College Catalog 2013-2014

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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 assessment scores can be found in the “Testing” 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 requested, but not required. 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 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, and give them time to take required placement tests.

The College reserves the right to evaluate Applications for Admission, document special cases, and to refuse or revoke admission if the College determines that the applicant or student is a threat, is a potential danger, is significantly disruptive to the College community, or if such refusal is considered to be in the best interest of the College. Students whose admission is revoked after enrollment must be given due process. Applicants who have been expelled or suspended from, or determined to be a threat, potential danger, or significantly disruptive by another college will not be admitted to NOVA.

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.


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.


Admission to a Curriculum

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” 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.
To change from one curriculum to another, students must contact their academic advisor or a counselor.


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” 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, may be able to take NOVA courses if they meet admission and placement requirements. Students may be able to use some dual enrollment courses to meet both College and high school graduation requirements, but students may choose to take courses for College credit only. Dual enrollment courses are college courses, so 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 General Education certificate or degree while in high school. Students interested in this opportunity should consult with their school directly.

High School Students

High school juniors or seniors may take dual enrollment courses at a NOVA campus or center, through the Extended Learning Institute, 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 established institutional placement criteria prior to enrolling in dual enrollment coursework. (See section on “Testing.”)

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 each semester 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 the Extended Learning Institute. 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 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. 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.

Applicants for a dual enrollment course offered through the Extended Learning Institute

Students who wish to take a class through NOVA’s online learning division should submit the necessary documentation to an ELI counselor (elicounselors@nvcc.edu or 703-323-2425) and follow the instructions outlined on the ELI Web page. Requests by dual enrollment students to enroll in ELI are handled on a case-by-case basis.

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 established by the Virginia Community College System. See section on “Testing” for further information.
  • Dual enrollment students must meet all course prerequisites. Dual enrollment students should also review “Placement Testing” in this Catalog for additional information.
  • Dual enrollment students are not eligible for financial aid through NOVA.
  • Dual enrollment students are not permitted to enroll in developmental courses.
  • Dual enrollment students are not allowed to 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 website. In addition, the dual enrollment manual, provides all the information needed to enroll in a dual enrollment class at a NOVA facility, through ELI, or at a local high school.


International Students

NOVA is authorized by federal law to enroll nonimmigrant students. The College must comply fully with federal law and regulations regarding admission of nonimmigrant students. College policies apply equally to all students regardless of immigration status, except as restricted by federal law or regulation.

Student Visas (F-1 or M-1 Status)

NOVA is one of the most internationally diverse colleges in the United States, with thousands of students from more than 150 countries enrolled in our programs. The rich cultural diversity and experiences that international students bring to the College make for a truly unique learning environment. For complete details on how to apply and request an I-20, go to the International Student Services website or contact the Office of International Student Services at oiss@nvcc.edu or 703-323-3423.

Other Immigrant Status  

It is the policy of Northern Virginia Community College to admit to the College those applicants who are immigrants residing in Virginia who have graduated from a Virginia high school with a high school diploma or equivalent, even if they are not able to document their legal presence. Those who are undocumented will pay tuition at the out-of-state rate.


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 $15,000 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 ELI courses at any time, if there is available space.

Note: To audit an ELI online learning course, senior citizens must have the instructor’s permission.

Senior citizens may not register until the first day of classes unless they pay tuition. 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.

  • 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 course expenses other than tuition, such as laboratory fees.
  • Audit and noncredit enrollment is limited to three courses in one term.
  • The College reserves the right to cancel any class.

Visiting (Transient) Students

Students currently enrolled at four-year colleges and universities may enroll in most NOVA courses without taking a placement test to determine readiness to do college-level work. Such “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. In some cases, documentation will be required to show successful completion of course prerequisites. For more information and directions, see the visiting students Web page.