Senior Citizens

NOVA welcomes lifelong learners! Earn a degree or learn something new.

If you are a legal resident of Virginia for one year, age 60 or older, you are encouraged to take advantage of free tuition provided by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974. For more information from SCHEV about the senior citizen tuition waiver, please click here.

Three Kinds of Tuition Assistance

CREDIT: Virginia residents who meet the following criteria may take classes for CREDIT at the College free of charge. To be eligible to take three (3) courses offered for academic credit, without paying tuition you must:

  • Have had a taxable income not exceeding $23,850 for state income tax purposes for the year preceding the year in which enrollment is sought
  • Be 60 years of age or older
  • Be a legal resident of Virginia
  • Be admitted to the college as an in-state student
  • Provide a copy of the previous year’s Virginia Tax Return (p.1) OR pages 1-2 of your U.S. Federal Income Tax Return OR your Social Security statement if you are not required to pay taxes.

AUDIT:  Virginia residents who meet the following criteria may AUDIT credit classes free of charge regardless of income. To be eligible for free tuition for audit of credit classes, you must:

  • Be 60 years of age or older
  • Be a legal resident of Virginia
  • Be admitted to the college as an in-state student
  • Provide supporting documentation as required

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT:  Senior Citizens are eligible to take Non-Credit (CEU) Courses free of charge (through Workforce Development) regardless of income. You must register for these courses by contacting or visiting one of our 3 full-service Workforce Development offices (Annandale, Loudoun, or Woodbridge) during office hours to complete the Senior Citizen Certificate of Eligibility for Free Tuition form. Please do not complete the online Tuition Waiver form (105-088E); Workforce Development has its own waiver form (105-127).

Enrollment Guidelines, Timeframes, and Limitations

Course Info, Time and Dates 

  • Refer to the Schedule of Classes for course information, times and session dates.

Online Registration

  • Senior citizens are to register online the last business day before the class session begins. Remember, register online by 11:59 p.m. on the last business day before the session begins.
  • To enroll after the session begins, please contact your campus Student Services Center office for assistance.
  • If your courses are not all held during the same session, you must submit separate tuition waivers for each session. More than one class may be included on the waiver as long as the sessions are the same.

Tuition Waivers  

  • Tuition waivers are limited to classes that already have a sufficient number of tuition-paying students enrolled.
  • Tuition waivers may not be used for one-on-one instruction in art, music, or other individual study courses.

Course Space

  • No limit is placed on the number of terms, quarters or semesters in which a senior citizen who is enrolled for audit may register for course(s), but the individual is limited to a maximum of 3 courses per term.  
  • If you wish to take courses in a program with restricted admission, you must have been admitted to the program.
  • If you wish to guarantee space in a class, you can also register and pay as a student enrolling outside of the provisions of this Act. However, Senior Citizens who apply for free tuition AFTER registering and paying for a class are not eligible for a refund for that class.

Fees & Books

  • You are responsible for purchasing your own books and paying any fees for your course materials.

World Language Students

  •  If you have an audit grade for the beginning level in any language, you must go in person to the Student Services Center to override the prerequisite block before you can register for the next level.
  • For verification purposes, the College reserves the right to ask for proof of income and/or photo identification (ID).

Parking Permit 

  • Senior citizens may order a student parking permit online or at any Campus Parking Services office at no charge 48 hours after enrolling.
    NOTE: at the beginning of every semester, there is a grace period for parking during which permits are not required. In addition, you may park in “B” (Student) lots without a permit after 3:45 p.m. Monday through Friday or anytime on weekends.

Getting Started

  1. Continuing Students
    • If you have taken a class within the last 3 years, go straight to #5 to select your classes. 
  2. New Students, or Returning after 3 Years or More
    • If you are attending NOVA for the first time or it has been three or more years since your last class at NOVA, please submit an Application for Admission to NOVA at least 24 hours prior to registering for class(es) and submitting the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver. 
  3. Establish Your MyNOVA Account
    • Log in using the username you received when completing and submitting your college application. If you experience difficulty logging in to MYNOVA, please contact Admissions at 703.323.3000.
    • When prompted, click on “Account Recovery Settings” to set your security questions. Once your security questions are set, click on “Account Security” in the top right corner of the screen. Follow the prompts to change your password.
  4. Choose Your Classes The online Schedule of Classes lists course information, times and sessions. Remember, register by 11:59 p.m. on the business day before the session begins.
    • Exception: Seniors who have completed 75% or more of their degree requirements may register early, along with the general student population.  If you fall into this category, please complete the waiver form and contact a campus Student Services Center.
  5. Register for Your Classes Sign into MyNOVA to register for your classes.

    Read below for registration times.

    • The registration period for senior citizens who wish to apply for the tuition waiver opens on the last business day (M-F) before the class session begins.

      For example:
      • For class sessions beginning on a Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, seniors may begin registering the Friday before the session begins.
      • For class sessions beginning on a weekday other than Monday, seniors may begin registering the day before the session begins. (For example, if the session begins on Wednesday, seniors may begin registering on Tuesday.)

        Please note that NOVA has various start dates for its sessions.
         (Sessions are 16, 14, 12, 8 wks., etc.)

        Use Tuition Waiver - If you wish to use the Tuition Waiver, you must register online starting the last business day before your class session begins.

        • Find Class Sessions - Check the current Schedule of Classes for the session starting dates. 
          • For example, you may not register and submit a waiver for a 14-week course at the same time that you submit the waiver for a 16-week course because the starting dates are differentIf you do, you may be dropped from the 14-week course. If you are not dropped,you will have to pay for the course. You must register online and submit a new waiver form for the 14-week class no earlier than the last business day before the 14-week session begins.
    • Missing Registration - If you miss registering the day before the class session starts (look in the Schedule of Classes for class session dates), you can no longer register online; you need to go to a campus Student Services Center for registration assistance. 
    • Complete Registration - Registration is not complete until the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver (105-088E) has been successfully completed and submitted immediately after registering.
  6. Fill out the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver Form
    • For classes having open seats on the first day, the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver Form will be processed and senior students will be enrolled. 
    • Your enrollment account status will change from Credit to Audit on the last day classes are allowed to be dropped (go to Schedule of Classes, select term, and click Census Dates).
    • You will receive a student Gmail confirmation that your tuition waiver submission was received. The email will give you information on applying for a free parking permit.
  7. Pay course fees by the deadline
    • Senior citizens with tuition waivers must still pay other course-related expenses such as laboratory fees, art and music course fees, and the purchase of books and supplies.
    • Check your student account fee balance in myNOVA (ignore the tuition balance until after the Census Date) (Go to Schedule of Classes, select term, and click Census Dates).
    • Fees must be paid by 5 p.m. the next business day after registration.
  8. Establish Your Student Email Account
    Please Note: Students cannot activate their VCCS student email until they have enrolled for classes.  
    • Log in to MyNOVA with your new password.
    • Select Gmail link.
    • Read and agree to Gmail agreement terms.
    • Your account is established once you can view your Gmail inbox.
    • Check your student email daily for important information.
    • MYNOVA email can be forwarded to a personal email account by clicking on settings (a gear icon) in the top right corner of your inbox.
    • This is the official form of communication from NOVA and all notifications/information will be sent via student email.
  9. Buy your books at any of NOVA’s six campus bookstores or go to the NOVA Online Bookstore website
  10. Start class!


College representatives are available to help you register and/or answer your questions. Please call NOVA’s Call Center at 703.323.3000. You may also live chat or email usCampus Student Services Centers will assist you with your registration during the senior registration period.  Please note that Student Services Centers are generally closed on weekends.