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Student FAQ


What if I haven’t heard from my instructor?

Please inform us of any issues like this by emailing cao@nvcc.edu.

What is the last day I can withdraw from my spring semester class?

You can withdraw without a grade penalty by the last day of classes and exams: May 10 for the 16-, 14-, 12-, 10- and second 8-week sessions (for NOVA Online classes that end before this date, the last day to withdraw without a grade penalty will be the day before the end of the session). The Census Dates (the last day to drop with a tuition refund) for all class have not been changed.

Have there been any changes to the Last day to drop with a tuition refund (Census) for any sessions or classes for the Spring 2020 term?

No, there have been no changes to last day to drop with a tuition refund (Census) dates.

What should I do if I don’t have the necessary computer equipment or internet access to participate in my class?

Please contact your instructor(s) to discuss arrangements. Faculty will be flexible and provide support for you. Additional FAQ are available under the Information Technology Support Services section.

What support is available?

Support services such as the Counseling Center, Writing Center, Library Services, and Tutoring Services, will be available and accessible remotely. In addition, Academic advisors will be available. You should reach out to your advisor via email.

Are campuses closed to students?

Yes. Campuses are closed to students.

NOTE: Many support services are available remotely; utilize online services or contact offices using information available on the respective web sites for each office.

Are campus-based student events canceled? Updated: 04/09/20

Yes, all student events on all campuses are canceled for the remainder of the semester.

Hello Nighthawks! In addition to our Daily Do-It Activity Schedule in the Virtual Student Union we have an awesome line up of virtual events for you this April. Reminder! If you haven’t already, Enroll in the Virtual Student Union (VSU) within Canvas to stay up to date with Student Life happenings: Click the link to enroll: https://learn.vccs.edu/enroll/D9A7WD

I am feeling anxious and nervous about the COVID-19 situation. Are there resources that will help my family and me?

News of a widespread public health concern like COVID-19 (coronavirus) can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety. It’s important to know how to manage overwhelming anxiety and keep perspective as the situation unfolds. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have guidance on managing mental health and coping during COVID-19. Please see Resources for Wellness.

What if I need accommodations for remote learning?

Disability Support Services is available to assist students who use accommodations to access instruction and to take tests, exams and quizzes. Some accommodations that apply to in-person classes do not apply to remote/online learning. Some accommodations may need to be added or modified. If your accommodation is to test in the Testing Center, you are not exempt from taking the test. You can take advantage of extended time on testing and minimal distraction while taking tests remotely. DSS will work with you to ensure that you have access to remote/online teaching and support services. If you do not currently have accommodations, and think you need them, you may apply on the Disability Support Services webpage or contact a DSS Counselor for help or information.

How do I buy books if the bookstores are closed?

Please visit the bookstore page for the latest status.

How do I send an email to my campus Provost?





Springfield (MEC) – MEprovost@nvcc.edu



My classes require proctored tests, but NOVA testing centers are closed. What should I do? Updated: 04/02/20
  • In almost all cases, classes no longer require proctored exams for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. This change in testing format applies to both NOVA Online courses and courses that have been converted to remote instruction.
  • If your faculty member is still requiring a proctored exam please contact the interim Chief Academic Officer at CAO@nvcc.edu. We are happy to reach out to the faculty member on your behalf and suggest testing alternatives.
Will the college drop my classes for non-payment (enrollment cancellation)?

The college will not drop any classes for non-payment. Be aware that you are responsible for dropping any classes you don’t want to take prior to the add/drop (census) date.

I applied for a COVID-19 Emergency grant. I thought I would hear something about the status of my application within 48 hours of my application. When will I receive word?

Because of the overwhelming number of emergency aid applications received, we need some additional time to review and process student emergency grant awards. While we had hoped for a 48-hour turnaround time, we are averaging 72 hours. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to review and approve emergency aid grants for our many NOVA Nighthawks who are in need.

When will registration for summer session begin? Added: 03/30/20

Summer school registration on all distance learning classes will begin on April 13.

Will Summer 2020 courses be offered remotely? Added: 04/03/20

Yes, all Summer 2020 courses will be offered remotely.

I applied to one of the competitive programs at the Medical Education Campus that requires the TEAS exam and was unable to take the exam before the college closed. Can I still apply to the program without the TEAS exam? Added: 04/10/20

For updates to Health Sciences and Nursing program admissions requirements or deadlines, visit the MEC Application Portal.

Do I need to take a placement test to register for a summer or fall class? Added: 04/16/20

No, for Summer and Fall 2020 registration, placement requirements have been removed. However, course pre-requisites will still be enforced and students need to explore the options for placement assessment and guidance including the VPT Math and English practice tests, the use of high school transcripts and test scores, and other assessments available to help students determine the most appropriate course placement. Information on assessment options and advisement assistance may be found at Placement Guidance for Students: Summer and Fall 2020.

Financial Aid

Will I still get my financial aid for this term?

Your aid will not be affected as a result of the change in the mode of instruction, but you must continue to attend all your classes. Dropping, withdrawing, or failing to attend classes could require a recalculation of your financial aid, even if already received, and could impact Satisfactory Academic Progress eligibility for future terms.

What do I do if I need to talk with someone in Financial Aid?

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the 24-Hour Support Center at 855-323-3199. You will be referred to a financial aid staff member if assistance is needed.

How do I turn in the required documents if the offices are closed?

Documents required by NOVA Financial Aid should be uploaded through a secure 24-Hour Support Center ticket. Do NOT attach documents to an email.

What do I do if I am told my FAFSA is selected for verification?

Follow directions for required verification if you are contacted. NOVA partners with Financial Aid Services to assist us in collecting verification documents and submitting corrections to your FAFSA.

Will Financial Aid send me additional information?

Check your personal and/or VCCS email regularly throughout the year. You will also be directed to review all communication on the Message Center in your Student Services Center. Read and take action as needed.

Will I still get financial aid for summer or my aid notification for fall?

NOVA Financial Aid will begin preparing aid notifications for summer 2020 and fall/spring 2020-2021 for complete files within the next few weeks. Possible delays in processing could occur if the business is further interrupted by COVID-19, but we anticipate continuing to process as we usually would.

How will dropping or withdrawing from a course affect my financial aid? Added: 04/02/20

Dropping, withdrawing or failing to participate in your courses remotely for the rest of the semester could cause you to lose eligibility for financial aid you already received and negatively impact your aid eligibility for future terms due to the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy. More information is available here. Also, please see the information above on Spring 2020 Grading.

Can I request a later payment date due to financial hardships? Can I break a payment up into two payments? Added: 04/02/20

If you are experiencing a financial hardship, please contact the Financial Aid Office and the Financial Stability Program. Information on NOVA’s payment deadlines can be found here.

Are you extending the tuition deadline/payment due date? Added: 04/02/20

Information on NOVA’s payment deadlines can be found here. Tuition for Summer 2020 courses is due by 5 p.m. on May 4 if you enroll through May 3. After May 4, tuition is due by 5 p.m. the day after you enroll. Additional information on payment methods is available here.

I have a hold or a To Do List item on my NOVAConnect account that indicates I have to come to campus. Since all campuses are currently closed and are only providing services remotely, what can I do? Added: 04/02/20

Documents that need to be submitted regarding financial aid, student accounts, admission, records, or registration should be submitted to the 24-Hour Student Support Center. A tutorial for creating a case and submitting documents is available here. Do NOT attach documents to an email.

How do I sign up for financial aid for Summer 2020 and summer classes since the campus is closed? Added: 04/02/20

Please submit the 2019-2020 FAFSA to NOVA and follow the guidance provided here to apply for financial aid for Summer 2020. Registration for the summer term will begin on April 13, 2020 for all students. Other important dates for the summer term are provided in the Summer 2020 Academic Calendar. You may register for summer courses online through NOVAConnect. A tutorial for adding classes is available here. We encourage you to review your academic advisement report to determine which classes are required to complete your program. If you need additional assistance, please contact your academic advisor/counselor or call the 24-Hour Student Support Center at 1-855-3213-3199.

How can I make a payment since the campus is closed? Added: 04/02/20

Payments can be made online through QuickPay after logging into NOVAConnect. Information on other payment methods, including the payment plan, is available here.

My parent’s financial situation has changed because they've been laid off. What can I do to see if I qualify for more financial assistance? Added: 04/02/20

Please contact the Financial Aid Office to discuss your financial aid application and an income appeal. We also encourage you to follow up with NOVA’s Financial Stability Program to discuss additional resources that may be available.

Tuition & Fees

Will NOVA refund all or a portion of my tuition and fees due to the shift to remote learning during COVID-19? Added: 03/30/20

No. NOVA made the decision to move to remote instruction for the remainder of the Spring 2020 term specifically to provide students with the ability to complete their courses during the pandemic. We continue to provide instructional and services that support student learning in the remote environment. Tuition and fees ensure NOVA can provide these services to all students. Students who are not able to complete the semester can request incomplete (I) grades from their faculty and return to complete their course(s) through Fall 2020.

Will I be refunded for my Spring 2020 Parking Permit? Added: 03/30/20

Yes. Refunds will be issued to individuals with a valid Spring 2020 Student Permit on their account. Please ensure your address is updated for potential mail delivery of refund checks. You will receive a full refund for the amount paid.

Note: Processing refunds in this manner with our Third-Party Payment Processors is a labor-intensive process and may take up to 12 weeks to complete. Please monitor the Parking Service site or contact parking@nvcc.edu for more information.

What are my options to pay my tuition? Added: 04/03/20

Option 1- Pay with E-check or credit/debit card on line

Tuition can be paid online through QuikPay (from your MYNOVA Student Account). You can pay by e-check, with no fees, or by credit/debit card (Visa, MasterCard or American Express) with a 2.7 % card processing fee that is charged by our card processor.

Note – Online payments must be made from a U.S. bank and associated with a U.S. billing address.

Option 2 - Mail your payment (Check, Money Order, or a Cashier’s Check)

You can send your payment directly to the Business Office on any campus using the US Mail or any other commercial Delivery Service (FedEx, UPS, etc.)

You can find the address of a Campus Business Office here: https://www.nvcc.edu/business-offices/index.html

Note - If paying by check it must be drawn on a US Bank, made payable to Northern Virginia Community College and written for the exact amount of the tuition due. We also require the student’s name and student ID number to be written somewhere on the face of the check. Failure to include this information could cause delays in the processing of the payment to the student’s account in SIS.

What if I only have cash to pay my tuition? Added: 04/03/20

Please DO NOT MAIL CASH TO THE COLLEGE. Unfortunately, we are currently NOT accepting cash payments. Please use one of the other payment options listed above.

What should I know about textbook buybacks and rental returns for Spring 2020? Added: 04/19/20

Please see those FAQ at the Bookstore page.

International Students

I am an international student, how will the move to remote/online classes until the end of the semester affect my international student F1 visa status?

Changing the course format from in-person to online/remote is in accordance with the College’s response. Your F1 visa status is not in jeopardy and will remain active provided you continue to participate in your courses whether you are in the U.S. or if you choose to return home for the remainder of the semester. Please email your OIS Advisor with specific questions or concerns.

I am an international F1 student and need to take a leave of absence due to an illness.

F1 students can apply for a Reduced Course Load (RCL) based on Illness or Medical Condition if they have a doctor’s recommendation. If approved, the student can take less than 12 credits or does not have to attend classes at all. RCL cannot exceed 12 months. Contact your International Student Adviser for more details.

I need to return home, what do I need to do? Updated: 03/27/20

F1 students have the ability to return home for the remainder of the Spring semester if they feel it is unsafe for them to remain in the U.S. during this period. Check your country’s travel restrictions to ensure you are able to return home at this time.

In order to return to the U.S. you will need to have:

  • Valid Passport: valid at least six months beyond your planned return date to U.S.
  • Valid F1 Visa: In your passport, check the last visa stamp date as well as the “Entries” field on your F-1 visa stamp if it is noted as 'S' or 'M'. 'S' means single entry and 'M' means multiple entries. If you have multiple entries, it means that you can enter the U.S. multiple times until the visa expires.
  • Unexpired Current I20: with travel authorization signature

Options to obtain your I20 travel signature:

  1. Request a new I20 be Mailed: SEVP has given special permission as of March 25th for US institutions to send updated I20s to students via email using electronic signatures. Send your request for an updated I20 to: oiss@nvcc.edu or your specific international student adviser and include your SIS# and planned date of departure. The scanned I20 will be mailed to your NOVA email account. You will need to print out and sign it.
  2. Return home without I20 Signed for Travel: You may travel home without having your I20 signed for travel but you MUST request a new I20 to be sent to you at least 30 days before you plan to return to the U.S. If you do not have the updated I20 travel authorization signature upon return there is a chance you will not be allowed back into the country.
I am planning to continue my studies back in my home country for the remainder of the Spring semester. What should I consider to ensure I am able to participate in my classes?

F1 students have been approved by SEVP as of March 12th to temporarily engage in distance-learning, either from within the U.S. or outside the country.

It will be up to you to assess what your ability will be to access NOVA classes remotely from overseas for the remainder of the semester. In order to stay in active F1 status you must continue to actively participate in your courses and remain in good academic standing. Please make sure your instructors are aware of your plans to return home and the challenges you may face.

Online access considerations:

  • Security Firewalls that prohibit you from accessing NOVA platforms,
  • Exam proctoring security,
  • Accessibility to reliable internet
  • Time differences as faculty may hold classes online live at a set time.

Information Technology Support Services

If I don’t have a college laptop, or if I do not have a computer at home, will the college provide one? Updated: 05/29/20

Check with NOVA Cares to see if you qualify to borrow one.

If I don’t have Internet access at home, will the college provide a hot spot or reimburse me? Updated: 05/29/20

No, there are no spare hot spots to loan. Check with your local cable provider to see if they have programs to give you internet at a low or reduced price.

Are there any resources to help me get Internet access? Updated: 05/29/20

FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.

How can I access WiFi in NOVA parking lots? Updated: 05/29/20

Students can access WiFi without having to leave the car and can practice safe social distancing.

Click here to download NVCC WIFI Locations and Connection Information

If I am not using CANVAS, do I have to start now? Updated: 05/29/20

All courses are supposed to be using CANVAS for your courses. Login to CANVAS through myNOVA on the college homepage.

Will the Internet become overloaded with everyone working from home?

There may be slowdowns from time to time, but the internet providers are working on increasing capacity and speed. If it is slow, you may need to try connecting at a later time. If you do not have an internet connection at home, see if there are special arrangements from one of the internet providers during the emergency.

I cannot log in to CANVAS; what do I do?

The IT Help Desk will help you. There is a link to reset your myNOVA password on the login page.

What kind of computer should I buy for remote learning? Updated: 05/29/20

Unfortunately, chromebooks and tablets do not work well with remote testing. However, there are inexpensive laptops that will meet your needs. Be sure the laptop has a built-in camera.  See NOVA’s student computer requirements at https://www.nvcc.edu/admissions/_files/Student-Computer-Specifications.pdf

Who can I contact if I am having trouble with technology?

Contact the IT Help Desk at Local Telephone: 703.426.4141 or Toll-Free: 855.259.1019 (outside of Northern Virginia) or ithelpdesk@nvcc.edu. Hours: Monday-Friday 6:00 am to 11:00 pm / Saturday and Sunday 8:00 am to 10:00 pm.


During this time, what is the operating status of Parking and Novacard Services?

Please visit the parking services page for the latest status.

Will I be refunded for my Spring 2020 Parking Permit?

Refunds will be issued to individuals with a valid Spring 2020 Student Permit on their account. Please ensure your address is updated for potential mail delivery of refund checks. You will receive a full refund for the amount paid.

Note: Processing refunds in this manner with our Third Party Payment Processors is a labor-intensive process and may take up to 12 weeks to complete. Please monitor the Parking Service site or contact parking@nvcc.edu for more information.

Am I still responsible for outstanding citations?

Outstanding citations are still due. However, accrual of late fees is suspended through the end of the spring semester.


Spring 2020 Grading Policy

Why is NOVA switching to a Pass/No Pass grading system? Updated: 04/07/20

The Virginia Community College System (VCCS) updated its formal policy informing how the grading system across all 23 Virginia community colleges would be modified for the spring 2020 semester in light of the difficult issues related to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main points of the new policy are outlined below and your important new responsibility for making a choice on the grading options to be used in your courses is highlighted:

  • The Pass/No Pass grading system does NOT apply to classes that ended before Spring Break.
  • The Pass/No Pass grading system is only approved for use in the second half of the Spring 2020 semester (so at least for now, it is not approved for use in the Summer semester).
  • The Pass/No Pass grading system includes P+, P-, W, WC and I grades. The WC grade indicates that a student did not pass the course. Unlike an F grade, the WC grade does not affect your GPA.
  • The Pass/No Pass grading system is for college-level courses (those numbered 100 – 299). It is not used for developmental or English as a Second Language classes since they are already graded as Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory.
  • A P+, P- or WC grade does count as a course attempt. Remember, you may retake a course one time without asking for permission to do so.
  • A P+, P- or WC grade does replace the most recent grade in a repeated course. At NOVA, your GPA calculation includes only the most recent attempt at a course. That means that if you earned a C the first time you took a course, and a P+ the second time, the P+ will count as your most recent attempt and the C will not be included in your GPA calculation. ALL of your course attempts and all of your grades will show on your transcript.
  • All course grading for the rest of Spring 2020 will default to Pass/no Pass unless you tell your instructor and the Chief Academic Officer that you want to be graded by the letter grading system (A-F).
  • If your class ends on April 5, please email both your instructor and the Chief Academic Officer ( CAO@nvcc.edu) and say that you want to receive a letter grade in a specific class section (e.g., ENG 111 09M).
  • If your class ends on April 12 or later, please complete the Letter Grade Request Form (no longer available for Spring 2020) provided in your student email on Friday, April 3. You can submit the form beginning April 10. The deadline for using the form to request a letter grade is May 4.
  • Your decision to earn a letter grade is final. For that reason, we urge you to take time to be sure which grading system best meets your needs.
  • You must make you request for a letter grade no later than the date shown below. Once you make your selection it CANNOT be changed.

If you class ends:

You must submit the Letter Grade Request Form no later than:

April 12

April 8

April 19

April 17

May 11

May 4

Any other date

2 days before the end of the class

  • You have the right to request a Withdrawal by May 10 for 16-, 14-, 12-week, and second 8-week terms. Keep in mind that if you are receiving financial aid or if you are utilizing veteran’s benefits, withdrawing from a class may leave you with a requirement to repay those funds. You should consult a financial aid or veteran’s student advisor before making your final decision.
  • Students may still request an "I" (Incomplete) grade. It is an agreement between the student and the instructor, which must be approved by the associate dean or dean. The instructor and student will list what the student still needs to do to complete the course. The instructor and student will develop a plan to complete work, including a deadline for completing the missing requirements, which may not extend beyond the end of Fall 2020. Students are encouraged to complete the requirements as soon as possible.
Can I choose which classes I receive a grade for? Updated: 03/30/20

You must request letter grades on a course by course basis. You can opt to request letter grades for all of your courses or can request letter grades for only select courses: the choice is yours. Look for an email in the next week on how to make that selection. Your selection to receive a letter grade must be made by the day before your last class session.

In opting to receive a letter grade, you are opting to receive a grade determined by your faculty member based on your course performance. Once you've made the choice to receive a letter grade, this choice is permanent and cannot be revoked if the grade is not what you expected.

What are the Pass/No Pass grades? Added: 04/02/20
  • P+ - Pass: equivalent to an “A-C” grade. A grade of P+ will not affect your GPA. Most universities will accept a P+ grade in transfer.
  • P- Pass: equivalent to a “D” grade. Most universities will not give you transfer credit for courses with a P- grade. It will apply to your NOVA program and will count toward graduation. It will not affect your GPA.
  • W-Withdraw: means you did not complete the course. It does not affect your GPA. You may withdraw up until the last day of instruction without penalty. If you are on financial aid or veterans’ benefits, or if you are here on an F-1 visa, please see your advisor before requesting a W grade because a W can affect your benefits and visa status.
  • WC-Withdraw due to COVID: means you were not passing the course. It is roughly equivalent to an “F” grade but will not affect your GPA.
  • I-Incomplete: you and your instructor may agree to a plan to complete remaining course requirements no later than the end of the Fall 2020 semester.
What if my course ends this weekend? Added: 03/27/20

If you have a class that ends this weekend, please email your professor(s) by Saturday to advise that you are requesting a letter grade and be sure to copy this email address on your message(s): cao@nvcc.edu. Please note that this choice is permanent and cannot be revoked if the grade is not what you expected.

If I receive a P grade will it TRANSFER to another university? Added: 03/27/20

Most Virginia public universities responded to the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia that they would be accepting P+ grades for transfer. You should contact your transfer institution with specific questions about special requirements for certain programs and majors.

How will a P be reflected on my transcript? Added: 03/27/20

Once the P grade is provided, it will be the only transcripted grade any college (including NOVA) will see. Your transcript will clearly state that a P+ is equivalent to A-C work, which is typically what transfer institutions require for transfer.

How do I request a letter grade in my course? Added: 04/02/20

If your class ends April 5, please email your instructor to request the letter grade and copy the Chief Academic Officer ( CAO@nvcc.edu).

If your class ends after April 5, you will submit a Letter Grade Request Form. Check your VCCS email for instructions on using the form. Before April 6 you will receive an email telling you how to get the form.

Does a P count toward my graduation? Added: 03/27/20

In all cases, a P+ will count to graduation; in many programs, a P- will also count to graduation. Please reach out to your academic advisor who can address your case specifically.

Who determines my grade? Added: 03/27/20

As always, your faculty member evaluates your course performance. The guidance given is that a P+ would be equivalent to a C or better; a P- would be equivalent to a D.

How does a P grade count in my GPA? Added: 03/27/20

Pass grades do not factor into your GPA; they do provide credit for the course.

How would a P grade influence my application to health programs at the Medical Education Campus? Added: 03/27/20

Please reach out to your advisor for specific programmatic questions and know that NOVA programs are also reviewing their admission policies during the pandemic. You can also contact the Medical Education Campus with questions: MECProvost@nvcc.edu.

My class ends before April 8 so I can’t submit the Letter Grade Request form. What should I do? Added: 04/03/20

You should email your instructor(s) and request a letter grade. Please also copy the Chief Academic Officer at CAO@nvcc.edu on your email.

How would a P grade influence my application to health programs at the Medical Education Campus? Added: 04/10/20

For updates to Health Sciences and Nursing program admissions requirements or deadlines, visit the MEC Application Portal.