiar with Student Financial Resources, which includes the Financial Aid Office and the Workforce Funding and Student Support Office. To learn more, visit our website at, read the Student Financial Aid Handbook (located under “Financial Aid Forms” or in your Financial Aid Portal), or contact our office.

Financial aid is available for eligible students who enroll in certificate or degree programs; however, not all programs are eligible for financial aid. Students and their families need not be low-income to qualify for some types of financial aid. Applying for financial aid as early as possible and meeting the institutional priority date allows students’ aid applications to be reviewed before the beginning of the quarter, and a better chance of receiving limited first-come first-served funding.

Students must demonstrate a financial need to be eligible for most types of assistance. Financial need is calculated as the difference between the cost of attending school and what you and your family can afford to pay.


Cost of Attendance - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the basic form to apply for assistance; it is your passport to financial aid. Information you provide on the FAFSA determines your Expected Family Contribution, eligibility for grants, scholarships, work-study, and Federal Loans.

Financial Aid Programs

Financial Aid Application Procedure

Complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. This application collects financial data and other information used to calculate the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which determines a student’s basic aid eligibility. Students may complete their FAFSA online at To use this site, you must create an FSA ID at Once BTC receives your FAFSA, other information may be requested from you to complete your file. The Financial Aid office will contact you via the email address on your FAFSA to let you know what is still needed. Most of the necessary forms may be downloaded from the Student Financial Aid Portal at, or from the financial aid forms section of the BTC Financial Aid website at

Be certain that all required information has been received to complete your file. Students must reapply for financial aid each academic year by submitting a new FAFSA after October 1 prior to the new award year. 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

Students are eligible for financial aid if they are:

  1. Attending a financial aid-eligible program for the purpose of obtaining a degree or certificate at the college. (Some certificate programs may not be eligible for certain types of aid. Check with the Financial Aid Office or on the Financial Aid webpage to verify program eligibility.)
  2. U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens.
  3. Making satisfactory academic progress in a program of study as defined by the financial aid satisfactory progress criteria.
  4. Not in default on any previous student loans or owing a refund on any grants.
  5. Registered for the military draft with Selective Service (if male), as required by law.
  6. High school graduates, have a GED, or have completed homeschooling as defined by state law.

Only classes required for a student’s aid-eligible program may count toward financial aid awarding.

Students who have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree (including degrees earned in a foreign country) are limited to applying for loans and work-study assistance. Students will be notified of their financial aid award by email. Awarding typically begins in March.

Satisfactory Academic Progress

To remain in good standing, students need to maintain a cumulative 2.0 grade point average and complete at least two-thirds of their attempted credits. All attempted credits count, no matter who paid for them. Contact the Financial Aid Office or visit the Financial Aid section of the BTC website.

Federal Financial Aid Refund Policy

Students who receive federal financial aid are subject to the federal Return to Title IV Funds regulations. Under these regulations, aid eligibility for students receiving federal aid must be recalculated under most circumstances if a student withdraws from classes early or ceases to attend during the quarter. If they do not complete 60% of the quarter, some students may owe a repayment to federal and/or state aid programs, including Pell Grant, FSEOG, student loans, SNG, and other funds. Financial aid funds are governed by state and federal regulations, and any amounts owed are separate from and may be in addition to the college’s own tuition refund policy. For a copy of the Return to Title IV Funds refund policy, please see the Student Financial Aid Handbook online or in your Financial Aid Portal.

Available Financial Aid Programs

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 or in your Financial Aid Portal.

The federal Pell Grant is free monetary assistance for educational expenses. Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree are not eligible. Like other grants, the Pell Grant is adjusted for less than full-time enrollment.

The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is awarded to high-need students who apply early in the year (funds are limited). Students must be eligible for the Pell Grant to receive this assistance.

The State Need Grant is available for Washington residents only. It is adjusted for less than full-time enrollment and may not exceed the amount of allowable tuition and fees each quarter. Although this is a state grant, eligibility is determined by completion of the FAFSA or WASFA for DREAMer (undocumented) students.

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. For a current list of resources, please visit our website or read the Student Financial Aid Handbook on our website or in your Financial Aid Portal.

Work Study is part-time employment funded by federal or state financial aid funds. Interested students should contact the Financial Aid Office. State Work Study is available only to Washington state residents. Students may work up to 19 hours a week. Students must be enrolled at least half-time. All placements are on campus.

The Federal Direct student loan is guaranteed by the federal government; students do not need established credit to qualify. Students must be enrolled in at least 6 program-eligible credits (half-time) to qualify. Repayment begins up to six months after you leave school or drop below half-time. The Parent Plus Loan is available for eligible students. If approved, parents may borrow up to the cost of the student’s budget, minus any other aid.

Veterans or dependents of veterans who are eligible for education benefits must apply for admission to the college. Contact the college Veteran Assistance coordinator as early as possible before enrolling. All certificate and degree programs are eligible for veteran education benefits. Call 360.752.8450 for an appointment with the coordinator.

The BTC Foundation awards more than $200,000 in scholarships each year to an average of 50% of the students who apply. The scholarship application is available online at the beginning of the spring quarter with the application deadline typically on or around June 30th. Learn more at

Workforce Funding & Student Support

Workforce Funding & Student Support, a program within Student Financial Resources (College Services Building, 102), oversees some additional student funding resources. Students may be eligible for funding beyond their FAFSA financial aid package (see Financial Aid section).

Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET)
BFET is a funding source to assist students get on and stay on their educational path. Students may be eligible if they receive or are eligible for federal Basic Food Assistance (food stamps) and do not receive TANF (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families). BFET can help with college and other support services. BFET at BTC facilitates child care 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 360.752.8468 for more information and find us at

Passport to College
Passport to College assists foster youth with the cost of attending college (tuition, fees, books, housing, transportation, and some personal expenses), 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 16th birthday, 2) emancipate from care on or after January 1, 2007, 3) enroll at least half-time in an eligible college by their 22nd birthday, 4) maintain Washington residency, and 5) are working toward earning their first degree or certificate. For more information call 360.752.8468 and find us at

Opportunity Grant
The Opportunity Grant program is designed to help low-income students get prepared 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: Welding, Machining, Electrician, Industrial Maintenance & Mechatronics, Instrumentation & Control Technology, Mechanical Engineering, HVAC, Electronics, Process Technology, Automotive Technology, Diesel Mechanics, Surgery Technology, Radiology Technology, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, and Dental Assistant (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 360.752.8468 and find us at

WorkFirst is available to low-income parents who receive Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) through DSHS. WorkFirst provides tuition, books, and fees for qualified students as funding permits. This program at BTC can financially assist WorkFirst parents who are receiving a TANF cash grant, and do not have other financial aid sufficient to pay for tuition, books, and fees. Other support services are provided as well. 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 360.752.8468 and find us at

Worker Retraining
The Worker Retraining program is designed to help dislocated 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, 6) are veterans who were discharged within the past four years.

Bellingham Technical College can typically financially assist eligible students during their first quarter, 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, including program ready list priority under some circumstances, 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 360.752.8468 and find us at

DREAMers (undocumented students)
Bellingham Technical College (BTC) is committed to assisting all students succeed, regardless of citizen status. New state law and funding has increased opportunities for non-citizens to access higher education. At BTC, these students are called DREAMers. For more information on admissions, financial aid and DACA please call 360.752.8468 or find us at

Advising & Career Services

Admissions & Student Resource Center
College Services, Room 106
Email: Phone: 360.752.8450

Once students declare their academic program intent at BTC, they will be assigned an academic and career advisor 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 the academic advisor for the remainder of the program. However, their advisor in Advising & Career Services will stay connected to the student to assist with career development activities.

Enrolled students may find their advisor name and contact information by entering their SID at

Academic and career advisors work with students in a variety of ways to help them achieve both their educational and career goals:

  • Career exploration and advising including vocational assessments, employment outlook and more
  • Building an educational plan to know the courses needed to enter and make efficient progress in a program
  • Job and internship searching assistance including résumé and cover letters, interviewing, applications, etc.
  • Advisors also provide workshops in classes throughout the year

Contact Academic & Career Services if you have questions.