Whatcom Community College offers adult basic education (ABE) classes for basic reading, writing and math brush-up, and GED test preparation. Some classes integrate computer skills. The following classes are available quarterly.

  • GED preparation: Language arts, math, social studies, science
  • Accuplacer and college placement preparation: English & math


New students

  • There are three steps to begin ABE classes:

    1. Come to Cascade Hall 167, Office of Transitional Learning (ABE office) to schedule a CASAS testing appointment.
    2. Come to your testing appointment. After you finish your CASAS tests you will be given a registration appointment.
    3. Come to your registration appointment. The ABE program costs $25 a quarter due at registration.


    Students 16-18 years old may take the CASAS tests but will need a Request for Approval to Test form from the high school where they currently live before registering for classes.


Returning students

Students returning within 6 months of their last CASAS test are able to register at the next registration session. For more information or to return to classes contact the Office of Transitional Learning at 360.383.3060 or email tmartinez@whatcom.ctc.edu.


Tuition & fees

  • $25 tuition per quarter for students enrolled in ABE, ESL and GED classes.


GED testing information

  • The GED consists of 4 tests. The costs are $30 per test. $6 per GEDReady practice tests. 
  • To schedule and pay for a GED test go to https://ged.com/
  • General GED information provided by GED Testing Service is available at https://ged.com/
  • To request GED transcripts or records go to https://gedverify.org

Students 16-18 years old may take the GED but need to submit a Request for Approval to Test form from the high school where they currently live in to the Testing Center order to finish setting up their account online. Once the form is submitted they can continue the process to schedule their tests. 



Integrated Basic Education & Skills Training (IBEST) is a program that provides extra support for ABE students in professional-technical programs such as Medical Assisting & Nursing Assistant Certified (NAC). Visit the IBEST page for more information.



Ability to Benefit

Whatcom Community College provides access to financial aid resources to students without a high school diploma or GED under Ability to Benefit (ATB) guidelines.


  • Must be 18 years or older and their high school cohort must have already graduated  
  • Must be pursuing a financial aid eligible degree or certificate at WCC that links to an approved career pathway
  • Must be eligible for FAFSA (Currently WAFSA requires a high school diploma)

Individuals interested in accessing Ability to Benefit should complete the current FAFSA application online at fafsa.ed.gov and schedule an appointment to see an advisor. Individuals must see an advisor in order to complete the necessary paperwork including an educational plan and verification documentation.

For more information about Ability to Benefit please contact Megan Dougherty at mdougherty@whatcom.edu.