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Good Things to Know and Other Information

Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities

NOVA is committed to providing an accessible education and a supportive learning environment for all students, including those with documented disabilities. 

If you require special services or accommodation, you need to contact the NOVA Counselor for Students with Disabilities in AA 194 at least four (4) weeks prior to the start of class.

To qualify for these services, you must provide clear, specific evidence that a qualified professional has established a formal diagnosis of disability. All information obtained in the diagnostic and medical reports will be maintained and used in accordance with applicable confidentiality requirements.

Earning CEUs

You can earn CEUs (Continuing Education Units) for many Continuing Education courses. Registered CE students must attend 90% of all scheduled class hours, in addition to completing any other requirements set by the instructor, in order to be awarded CEUs and a Certificate of Completion.

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.  Before the beginning of the semester in which you want to enroll, you must have (1) reached the age of sixty and (2) had legal domicile in Virginia for one year.  A senior citizen is entitled to enroll and pay no tuition on a space-available basis for the following types of courses, as specified:

  • Credit courses – eligible if taxable income did not exceed $15,000 in the previous year.
  • Credit courses for audit (receive no credit) – eligible regardless of income.
  • Non-credit courses – eligible regardless of income. 


  • 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.  If qualified, senior citizens shall pay no tuition or fees for courses, except fees established for the purpose of paying for course materials, such as books and supplies.
  • The College reserves the right to cancel any class.
  • Audit and non-credit enrollment is limited to three courses in one term.

Senior citizens must come in person to campus and apply to the college, present proof of age and fill out a Senior Citizen Certification of Eligibility for Free Tuition form, which may be obtained from the Office of Workforce Development. (Note:  A new Senior Citizen Certification of Eligibility form must be completed in person each semester.) Once the necessary paperwork has been filled out, the applicant must call to determine if space is available. For classes that begin in the morning, students must call between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. the day prior to the class; for evening classes, students must call between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. the day of the class. To check on class availability at the Alexandria Campus, call 703.845.6280. To guarantee a place in a course, payment is required. A senior who has already made payment for a particular course may not reverse that registration to free tuition at a later time. 

If you have never taken a course at NOVA or any other Virginia Community College, you must first apply to the college in order to be assigned a student ID number. This can be done on the NOVA web site: Our office staff will be happy to assist you with applying or finding an existing ID number.

When you have a student ID number, then you must come in person to the Continuing Education Office to present proof of age – driver’s license or passport - and fill out a Senior Citizen Certification of Eligibility for Free Tuition form. A new form must be completed for each semester. The form will be kept on file in our office and used when you have been accepted into a course.

Once your form is on file with our office, you should call 703.845.6280 one working day before the desired course starts to find out if space is available. Seniors are admitted to available spaces by the order in which calls are received on that day. Our office is extremely busy, so it may take us until the next afternoon to get back to you with an answer. Please be patient. To guarantee a place in a course, payment is required. A senior who has already made payment for a particular course may not reverse that registration to free tuition at a later time. 

It is important for seniors to understand that our program receives no tax dollars from the state, and we are entirely self-supporting. Also, we pay a 30% overhead to the college for services. As a result, our instructors are paid a percentage of the course income from paying students, and receive no extra salary for teaching seniors. In fairness to them, we try not to overload their classes with non-paying students. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. 

Parking on Campus

Our students have the choice of paying $.25/per 20 minutes (quarters only) in the metered parking lot (located at Campus Drive and Dawes Ave), or purchasing a semester permit for $75.

The permit allows you to park in any of the B (Student) Lots on campus. If you’d like to purchase a semester parking permit, you can do so online at, or buy it directly from the Parking Services Office in AA 189A. Parking Services can be reached at 703.845.6499.

The Arlington Center is located near Ballston Metro Station. No student parking available until 5:30pm. Public parking is available at the Ballston Mall.

Finding Your Classroom

  • The Alexandria Campus is located at
    5000 Dawes Avenue, Alexandria VA., 22311
  • The Arlington Center is located at
    4600 N. Fairfax Dr., Arlington VA., 22203

Weather Policy

If the college is closed due to inclement weather, all non-credit classes will be cancelled, and you will be notified of the make-up date for your class. College closings are announced on local radio and TV stations as well as on the college web site –

NOVA Mission

The mission of Northern Virginia Community College is to respond to the educational needs of its dynamic and diverse constituencies. This is done through an array of comprehensive programs and services that facilitate learning and workforce development in an environment of open access, and through lifelong educational opportunities.

What is a CEU?

CEU stands for Continuing Education Unit. CEUs are earned for participation in non-credit continuing education experiences. At the Alexandria Campus, non-credit courses are offered by the Continuing Education Office. (Please do not confuse "non-credit" with "audit" of courses in NOVA's regular academic credit program.)

The Continuing Education Unit was designed as a uniform unit of measurement to facilitate the accumulation and exchange of standardized information about individual participation in non-credit continuing education. Students establish a permanent record of non-credit experiences that may be used to enhance their opportunities for personal and professional development.
One Continuing Education Unit is defined as:

  • Ten Contact Hours of Participation...
  • In an Organized Continuing Education Experience...
  • Under Responsible Sponsorship...
  • Capable Direction...
  • And Qualified Instruction

Ask Us to Train Your Employees

Ask Northern Virginia Community College to train your employees. The campus has the resources to offer programs in computer applications, management, supervision, and employee development. Our experienced instructors will train your employees at your site or on campus. The cost for courses and programs varies depending on course content, length of training and materials used.
For further information, please contact Ron Beckwith at 703.323.4068.

Six Ways to Get Your Company to Send You to a Course

  • Ask! A verbal request is often all it takes. A written memo is even better.
  • Show the catalog. Get them to read it. Attach it to your memo.
  • Stress the benefits. Seminars can help you stay fired up and ready for new challenges.
  • Emphasize the convenience. Why go out of town when quality training is available right here?
  • Compare the price! Your supervisor will be pleased to know that he/she is paying less and getting a lot.
  • Tax Benefit. Virginia employers receive a state tax credit of 30% for training costs for full-time employees.

Off-site Location for NOVA - Alexandria Classes

Many of NOVA's classes are held at our off-site location, The Arlington Center for Professional Development, 4600 N Fairfax Drive, in Arlington, just four blocks from Ballston metro. IT training classes are held in our state-of-the-art computer labs. Many classes in business, ESL and other topics are held at our Arlington Center. Some ESL classes are also held at Wakefield high school, 4901 S. Chesterfield Road, in Arlington. Should your organization need to rent a computer lab or classroom, please call 703.933.5056.

Would You Like to Develop and/or Teach a Continuing Education Class?

Call the Workforce Development Office at 703.845.6280 and ask to speak to the Program Developer.

Campus Bookstore Info

All books listed in course descriptions are available in the campus bookstore.
Mon. & Tues.,9:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Wed. & Thurs., 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
lower level Tyler Building, Room 104. Telephone: 703.845.6221.
Purchase your textbooks online using:

Lifetime Learning Tax Credit

Taxpayers may be eligible to claim a non-refundable Lifetime Learning Tax Credit to help them pay for post-secondary education for themselves and/or their dependent children. These tax credits can reduce the amount of federal income tax on returns filed in 1999 or later. This credit applies to tuition and fees for undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education course work taken part time to improve or upgrade job skills. For more information, call 1.800.829.1040 or visit the IRS website at: Information is also available on NVCC’s website at   (IRS Publication 970)  Note: Failure to provide your social security number could result in NOVA’s inability to report your Federal tax information for tax credit purposes.

Can't Find the Course You Want?

Then you may want to contact the Continuing Education Programs on the other five campuses of Northern Virginia Community College.

  • Annandale Campus: 703.323.3168
  • Loudoun Campus: 703.450.2551
  • Manassas Campus: 703.257.6630
  • Woodbridge Campus: 703.878.5755
  • Medical Education Campus: 703.822.6523

Check out their current offerings at Click on Businesses & Community, and then click on the name of the campus.

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