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Home > About NOVA > NOVA at a Glance


Institutional Profile

Name: Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA)

Affiliation: NOVA is one of 23 colleges within the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), which is governed by the State Board for Community Colleges.

Founded: Originally established as Northern Virginia Technical College, NOVA was founded in 1964 and renamed in 1966.

Annual Headcount and FTES: The student annual headcount and full-time equivalent student (FTES) total for the 2011-12 academic year was 76,796 and 35,601, respectively.

Mean and Median Age: The median age of students for Fall 2011 was 22.8 and the mean age was 26.5.

Age Distribution: The student age distribution for Fall 2011 was as follows: 42.2%-21 years or younger; 32.5%-22 to 29 years; 24.0%-30 to 59 years; and 1.3%-60 years or older.

Gender Distribution: In Fall 2011, 47.8% of NOVA students were male and 52.2% were female.

Race/Ethnicity Distribution: The student race distribution for Fall 2011 was as follows: 47.2% White; 17.4% Black; 16.3% Asian; 14.4% Hispanic; 0.4% Native American; and 4.3% Other.

Student Type: Of the students enrolled at NOVA in Fall 2011, 16.7% were attending a postsecondary institution for the first time; 8.8% transferred to NOVA from another postsecondary institution; and 74.5% of students were returning or reapplying.

Residency: In Fall 2011, the College consisted of 91.4% in-state students and 8.6% out-of-state students. The out-of-state student population is composed of students from the Maryland suburbs, Washington, DC, other states and international students.

Enrollment Status: During Fall 2011, 37.7% of students were full-time and 62.3% of students were part-time.

Graduates: The number of graduates for 2011-2012 was 6,926.

Personnel: In 2011-2012, there were 903 classified staff members, 125 professional faculty, 100 12-month administrative faculty, 674 nine-month teaching faculty, and 2,251 temporary faculty members. Temporary faculty include adjunct, semester and grant personnel.

International Students: During Fall 2011, there were 8,574 international students attending NOVA.

Distance Learning Classes (ELI): In Fall 2011, the headcount for students taking distance learning classes was 11,348 and the FTES were 3,747.

Finances and Financial Aid

Source of operating funds income: 51% tuition and fees; 25% state and federal government; 19% grants, contracts and gifts; 5% miscellaneous sources

During 2011–2012, total financial aid awarded was $107,881,503.

Student financial assistance by award category: 47% grants; 50% loans; 1% scholarships; 1% student employment

Degrees and Certificates

Associate of Arts (A.A.), Associate of Science (A.S.), Associate of Applied Arts (A.A.A.), Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.), Certificates (at least 30 credits), Career Studies Certificates (between nine and 29 credits)


The College offers 77 two-year degree programs (A.A., A.S., A.A.A., and A.A.S.), 15 Certificate Programs, and 61 Career Studies Certificate Programs.

Enrollment by Campus

















Medical Education






Population Served

  • COUNTIES: Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William
  • CITIES: Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park

Five-Year Trends at NOVA

Graduates: The annual number of NOVA graduates increased by 136% from 2006-2007 to 2011-2012.

Retention: From Fall 2006 to Fall 2011, the retention rate increased from 43% to 46% for all students, and from 53% to 56% for first-time NOVA students.

Enrollment: Annual student headcount increased by 26% from 2006-2007 to 2011-2012.

Public High School Graduates: Enrollment of recent Northern Virginia area public high school graduates increased by 47% from Fall 2006 to Fall 2011.

Distance Learning Classes (ELI): Enrollment in NOVA’s Extended Learning Institute (ELI) courses increased by 97% from Fall 2006 to Fall 2011.

Minority Students:
Minority enrollment increased from 51% in Fall 2006 to 53% in Fall 2011.

International Students:
The number of international students attending NOVA increased by 23% from Fall 2006 to Fall 2011.

Workforce Development and Continuing Education

During 2011-2012, 23,574 students were enrolled in Workforce Development and Continuing Education courses in areas such as Architecture & Environmental Design, Computer & Information Systems, Law, and public service-related technologies.

Major Initiatives

  • NOVA has been an Achieving the Dream College since 2007 and received a Leader College award in 2010.
  • The Pathway to the Baccalaureate program has been working with area high schools since 2005, focusing on at-risk students by helping them to enroll at NOVA and to eventually attend a four-year university.
  • In addition to these initiatives, NOVA developed STEM initiatives and community-based organizations in 2010.


State Council of Higher Education For Virginia (SCHEV)
Certain activities of the College come under the supervision of SCHEV, a body which plays a prominent role in planning for higher education in the Commonwealth.

Virginia Community College System (VCCS)
NOVA is one of 23 colleges within the VCCS, which is governed by the State Board for Community Colleges.

College Board
NOVA has a local advisory board of 11 members.

College Administration

The President chairs and is assisted by two advisory bodies: the Administrative Council and the College Forum. The Administrative Council is composed of the Provosts from the six campuses; the Executive Vice President of Academic and Student Services; the Vice President of Finance; the Vice President of Administrative Services; the Vice President of Institutional Research, Planning and Assessment; the Vice President of Instructional and Information Technology; and the Vice President of Workforce Development.

The College Forum
The College Forum is composed of elected and appointed representatives of the teaching faculty, administrative faculty, classified staff and students.


NOVA is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award the Associate of Arts, Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Arts, Associate of Applied Science, and certificates in selected occupational areas.

Curricula of the College are approved by the NOVA Board and by the State Board. The two-year associate degree programs are also approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia.

Health technologies programs are accredited by the American Medical Association, the American Dental Association, the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, or the American Physical Therapy Association. The Veterinary Technology program is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association.