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A New Student’s Guide to Getting Started at NOVA

NOVA has an open door admission policy. This means that any high school graduate or person 18 years of age or older with the ability to benefit can take advantage of the many academic opportunities we offer. In addition, some high school and home schooled students under age 18 can earn college credit through NOVA with appropriate approvals.

See page 8 for information on the following groups:

  • High School and Home Schooled Students
  • Members of the U.S. Military
  • Military Dependents (Spouse and Children)
  • F-1 Students
  • Senior Citizens
  • Students with Disabilities
  • Visiting College Students
  • Washington, D.C. Residents


STEP 1      Apply for Admission

If you are attending NOVA for the first time, or if it has been three years or more since your last class at the College, you must submit an Application for Admission.
Apply online at www.nvcc.edujust click on the box that says “Apply Online.” You can also print out an application form online or pick one up at any of our
six campus locations.

If you apply online, your application can be processed within 24 to 48 hours. If you apply in person or by mail it may take longer. Once your application is
processed, you are automatically admitted to NOVA and can begin registering for classes.

Restricted Programs: Allied Health, Nursing, and Veterinary Technology

Because space is limited, NOVAs Allied Health, Nursing, or Veterinary Technology programs can only accept a certain number of students. If you plan to apply to one of these programs, you must meet the specific admission, program continuation, and program completion criteria outlined in the Programs of Study section of the NOVA Catalog in print or online (see Step 3), or go to www.nvcc.edu/campuses-and-centers/medical for details.

STEP 2         Apply for  Financial Aid (optional)

To apply for student financial aid (including grants, loans, and work-study), complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for 2012-2013 online at www.FAFSA.ed.gov.  You must include the College’s School Code:  003727 on the FAFSA.  See the Financial Aid section for more information.

STEP 3         Consult Your NOVA Catalog

The NOVA Catalog describes the College’s degree and certificate programs, provides detailed course descriptions, and outlines official college policies. You can pick up a free copy at any campus Student Services Center, or access the Catalog online at www.nvcc.edu/curcatalog.

STEP 4          Take Placement Tests

NOVA does not require SAT scores and other entrance examinations for admission. However, you may need to demonstrate the required levels of reading, writing, or math for the courses you wish to take. Test results will show whether you need remedial courses to prepare you academically for college-level work.

If you scored 550 or better on the Critical Reading portion of the SAT exam within the last three years you may register for ENG 111 without further testing. Students scoring 95 or higher on the TOEFL iBT within the past two years may take ENG 111 without further testing. If you already have a degree from an accredited U.S. college or university you do not have to take the English placement test; If your program requires a math course, you are encouraged to take the math placement test early, so you can more easily plan your courses.

Placement tests are offered at all campus Testing Centers at no charge. See page 5 for locations and phone numbers. You will need to bring a photo ID card and your NOVAConnect Student ID number. Allow approximately two hours for each test.

Be sure to brush up on your English and math skills before taking the placement test.  Resources to help you prepare for the tests are at: www.nvcc.edu/future-students/placement-tests/index.html.

For details, consult your NOVA Catalog or go to www.nvcc.edu/future-students/placement-tests or contact the Counseling Services on the campus you  plan to attend .

STEP 5         Attend New Student Orientation (especially if you are a recent high school graduate )

Your next step after applying as a new student is to attend a New Student Orientation (NSO) – see www.nvcc.edu/current-students/services-to-students/orientation/index.html At NSO you will be advised, register for classes, and obtain other important information such as available student resources, your Student ID and parking permit

Or Contact Counseling Services To make sure you’re taking the right classes, we strongly encourage you to contact the Counseling Services Office at your preferred campus early, either by appointment or walk-in advising. Students with disabilities can meet with the counselor for disability services; financial aid and veterans’ advisors are also available. See the Directory of Services on page 5 for phone numbers.

STEP 6          Enroll in Classes

November 6-11 - Priority registration for continuing students
November 12- Open registration for Spring 2013 begins for all students.

To enroll in classes, use NOVAConnect on the Web at www.nvcc.edu/NOVAConnect/. Mailed or faxed schedule planning worksheets cannot be processed.

STEP 7          Pay Your Tuition

You will NOT be billed for tuition. See page 11 for a step-by-step guide to paying your tuition and fees. If you enrolled in NOVA’s Payment Plan, please see the Spring 2013 Payment Plan schedule on page 14.

If you enroll in classes by December 16, payment for all classes is due December 17 by 5:00 p.m. In most cases, unpaid classes will be dropped after that date. Beginning December 17, the tuition for any classes in which you enroll is due by 5 p.m. the next business day, or those classes may be dropped!

You are financially responsible for all classes for which you register. If you decide not to take a class, you must drop it through NOVAConnect or visit a campus Student Services Center to withdraw officially; otherwise, you will be charged for that class and may receive a failing grade.

If you wish to pay your tuition in installments, you must enroll in the NOVA Payment Plan before your tuition due date, or by 5 p.m. the day after you register. For more information go to www.nvcc.edu/current-students/paying-for-college/payment-methods/plan/index.html.

STEP 8         Print Out Your Enrollment Schedule

You can print a copy of your schedule using the NOVAConnect Web site at www.nvcc.edu/NOVAConnect/. Be sure to check for errors and verify that you have enrolled in the courses that you want and that all tuition and fees have been paid. If there are any errors, contact a
campus Student Services Center immediately.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to print a copy of your enrollment schedule every time you make changes.

STEP 9          Buy Your Books

Take a printout of your class schedule to the bookstore on the campus where the course is taught (ELI available at Alexandria), or buy your books online at http://www.nvcc.bncollege.com . You can also rent textbooks for less than 50% of the cost of purchasing a new printed textbook, either in the bookstore or from the store’s website at www.nvcc.bncollege.com.

If you have received a financial aid award large enough to cover tuition, fees and books, see page 12, Using Approved Financial Aid to Buy or Rent Textbooks.

STEP 10          Buy Your Parking Permit (not required at ARL, RES, or off-campus locations)

Permits can be purchased online at http://nvcc.edu/current-students/parking-services/. Your permit will be mailed to you, but you can print a temporary 21-day pass from the Web site to use immediately. Check the parking Web site for the current charge per semester.  Current permits are required for all vehicles parked in all campus lots (except at parking meters and hourly pay lots) during each semester/session of enrollment. Student permits are valid only in “B” lots.

Parking enforcement in “B” lots will resume for the Spring Semester at 6 a.m. on February 2.  To use the parking garages at the Annandale and Medical Education campuses without any additional charge, you must have a NOVACard ID as well as a valid parking permit. Hourly pay parking is also available. Please see the Parking Services Web site at http://parking.nvcc.edu.

STEP 11        Get Your Student ID Card (NOVACard)

Your first NOVACard is free, and is valid for two years. It serves as your library card and, with the addition of cash at a NOVACard machine, it can be used for copying, printing, and purchases at designated café and vending locations on campus. The NOVACard is also required for valid parking permit holders who wish to use the Annandale or Medical Education Campus garages. For more information, go to www.nvcc.edu/NOVACard.

STEP 12        Activate Your Free Student E-mail Account

You are required to set up a NOVA e-mail account. Our faculty and staff may ONLY use your official NOVA e-mail address to contact you about class assignments, course updates, and updates on financial aid status. You may also be asked to return your work by e-mail. You can forward your e-mails to another account if you choose. For instructions on using your account, go to www.nvcc.edu/ithd/student/email/google.htm