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Frequently Asked Questions

When are the Spring 2018, Fall 2017 and Summer 2017 graduation application deadlines?

The spring graduation application deadline is always March 1. The fall graduation application deadline is always October 1. The summer graduation application deadline is always June 1. The application is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via the myNOVA portal. The only issue that will prevent you from applying for graduation is if you have not been program placed in the desired plan; a financial hold will not prevent you from applying! If you experience problems, you need to screen shot or copy the error message and contact the Help Desk immediately. Applications submitted after the deadlines are automatically date stamped by the Student Information System (SIS) as the next semester.

How do I apply for graduation?

Potential graduates must submit an online application for graduation for the semester they will complete their program requirements. Applications are only valid for one semester. You must reapply if all requirements are not completed. The application for graduation is only accessible via myNOVA; go to Self-Service/Academic Records/Apply for Graduation.

What happens if I did not apply by the deadline?
  • At midnight, the application date automatically changes to the next semester. The application will be processed for the semester that is listed in SIS. The degree award will also reflect the semester the application was submitted.
  • Read the information listed on the website, in the catalog, and in the schedule bulletin.
Can I withdraw my graduation application?

As of fall 2016, you no longer have the option of withdrawing a graduation application. If all requirements are satisfied, the degree/certificate will be awarded. If you fail the final requirement, you will need to re-apply.

What about if I am enrolled in ELI courses? What award date will be posted to my record?

Two important issues are considered; the semester that you applied for graduation and the semester you enrolled in the final program requirement. If you submit a summer 2017 graduation application and enrolled in a summer 2017 ELI course that will complete requirements, the degree or certificate award will reflect the summer 2017 semester.

What is the policy regarding deceased graduates?

Posthumous Degree Award Proposal

A recent change was made to section 5.1.7 of the VCCS Policy Manual that authorizes colleges to award posthumous degrees, with the criteria determined by individual institutions. The following guidelines were proposed for NOVA:

  • Posthumous degrees may be awarded to students who are in their last semester of study and/or within 15 credits of degree completion at the time of death.
  • The degree award must be approved by the Executive Vice President.
  • If possible, the student’s name will appear in the commencement program with an appropriate notation.
  • The student’s family will receive an invitation to the commencement ceremony from the President’s office; if they choose to attend, they will be provided with an escort.
  • At the appropriate point in the ceremony, the degree will be announced and the family will be asked to stand and be recognized.
  • Unless alternative arrangements are made by the student’s campus, the diploma will be mailed to the family with a letter of condolence from the President. The diploma will bear the notation. “Awarded Posthumously.”
When will I receive a status letter from the CRO?

You receive an immediate confirmation message listing the information that is extracted directly from your permanent record. If you discover an error, you need to contact one of the Student Services Centers promptly for assistance to make corrections to your record. The following status letters are emailed to your VCCS email accounts:

  1. All requirements completed.
  2. Requirements completed pending successful completion of current enrollment.
  3. Ineligible:
    • Missing requirements.
    • Low GPA (plan/cum GPA less than 2.00).
    • Did not satisfy residency requirements.

All communication includes the following information: time and location of commencement (if it has been determined); The Annandale Campus holds a Graduation Fair each spring in the month of March, where regalia, class rings and invitations can be purchased. The Graduation Information Brochure is produced by the Marketing Department that normally posts the brochure online after April 15. The brochure provides the dates and location where the commencement ceremony will be held, the name of the commencement speaker and line-up information for graduates.

When will degrees/certificates be awarded?

Final grades must be posted before degrees/certificates are awarded. The manual process of awarding degrees/certificates always begins the last of day the semester. Please note this award process is a line-by-line review of each individual potential graduate’s record in SIS plus a 10 step manual entering of information. This process may take up to three months to complete; diplomas cannot be ordered until degree awarded is completed.

Remember, NOVA closes for the Winter Break in late December; the CRO is closed also. Summer 2017 degree/certificate awarding should be completed by September 30, 2017. Degrees/certificates cannot be awarded prior to the last day of the semester, form summer 2017 the date is August 11, 2017.

How will I know when my degree/certificate has been awarded?

You should check your degree audits periodically for the degree award just as you do for the posting of your final grades, only then should transcript requests be submitted.

When can I expect to receive my diploma/certificate?
  • Diplomas and certificates are ordered after all degree awarding has been completed for the semester. Diplomas should arrive within three months after degree awarding is completed. Please note, diplomas and certificate are not produced by NOVA, they are ordered, produced and mailed by a vendor.
  • Diplomas will be mailed to your address that is listed in the Student Information System (SIS).
  • Requests for lost/destroyed diploma requests should be sent to AsktheCRO@nvcc.edu, per the policy listed in the College catalog, names will only be changed in cases of gender reassignment not change of name due to marriage, divorce or other reasons. If the diploma is damaged, the damaged diploma must be returned to the CRO before a re-order is submitted to the vendor.
  • International students’ diplomas will be mailed to their international addresses if one is provided or to a designated embassy.
  • Returned/undeliverable diplomas are eventually returned to the CRO via mail. A copy of the mailing envelop can be found in ImageNow linked to your ID.
What if I did not apply by the deadline and I am planning to transfer to a 4-year institution or need verification for employment?

If you are in this situation, you need to contact the transfer school to determine their course of action. The transfer school’s policy is normally listed on their website.

Submit the College Records Office Request for Degree Verification form 125-340. Graduation verification status letters will only be mailed directly to the school or the employer. You must provide the name of the supervisor/department and a complete mailing address of the company; copies of the letter will not be provided to you or your parents.

Who can participate in the Spring 2018 Commencement?

Spring 2018 applicants, Fall 2017 graduates, and Summer 2017 graduates are eligible to participate. Please note: Effective Spring 2017, a decision was made to discontinue the listing the names and honor designation of graduates in the commencement program. Information will posted on the NOVA website concerning how graduates and their family may obtain a commemorative commencement program listing the names and honors of graduates.

What if my name is not listed in the Commencement Program?
  • Mistakes do happen; if your name is not listed in the commencement program, you still have the opportunity to participate in the ceremony.
  • All students in regalia are handed a white card on which to print their names.
  • The cards are handed to the announcer who calls the names of all participants.
  • The participants walk across the stage and receive a diploma cover with an insert. The insert informs you when you can expect to receive your diploma/certificate.
Why wasn’t my name listed in the commencement book?

The CRO will made every effort to provide the list of the Spring 2018 applicants and Fall 2017 and Summer 2017 graduates to the Events Manager. The CRO truly regrets any omissions.

Why weren’t the names of Spring 2018 applicants listed as Latin Honors graduates?

Latin honors can only be posted after a degree/certificate is awarded. Spring 2018 degree awarding begins May 6, 2018 (the last day of the semester) well after the program has been sent to the vendor for printing. Thus; the list only includes Summer 2017 and fall 2017 graduates’ honors. Latin honors cords are available at the bookstores for eligible students. Students need to download an unofficial transcript to present as proof of eligibility. Phi Theta Kappa and other honors’ sponsors are responsible for providing their lists of names to the commencement program editor to be included. The CRO does not handle any matters regarding graduation.

Some students will complete their program requirements during the Summer 2018 term; are they eligible to participate in the Spring commencement?

No. Students who completed program requirements Fall 2017, Summer 2017 or submitted a Spring 2018 graduation application are eligible to participate in the Spring 2018 Commencement.

When and where will Commencement be held?

Commencement is held in May (location to be announced). The doors close once the ceremony begins, no graduates are admitted after that time. You and your guests are asked to conduct yourselves as is appropriate for this most important occasion and to remain in your seats until the conclusion of the ceremony. Please note, tickets may be required for all attendees; check the NOVA website.

When will I receive my diploma cover?

Diploma covers are issued to all students who participate in Commencement. Students who do not attend Commencement may pick up a diploma cover at any the Student Services Center.

Where and when do I purchase regalia?

The Annandale Campus bookstore will hold a Graduation Fair in March 2018. However, regalia may be purchased at any of the NOVA campus bookstores.

When will Commencement information be available?

The Commencement Information Brochure is created by the Marketing Department and usually available on the NOVA website (after April 15). You are instructed to bring the brochure to Commencement.

What about Commencement day traffic?

Historically, traffic poses many challenges. You should allow a minimum of two hours to travel to the location, park, and walk to the designated meeting locations outlined in the Commencement brochure. The venue generally opens 1 hour before Commencement begins.

How do I order an official transcript?

Transcripts are only available through Parchment.

  1. Click Parchment and follow the instructions on the Storefront page.
  2. Log in or Create a New User Account.
  3. Select Destination & Documents.
    • Select your destination(s):
    • Organization: Search Parchment’s ever-expanding Receiver Network for your destination.
    • Myself: Select your preferred delivery method by choosing the appropriate Product Type Other Individual: Fill in the destination information and preferred delivery method by choosing the appropriate Product Type and send your transcript virtually anywhere.
  4. Order Details
    Click Check out to continue the ordering process or Continue Shopping to send your transcript to additional destinations.
  5. Provide Consent
    Provide electronic consent for the release of your Academic Records by your Institution to the Recipient(s) you have provided.
  6. Payment
    Fill in the applicable payment and billing information.
  7. Review Order
    Review all order details before processing your order.

Upon successfully submitting your order for processing, you will receive an Order Receipt by email.

You may select either an electronic transcript ($10 each) or a paper transcript ($15 each). Parchment will process your request and send the transcript, usually in less than 24 hours, to your designated recipient.

As of September 5, 2017, there is no longer a need to use the FedEx, UPS or USPS for overnight transcript delivery.  

How should an All Services Hold on a transcript be handled?

First determine why the hold was placed, usually the hold is placed for monies owed to the College. In rare cases, the hold must to be handled by the AVP for Student Services and Enrollment Management.

Why haven’t I been awarded Latin Honors or higher Latin honors?

Per the College catalog: Graduation Honors – Students attending NOVA for a minimum of 30 credit hours in degree programs are eligible for graduation honors. Those attending NOVA for a minimum of 50 per cent of the credit hours in their certificate program are eligible for graduation honors. Student must apply online for graduation to be eligible for graduation honors. Graduation honors are determined by the student’s cumulative grade point average at the completion of the semester for which he/she is certified for graduation.

How do I obtain a Degree Verification Letter, an Apostille or an International Authentication?

The request forms are available on the NOVA website for you to download complete and sign. If you are requesting a Degree Verification letter, you must have submitted a current application for graduation. The letter is mailed directly to the third party, never to you or your parents nor are copies provided to you or your parents. Apostille forms are available online for you to download. Completed and signed forms must be submitted with your original diploma and official transcript to the OISS along with course descriptions for every course the you completed. Once notarized, the forms will be returned to the Office of International Student Services (OISS) for pick up by you. You are responsible for mailing the Apostille to the Commonwealth’s Attorney with the required fee. International Authentication requests consist of course descriptions for all courses completed by you, the College Certification/Accreditation and your program of study. It is your responsibility to:

  1. Prepare the College Course Descriptions and submit with the request
  2. Prepare the College Certification and Accreditation information sheet and submit with request.    
  3. Prepare the College Program of Studies information information and submit with request.
What does the CRO not handle?
  1. Repeat codes (report run at the end of the semester by IT; can be corrected by campus registrars). 
  2. Grade postings/changes (handled by campus registrars). 
  3. Schedule changes (handled at the campus level). 
  4. Admissions/Registration/Enrollment/Matters (handled at the campus level).
  5. Phi Theta Kappa honors (handled by designated sponsors on select campuses responsible for providing names to the editor for the commencement book). 
  6. Presidential Scholars nor any Scholars or Honor Societies (These designations are done automatically by CIS. It's only run once per semester per VCCS policy. If you are left off, it's probably because a grade wasn't posted until after it was run. Your campus registrar can run academic standing for you.).
  7. Calculation of Grade Point Averages (GPA – handled by campus registrars).
  8. Domicile issues (handled at the campus level ).
  9. Honors Course Designations (handled in the Division by the instructor).
  10. Unofficial Transcripts (can be downloaded by you).
  11. Holds (handled at the campus level).
  12. CEU (Continuing Education Units)
  13. Commencement Ceremony arrangements. Graduation Information Brochure (arranged by the Commencement Events Manager Geri Dolan).
  14. Commencement regalia (bookstore).
  15. Historic/Statistical Graduation Data (contact the Office of Institutional Research; there is also a link on the home page).     
  16. Registration/Enrollment/Courses Missing from Transcript Issues (handled at the campus level).
  17. Requests for medical records (Do not exist at NOVA.).
Where can I find help with Guaranteed Admissions Agreement (GAA) Transfer?:
  1. How do I send a transcript to George Mason University (GMU)?
    Use the Parchment processing instructions available on the NOVA website. GMU Students need to allow GMU 30 days for processing.
  2. How long does it take for NOVA to send a transcript?
    All official transcript request are processed using Parchment and are processed within 24 hours. Confirmation messages are sent to your email account.
  3. Will you write a letter indicating my degree status?
    You will receive status letters via your VCCS email accounts which can be shown as proof of pending graduation completion. GMU and other senior institutions want a transcript bearing the degree award, not a letter. You need to check your school’s transfer website for information.
  4. I was awarded a General Education Certificate (6950); I did not apply for this. Why was I awarded this certificate?
    The GEC program is mandated from the Virginia Community College System (VCCS); all schools within the VCCS were required to comply with this mandate. This program provides a solid foundation in the VCCS and NOVA general education core competency areas. Essentially the first year of an Associate of Science degree, this certificate is awarded to students placed in A.A. and A.S. degree programs who complete the 33 credit requirements listed on the website.
  5. Will this GEC award reflect negatively on my cumulative GPA or ability to transfer to a four-year institution?
    No, the GEC award has no being on your GPA and does not reflect negatively on your ability to transfer to a four-year institution. However, a combination of the GEC plus an A.A.S. is required for admission to some four-year institutions.
  6. I am pursuing a Career Studies Certificate in Massage Therapy, how do I convert my Red Cross CPR card to HLT 105 credit need for my degree?
    Download the Request for Evaluation of Transfer Credit form available online and complete the form. Make front and back copies of your current CPR card, take both to the Student Services Center for scanning, linking and evaluating.
What are the daily operations of CRO?

Daily Work Schedule

5:00 a.m – 9:00 a.m.
Process and transmit electronic transcripts with holds submitted via the Parchment process.

9:00 a.m. -12:30 p.m.
Post substitution requests, respond to Degree Verify requests from the National Clearinghouse and inquiries submitted via AsktheCRO@nvcc.edu.

NOTE: Evaluations of traditional (from colleges and universities located in the U.S.), non-traditional credits (including WES, AP, CLEP, SDV, DANTES) have been migrated from the campuses to the CRO. Please note transfer credit evaluations are being completed during this same time frame. However, the evaluation of military credits are handled by the Military Services Registrar in the Office of Military Services.

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Lunch break

1:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Audit graduation applications, diploma ordering, email correspondence

Simultaneous Operations

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Transfer Credit Evaluation

8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Communication is emailed, diplomas are ordered and responds to email messages submitted via AsktheCRO@nvcc.edu, problems are resolved.

I did not participate in my Commencement can I participate in future ceremonies?

Currently, the Commencement Day Marshalls do not have a list eligible of graduates, so no one is checking. Anyone in regalia is allowed in the line, handed a card on which to print their name and hand to the announcer when they walk on the stage. However, names of the students who did not submit an application for graduation will not be included the Commencement program nor will a supplement insert be produced.

Where can I find the names of my past instructors?

You can find this information on your unofficial transcript. Unofficial transcripts can be downloaded by you. The CRO does not process or produce unofficial transcripts.

Where can I find the actual dates for past semesters?

You can go to the NOVA website and search for the Academic Calendar or official Catalog for the desired year.

Do you ever fax official transcripts?

No.

Can NOVA send electronic transcripts?

Yes, as of September 5, 2017, NOVA has contracted with Parchment to manage all official transcript requests. Parchment provides official electric transcripts and is the only option for obtaining an official transcript.

What is the College Records Office’s (CRO) mailing address?

Northern Virginia Community College
College Records Office
Annandale, VA 22003

Is it possible to submit a request to pick up a transcript through the CRO?
No; Parchment is the only option.
Is it possible to submit a request to pick up a transcript at the Student Services Center?
No; Parchment is the only option.
Is it possible to call the College Records Office? Is there a number where they can be reached directly?

No; the CRO is a virtual operation and can only be contacted via AsktheCRO@nvcc.edu.

The CRO is a virtual operation, inquiries you have regarding any of the subjects previously addressed or any CRO matters should be submitted to AsktheCRO@nvcc.edu. This is the only method of contacting the CRO; there are persons assigned to respond to inquiries within 24 to 48 hours.

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