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NOVA 2011-2012 College Catalog


Before you register or enroll in classes, you must be admitted to the College. Refer to the Schedule of Classes for specific instructions on how and when to register.

Students may register by using the following method:

  • Web – NOVAConnect at www.nvcc.edu/novaconnect (online Student Information System).
  • Telephone - NOVAConnect Telephone at 703-323-3770. From Prince William County, call 703-330-3770

Change of Enrollment
Schedule changes may be made by using the online NOVAConnect Web system and/or the NOVAConnect telephone system. Changes are effective at the time they are processed.

1.   Adding a Course
You may add a course during regular registration (add/drop/swap) or during the “schedule adjustment with permission” period with written permission of the faculty member and division dean, according to the dates published in the Schedule of Classes. If you change your mind about taking a course you’ve added, you must drop the course and process your drop online through NOVAConnect Web or NOVAConnect Telephone. Otherwise, you will be charged for the course and may receive a failing grade.

2.   Dropping a Course
You may drop a course and receive a refund during the regular registration (add/drop/swap) period or during the “late schedule additions” period, which ends with the last day to drop with tuition refund (Census Date) as published in the Schedule of Classes.

3.   Cancellation of a Section or Course by the College
The College may cancel a course or section for any reason. Students enrolled in a canceled course or section will receive a tuition refund unless they transfer to another course carrying the same number of credits.

4.   Administrative Deletion
When you enroll in a course, you are expected to attend every class. If you do not attend at least one class meeting or participate in a distance learning class by the Last Day to Drop with a Tuition Refund (also known as the Census Date), your class registration will be administratively deleted.  This means that there will be no record of the class or any letter grade on your transcript. Furthermore, your class load will be reduced by the course credits, and this may affect your full-time or part-time student status. Your tuition will not be refunded.

5.  Withdrawal from a Course
You may withdraw from a course within the first 60% of a session without academic penalty, and you will receive a grade of W. You may withdraw from a course through NOVAConnect Web/Telephone or by completing a Withdrawal Initiated by the Student Form (125-047) and submitting it to the Student Services Center. Instructions for withdrawal of a course are printed on the 125-047 form.  Withdrawal after the first 60% of the session will result in a grade of F, except under mitigating circumstances that must be documented on the course withdrawal form, approved by the instructor, and submitted to the Student Services Center. You may only withdraw after the 60% point if you are in good academic standing. This documentation will be retained electronically. See "Grading System" in this section for an explanation of grades.  Your money will not be refunded for courses from which you withdraw. To obtain a refund, you must have dropped the classes within the published tuition deadlines.

Students Receiving Veterans Benefits. If you have received any veterans benefits, you must also report your withdrawal to the veterans advisor. The Withdrawal Initiated by the Student Form must include your last date of class attendance. Failure to follow established procedures could affect your future eligibility for veterans benefits.

Withdrawal Policy for Students with Federal Financial Aid.If you have received federal financial aid (Title IV) funds and have withdrawn from all your courses within the first 60% of your period of enrollment, you are subject to the mandatory refund policy for federal student financial aid. You must complete a Withdrawal Initiated by the Student (125-047) form and submit it to the Student Services Center. You must include your last date of attendance in the course. This withdrawal procedure will be considered an “official” college withdrawal. The current Financial Aid Brochure outlining complete details may be found online at www.nvcc.edu/current-students/paying-for-college/financial-assistance/docs/10-004_fin_aid.pdf, or at any campus Student Services Center.

If you are a financial aid student who stopped attending all courses and did not complete the “official” withdrawal process, but can produce a reportable last date of class attendance (i.e., last exam, last paper, etc.), you will be given an “unofficial” withdrawal based upon your last reported date of attendance.

If you are a financial aid recipient who stopped attending all your courses and your last date of attendance is unknown, the calculation of federal refunds returned will be based upon the midpoint (50%) of the period of enrollment. If you never attended at least one class of each course, you will have your financial aid recalculated based upon your enrollment level of those courses in which attendance was established. You may be liable for repayment of federal funds.

All verbal withdrawal requests must be made to the Student Services Center to complete the established withdrawal procedures.

Financial aid applicants who withdraw from courses may have difficulty subsequently in achieving the satisfactory academic progress standards required for financial aid (see—Satisfactory Academic Progress—under “Financial Aid Information” in this section). Failure to follow established procedures could affect your future eligibility for financial aid benefits.

Specific Course Schedule Changes
The following items describe specific course schedule changes. In some circumstances, you may change courses or sections without additional tuition expense.

1.   Regular Course to Developmental Course
In cases where you enroll in an entry-level regular course for which there is a preparatory developmental course, and then have difficulty in keeping up with the regular course work in the first three weeks (21 calendar days) of a 16-week course, you may, with the approval of the instructor, initiate a drop, and enroll in a developmental course that is more suited to your current skills. In making the transfer from the regular course to the developmental course, you will be charged additional tuition on a per hour basis for any additional credit hours. If the exchange results in fewer credit hours, you qualify for a tuition refund only if the transaction occurs during the regular add/drop period for the course being dropped.

2.   Developmental Course to another Developmental Course
You may transfer from one developmental course to another within the same discipline using the add/drop/swap procedure even though this transaction may occur after the standard “last day for tuition refund” date for the sixteen-week session. In these cases, the three-week (21 calendar days) limit does not apply. No change in tuition occurs if the change from one developmental course to another developmental course occurs within the same discipline and the credit-hour values of the courses remain identical. Any credit hours that are added as a result of this course exchange will result in additional tuition on a per hour basis. If the exchange results in fewer credit hours, you qualify for a tuition refund only if the transaction occurs during the regular add/drop/swap period for the course being dropped.

3.   Course Changes
Course changes after the end of the add/drop/swap period require the approvals of the gaining instructor, the gaining division dean, and the provost. There is no refund for courses dropped after the published Census Date and tuition is charged for courses added.

4.   Course Section Changes
You may request a change from one section to another of the same course and course length within the same semester after the “last day for tuition refund” date for the sixteen-week session if you can justify mitigating circumstances. This justification must be recorded on a Change of Section Request after Schedule Adjustment Period form (125-014) and approved by the instructors of the sections involved and their division dean. If such changes are approved, no additional tuition will be charged.

To change from a campus sixteen-week course to an ELI course after the “last day for tuition refund” date, you must receive approval from the division dean. The dean will contact ELI to determine course availability. If the change is approved, there is no refund eligibility for the ELI course. Changes from a campus to an ELI course will not be made after the halfway point of the semester.

Auditing a Course
You may audit a course and attend without taking examinations. The regular tuition rate is charged. Audited courses carry no credit and do not count as a part of your course load, which will affect your status if you receive financial aid, veterans benefits or hold an F-1 visa. If you wish to change status in a course from credit to audit or from audit to credit, you must complete NOVA form 125-012 Change from Credit to Audit and have it signed by the instructor and the division dean within the add/drop period for the course (no later than the Census Date).  . You may also audit Extended Learning Institute courses with the instructor’s permission.  Your instructor may still require a certain level of attendance or completion of some assignments:  follow the guidelines on the course syllabus or negotiate expectations with the instructor early in the semester.

If you wish to earn credit for a previously audited course, you must retake the course by re-enrolling in the course for credit and paying normal tuition to earn a grade other than “X.”  Advanced standing credit will not be awarded for a previously audited course.

The NOVA 125-012 form, available on the college website, includes complete instructions for auditing a course.

Extended Learning Institute (Distance Learning) Enrollment
You may enroll in ELI distance learning courses through NOVAConnect Web or Telephone. Many courses have multiple sections starting throughout the semester. Details are available by calling the Extended Learning Institute at 703-323-3368 or checking the ELI Web site. When registering for sequential courses, e.g., ENG 111 and ENG 112, sign up for only one course at a time. If you fail an ELI course, you may not re-enroll in the same section without permission of the instructor. To take 12 or more credits simultaneously through ELI, you must obtain permission from the director of the Extended Learning Institute. Call 703-323-3368 or visit ELI’s Web site at http://eli.nvcc.edu for information.

Senior Citizens Enrollment
The Virginia Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974 and amendments allow senior citizens to take classes at no charge under certain circumstances. If you 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 you enroll, you may qualify to attend credit and many non-credit classes at NOVA without paying tuition and fees.

  • You may take a credit course for free on a space-available basis if your taxable income did not exceed $15,000 in the previous year.
  • Regardless of income, you may take a credit course for free if you audit (do not receive a grade).  
  • You may take a non-credit, Workforce Development course for free if space is available. To enroll in non-credit courses contact the Workforce Development Office at the campus where the course is being offered.
  • For all courses, you 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 ELI courses at any time if there is available space.

Note:  to audit an ELI distance learning course, you must complete a 125-012 Change from Credit to Audit form with the instructor’s permission, and submit it to ELI.

Please note that unless you pay tuition, you may not register until the first day of classes.  However, if you have completed seventy-five percent of your degree requirements, you 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.

  • If you apply for free tuition AFTER you register and pay for a class, you are not eligible for a refund for that class.
  • Senior citizens shall still be expected to pay course expenses other than tuition, such as laboratory fees.
  • Audit and non-credit enrollment is limited to three courses in one term.
  • The College reserves the right to cancel any class.