Student Success Fund

Student Success Fund

Students will have access to the Student Success Fund to address unexpected emergency expenses that would otherwise force them to stop out or dropout from their educational journey.

The NOVA Foundation has invested $250,000 this inaugural year. Individuals in need can apply for support through this portal. All applications will go through a blind review so students’ personal situations leading to their application for assistance will remain anonymous. The portal will remain open to receive applications throughout the academic year until the funding has been depleted.

The Student Success Fund is made possible by a host of community partners and donors. This initiative demonstrates our collective commitment to OneNOVA.  The Fund was designed by and will be executed through a broad partnership of NOVA departments including Student Affairs, Enterprise IT, Office of Strategic Insights, the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, NOVA Communications and Marketing and countless individual staff/faculty members.

Students Can Apply for One of Two Categories of Support

Students can apply for a Student Success Emergency Grant or Student Success Scholarship

Before applying for one, students must document whether they have applied for other means of support. Students must indicate if they have applied for:

1. Student Success Emergency Grants 

Emergency grants are just-in-time funding for NOVA students who experience a sudden, unexpected and short-term emergency that threatens their ability to continue their education. Grant awards are up to $1,000. Payments are sent directly to the creditor on behalf of a student who has been approved for support. For example, payments may be made to a utility company, medical provider, auto repair business, apartment complex, etc. Funds cannot be used to pay for credit card bills, telephone bills, or debts owed to the College.

Eligibility Criteria
  • Currently enrolled at NOVA and actively taking classes (minimum of 6 credits, or at least 1 class if due to graduate)
  • Currently living in the United States
  • Evidence of immediate, unexpected financial need
  • Experiencing a financial obstacle that is a threat to educational progress

Apply for Student Success Emergency Grant

2. Student Success Scholarships

Student Success Scholarships fund up to 15 credits of in-state tuition for an associate degree, career studies certificate, certificate or professional credential. Priority will be given to students within 6 credits of graduation who might otherwise not be able to complete their education.

Before applying for Student Success Funds, students must document what other avenues of support they have explored at NOVA. Student Success Fund grants and scholarships are intended to be the final resource for students after other means of financial assistance have been exhausted. 

Eligibility Criteria
  • Currently enrolled at NOVA and actively taking classes (minimum of 6 credits, or at least 1 class if due to graduate)
  • Cumulative GPA of at least 2.0
  • Have received aid but lack enough financial resources to cover tuition and fees
  • Have exhausted federal and/or state aid eligibility to cover tuition and fees
  • Ineligible for federal and/or state aid; and/or
  • Are loan-only students who demonstrate financial need
  • Currently living in the United States

Apply for Student Success Scholarship

Frequently Asked Questions

The Student Success Fund is designed to fill gaps in financial support for students in need. It is not a substitute for submission of the FAFSA or VASA. We provide support for unexpected expenses not covered by traditional scholarships or aid, or shortfalls due to loss of work or emergency situations and to assist with covering tuition, books and supplies. The Fund is not designed to be a solution for debt owed to the College.

Student Success Emergency Grants can cover:

  • Living expenses such as food, housing and transportation
  • Medical expenses not covered by health insurance
  • Textbooks, supplies and equipment
  • Exams/exam preparation course fees
  • Industry certification or licensure exams (related to NOVA classes you successfully completed)

Students who are approved to receive a Student Success Fund Emergency Grant will not receive cash. The grant will be directed to a creditor, e.g., landlord (rent hardship), Dominion Energy (utilities), auto repair shop (transportation), etc. Student Success Fund Scholarships cover up to one semester of in-state tuition at NOVA.

Yes; however, students are eligible for Student Success Fund assistance only once per academic year.

You may apply to the Student Success Fund Emergency Grant more than once, but funding will be limited to one award, up to $1,000 per student per academic year. Students are eligible for Student Success Fund assistance only once per academic year.

The Student Success Fund provides grants and scholarships, not loans. There is no legal obligation to repay the support you receive. However, we urge you to “pay it forward” by submitting a timely note or short video expressing your gratitude that can be shared with donors. We also encourage you to join us as an alumni donor once you are settled in your career.

Student Success Fund awards are reported to the Financial Aid Office (FAO).


Student Success Emergency Grants will be disbursed via the NOVA Foundation’s system. Student Success Scholarships will be credited to your NOVA student account.

Student Success Emergency Grants are considered exclusively based upon the content in your application. Once all necessary supporting documentation has been received, applications are typically reviewed within one week. If approved, the FAO is immediately notified, and emergency grants are issued through the Foundation to the company where debt is owed. Automated approval and denial notifications will be sent through the application portal.

Student Success Scholarships are disbursed after census date and attendance has been certified, according to the College’s standard award disbursement schedule.