Explore Financial Aid

Financial aid is available to eligible students who enroll in certificate and degree programs; but not all programs are eligible. Apply early and meet priority dates to have the best likelihood of being eligible for maximum funding each year.

You must demonstrate financial need to be eligible for most assistance. Financial aid is designed to cover the gap between your own financial resources (savings, income, help from parents or guardians, etc.) and school expenses. Financial Aid can be grants, scholarships, low-interest loans, and student employment.

Apply between October 1 and May 15 each year that you are enrolled at BTC. Please be sure to activate your BTC email. BTC Student Financial Resources correspondence will be sent to the email address that you listed on the FAFSA.


Processing Updates: 
We are currently processing financial aid applications for the 2021-2022 academic year (summer quarter 2021 through spring quarter 2022).  Documents are processed in the order received.  
As of December 6, 2021, we are determining eligibility for students who have submitted all required documents by December 6, 2021. 


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How to Apply

To receive most types of financial aid, you will need to complete the following steps.  You are encouraged to begin these steps approximately two months before you plan on attending.

1. Submit your application for financial aid (FAFSA/WASFA)

Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) IF ONE of the following applies to you (the student):

  • U.S. Citizen
  • U.S. permanent resident with a Permanent Resident Card (formerly known as a "Green Card")
  • Conditional permanent resident (I-551C)
  • Eligible non-citizen with I-94

Complete a Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA) IF ONE of the following applies to you (the student):

  • Graduated from a Washington high school or obtained a GED and lived in Washington for three calendar years.
  • Deferred Action of Child Arrival (DACA) status and lived in Washington state for at least one year prior to enrollment in college.

Be aware that there may be two FAFSA/WASFA applications open at the same time. The following shows which application to complete based on the quarter you will attend.

If you plan to attend Summer 2021 through Spring 2022, complete the 2021-2022 FAFSA or WASFA.
If you plan to attend Summer 2022 through Spring 2023, complete the 2022-2023 FAFSA or WASFA, available October 1, 2021.

2. Check your Financial Aid Portal & submit documents

  • About one week after submitting your financial aid application, log into your Financial Aid Portal to view your financial aid status and to review documents that are required.  You will also receive an email to notify you when documents are required. 

  • Items listed under "Information We Need From You" must be submitted before your financial aid will be determined.  Use the link in the portal to access required forms.

  • Financial aid awarded to you will be listed under "My Awards".

3. Set up your refund preference

  • BTC delivers your refund with BankMobile Disbursements, a technology solution, powered by BMTX, Inc.. Visit this link for more information https://bankmobiledisbursements.com/how-it-works.

  • To receive a refund in a timely manner, you must select your refund preference using the information mailed to you.

  • Your refund can be used for educational expenses such as books, supplies, housing, food and transportation. Contact the Student Financial Resources office if you did not receive refund information by mail.

4. Maintain your eligibility

  • Financial aid is generally awarded based on full-time enrollment level (12+ credits).  If you plan to enroll for fewer than 12 credits, notify our office by submitting an email to finaid@btc.edu.  Adjustments are made through the 10th day of each quarter.

  • Your academic progress is monitored quarterly.  To remain eligible for financial aid, you must meet the requirements outlined in the Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress policy.

  • If you decide to withdraw from one or more credits, you may owe a repayment of some or all of the financial aid you received.

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Financial Aid Programs

Learn more about a variety of ways to finance college through grants, scholarships, and FAFSA by activating your free ionTuition account!

Federal Pell Grant

Pell Grants are awarded to help with educational expenses. Like all grants, Pell Grants do not have to be repaid.

Federal SEOG Grant

The Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is awarded to high-need, Pell Grant-eligible students who apply early, as funds are limited. It does not have to be repaid.

Washington College Grant

Available for Washington residents only, eligibility for this grant is determined by FAFSA or WASFA information and is adjusted for less than full-time enrollment. It will not exceed tuition and fees for each quarter, and does not have to be repaid.


Scholarships are provided by Bellingham Technical College Foundation, and other organizations and donors, based on certain criteria.

Work Study

Washington residents who are enrolled at least half time can pay for education-related expenses through the Work Study program. On-campus, part-time positions are available through the Student Financial Resources office finaid@btc.edu. Call 360.752.8351 for details.

Student Loans

Money students may borrow to finance their education. Loans accrue interest and must be paid back. Students begin to pay back their loans after graduation or after reducing their enrollment to fewer than six credits. There are flexible repayment options available.

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Scholarships are another source of free money to help pay for school. They are provided by Bellingham Technical College Foundation, and other organizations and donors, based on certain criteria. The BTC Foundation receives donations from generous individuals, businesses, and organizations throughout the year to give as scholarships just for BTC students.

Beware of Scholarship Scams

Did you know that every year, hundreds of thousands of students and parents lose hundreds of millions of dollars to scholarship scam sites?

  • Scam sites use official-sounding names like "Federal", "National", and "Administration" to sound legitimate.
  • Be wary of scholarships that ask you to pay an application fee. Legitimate scholarship foundations do not charge application fees.
  • Beware of any scholarship service that "guarantees" success. No one can guarantee you’ll win a scholarship.
  • Avoid sales pitches disguised as financial aid seminars.
  • Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is! 
  • Learn more about scholarship scams and how to protect yourself.
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Forms & Resources

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Consumer Information

  • CARES Act Funds


    Bellingham Technical College acknowledges that the institution signed and returned the Certification and Agreement to the U.S. Department of Education and assures that the institution has used, or intends to use, no less than 50 percent of the funds received under Section 18004(a)(1) of the CARES Act to provide Emergency Financial Aid Grants to students.

    Determination of eligibility and award amounts

    BTC staff award and disburse emergency funds to students who have incurred expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To receive Emergency Financial Aid Grants, students submit an electronic application available at www.btc.edu/EmergencyFunding. The application requires a personal statement in which the student addresses their need for funding, how circumstances impact their ability to continue enrollment and the on the ongoing nature of the circumstances. Additionally, students specify whether they are requesting funds from the CARES Act to assist with expenses related to the disruption in campus operations due to COVID-19. The Emergency Funding Committee reviews all applications and student record to determine whether the student meets eligibility criteria for CARES Act. Emergency Financial Aid Grants are awarded to eligible students to assist with expenses such as housing, food, technology, books and supplies, health care, child care. Guidelines for award maximums were established and documented in an internal policy and procedure document. Students are generally awarded between $500-$2,500 per academic year depending on the expense or circumstance detailed by the student in their application. Increased amounts may be awarded on a case-by-case basis.

    Guidance provided to students regarding Emergency Financial Aid Grants

    Students are informed of the availability of Emergency Financial Aid Grants funds through targeted mass email, communication from faculty and staff, printed publications, webpages and posts on a social media platform. The initial email was sent to a population of students whose quarterly credit load was reduced due to a delay in some course offerings as a result of COVID-19 pandemic. Mass emails continue to be sent on a periodic basis until funds are exhausted. Emails inform students of the availability of funds, method of applying, and timeframe for receiving funds. As BTC students are closely connected to their faculty and advisors, internal communication strategies were developed. All BTC faculty and staff are informed of the availability of funds in email correspondence, “Notable News” and in various meetings. A printed publication, “What’s Happening at BTC” featured the availability of funding for students facing unanticipated expenses due to campus disruption related to COVID-19. These communication efforts are intended to reach all eligible students who may experience financial challenges.

    Additional Instructions, directions or guidance is provided to students by email, on the Emergency Funding webpage and in virtual lobbies led by various student services staff.

    CARES Act Funds Reports

    Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) - SIP & Institutional Aid Reports

  • Default Rate


    A cohort default rate is the percentage of a school's borrowers who enter repayment on certain Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans during a particular federal fiscal year (FY), October 1st to September 30th, and default or meet other specified conditions prior to the end of the second following fiscal year.

    BTC's Cohort Default Rate for Fiscal Year 2018 is 8.9 percent.

  • Notification of Title IV Student Complaint Process


    The Higher Education Act (HEA) prohibits an institution of higher education from engaging in a “substantial misrepresentation of the nature of its educational program, its financial charges, or the employability of its graduates.” 20 U.S.C. §1094(c)(3)(A). Further, each state must have “a process to review and appropriately act on complaints concerning the institution including enforcing applicable state laws.” 34 C.F.R. § 600.9.

    Please note that any official complaints must first go through the BTC Grievance process.

    The Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges (SBCTC) maintains a process to investigate complaints of this nature brought by community and technical college students in the state of Washington. For information, contact SBCTC Student Services, PO Box 42495, Olympia, WA 98504-2495, ballinder@sbctc.edu, 360.704.4315 or visit www.sbctc.edu.

    Consumer Protection Title IV Student Complaint Form (PDF | Word)

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Hours & Contacts

Regular Hours

M to Th: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Friday: Closed

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