Pathway Eligibility and Admission

Admission to the Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program is selective and open to high school seniors at participating public high schools in Alexandria, Falls Church, Manassas and Manassas Park Cities and Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties only. Priority application deadlines typically range between early November and early December of the senior year of high school. Applications submitted after the priority deadline are typically not reviewed unless program slots remain unfilled at a particular high school location.  

To Apply Seniors Should:

  1. Obtain a Pathway application from your high school guidance counselor or career center specialist
  2. Submit a completed, handwritten Pathway application form to their high school guidance counselor by the priority deadline
  3. The guidance counselor will add his or her counselor recommendation and a copy of the student’s unofficial transcript, current year’s attendance record and course schedule
  4. A supplemental faculty/staff recommendation form is available upon request. Please note that applications that are incomplete, illegible or completed by anyone other than the student will not be reviewed

Selection Process and Criteria for Admission:
Pathway is designed to support students who require additional support and guidance with the college experience. As such, Pathway is not a merit program, and admission is not based solely upon prior academic achievement. Pathway applications are carefully reviewed by a team of Northern Virginia Community College and George Mason University officials. There is no minimum GPA required to apply to Pathway. However, strong consideration is given to:

1. Barriers to college access or success

2. Recent high school grades

3. Senior year attendance

4. Future educational goals

Pathway applicants may also be asked to complete an individual or small-group interview with a Pathway Counselor at their high school.

Accepting the Offer of Admission:

Students are notified by mail of their admission to the Pathway Program. To accept the offer of admission, students must return their Student Contract to the Pathway Counselor at their high school by the posted due date. Students who are offered admission to Pathway but fail to return a Student Contract by the deadline will be permanently removed from the program.

Additionally, students who submit a Student Contract but fail to meet the participation requirements as outlined in the contract and/or do not apply to attend Northern Virginia Community College by May 1 of the senior year of high school will be permanently removed from the program.

Other Important Information:

Admission to the Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program and admission to Northern Virginia Community College are two separate admissions processes. Pathway students are advised to complete the NOVA application (and FAFSA, if required) together with their Pathway Counselor in the spring semester of the senior year of high school.

The Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program is a separate program from NOVA’s Guaranteed Admissions Agreements (GAA) to Virginia Colleges and Universities. All NOVA students who meet the GAA requirements for specific institutions, including Pathway students, qualify for Virginia’s guaranteed admissions programs. However, the George Mason University GAA Pathway Program Addendum applies only to students in the Pathway to the Baccalaureate Program.

Click here for a list of program staff and participating Pathway high schools in Northern Virginia.