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.

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How to Apply

1. Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. It’s easy, and should take only about 30 minutes to complete online.

You’ll need:

  • A FSA ID from the Department of Education site. This helps them identify you when accessing your information, and acts as your electronic signature. If you are a dependent of your parent or guardian, they will need their own FSA ID. Get your FSA ID here.

  • Income records, such as W2s, copies of federal tax returns, and SSI benefits for the previous year. Dependent students will need their parents’ or guardians’ income records.

  • BTC College Code 016227.

You’ll receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) form the Department of Education. This is a summary of the information you provided. Review the SAR carefully. Make any necessary corrections on the FAFSA website or contact Student Financial Resources for help. Learn everything you need to know about Federal Student Aid and FAFSA.

2. BTC will receive your FAFSA information.

After about a week, BTC will receive your FAFSA information. You’ll also be notified by email. You will need to complete a BTC Financial Aid Data Sheet to let us know which quarters you will be attending. You may also have additional paperwork to complete, which you can do through the Financial Aid Portal.

3. BTC reviews your application

BTC reviews your application and worksheets. This process takes six to eight weeks. (For this reason it is important to apply early!)

4. Award process

The Award process usually takes about three to four weeks:

  • You’ll receive your award email, and can view your financial aid awards (grants, work study, and loans for which you qualify) through the Financial Aid Portal.
  • Grants, scholarships and any agency funds you are receiving will automatically be applied to your tuition and fees.
  • If you need loans to cover any other expenses, complete entrance counseling and the Master Promissory Note (MPN) here. Then complete the BTC Direct Loan Application. Note: Loan funds for new students are not available until 30 days after first quarter begins.

5. Check your Awards

Go to the Financial Aid Portal to check on awards left after tuition and fees are paid. Awards will be released to you after the quarter has begun.

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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! Go to https://portal.iontuition.com/Login

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

  • 2020-21 Financial Aid Forms

    Data Sheet (PDF)
    Authorization to Release Information (PDF)
    Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress (PDF)
    Student Financial Aid Handbook (PDF)
    Selective Service Verification (PDF)
    V1 Dependent - Verification Worksheet (PDF)
    V1 Independent - Verification Worksheet (PDF)
    V4 Dependent - Verification Worksheet (PDF)
    V4 Independent - Verification Worksheet (PDF)
    V5 Dependent - Verification Worksheet (PDF)
    V5 Independent - Verification Worksheet (PDF)
    Direct Loan Request (PDF)
    Direct Loan Revision (PDF)
    Petition for Special Circumstance (PDF)
    Enrollment Revision (PDF)
    Appeal for Reinstatement of Aid (PDF)
    Cost of Attendance Adjustment (PDF)

  • Important Websites

    www.fafsa.gov - To complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid
    www.sss.gov - Selective Service System
    www.readysetgrad.org/wasfa - For DREAMers to complete the WASFA
    www.thewashboard.org - Find scholarships from the Washington Scholarship Coalition
    www.irs.gov - Order your Tax Return Transcripts
    www.studentloans.gov - Complete entrance/exit counseling and sign your Master Promissory Note

  • Priority Application Deadlines

    We recommend you begin the process at least two months before the following deadlines:

    Fall Quarter: July 1
    Winter Quarter: November 1
    Spring Quarter: February 1
    Summer Quarter: May 1
  • BankMobile

    Bellingham Technical College has partnered with BankMobile to deliver your financial aid refund. For more information about BankMobile, visit this link: https://bankmobiledisbursements.com/how-it-works/.

    You can view the BankMobile contract

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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

    BTC's FY17 Cohort Default Rate for federal student loans is 15.5 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

BTC is operating remotely - email and calls only
M to Th: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
F: 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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