Jun 04, 2023  
2019-20 BTC Catalog 
2019-20 BTC 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 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 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 15-21 credits per quarter: 15 credits if taking primarily academic classes and a higher credit load if taking vocational 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 approval from the program Dean.

Placement assessment is required for degree- and certificate-seeking students in most programs. Students may 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 to waive part or all of the placement test.

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

Assessment Center

Placement Testing

Building H, Room 4
Email: assessment@btc.edu 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, writing and mathematics competency at the level identified for program and course success. Students seeking enrollment in most programs must achieve required scores in writing, sentence skills and mathematics. BTC uses an assessment placement test to assess students’ academic skill levels. The assessment 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 in order to receive consideration for waiving parts or all of the placement test. All assessment test waiver requests should be made to the Admissions and Student Resource Center. The assessment test is available on a drop-in basis through the Assessment Center. Visit the Assessment Center website, www.btc.edu/Assessment, for schedule, location and resources for test preparation. The first initial assessment 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.

ACCUPLACER and CASAS tests for Reading, Writing, and Math have recently changed and scores are recorded differently. Please check with an Academic Advisor or with Transitional Studies staff for the correct placement in courses that have a prerequisite test score.

GED Testing

Building H, Room 4
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.

Additional Testing

The BTC Assessment Center also offers a variety of industry and program tests to include ASE, ATI TEAS, Certiport, MOS, NATE and Pearson VUE. To learn more, visit the website, www.btc.edu/Assessment.

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 the Admissions and Student Resource Center at 360.752.8345 to schedule an appointment with an Academic Advisor for more 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: www.btc.edu/apply. Applications for college admission are accepted at any time. Applicants who complete the admissions process are placed on an interest list and will receive pertinent program entry information 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 www.btc.edu/FinancialAid.
  2. Assess your starting point. Degree- and certificate-seeking students need to determine their math and English starting points. Placement may be determined by multiple measures. These measures include:
    1. The assessment test 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 retest as stated in the Assessment Center section. The assessment test is available on a drop-in basis through the Assessment Center. Visit the Assessment Center website, www.btc.edu/assessment for schedule, location and resources for test preparation. The assessment test fee includes one retest in each subject area within a 12-month period. Test scores are valid for five years. Students must present photo 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 colleges (CTC) within five years. If you have completed placement testing at another college or university within the last five years, you may submit the official scores to the Admissions and Student Resource Center for equivalency to the assessment test scores.
    3. An official college transcript from a regionally accredited college or university, 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 assessment test requirement waived upon evaluation of an official transcript.
    4. High school transcripts with math and English grades, up to five years after graduation, may be evaluated for placement. If the grade does not meet the minimum requirement identified for a specific program, the student will need to take the assessment test.
    5. Official Smarter Balance scores may be submitted for evaluation and placement. If the Smarter Balance scores fail to meet the minimum requirements, the student will need to take the assessment test.
    6. Other tests (i.e., SAT, ACT, and COMPASS) may be considered to waive all or part of the assessment test. 
    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 Engineering, Instrumentation and Control Technology, or Electronics, must test into Precalculus I or complete Intermediate Algebra (MATH 099  ) at a minimum.
  3. GET Started at BTC. Meet with Advising and Careers Services staff as they help you navigate your Goals, create an Education Plan, and give you the tools to be Tech ready. A hold will be placed until the student meets with an Academic Advisor.
  4. Prepare to attend your classes. New students are encouraged to participate in New Student Orientation. The orientation is an opportunity for students to make connections, learn about resources, tour campus, and attend an 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 (abstract) & driver’s license

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 assessment test or scores from multiple measures are 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 petitions 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 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.)

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 will receive a Washington State High School Diploma, which will be posted on their college transcript. Find out more at 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 jumpstart theircollege degree and save money. Students can check out our options, Running Start and Career and Technical Education (CTE) Dual Credit, through our interactive Dual Enrollment Web Tool. For more information, contact our High School Relations Program Manager at rstart@btc.edu or at 360.752.8365.

  • 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 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 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. Back-dating 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

Running Start is a statewide program that allows qualified high school juniors and seniors to attend BTC tuition-free (up to 15 credits per quarter, other costs apply). Students are enrolled simultaneously in high school and college classes (or just college classes) and may receive both high school and college credit for classes completed at BTC. Students may choose to begin their degree or certificate program and/or complete many of their high school requirements at BTC. A student’s public school district is ultimately responsible for determining a student’s Running Start eligibility. Sign up for an information session at www.btc.edu/RSEvents.

Running Start students are expected to attend and complete the entire course and receive a satisfactory grade in order to receive credit. Running Start will not fund course challenges. The Running Start program is not available during Summer Quarter; however, students interested in attending Summer Quarter may elect to attend summer classes and self-pay tuition and fees.

All Running Start students, including homeschool and private school students, must be registered with a public school district. A high school counselor or school district official, BTC advising representative, the student, and a parent/guardian must sign the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form (RSEVF) each quarter for Running Start eligibility. An appointment should be made with the High School Relations Program Manager after the high school completes the RSEVF each quarter for assistance with course selection, registration, support information, and funding information. Students must register in person and pay class and program fees by the quarter due dates published at www.btc.edu/calendar (exception: students who register during summer for fall classes are given until the Friday following Labor Day to submit required paperwork and pay any remaining balance).

A Running Start Tuition Fee Waiver is available on the BTC Running Start website for eligible students. Running Start students must meet eligibility criteria outlined by Statute RCW 28A.600.310 and submit the waiver request form with supporting documentation no later than the first day of classes. Qualified students are not required to pay the Running Start Fee per credit or excess tuition based on FTE. All Running Start students are still responsible for all other class and program fees, books, supplies, and transportation. Additional financial support may be available in the form of scholarships/financial assistance and/or a book-loan program. Visit the BTC Running Start website or contact the High School Relations Program Manager with questions about financial support.

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

  • Complete an Admissions application and indicate Running Start as the Program of interest. Attending a Running Start Information Session is strongly recommended.
  • Placement
  • Running Start Paperwork
  • Advising and Registration
  • Orientation

*More detailed information about these steps can be viewed on the Running Start webpage at www.btc.edu/RunningStart.

What does Running Start cover?

  • Running Start-eligible credits are tuition free (other costs apply and may show on the “tuition” line of a student’s schedule).

For students to be eligible for Running Start each quarter:

  • The Running Start Enrollment Verification Form (RSEVF) must be complete to be valid.
  • The number of college credits Running Start students are able to take at BTC is determined by the high school and is based on the number of high school FTE (full time equivalent) provided on the RSEVF.

Each class must meet all of these guidelines to qualify as Running Start and tuition free (but there are fees):

  • College-level class (100-400 level, not below 100, not in 900 level)
  • Credit class – for college credit (not non-credit or non-graded)
  • State Support (not self-support)
  • Approved by the School District
  • Required as part of the program into which you are admitted
  • Within the allowed hours/credits (FTEs) indicated on the Running Start Enrollment Verification Form
  • You will be attending class all quarter (not challenging the class – If you challenge a class, you will be required to pay full price.)
  • Class is taken during Fall, Winter, or Spring quarters (Running Start is not available Summer Quarter. Summer students pay full price.)

For more information, contact the High School Relations Program Manager at 360.752.8365 or email rstart@btc.edu.

What costs do Running Start students pay?

Running Start students pay tuition for credits that are not Running Start eligible. Students pay for program and class fees, books, materials and supplies; and for uniforms, tools, transportation and meal costs.


Running Start students are charged resident-rate tuition for credits that are not Running Start eligible. After Running Start eligible credits, the next 10 credits are at the 1-10 credit resident rate, with any additional credits after that at the 11-18 credits resident rate. Many programs at BTC require more than 15 credits per quarter. See Tuition Rates and Cost Estimates.


Running Start Fee

The Running Start Fee is made up of the Administrative, Operating and Building. It appears as a tuition line item.

For the current Running Start Fee rate, go to www.btc.edu/tuition and see “Running Start Cost”.

Low Income? Contact the High School Relations Program Manager at rstart@btc.edu or call 360-752-8365 if you think you may qualify for the Low Income Running Start Waiver, which waives the Running Start Fee.

Program & Class Fees

Running Start students are responsible to pay all program and class fees.

Program & class fees address distinct and specified costs such as lab assistants, supplies, materials, equipment, rentals, software licensing, replacement and upgrade, maintenance, and other operational costs specific to the class and/or program.

When is payment due for Running Start students?

Generally, tuition and fees are due at the following times. For specific dates, see our BTC College Calendar. Upcoming dates are also posted in myBTC portal.

Summer: mid-June (full price - no Running Start in Summer Quarter)

Fall: mid-August* (timing exception for Running Start)

Winter: mid-December

Spring: mid-March

*Fall Quarter Running Start students are given until the Friday after Labor Day to pay tuition and fees due to high school staff availability during the summer. Signed Running Start Enrollment Verification and payment are due on the Friday after Labor Day.


Veteran Admission Process

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 student veterans. You can also find these steps and more information on our website: www.btc.edu/VeteransSteps

  1. Complete an online application for BTC programs through the Washington State Web Admissions Center at: www.btc.edu/applyonline. 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.
  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 www.va.gov. 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 1-888-GIBILL1 (1-888-442-4551) to speak with an Education Case Manager.
  3. Send in your military and civilian 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 military transcripts 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. Student veterans 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: www.btc.edu/veterans
  4. Complete the assessment test. If your transcripts are not sufficient to determine course placement you will need to complete an assessment test.  It 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 assessment test means a more successful college experience. No appointment is needed to take the test. Just pay the $25 fee to the BTC Cashier or Campus Store, and bring your receipt to the Assessment Center. Plan to spend about two hours. Your assessment test will be administered in the Assessment Center, Building H, Room H4. Assessment Center hours are posted at www.btc.edu/assessment.
  5. Schedule an appointment with our Veterans Coordinator and Certifying Official. Our Veterans Coordinator will meet with you, so you can learn about on-campus resources and opportunities provided specifically for student veterans. 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 at www.btc.edu/veterans.
  6. As a student Veteran in a BTC education program, you will have a quarterly priority registration access time. Your registration access time is located in myBTC portal. Registering at this time allows you to enroll on the first day of registration with new student veterans and with continuing student veterans.

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 assessment test 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. 


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 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 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 assessment test to accomplish math, sentence structure, and reading score requirements. 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 Admissions at admissions@btc.edu 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 prerequisites, which can impact the VISA application timeframe. Once confirmation of start date has been received, international program students must make an appointment with the DSO in 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 www.wes.org

Foundation for International Services www.fis-web.com

International Education Research Foundation www.ierf.org

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 under Take A Class. Continuing Education courses do not require an admission application 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 in myBTC portal 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 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.
  • 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.

Registration Dates and Times

  • New Student Registration and General Registration dates are posted on the college calendar, located at www.btc.edu/calendar.
  • Registration access times for continuing degree/certificate program students are assigned by cumulative credits earned at Bellingham Technical College with student veterans registering first. 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 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 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 that start toward the end of the quarter.)
  • Check myBTC portal and the college calendar at www.btc.edu/calendar for important dates and deadlines.

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 portal. 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 in myBTC portal. Written requests are accepted in person on a signed Add/Drop Form, Override Request 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 and two-three (2-3) 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 and second or third day in Summer Quarter. Academic/General Education classes require permission to add the 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. 

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, BTC calculates withdrawal deadlines based on start date, end date, and 75% of instructional days.
  5. If withdrawing completely online 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 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, 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 www.btc.edu/tuition.

Each program provides cost estimates on our website under Degrees & Classes.

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 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 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:

Background check for Health programs

Replacement First Aid or CPR Card

Replacement Student Body Card

Official Transcript (order online)

Replacement Degree/Certificate (per copy)


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 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.
  • Summer quarter consists of a six-week session and an eight-week session. Refund dates are prorated.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

Academic Holds

In order to collect outstanding parking fines, library fines and obligations, or other financial debt to the college, the college may: 

  • Block enrollment of classes
  • Withhold official transcripts
  • Withhold diplomas 

Students on academic probation or suspension will have an academic hold placed on their record until they meet with an assigned point of contact to discuss their academic progress. See Academic Standards and Progress.


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 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 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. 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

Financial Aid
College Services Building, Room 101
Email: finaid@btc.edu 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 www.btc.edu, 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.

Tuition Payment Plan

Nelnet Business Solutions, an approved third-party vendor, allows students to pay for tuition and fees over time 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 http://www.btc.edu/CurrentStudents/StudentResources/NelNet.aspx

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 www.fafsa.ed.gov. To use this site, you must create an FSA ID at fsaid.ed.gov. 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 www.btc.edu/financialaidportal, or from the financial aid forms section of the BTC Financial Aid website at www.btc.edu/financialaidforms.

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.

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 Certifying Official as early as possible before enrolling. All certificate and degree programs are eligible for veteran education benefits. Call 360.752.8345 for an appointment with the coordinator.

The BTC Foundation awards more than $275,000 in scholarships each year to an average of 50% of the students who apply. The scholarship application is available online at the beginning of Spring Quarter with the application deadline typically on or around June 30. Learn more at www.btc.edu/scholarships.

Passport to Careers 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 www.btc.edu/passport.

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 www.btc.edu/bfet.

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 Technology, Surgery Technology, Radiologic 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 www.btc.edu/opportunitygrant.

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 www.btc.edu/workfirst.

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 www.btc.edu/workforcefunding.

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 www.btc.edu/dreamers

Advising & Career Services

Admissions & Student Resource Center
College Services Building, Room 106
Email: advising@btc.edu Phone: 360.752.8345

Once students declare their 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 advisor for the remainder of the program. However, their advisor in the Entry Services & Advising Department 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 www.btc.edu/MyAdvisor

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

  • 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

Contact Academic & Career Services if you have questions.