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NOVA 2008-2009 College Catalog


Tuition rates are printed in the Schedule of Classes. Tuition generally is due upon registration. There are several payment options available, which are detailed in the Schedule of Classes. Payment of tuition entitles you to use the library, bookstore, food service, student lounge, and other facilities of the College except for parking. You must pay for any school property that you damage or lose, such as laboratory or shop equipment, supplies, library books, and materials.

Some courses such as music and physical education may require non-college support services from other agencies and individuals. Costs for these additional charges are paid by you 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, you must be domiciled in Virginia for a minimum of one year before the first official day of classes. When you apply for in-state tuition, you should be prepared to present documentation to support your claim. See the following "Domicile Requirements" section for details.

To change your tuition status from out-of-state to in-state you must initiate the process by completing the “Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates” section of the Virginia Community College System Application for Admission form, NVCC 125-30. This form can be obtained online at http://www.nvcc.edu/forms/pdf/125-030.pdf 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 clarify your questions concerning domicile status.

Domicile Requirements
All applicants for admission to Northern Virginia Community College claiming entitlement to in-state tuition privileges are required by the Code of Virginia, 23-7.4, to complete the “Application for Virginia In-State Tuition Rates” section of NVCC form 125-30.

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

Regardless of other factors such as dependency, non-U.S. citizens on 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, as a dependent you have the same domicile as your parents or legal guardian. You are presumed to be a dependent of your parent or legal guardian if you are under the age of 24, unless you (1) are a veteran or active duty member of the U.S. Armed Forces; (2) are a graduate or professional student (beyond a bachelor's degree); (3) are married; (4) are a ward of the court or were a ward of the court until age 18; (5) have no adoptive or legal guardian when both parents are deceased; (6) have legal dependents other than a spouse; or (7) are able to present clear and convincing evidence that you are financially self-sufficient. Children and the dependent spouse of a Virginia domiciliary may be eligible for in-state tuition. Supporting documents and additional information may be required.

Dependent children who are U.S. citizens may be eligible to establish Virginia domicile separate from their non-citizen 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 your domicile. Following are some examples:

1. Residence during the past year prior to the first official day of classes.
2. State to which income taxes are filed or paid—official income tax return for the state.
3. Driver's license.
4. Motor vehicle registration.
5. Voter registration.
6. Employment—W-2 Form—Wage and Tax Statement.
7. Property ownership.
8. Sources of financial support—Marriage Certificate.
9. 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. If you have been denied in-state domicile status and wish to appeal, see the “Domicile/Tuition Appeal Process” section of the College Student Handbook at http://www.nvcc.edu/resources/stuhandbook/.

Unless you have appealed the domicile decision, once you have paid tuition during any semester, your official domicile status will remain unchanged until enrollment for the next regular semester. However, if an error is discovered in the original domicile decision, the College reserves the right to bill you for tuition due.

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

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 Business Office for updated information and details.

1. Active Duty Military Personnel (Servicemember)
Any active duty servicemembers, 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 residing in Virginia, are eligible to pay tuition at the military contract rate. An active duty military servicemember who voluntarily elects to change his/her domicile to Virginia may qualify for a waiver of the one-year residency requirement by voluntarily electing to establish domicile in Virginia. The one-year residency requirement will be waived 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.

2. Dependents (Spouse and Children)
The family members of an active duty military person stationed in Virginia or in a state contiguous to Virginia or the District of Columbia will qualify for in-state tuition under the provisions of a recent bill adopted by the Commonwealth of Virginia.  For specific details on how to claim this benefit, contact a campus Student Services Center or check the Student Services link on the college Web site, www.nvcc.edu.

Tuition Payment
Tuition is payable by credit card (VISA, or MasterCard or American Express) on NOVAConnect Web and Telephone, cash, check, money order, FACTS—Fast Automatic Cash Transfer Service--(an interest-free, deferred tuition payment plan), contract, or approved financial aid (except work study). The College accepts checks and money orders made out for the exact amount payable to the order of NOVA. The College does not accept third-party checks. All checks must include the student’s name and identification number.

If you expect your tuition to be paid through a contract or other agency or employer authorization, you agree to accept responsibility for the full amount of tuition if the tuition due is not otherwise paid within 30 days after invoice.

The College can also accept wire transfer of funds from a bank to pay tuition.  You must contact the Campus Business Manager for specific instructions.

You should not assume that you will be dropped automatically from classes for which you have not paid. You should drop all classes you do not want to take and confirm your schedule of classes before the end of the add/drop/swap period to assure your tuition bills are what you expect.

Tuition refunds are not automatic except when the College cancels courses. You are eligible for a refund of tuition paid if you drop courses during the official add/drop/swap periods as published in the Schedule of Classes. If you drop courses expecting a refund, you should verify your class schedule and payment status to make sure that all transactions are as expected. You may verify your class schedule by using the NOVAConnect Web site at  www.nvcc.edu/novaconnect/ to print out an unofficial copy of your class schedule and payment status, or through the NOVAConnect Telephone system.

NOVA charges a $20.00 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 your check is dishonored you will be disqualified from paying by check for one year after the original debt and penalty fee are paid.

Tuition Refunds
Tuition refunds are not automatic except for courses canceled by the College. You are eligible for a full refund if you drop one or more of your courses on or before the “last day for tuition refund” date as published in the Schedule of Classes and as indicated on your official receipt form.

For special session classes the refund period is proportionate to the length of the class. Refund dates will be included in the syllabus mailed to you by ELI when you register and they are also available on the distance learning Web site at http://eli.nvcc.edu.

On rare occasions, the College will provide a tuition refund to students who withdraw from courses after the “last day for tuition refund” date period. A refund may be authorized in the following circumstances:

  1. In the case of an administrative error by NOVA or the VCCS.

  2. When during the course of a semester, you suffer an unexpected major medical emergency or extended illness that requires hospitalization, is life threatening, or is contagious presenting a danger to the College community. The medical problem must force absences from more than 10% of class sessions. A physician’s verification is required.

  3. In the case of your death or if a member of your immediate family (mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife, or child) dies.

  4. When the President of the United States declares a national emergency or a mobilization requiring you to leave school to assume military duties.

To request a refund for one of the above circumstances, you must do the following: (1) Withdraw from the pertinent classes for the semester in question. (2) Write a letter to the campus business manager requesting a refund and providing your rationale and appropriate documentation. For Extended Learning Institute courses, write the Registrar at ELI. (3) Attach any justifying documents, such as doctor’s statements, documentation of errors, or copies of death certificates.

If a refund is approved, it will be sent to your address of record. It is your responsibility to make sure the College has a current and correct address on file. If a refund is granted for College error, the course will be dropped from your transcript. If a refund is granted for any reason other than College error, you will receive a W grade showing withdrawal from the course and that grade will become part of your official transcript. Only in the event of College error, will the class and the W grade be permanently removed from your official record. If a refund is denied, you will receive a letter to that effect, explaining why.

If a refund is approved, it may be prorated. For a problem that occurs in the first quarter of the course, a full tuition refund will be approved. For a problem that occurs in the second quarter of the course, a refund of 50% or half will be approved. No refunds are granted for problems occurring in the second half of a course.

Non-Payment of Debts
Continued attendance at NOVA is dependent upon proper settlement of all debts owed the institution. Should you fail to satisfy all due and payable amounts for tuition and fees, college loans, college fines, dishonored checks, or other debts you owe the College, you may be withdrawn from your courses. You would be assigned a W grade for your courses, and those will become part of your official transcript. When the debt is satisfied, you may petition the dean of students to have the W grades removed and to be reinstated in your courses. Until all current debts have been satisfied, a hold will be placed on your records, and you will receive no College services. See “Holds on Student Records/Service Indicators.”

If the College has agreed to accept tuition payment from your employer or other third-party provider, and the tuition is not paid within the required time, you are responsible for the tuition payment. As stated above, continued enrollment is dependent upon proper settlement of the debt. If not paid, you may be withdrawn from your courses. If you 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.

Holds on Student Records/Service Indicators
A hold or service indicator will be placed on your official record under certain conditions. Non-payment of financial obligations, such as tuition, college fines, and other debts will result in a hold on your record. A hold will restrict you from enrolling, having transcripts or grade reports issued, or receiving other college services. Disciplinary action, academic suspension, or dismissal may also result in a hold on your enrollment.

Graduation Fee
There is no fee for graduation. However, students are required to purchase academic regalia to be worn for the Commencement ceremony.

Books and Supplies
You are expected to obtain your own books, supplies, and consumable materials needed in your studies. A bookstore is located on each campus. Check the College Web site at www.nvcc.edu for each campus bookstore’s hours of operation.

The official NOVA transcript of your academic record will be issued at no charge by the College Records Office. When you request an official transcript by using NOVAConnect Web, it will be processed within two days. If you submit a written request or NVCC form 125-89, Request for Official Transcript to a campus Student Services Center, you should do so at least 10 working days before the transcript is needed.  Official transcripts are released only after you have completed one course at NOVA. Financial Aid transcripts are available at no cost through the College Financial Aid Office. You may print your own unofficial transcript from NOVAConnect at www.nvcc.edu/novaconnect/.

Library Charges
Library patrons are responsible for the replacement cost of any item they lose. Payments for lost materials are not refundable. This non-refundable rule also applies to fines and replacement costs charged for materials borrowed from other libraries with an NovaCard student ID card.

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.

Vehicle Parking Fee
If you wish to park a vehicle in the student parking lots on campus, you must purchase a parking permit each semester/term by going online at www.nvcc.edu/parking or from the Parking Services Offices at the campuses.  Proper display of a valid permit entitles you to use any student parking lot on any campus. Specific dates after which permits are required to be displayed are listed in the Schedule of Classes. Additional parking information with current prices, regulations and procedures is available in the Parking Services Brochure obtainable online at www.nvcc.edu/parking  or from the Parking Services Office/Campus Police.  NOVA reserves the right to change any or all of the parking regulations as necessary. All changes will be posted in appropriate locations.

Handicapped parking spaces are available at each campus. A handicapped permit issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles of any state or the District of Columbia is required. The College does not issue handicapped parking permits.

There are a limited number of parking meters available at each campus, and there are pay-parking lots/garages at the Alexandria, Annandale, and the Medical Education campuses. No parking permit is required to use these spaces. If you park at a meter or in a pay lot, you must pay the required fee. A College parking permit does not substitute for payment in these spaces.