May 17, 2024  
2021-2022 NOVA Catalog 
2021-2022 NOVA Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Financial Information


Tuition rates and deadlines are posted online at Several payment options are available. Payment of tuition entitles students to use the library, bookstore, food services, student lounge, and other facilities of the College except for parking. (See for information about parking.) Students must pay for any school property that they damage or lose, such as laboratory or shop equipment, supplies, library books, and materials.

Some courses, such as physical education, may require non-College support services from other agencies and individuals. Costs for these additional charges are paid by students directly to the individual or agency providing the service.

All tuition and most fees are approved by the State Board for Community Colleges, which has the authority to change any and all tuition and fees without prior notice.

In-State Tuition Eligibility

To be eligible for in-state tuition rates, students must be domiciled in Virginia for a minimum of one year before the first official day of classes. When students apply for in-state tuition, they should be prepared to present documentation to support their claim. See the following “Domicile Requirements” section for details.

To change one’s tuition status from out-of-state to in-state the student must initiate the process by completing the “Domicile Determination Form” section of the Virginia Community College System Application for Admission Form (125-030), which can be obtained online at or at any campus Student Services Center. It must be completed and returned to the Student Services Center for review before the enrollment period begins for the semester in which the in-state charges will take effect.

The College reserves the right to collect the difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition charges when the wrong tuition rate is paid. The Student Services Center on any campus can assist with questions concerning domicile status.

Domicile Requirements

All applicants for admission to Northern Virginia Community College are required by the Code of Virginia, 23-7.4, to complete the “Domicile Determination Form” section of the Application for Admission Form (125-030).

To be eligible for in-state tuition, an individual must be domiciled in Virginia for a minimum of one year before the first official day of classes. Domicile is defined as an individual’s “present, fixed home where you return following temporary absences and where you intend to stay indefinitely.” In essence, domicile has two parts and an individual must meet both to qualify for in-state tuition. The individual must reside in Virginia and must intend to keep this as his or her home indefinitely.

Regardless of other factors such as dependency, non-U.S. citizens on most temporary visas, in restricted classifications, or undocumented are not eligible to establish Virginia domicile and eligibility for in-state tuition. Students who are in the United States under Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are eligible to establish Virginia domicile.

In most cases, dependent students have the same domicile as their parents or legal guardian. Individuals are presumed to be a dependent of their parent or legal guardian if they are under the age of 24, unless they are a veteran or active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces; are a graduate or professional student (beyond a bachelor’s degree); are married; are a ward of the court or were a ward of the court until age 18; have no adoptive or legal guardian when both parents are deceased; have legal dependents other than a spouse; or are able to present clear and convincing evidence that they are financially self-sufficient. Children and the dependent spouse of a Virginia domiciliary may be eligible for in-state tuition. Additional documentation may be required.

Dependent children who are U.S. citizens may be eligible to establish Virginia domicile separate from their noncitizen parents. They must present clear and convincing evidence that they are domiciled in Virginia and must provide documentation of their citizenship.

The College may review many factors and documents when determining an individual’s domicile. The following are some examples:

  • residence during the past year prior to the first day of the semester
  • state to which income taxes are filed or paid
  • driver’s license
  • motor vehicle registration
  • voter registration
  • employment
  • property ownership
  • sources of financial support
  • other social or economic ties with Virginia and other states

However, the presence of any or all of these factors does not automatically result in Virginia domicile. The factors used to support a case for in-state tuition benefits must have existed for one year before the first official day of classes. Contact the Student Services Center at any campus for additional information. Students who have been denied in-state domicile status and wish to appeal should see the “Domicile/Tuition Appeal Process” online or contact a Student Services Center.

Students classified as out-of-state who can provide clear and convincing evidence that they were eligible for Virginia domicile on the first day of class for a term may have their tuition status changed for the current term. Students should follow the institution’s domicile appeal policy.

In the event that a student’s circumstances change after a semester has begun, the student may be eligible for reclassification of his/her tuition status. This reclassification shall be effective for the next academic semester or term (Fall, Spring, or Summer) following the date of the application for reclassification. Students should follow the institution’s domicile appeal policy.

Changes that may occur later in one’s residence, tax payment status, auto registration, etc., must be reported to a campus Student Services Center. Failure to report changes that could affect an individual’s domicile and eligibility for in-state tuition could result in the College’s billing the student for tuition due and/or taking disciplinary action against him or her.

Domicile Information for Military Families

The following is a summary of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia domicile guidelines, based on the Code of Virginia, 23-7.4, as they relate to active duty military personnel, their spouses and dependents, who may not otherwise qualify for in-state tuition privileges. These guidelines are subject to annual legislative review and change; normally changes take effect on July 1 of each year. See a campus Student Services Center for updated information and details.

Active Duty Military Personnel (Service Members)

Any active duty service members, activated guard or reservist members, or guard or reservist members mobilized or on temporary active orders for six months or more, that are either stationed or assigned by their military service to a work location in Virginia, and reside in Virginia, are eligible to pay tuition at the in-state rate. Such individuals must complete the In-state Tuition for Active Duty Military and Dependents Living in Virginia Form (125-115) and take it, along with the documents specified on the form, to a campus Student Services Center to claim this benefit.

An active duty military service member may qualify for a waiver of the one-year residency requirement by electing to establish domicile in Virginia. The one-year residency requirement will be waived only if all other conditions for establishing domicile are met, including, but not limited to, Virginia resident income taxes on all income (Leave/Earning Statement showing Virginia tax withheld), Virginia State of Legal Residence Certificate (DD 2058), Virginia driver’s license, and Virginia vehicle registration. Copies of these documents must be provided by the student to claim eligibility for this waiver prior to the beginning of the semester/term for which in-state charges are requested.

In December 2016, Congress passed Public Law 114-315, which modifies 38 U.S.C. 3679(c).  As amended, 38 U.S.C. 3679(c) requires that the following individuals be charged the resident rate:

  • A Veteran using educational assistance under either chapter 30 (Montgomery G.I. Bill - Active Duty Program) or chapter 33 (Post-9/11 G.I. Bill), of title 38, United States Code, who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of his/her formal State of residence) and enrolls in the institution within three years of discharge or release from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of his/her formal State of residence) and enrolls in the institution within three years of the transferor’s discharge or release from a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Anyone described above while he or she remains continuously enrolled (other than during regularly scheduled breaks between courses, semesters, or terms) at the same institution. The person so described must have enrolled in the institution prior to the expiration of the three year period following discharge or release as described above and must be using educational benefits under either chapter 30 or chapter 33, of title 38, United States Code.
  • Anyone using benefits under the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship (38 U.S.C. § 3311(b)(9)) who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of his/her formal State of residence). Individuals using the Marine Gunnery Sergeant John David Fry Scholarship are no longer required to enroll within three years of the service member’s death, and there is no longer a requirement that the deceased service member’s death in the line of duty followed a period of active duty service of 90 days or more.
  • Anyone using transferred Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits (38 U.S.C. § 3319) who lives in the state in which the institution is located (regardless of his/her formal state of residence) and the transferor is a member of the uniformed service who is serving on active duty. 

Military Spouses and Dependent Children

The dependents of an active duty military person stationed in Virginia, the District of Columbia, or a state contiguous to Virginia, who reside in Virginia, are eligible for in-state tuition. Such individuals should complete the In-state Tuition for Active Duty Military and Dependents Living in Virginia Form (125-115) and take it, along with the documents specified on the form, to a campus Student Services Center to claim this benefit.

Military Benefits

Active Duty Tuition Assistance

The College participates in the Armed Forces Tuition Assistance (TA) program. Tuition Assistance is a benefit paid to eligible members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. Congress has given each service the ability to pay up to 100 percent for the tuition expenses of its members. In the event that TA does not cover fees required by the College, the service member is responsible for paying the out-of-pocket fees. Each service has its own criteria for eligibility, obligated service, application processes, and restrictions. This money is usually paid directly to the institution by the individual services. For more information on using Tuition Assistance, students should contact their branch of service education office or NOVA’s Military Services Office at

Reserves and National Guard Tuition Assistance

Members of the Selective Reserves are eligible for Tuition Assistance (TA). However, each of the Armed Forces determines how to administer their own Tuition Assistance. In addition, Virginia offers its National Guard service members state-funded education incentives based on state guidelines and eligibility. For more information on using Tuition Assistance, students should contact their branch of service education office or NOVA’s Military Services Office at

Military Spouse Career Advancement Account (MyCAA)

NOVA remains committed to the education of military members and their spouses. NOVA is an approved school for the Military Spouse Career Advancement Accounts (MyCAA) program. MyCAA allows select military spouses to receive financial assistance for licenses, certificates, certifications, or associate degrees (excluding General Studies and Liberal Arts) necessary for gainful employment in high demand, high growth portable career fields. For more information, contact MyCAA at or NOVA’s Military Services Office at

Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program

Under the Military Survivors and Dependents Education Program, a child between the ages of 16 and 29, or spouse of a military service member killed, missing in action, taken prisoner, or at least 90 percent disabled may be eligible for education benefits. These benefits may include full payment of tuition, fees, room and board, and books at any state-supported college or university in Virginia. The veteran must have been a Virginia citizen at the time he or she entered the military or must have been a Virginia citizen for at least five years prior to the surviving dependent’s Application for Admission. The program application may be downloaded at, or obtained by contacting the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, attn: VMSDEP, 101 N. 14th Street, 17th Floor, Richmond, VA 23219. The telephone number is 804-225-2083.

Veterans Benefits

This institution is approved to offer GI Bill educational benefits by the Virginia State Approving Agency (SAA).  The SAA is the approving authority of education and training programs for Virginia.  Their office investigates complaints of GI Bill beneficiaries.  While most complaints should initially follow the school grievance policy, if the situation cannot be resolved at the school, the beneficiary should contact the SAA office via email at

Most College degree and certificate programs are approved for training-eligible servicepersons, veterans, and dependents. Additional information is available from the veterans advisor on each campus.

Veterans and veteran’s dependents may be eligible for educational benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Students who wish to determine eligibility for veterans benefits should contact the Department of Veterans Affairs. Once eligibility is determined, such individuals should contact their campus veterans advisor each semester to complete the necessary forms to establish and maintain their eligibility for benefits. Full-time educational benefits are available to those registering for and maintaining 12 or more credits in degree program courses. Three-quarter-time benefits are paid for 9 to 11 credits and half-time benefits are paid for 6 to 8 credits per semester. Active duty servicepersons and those registered for less than 6 credits are entitled to tuition reimbursement only. Certificate programs are measured differently for payment. Courses taken through NOVA Online and accelerated courses are also measured differently. See a campus veterans advisor for details.

Students who receive educational benefits must report their enrollment each semester to their veterans advisor. The information will then be certified and reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs Regional Office. Any changes to a student’s enrollment must also be reported to the campus veterans advisor. Changes include canceled classes, dropped classes, withdrawing from classes, adding classes, or any other type of change that may affect one’s eligibility to receive benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Excessive absences may result in the student’s dismissal from the course and adjustment of benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. Any change in status must be reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs as soon as possible, but no more than 30 days after the change has been officially completed at the College.

Satisfactory Progress Policy for Recipients of Veterans Benefits

To be eligible for veterans educational benefits, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress in accordance with Northern Virginia Community College standards. The following standards must be met:

Students will be reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs as making unsatisfactory progress if their cumulative GPA falls below the required level based on the following:

Regular Credits Attempted (A, B, C, D, F) Minimum Cumulative GPA Requirement
13-23 credits 1.50
24-47 credits 1.75
48 or more credits 2.00

This standard will be applied each term. However, students who do not achieve the above minimum cumulative GPA requirement, but do achieve a GPA of at least a 2.00 for the term being evaluated, may be certified for that term as making satisfactory progress.

When a student’s academic record does not meet the above standards, the student will be notified in writing by the veterans advisor that his/her next term will be “probationary.” The student will be required to meet with a counselor or academic advisor to develop a written plan to indicate how he/she will successfully complete his or her educational objective and how he or she will satisfy the GPA requirement for satisfactory progress toward graduation. This plan will be kept on file in the Veterans Office.

Those who do not meet the minimum cumulative GPA requirement or do not earn a minimum GPA of 2.00 for the probationary term will be reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs as making unsatisfactory progress. The student may be certified on a retroactive basis for the following term if he/she receives a minimum GPA of 2.00 for that semester. When the student’s cumulative GPA meets or exceeds the minimum requirement, educational benefits will be restored on a regular basis.

If a student is subject to academic suspension, he/she must be reported to the Department of Veterans Affairs as making unsatisfactory progress. Benefits will not be resumed until the student is making satisfactory progress.

Questions regarding this policy should be addressed to the campus veterans advisor.

Survivors of Deceased Public Safety Officers of Virginia Tuition Benefits

The Code of Virginia (Sec. 23-7.1:01) provides tuition benefits for certain children and spouses of deceased public safety officers. A student may be eligible for free tuition at the College if his or her parent or spouse was killed in the line of duty while employed in Virginia as a Virginia law enforcement officer; firefighter; rescue squad member; agent of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control; state correctional, regional, or local jail officer; sheriff and deputy sheriff; or a member of the Virginia National Guard serving in the Virginia National Guard or the United States Armed Forces. Children must be between the ages of 16 and 25. For more information on eligibility requirements and application procedures, students may contact any campus Student Services Center.

Tuition Payment

Once students have registered for a class or classes, they have until 5:00 p.m. the next business day to pay.  Classes may be dropped if not paid by the next business day. However, students should not assume that they will be dropped automatically from classes for which they have not paid. It is the student’s responsibility to drop all classes they do not want to take prior to the class census date.  The student should confirm their schedule of classes before the census date to assure their tuition costs are what they expect.

Tuition is payable by credit card (Visa, MasterCard, or American Express) on NOVAConnect. Tuition is also payable by cash, check, money order, NOVA’s Tuition Payment Plan, contract, or approved financial aid. The College accepts checks and money orders made out for the exact amount payable to the order of NOVA or NVCC. Checks made payable to the order of the College and the student are also accepted.  The College can also accept wire transfer of funds from a bank to pay tuition. Students must contact a campus business office for specific instructions. Without exception, all checks must include the student’s name and identification number.

NOVA charges a penalty fee to anyone whose payment is dishonored. A dishonored check is any check returned because of insufficient funds, a stop payment, or any other reason. A dishonored credit card payment is one for which the College’s account is debited. If a check is dishonored the student will be disqualified from paying by check for one-year after the original debt and penalty fee are paid.

Changes in Enrollment for Veterans

Changes in enrollment may result in overpayment of tuition and fees and/or Yellow Ribbon benefits. As a result, students may receive an automated notification from Veterans Affairs stating that the debt amount must be repaid and will be collected by the Debt Management Center. However, Veterans Affairs will instead collect these amounts from the college itself. NOVA may require students to pay any outstanding balance for tuition and fees. Students will still be responsible for repaying any debts associated with the monthly housing allowance and the books and supplies stipend to Veterans Affairs. If you have questions regarding overpayments and debts, contact

Delayed Payment Policy for Veterans

Students receiving veterans benefits will not be held responsible for delayed disbursement of funding from Veterans Affairs. In order to benefit, students must provide one of the following to the nearest campus veterans office:

  • VERF (veteran enrollment reporting form),

  • COE (certificate of eligibility) or statement of benefits from the e-benefits website, or

  • VAF 28-1905 form for chapter 31 authorization.

This will ensure veterans are processed and classes are protected until Veterans Affairs sends tuition payment to the college. NOVA will not impose any penalty (i.e. late fees, denial of access to institutional facilities) or require the additional borrowing of funds for any covered individual because of the individual’s inability to meet their financial obligations due to the delayed disbursement funding from Veterans Affairs.

Tuition Refunds

Tuition refunds are not automatic except when the College cancels courses.

Students may be eligible for a tuition refund under some very special circumstances. To request a refund, students should contact the staff of a campus Business Office to determine the correct procedures to follow. Complete information about tuition refunds can be found online at

Veteran Refund Policy

If a student using veterans benefits cannot complete a course (i.e. if the course is discontinued or the student withdraws), the unused portion of the tuition and/or fees paid by the student or Veterans Affairs will be refunded. The exact amount of the refund will be determined based on the class census date or once Veterans Affairs requests a return of tuition. Students will be responsible for returning tuition to Veterans Affairs if classes are dropped after the census date.

Students may request refunds through NOVA’s business office. Refunds will be processed once all necessary paperwork is processed for Department of Veterans Affairs and will be sent in the form of payment the student used to pay for the class (i.e. check, credit card, etc.).

Students may be eligible for an exception to college policy regarding tuition debt under special circumstances.

Students will receive a refund or incur no debt if:

  • the student drops a class before the session’s census date (see NOVA’s Academic Calendar or Schedule of Classes), or
  • the class is canceled by the College.

If a student replaces the dropped or canceled class with another class for a different number of credits, the student may be entitled to a refund if the new class carries fewer credits. The student may also owe NOVA money if the new class carries more credits.

Fees, Charges, and Expenses

Books and Supplies

Students are expected to obtain their own books, supplies, and consumable materials needed in their studies. A bookstore is located on each campus. Textbooks may be purchased new, used, or rented (selected titles only) from the store or online. Check the bookstore website at for each campus bookstore’s hours of operation.

Students on financial aid may charge books following the procedures established by the Financial Aid Office.

Library Charges

Library patrons are responsible for the replacement cost of any item they lose. Payments for lost materials are not refundable. This nonrefundable rule also applies to fines and replacement costs charged for materials borrowed from other libraries with a NOVACard Student ID.

Because access to high-demand reserve materials is critical, the College libraries charge fines for overdue reserve materials. Patrons returning regular reserve materials late will be charged a fine of $2.00 per day. Patrons returning timed reserve materials late will be charged a fine of $2.00 per hour. Timed reserve materials are those with specific time limits on their use in the Library. The maximum fine for keeping reserve materials late is $80.00.

Patrons with overdue circulating or reserve items will not be able to check out additional materials until all overdue items are returned and fines paid. Continued enrollment and the release of transcripts will be prevented if overdue items are not returned.

Parking Fees

Any student, full- or part-time, who wishes to park a vehicle in the student parking lots (“B” lots) on any campus during any semester, including Summer, must display a valid parking permit. A current NOVACard and valid parking permit are required to access the permit holder lanes at the Medical Education Campus garage. Hourly pay parking is also available at all campuses for those who do not have a current permit.

Permits may be purchased beginning May 1 for the Summer, August 1 for the Fall Semester, and December 1 for the Spring Semester. Students may purchase “B” parking permits online through the parking services website at Permits purchased online will be mailed to the applicant’s home address on record, and a temporary 21-day pass can be printed for use while awaiting mail delivery. Permit void unless hanging from the rearview mirror of the vehicle with the permit number facing the outside of the vehicle or displayed on the dashboard. Permit number must be fully visible.

The cost of a parking permit and hourly parking rates are specified on the parking website.

Parking enforcement on “B” lots will begin at 6 a.m. following the end of the schedule adjustment period. Campus signage will indicate specific dates. Parking regulations are enforceable 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Students are not required to display a permit while parked in a “B” lot after 3:45 p.m. on weekdays or anytime on weekends.

Questions regarding parking on campus can be directed to a campus Parking Services Office.


There is no fee for graduation. However, students are required to purchase academic regalia, available at the campus bookstores, if they wish to participate in the Commencement ceremony.

Nonpayment of Debts

Continued attendance at NOVA is dependent upon proper settlement of all debts owed the institution. Should a student fail to satisfy all due and payable amounts for tuition and fees, College loans, College fines, dishonored checks, or other debts owed the College, the student may be withdrawn from his or her courses. The student would be assigned “W” grades for his/her courses, and those will become part of the official transcript. When the debt is satisfied, the student may petition the dean of students to have the “W” grades removed and to be reinstated in his/her courses. Decisions on reinstatement are made on a case-by-case basis. Until all current debts have been satisfied, a hold will be placed on the student’s records, and he or she will receive very limited College services. See “Holds on Student Records/Service Indicators .”

If the College has agreed to accept tuition payment from a student’s employer or other third-party provider, and the tuition is not paid within the required time, the student is responsible for the tuition payment. As stated above, continued enrollment is dependent upon proper settlement of the debt. If not paid, the student may be withdrawn from his/her courses. For students who are withdrawn, the debt to the College is not forgiven.

In addition, the College reserves the right to pursue payment through debt collection services and other lawful means. Debtors are subject to late fees and collection costs.

Financial Aid Information

NOVA strives to assure that no one be denied the opportunity to attend the College for financial reasons. Financial aid programs provide a variety of funds to assist students in paying for college.

Financial aid representatives at each campus and the College Financial Aid Office provide information about financial aid programs, application procedures, and eligibility requirements. Applications, forms, and information are posted on the office’s website at The College updates the Student Services Financial Aid Handbook annually. This publication provides detailed information on application procedures and program eligibility criteria. The handbook can also be found online at

Applications for need-based financial aid begin with filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA on the Web Worksheets are available from Campus Financial Aid Offices or at FAFSAs for the following fall can be completed starting October 1 each year, three months earlier than in the past. Applications should be completed several months in advance of the semester for which assistance is needed. Applicants for all aid programs, including loans and work study, must file the FAFSA. Completed applications received by March 1 for Fall, October 1 for Spring, and April 1 for Summer will receive priority consideration.

Additional information on scholarships, grants, loans, and on-campus employment, as well as information about financial aid policies pertaining to class attendance, recalculation of awards, satisfactory academic progress, and repayment of funds, can be found in the Student Services Financial Aid Handbook and at

NOVA Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Standards

Federal regulations require that a student receiving federal financial aid make satisfactory academic progress (SAP) in accordance with the standards set by NOVA and the federal government. These limitations include all terms of enrollment, whether or not aid was awarded or received. At NOVA, satisfactory academic progress standards apply also to nonfederal aid, including state funds, institutional funds, and foundation scholarships. Progress is measured throughout the academic program by the student’s cumulative grade point average (Qualitative) and by credits earned as a percentage of those attempted (Quantitative or Pace of Completion). In addition, students must complete their programs of study before attempting 150 percent of the credits required to complete the program.

The College Financial Aid Office will evaluate satisfactory academic progress before aid is awarded and again after most grades are posted for every term, starting with the first term of enrollment. Some career studies certificate programs are ineligible for student financial aid, but those credits will be counted toward all SAP requirements (GPA, Completion Rate, Maximum Timeframe, and Developmental Maximum) if the student later enrolls in an eligible program.

Financial Aid Status

Financial Aid Good Standing (GS)

Students who are meeting all aspects of the satisfactory academic progress policy or successfully following a designated academic progress plan are in good standing.

Financial Aid Warning Status (WS)

Students who fail to meet satisfactory academic progress for the first time (excluding students who have already attempted 150 percent of the credits required for their programs of study or those flagged by the Department of Education for having unusual enrollment history) will be automatically placed in a warning status for one term and are expected to meet SAP requirements by the end of that term. Students who fail to meet SAP requirements at the end of the warning status term will be placed on financial aid suspension. However, with a successful SAP appeal, those students will be placed on financial aid probation and will retain financial aid eligibility. Students who attempt at least half-time status and fail or withdraw from all classes can immediately be placed in financial aid suspension status.

Financial Aid Probation Status (PS)

Students who have successfully appealed financial aid suspension are placed in probation status (PS). Students in probation status are eligible to receive financial aid for one semester, after which they MUST be in good standing (GS) or meeting the requirements of an academic progress plan that was preapproved by the College Financial Aid Office. (See “Financial Aid Appeals” for additional information.)

Financial Aid Suspension Status (SS)

Students who do not meet the credit progression schedule and/or the cumulative grade point average standard, who fail to meet the requirements of their preapproved academic progress plan, or who are flagged by the Department of Education for having unusual enrollment history with no recent academic success at NOVA will be placed in suspension status (SS). Students in suspension status are not eligible to receive financial aid unless an appeal and academic plan are submitted and approved.

Academic Suspension (AS)

Academic requirements for avoiding warning status and staying in school differ from financial aid requirements for satisfactory academic progress. Academic status will be noted on registration records; financial aid status will be noted on financial aid screens in the Student Information System (NOVAConnect). Any student suspended from NOVA for academic or behavioral reasons is automatically ineligible for financial aid.

Evaluating Progress

Quantitative Standards or Pace of Completion

Completion Rate (67 Percent Rule): Students must, at a minimum, receive satisfactory grades in 67 percent of cumulative credits attempted. This calculation is performed by dividing the cumulative total number of successfully completed credits by the cumulative total number of credits attempted. All credits attempted at NOVA are included (except audits, which must be entered as such by the class census date). All credits accepted in transfer count as both attempted and successfully completed credits. This evaluation will be made prior to aid being awarded and after grades are posted at the end of each semester a student is enrolled at the College. Satisfactory grades at the College consist of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” “P,” or “S.” NOTE: Federal student loan borrowers must meet satisfactory academic progress requirements at the point of loan certification and again prior to the disbursement of any loan proceeds.

Maximum Hours (150 Percent Rule): In order to continue receiving financial aid, a student must complete his/her program of study before attempting 150 percent of the credits required for that program. Developmental and ESL coursework are excluded in this calculation. Attempted credits from all enrollment periods at the College plus all applicable transfer credits are counted; whether or not the student received financial aid for those terms is of no consequence.

Transfer Students: In order to properly calculate satisfactory academic progress, transfer students who apply for financial aid must request official transcripts from all other colleges attended. Official transcripts must be submitted directly to the College Records Office or one of the campus Student Services Centers for evaluation. The student must only complete NOVA’s Request for Evaluation of Transcript Form (125-049) if credits are from another VCCS college. Credits officially accepted in transfer will be counted in determining the maximum number of allowable semester credit hours for financial aid eligibility. The College has the option to put an individual transfer student directly in financial aid warning status (WS) or suspension status (SS) immediately upon evaluation for financial aid if a pattern of unsuccessful academic work at previous colleges is indicated.

Second Degree Students: Credits earned from a first degree or certificate must be counted if the student changes programs or attempts a second degree or certificate. Depending on the circumstances, an appeal might be warranted.

ESL and Developmental Studies: Students may receive financial aid for a maximum of 30 semester hours of developmental studies courses as long as the courses are required as a result of placement testing, the student is in an eligible program of study, and SAP requirements continue to be met. ESL credits are unlimited in number as long as they are taken as part of an eligible program and SAP requirements continue to be met.

Additional Considerations for Quantitative or Pace of Completion Standards:

  • Withdrawal (“W”) grades that are recorded on the student’s permanent academic transcript will be included as credits attempted and will have an adverse effect on the student’s ability to meet the requirements of the completion rate for financial aid.
  • Incomplete (“I”) grades: Courses that are assigned an Incomplete are included in cumulative credits attempted. These cannot be used as credits earned in the progress standard until a successful grade is assigned.
  • Repeated courses enable the student to achieve a higher cumulative grade point average. Students can repeat courses with financial aid until successfully completed, but repeating courses adversely affects the student’s ability to meet completion rate requirements. Financial aid can be considered for successfully completed classes that are repeated to achieve a higher grade but for only one additional attempt. Only the latest attempt will count toward the cumulative grade point average.

Qualitative Standards

Cumulative GPA Requirements (GPA Rule): In order to remain eligible for financial aid consideration, students must meet minimum cumulative grade point average requirements based on a progressive scale. Only nonremedial courses with grades of “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “F” are included in this calculation. Transfer credits are excluded from GPA evaluation. In order to graduate, a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 is required.

Total Number of Credits Attempted GPA Requirement
1-15 1.50
16-30 1.75
31 or more 2.00

Regaining Eligibility for Financial Aid

Students who do not meet the credit progression requirements (Quantitative or Pace of Completion) and/or cumulative grade point average requirements (Qualitative) will be immediately ineligible for financial aid. Removal from financial aid does not prevent students from enrolling without financial aid if they are otherwise eligible to continue their enrollment.

Unless extenuating circumstances can be documented and an appeal is granted (see “Financial Aid Appeals”), a student in financial aid suspension should expect to continue classes at his or her own expense until satisfactory academic progress requirements are again met.

Students who fail to meet these satisfactory academic progress standards and who choose to enroll without benefit of student financial aid may request a review of their academic records after any term in which they are enrolled without the receipt of financial aid to determine whether they have again met satisfactory academic progress standards. If standards are met, eligibility is regained for subsequent terms of enrollment in the academic year. Students should consult their campus financial aid advisors for assistance in appealing any element of this policy or to determine how to regain eligibility for financial aid.

Financial Aid Appeals

Under certain circumstances, students who fail to meet SAP standards and lose eligibility for financial aid can appeal the financial aid suspension. Students must clearly state what caused the suspension and must also clearly indicate what has changed that will now allow the student to succeed. Appeals are encouraged in the following cases:

  • The student has experienced extenuating circumstances (for example, the student’s serious illness or accident; death, accident, or serious illness in the immediate family; other mitigating circumstances).
  • The student has successfully completed one degree and is attempting another.
  • The student on suspension for other than Maximum Hours (150 percent), who has not yet met SAP requirements, has during suspension enrolled in and successfully completed at least 12 semester credits at the College with a minimum GPA of 2.0.

Students appealing a suspension must do the following:

  1. Complete the “Understanding Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) and the Financial Aid SAP Appeal Process” online counseling session at Instructions for logging in and using NOVA’s Financial Aid Counseling Center are available at
  2. Complete the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Appeal Form (125-323), which is accessible when the aforementioned online counseling session is successfully completed.
  3. Attach documentation in support of the appeal
  4. Meet with a faculty or academic advisor to develop an academic plan (page 2) or an advisor statement showing remaining credits to graduation for 150 percent appeals.
  5. Submit all items to a Campus Financial Aid Office or the 24-Hour Support Center.

Only complete appeal submissions, with documentation, will be evaluated by the Financial Aid Office. The decision is final. Depending on the circumstances, the student could be required to complete additional requirements (for example, see a career counselor or another type of counselor, meet with an advisor to develop an academic progress plan for completion, limit enrollment, etc.) before an appeal is granted. The goal is to help the student get back on track for graduation. The reasonableness of the student’s ability for improvement to again meet SAP standards and complete the student’s program of study will be carefully considered. Appeals will be approved or denied. Students who have appeals approved will be in probationary status for the coming term. During probationary status, all attempted credits must be successfully completed with at least “C” or “S” grades, and any additional requirements of probation must be met, or the student will return to suspension. If an academic progress plan has been preapproved by financial aid, continuing to meet the requirements of that plan will put the student back into good standing.


Private citizens, businesses, nonprofit institutions, and associations have generously donated scholarship funds for students; recipients are selected by the NOVA Scholarship Committee, or a campus committee. Most scholarships require that students provide a statement of financial need by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA); some scholarships are field or career related and do not stipulate financial need as a requirement. Campus Financial Aid Offices and the financial aid website provide information about the current availability of individual scholarships as well as application materials. The NOVA Educational Foundation publishes a list of available scholarships with their general criteria and deadlines. Scholarship information and the online application can be found on the College website by searching “Scholarships.”