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All About Scholarships from the BTC Foundation

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    Have you heard about our National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholarships?
    The NSF has partnered with BTC to offer full-ride scholarships for students in the following programs:

    • Clean Energy
    • Composites
    • Electronics
    • Mechanical Design
    • Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering Technology

    To be eligible you must be a US citizen, qualify for financial aid, have a 3.0 GPA and commit to two credits per quarter of additional hands-on coursework. If you are selected, you will receive paid tuition and other support for two years of study beginning fall quarter.
    Apply for the NSF award and all BTC Foundation scholarships by completing the general scholarship application April 15-June 30.


    Q & A

    What are "Foundation" scholarships? What scholarships are available? What are the requirements? And more...



    See some examples of winning essays, get a few writing tips, and learn what is expected.



    If we've given you a scholarship before you can go straight here, but if not, you really should check out the first two tabs first.



    Find scholarships from outside sources, financial resources for students and other research tools.

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Scholarship Q & A

  • What are "Foundation Scholarships"?
    We receive donations from generous individuals, businesses, and organizations throughout the year to give as scholarships just for BTC students. These donors often have ties to BTC because they are alumni, their business hires our graduates, or their organization supports education in our community. We also have endowment funds that support scholarships with yearly distributions from donors who have made sizeable contributions and wish their gift to help students in perpetuity.
  • How much money do you give out?
    The total amount we have available fluctuates from year-to-year, but the average yearly total since 2008 is over $200,000 and the average award per student has been about $1,500. We base the award amount on financial need, time left in program, cost of the program, and the overall application.
  • What are my chances of getting a scholarship?
    While we cannot guarantee you will receive a scholarship, we are here to help you put together the best possible application, which can improve your chances. On average we give money to almost 50% of those who submit complete applications.
  • What are the application requirements?
    There are only three requirements you must meet to be considered for a Foundation scholarship. You need a Student ID (SID), if need to have a FAFSA or WAFSA on file, and you need to submit a completed application by the deadline. You'll see more info on the application page.
  • How do I know if I am eligible?
    Some of our donors have set specific criteria for their scholarships. You just complete one simple application and we'll match you up to the scholarships that fit your profile. The questions that you answer on your application help us determine your eligibility for all of them. You'll notice that many of the available scholarships in the list below say Open to any student, which means as long as you have met the requirements to apply you are eligible for a scholarship.
  • What scholarships are available and what are the criteria?
    Each year we award one or more scholarships from approximately 150 different funds. You can see the list of currently available scholarships and the criteria for each of them at https://btc.awardspring.com/Home/Scholarships.
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Acing the essay questions

In early July a committee of 6-8 people gathers together to select scholarship recipients. Every application is carefully considered for a scholarship and some of the factors that we consider when choosing recipients are financial need and GPA, but the biggest factor is the personal statement section. We ask 3 questions that require you to write longer answers (up to 750 words each).

  1. Why did you chose your program and what factors will lead to your success? (What knowledge or life experience do you have that will help you be successful? What do you know about this career? What are your career goals?)
  2. What do you want the committee to know about you that will set you apart from other applicants? (This is your chance to tell us your life's story. What sets you apart from other applicants? Why should we choose you?)
  3. Please list your activities and accomplishments. Include volunteer work, leadership roles, clubs, committees, teams, etc. (Do you feed your neighbor's cat? Help out your PTA? Usher at church? If you don't have time for any of that now, do you plan to do something in the future or have you in the past?)

When you write your winning essay, we really just want you to tell us why you need and/or deserve a scholarship. We aren't too concerned with perfect spelling and excellent grammar, and we give awards to students of all ages, from every program, with various financial needs. However, we have to score everyone on something, so be sure to address the questions that are asked.


How your application will be scored

Your financial need as documented by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and your GPA are used along with your essay scores to rate your overall application package.

Every essay is read and scored by two or more members of the scholarship selection committee. The scores are added together and averaged for a total possible of 4 points per essay. readers use the following rubric to come up with this score:

Overall Essay 40%
0 - No essay
1 - Very little effort (a few sentences; very little substance)
2 - Some effort (long or limited paragraphs; describes some relevant essay pieces)
3 - Good effort (multiple paragraphs; displays knowledge of program area and career)
4 - Outstanding (makes case for support by addressing program, career and community work)

Program Alignment 40%
0 - No mention of program alignment or career goals
1 - Does not match (it is clear they are not in the right program or know nothing about it)
2 - Limited alignment (They like their program but have little experience or exposure to the career)
3 - Good Program Alignment (makes case for appropriate program, discusses career goals)
4 - Excellent program alignment (student makes an excellent case for program success and career path)

Community/Volunteer Service 20%
0 - No mention of service
1 - No service (but mentions it in the essay)
2 - Limited service (helps family/friends, mentions past or future involvement)
3 - Some current involvement with community organization(s) (church, nonprofit, school, ASBTC, etc.)
4 - Active or significant past involvement in community organization(s)


Check out the tutoring center for more help writing your personal statement!



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BTC Foundation Scholarship Application


    Before you begin:


      Get a Student Identification Number (SID)

      • NOTE: Even if you have never attended BTC or are not sure when you will start you can get an identification number.
      • Don't have an SID? Get it here before returning to complete your application.

      Write a personal statement

      • We strongly suggest that you write your essay before you start, then copy and paste it into the application. Write an appeal that addresses each of the following topics (up to 750 words per section):


      Why are you a good fit for your program?

      What's your story?

      Include a list of accomplishments and activities, or write a statement addressing:

      How do you/will you give back to your community?

    This personal statement is a big part of our scoring, take your time and remember that you are asking a complete stranger to help you pay for school!




    If you need further assistance, have computer difficulties or questions that are not answered on the Q & A page, contact Valerie Frank at vfrank@btc.edu or 752-8684.

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Other Scholarships and Financial Resources


Many applications require letters of recommendation, transcripts, and a personal statement, so get started early!


Search Aggregators

WashBoard Scholarship Search Database

Trades & Apprenticeship Information

Mike Rowe Works Trade Resource Center

Note to outside scholarship administrators - do not contact Bellingham Technical College or the BTC Foundation requesting that we put your individual scholarship information on this page.