Jul 15, 2024  
2021-2022 NOVA Catalog 
2021-2022 NOVA Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admission Information

Student Classifications

Curricular Student

Individuals are classified as curricular students when they declare a major, that is, when they are admitted to a curriculum of the College. The student must be a high school graduate, have earned a General Educational Development (GED) diploma, have completed an approved developmental program, or have been otherwise determined qualified for admission. The applicant’s academic record must contain all of the information required for admission to the College. A curricular student may be either a full time or part-time student working toward completion of a certificate or associate degree at the College.

Non-curricular Student

Students who are not formally admitted to a creditbearing program of study are considered non-curricular students. Non-curricular students may still enroll in courses by identifying the reason for enrolling at NOVA. Students are expected to declare a major prior to completing 30 credit hours of coursework. Students may be classified as non-curricular for purposes of the following:

  • upgrading employment skills for one’s present job
  • developing skills for a new job
  • exploring a new career
  • seeking personal satisfaction or general knowledge
  • taking developmental studies courses

Other non-curricular students may include the following:

  • a transient (visiting) student. Such students may be enrolled at NOVA while maintaining primary enrollment with another college or university.
  • a nondegree transfer student. Such students may be enrolled at NOVA to take only a certain number of courses for transfer to another college or university prior to completing the graduation requirements of a specific curriculum at NOVA.
  • a high school junior or senior or the home school equivalent. (Please see “Dual Enrollment.”)
  • a student with general or curricular requirements pending. The student may not have met all of the general or specific admission requirements as stated in the College Catalog but may be accepted by the College to take courses for one semester only, with approval from the College.
  • a student whose desired program has restricted enrollment. The student may meet admission requirements of a specific curriculum but be denied entry because of an enrollment limitation. The student may enroll in other courses while waiting for entry into the chosen curriculum, with approval of the College.

Full-Time Student

Students enrolled for 12 or more credits in a semester are considered full-time students.

Part-Time Student

Students enrolled for fewer than 12 credit hours in a semester are part-time students.

Admission Procedures

Admission to the College

Individuals who have a high school diploma or the equivalent, or are at least 18 years of age and are able to benefit academically from enrollment as demonstrated by assessment in reading, writing, and mathematics, are eligible for admission to Northern Virginia Community College. Minimum placement criteria can be found in the “Placement ” section of this Catalog. Exceptions to this policy may be made by the College president only for documented reasons.

High school and home schooled students may be eligible to enroll in certain dual enrollment courses. (See the section on “Dual Enrollment.”)

The College welcomes transfer students from other colleges. Those who meet NOVA’s admission requirements may be admitted with no restrictions.

All applicants must complete the Application for Admission. A Social Security number is not required unless the student is applying for financial aid or veteran/active-duty military education benefits. Students are accepted on a first-come/first-served basis, except in restricted programs or when enrollment must be limited. In such cases, priority will be given in the following order:

  1. legal residents domiciled in the cities and counties supporting the College
  2. other Virginia legal residents
  3. out-of-state applicants
  4. international students requiring Form I-20

For certain health technology programs, “counties supporting the College” may include those in which clinical affiliates have contractual agreements with NOVA.

It is even more important for individuals to apply early to the College if they are interested in being admitted to a particular curriculum. High school transcripts are not generally required, but are useful for academic advisement and for placement to better ensure success in a chosen curriculum and to evaluate for college-level courses. Transcripts may be required in some cases, i.e., prior to dual enrollment, or to verify prerequisites for college-level courses.

High school transcripts are required in order to be considered for admission to the Veterinary Technology, Dental Hygiene, and Nursing Programs. Transcripts are preferred for the Emergency Medical Services Programs. Contact the appropriate campus Student Services Center regarding admission to these programs.

The Application for Admission is available online at www.nvcc.edu. For those with no computer access, paper forms are available at any campus Student Services Center. Applicants are urged to submit their Application for Admission to the College at least 30 days prior to the first day of classes for the semester in which they plan to enroll. This should provide incoming students with the opportunity to attend the New Student Orientation or meet with a counselor for academic assistance prior to enrollment.

The College reserves the right to evaluate and document special cases and to refuse or revoke admission if the college determines that the applicant or student poses a threat, is a potential danger, is significantly disruptive to the college community, or if such refusal or revocation is considered to be in the best interest of a college. The College also reserves the right to refuse admission for applicants that have been expelled or suspended from another college, or determined by said college to be a threat, potential danger, or significantly disruptive. Students whose admission is revoked after enrollment must be given due process.Individuals who enroll as a student at NOVA accept the rules and regulations of the College. Any violation will be subject to appropriate action by the College. All NOVA policies are superseded by VCCS policy if differences inadvertently occur.

Readmission to the College

Former NOVA students who have not been enrolled for three years (nine consecutive terms) and wish to return to the College must also complete an Application for Admission to reactivate their records.

Reinstatement as a Result of Military Service

Students who are called to active duty or mobilized shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be reinstated in the same program of study if they return to NOVA after a cumulative absence of not more than five years, so long as they provide notice of intent to return within three years after the completion of the period of service.  Please send military orders to militaryservices@nvcc.edu if you are seeking reinstatement due to being mobilized.

Admission to a Curriculum

Students may be placed in no more than two degree programs, and placement in certificate programs should be limited. Students who wish to change their program should ask their advisor to place them in the new program and remove them from any programs they do not plan to complete.

Apart from the general admission requirements for acceptance by the College, some curricula have additional requirements for admission; these are listed in the “Programs of Study (A-Z) ” section of this Catalog. Students should check the curriculum of their choice to see if they have met the required prerequisites for enrolling in that curriculum. Those who do not meet these requirements may be able to make up deficiencies by taking developmental or other courses.

Readmission to a Curriculum

Students who wish to be readmitted to a restricted program after nonattendance for at least one year must consult the specific program listing under “Programs of Study (A-Z) ” for detailed readmission requirements. Students who were placed in a nonrestricted program will not have to reapply for admission to their curriculum; however, students should check to see whether the program requirements have changed since their last attendance.

Dual Enrollment of High School and Home Schooled Students

Dual enrollment allows students to earn College credit while still in high school. High school juniors and seniors, or the home school equivalent, are eligible to take NOVA courses if they meet admission and placement requirements. Students may be able to use dual enrollment courses to meet both College and high school graduation requirements, or they may choose to take courses for College credit only. Since dual enrollment courses are college courses, they have college-level content and include college-level discussions. Students who take a dual enrollment course will have a NOVA transcript that documents the course(s) taken and the grade(s) received.

In addition, highly qualified students who meet stringent admission criteria may be able to complete a certificate or degree while in high school. Students interested in this opportunity should consult with their school and a NOVA counselor directly.

High School Students

High school juniors or seniors may take dual enrollment courses at a NOVA campus or center, through NOVA Online, or take NOVA courses taught at their high school. Exceptions may be considered for freshman and sophomore students who are able to demonstrate readiness for college-level coursework through the College’s established institutional policies. Because enrolling freshman and sophomore students is considered exceptional, each freshman and sophomore student will be considered on a case-by-case basis and require formal approval by the College president. It is required that all prospective dual enrollment students meet criteria established by the Virginia Community Colleges System prior to enrolling in dual enrollment coursework. (See “Placement ”)

The College also has dual enrollment agreements with local public school systems and private schools whereby some dual enrollment classes are taught at some high schools during the school day. These classes are arranged annually with the high school administration. Students should contact their high school counselor for more information about dual enrollment courses that may be offered at their high school.

Home Schooled Students

Students who are a home schooled equivalent of a high school junior or senior may be eligible to take courses at a NOVA facility or through NOVA Online. Dual enrollment is considered enrichment to the home school program and cannot substitute for the home school experience.

Admission Procedures for Dual Enrollment

Applicants for dual enrollment at a NOVA facility

These students should complete the online application available at www.nvcc.edu at least 30 days in advance of the start of the class. They must also submit a Dual Enrollment Recommendation Form (125-207) or Dual Enrollment for Home Schooled Students Form (125-208) once the online application is completed. These forms can be found online at www.nvcc.edu/forms. The campus dean of students or his/her designee will review the forms.

These forms include a place to list any NOVA courses the student wishes to use to fulfill Virginia high school graduation requirements. The student’s parent or guardian must sign the form to indicate he/she believes the student is ready for college courses. In addition, the student’s high school principal and high school counselor must sign the form to indicate that they believe the student is ready for college-level work and that the district will accept appropriate coursework for high school credit. Home schooled students must provide either a copy of a current signed home school agreement between the appropriate school system and the authorizing parent or guardian or a letter from the parent or guardian declaring home school for religious exemption.

Before final approval of a dual enrollment request is granted, students who wish to take classes at a NOVA facility must meet with a NOVA counselor and/or dean of students at the campus they plan to attend at least two weeks before the start of classes. First-time dual enrollment students must bring a sealed official high school transcript to the meeting. Returning dual enrollment students will have their NOVA transcript or course progress reviewed prior to approving or denying future reenrollments at the College. All students must meet admission and course placement requirements and/or prerequisites.

Dual enrollment students who take classes at a NOVA facility must register for College classes in person. The entire enrollment process, including registration, must be completed before the first day of class. Payment must comply with the payment due date for the semester as established by the College.

Applicants for a dual enrollment course at their high school

These students should talk with their guidance counselor. The entire application, testing, permission, and payment process will be handled within the high school.

Policies on Dual Enrollment

The following policies will apply to all dual enrollment high school and home schooled students:

  • The College reserves the right to evaluate applications for admission and to refuse admission to applicants when it is considered to be in the best interest of the College. Factors in a student’s academic or personal record may be considered as a part of approving or denying a dual enrollment request.
  • Dual enrollment students must meet admission requirements, which include demonstrated proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics as established by the Virginia Community College System. See “Placement ” for further information.
  • Dual enrollment students must meet all course prerequisites.
  • Dual enrollment students are not eligible for financial aid through NOVA.
  • Dual enrollment students are not eligible to enroll in developmental courses.
  • Dual enrollment students must take courses for graded credit and may not audit courses.
  • All NOVA students, regardless of age, are subject to all of the rules, policies, and procedures of the College pertaining to attendance, confidentiality of records, conduct, etc., as found in the College Catalog and the College Student Handbook.

For more information consult the dual enrollment manual, found at www.nvcc.edu/dual-enrollment/. The manual provides all the information needed to enroll in a dual enrollment class at a NOVA facility, through NOVA Online, or at a local high school.

International Students

NOVA welcomes all international students to enroll on our campuses. To be admitted, international applicants must complete an online application and submit additional documentation to the Office of International Students. Specific details can be found at; www.nvcc.edu/admissions/apply/international. When an online application is completed, the student will receive a student identification number (SIS number) and email on the next steps.

Student Visas (F-1 or Other Visa Categories)

All non-US citizens applying from abroad or those currently in the United States on a non-immigrant visa status that does not permit educational studies must receive an I-20 from NOVA to apply for an F1 international student visa status before they can enroll in classes. For complete details on the I-20 and international admissions process, please visit www.nvcc.edu/admissions/apply/international/index.html.

Students on other approved visa categories will need to provide evidence of their legal status to the Enrollment Services office on campus or via email (enrollmentservices@nvcc.edu) before they can register for classes.

If students have questions about how their status might affect their studies, please contact the Office of International Students at OISS@nvcc.edu.

International Student Success

International students at NOVA are required to check in online with the Office of International Students, attend an International Student Orientation lab and meet with their international student advisor prior to enrollment in classes.

F-1 students will need to provide the below documents to the Office of International Students upon arrival to NOVA.

  • I-94 record of arrival
  • F-1 visa and passport
  • Signed copy of I20

Undocumented Students

It is the policy of Northern Virginia Community College to admit to those applicants who are residing in Virginia and have graduated from a Virginia high school with a high school diploma or equivalent (homeschooling, GED), even if they are not able to document their legal presence. Those who are unable to provide evidence of legal status will not be eligible for in-state tuition.

Senior Citizens

The Virginia Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974 and amendments allow senior citizens to take classes at no charge under certain circumstances. Individuals who are 60 years of age or older and have been legally domiciled in Virginia for one year prior to the beginning of the semester in which they enroll may qualify to attend credit and many noncredit classes at NOVA without paying tuition.

  • Such individuals may take a credit course for free on a space-available basis if their taxable income did not exceed $23,850 in the previous year.
  • Regardless of income, senior citizens may take a credit course for free if they audit (do not receive a grade).
  • They may take a noncredit, workforce development course for free if space is available. To enroll in noncredit courses, contact the Workforce Development Office at the campus where the course is being offered.
  • For all courses, senior citizens must complete both an Application for Admission and the Senior Citizen Certification of Eligibility for Free Tuition Form (105-088).
  • Senior citizens may enroll in NOL courses at any time, if there is available space.
  • To audit an NOL online learning course, senior citizens must have the instructor’s permission.

Senior citizens may register beginning the last business day before the session begins unless they pay tuition. NOVA has various start dates throughout each term. However, senior citizens who have completed 75 percent of their degree requirements may enroll at the same time as tuition-paying students. Tuition-paying students are accommodated in courses before senior citizens participating in this program are enrolled. Tuition waivers may not be used for one-on-one instruction in art, music, or other individual study courses.

  • Senior citizens who apply for free tuition AFTER registering and paying for a class are not eligible for a refund for that class.
  • Senior citizens will still be expected to pay all course expenses other than tuition, such as art, music and laboratory fees, by 5:00 p.m. the day after registration.
  • Audit and noncredit enrollment is limited to three courses in one term.
  • The College reserves the right to cancel any class.

Complete information is available on the NOVA Senior Citizens’ web page. http://www.nvcc.edu/admissions/apply/seniors.html.

Visiting (Transient) Students

“Transient” or visiting students maintain their primary enrollment with the four-year college or university (home institution) and elect to enroll at NOVA for the limited purpose of taking one or more classes. Students must provide specified documentation showing current enrollment or admission to a four-year college or university. Documentation will be required to show successful completion of course prerequisites. Full information and directions are available at https://www.nvcc.edu/admissions/apply/visiting-students.html.

NOVAConnect Student Information System (SIS)

NOVAConnect is the name for the College’s Student Information System (SIS). Access to NOVAConnect requires an Internet connection, a web browser, and a Student ID number. NOVAConnect allows students to complete many business transactions with the College online. Students will be able to access NOVAConnect by clicking on “My NOVA” located on the home page of NOVA’s website. Through NOVAConnect, students can do the following:

  • register for and drop classes
  • search for classes by availability, day, instructor, and location
  • view and print their class schedule
  • use the academic planner for future course selections based on one’s degree requirements
  • find their priority registration date
  • check their advisement report
  • review grades and print unofficial transcripts
  • request an official NOVA transcript
  • view a transfer credit report
  • view advisor information and email an advisor
  • view course/grade history
  • view an account summary, including tuition and fees
  • make a payment by clicking “Go to QuikPAY”
  • check financial aid eligibility status
  • check outstanding financial aid payments
  • review their financial aid award
  • view their financial aid history
  • update personal information, such as addresses and phone numbers
  • submit an application for graduation

For a complete list of functions available through NOVAConnect, students can view tutorials at www.nvcc.edu/novaconnect.

Student ID Number

Students will need to use their ID number throughout their NOVA college career to identify themselves in NOVAConnect and their college records. NOVAConnect assigns a seven-digit Student ID number at the time a student applies for admission.

Social Security Number

The student’s Social Security number is not required as part of the student record, so it will not be used as a Student ID number. Students must, however, submit their Social Security number to receive financial aid or military/veterans benefits. For students who receive financial aid, the Social Security number will be used in connection with federal financial aid funds such as Pell Grants, and deferments for previous student loans.

Identification Cards (NOVACard)

Student photo identification cards, NOVACard IDs, are provided to credit-seeking students through the Student Life fee. The cards are distributed through campus NOVACard Offices. Students should wait 24 hours after first registering for classes before going to a campus NOVACard Office to obtain an ID card. ID cards may be required for library material use, admissions to special student activities, and so forth. There is a fee to replace lost cards. Contact a campus NOVACard Office for more information.

Student Records Access

The College enforces Public Law 93-380 in providing for the privacy of official student records and the rights of students to review these records. Students may review their official records by making a request to the Student Services Center. NOVA will not release any personally identifiable information other than directory information about a student without his or her permission, except to certain school and governmental officials as required by law.

As required by state law (SB559/HB984, §23-2.2:1), the VCCS provides the Virginia State Police with the following information about all students within seven days of their acceptance to the College: the student’s full name, Social Security number, date of birth, and gender. The State Police compare this information to the Virginia Criminal Information Network, as well as the National Crime Information Center Convicted Sexual Offender Registry File.

Requests by individuals and agencies for release of student information must be presented in writing. A student’s permission for the College to release any information must also be in writing. Information that is considered directory (public) information is described in the current issue of the College Student Handbook.

Campus of Record

Once admitted to the College, students may take courses at any campus or through NOVA Online, though some majors and some courses are offered only at selected campuses. Most students identify with one campus as the place where they obtain services, such as counseling, academic advising, participation in activities, testing, etc. Academic advising should be sought at a campus that offers the student’s intended major. This is especially true of restricted programs, such as Nursing and Health Science programs. Questions about where or how to use the services of the College should be directed to the Student Services Center at any campus.