Welcome to the Northern Virginia Community College Website

Accessibility Navigation:

Senior Citizens

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

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

In accordance with the Senior Citizens Higher Education Act, Code of Virginia §23.1-639 - 642, senior citizens who are at least 60 years of age and have had legal domicile in Virginia for at least one year are eligible to register and enroll in most NOVA courses, free of tuition and fees, except for course material fees.  The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) has enacted regulations that provide admission to senior citizens solely on a “space-available basis after all tuition-paying students have been accommodated.” (8 VAC 40-20-20).  Therefore, the registration period for senior citizens, who wish to apply the tuition waiver opens shortly before the class session begins.

For more information from SCHEV about the senior citizen tuition waiver, please click here.

As required by state law and regulations NOVA has established the following senior citizen tuition waiver procedures.

Eligibility Requirements for the Tuition Waiver

A senior citizen is entitled to enroll and not pay tuition on a space-available basis for the following types of courses, as specified:

  • Credit Courses -- eligible if taxable income has not exceeded $23,850 for the preceding year in which enrollment is sought. These courses will be transcripted with a letter grade (A-F).
  • Credit Courses for Audit -- eligible regardless of income. No credit will be awarded and the courses will be transcripted with a grade of X (audit).
  • Non-Credit (CEU) Courses (through Workforce Development) -- eligible regardless of income. You must register for these courses by contacting Workforce Development.

Note that classes listed on the online course schedule may be canceled for insufficient enrollment prior to the class start date.

Seniors with tuition waivers must purchase their own books and pay any fees for course materials. Seniors applying tuition waivers to credit classes are limited to a maximum of three courses per term.  

Tuition waiver opportunities are limited to classes that are already being offered with a sufficient number of tuition-paying students enrolled.  Waivers may not be used for one-on-one instruction in art, music, or other individual study courses. If courses are offered in a program with restricted admission, seniors may not enroll unless they have been admitted to the program.

Applying for the Tuition Waiver
  1. Apply online to the College.

    1. If you are attending NOVA for the first time, you are considered a new student and must submit an Application for Admission to NOVA at least 24 hours prior to submitting the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver. 
    2. If it has been three or more years since your last class at NOVA, your record has been deactivated and you are a returning student and must submit an Application for Admission at least 24 hours prior to submitting the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver.
    3. If you have attended NOVA within the last three years you do not have to submit a new Application for Admission. You can simply register online and submit the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver.
    4. Do not use the online Senior Citizen Enrollment Tuition Waiver Form for non-credit courses offered through Workforce Development. Instead, visit 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.

2. Seniors may register online according to the following schedule:

    1. For class sessions beginning on a Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, seniors may begin registering the Friday before the session begins.
    2. 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.)
    3. Please note that NOVA has various start dates for its sessions. Pay attention to the start date of your class session and submit your documents accordingly. 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 different.
    4. There is one exception to this:  Seniors who have completed 75% or more of their degree requirements may register earlier, along with the general student population.  If you fall into this category, please complete the waiver form and contact a Student Services office.  
    5. If you need registration assistance after classes have begun, you may go to the campus Student Services Center during the first week of the session.
    6. If you are intending to seek a tuition waiver but register before the senior registration period, your course (s) may be dropped for non-payment and/or you may be liable for payment.

3. Submit the tuition waiver form and pay any required fees by 5 p.m. the next business day after registering.

4. For verification purposes, the College reserves the right to ask for proof of income and/or photo identification (ID).

You must pay course expenses other than tuition, such as laboratory, art and music courses, and for books and supplies. Check your student account balance in myNOVA. Fees must be paid by 5 p.m. the next business day after registration.

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

Important Registration Procedure Guidelines

The Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver will not be applied if the class is closed.

  • Registration is not complete until the senior tuition waiver form has been successfully completed and submitted within this same timeframe as registration. Submit the tuition waiver form immediately after registering.
  • You may not make changes to your registration after the registration deadline. However, you can register for a later-starting course.
  • If you register for a course after submitting the waiver, you must submit a new waiver for the additional course.
Registration Assistance
A Senior Citizens’ Helpline is available to help you register or answer any questions. Call 703-425-5989 during normal business hours to speak with someone. If you leave a voice mail, your call will be returned as soon as possible, but no later than the next business day. Campus 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; however, they are open the Saturday before classes begin from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Virtual Advisors are available on Saturday and Sunday before classes begin.

Click here for step-by-step registration procedures.