Registering, Dropping or Withdrawing From Courses
Schedule changes are effective at the time they are processed.
NOVA has an On-Time Registration Policy: All students must register prior to the start of their course. Registration in SIS ends at 11:59 p.m. the day before a session begins. Students who register after that day and time must go to a campus in person to sign up for a course that has open seats and has not started yet. Once students register, they have until 5:00 p.m. the next business day to pay for the course. Students cannot register for a class that already started and cannot add/swap a class once it has begun. Any schedule adjustment needed after a course has begun requires permission from the academic dean.
Dropping a Course
Students may drop a course and receive a refund up until the last day to drop with a tuition refund (census date) as noted on the academic calendar. Students who change their mind about taking a course must drop the course and process the drop online through NOVAConnect. Otherwise, the student will be charged for the course and may receive a failing grade.
Cancellation of a Section or Course by the College
The College may cancel a course or section for any reason. Students enrolled in a canceled course or section will receive a tuition refund unless they transfer to another course. The number of credits for the replacement course will determine whether a student owes the College additional tuition or is entitled to an adjusted refund.
Students who enroll in a course are expected to attend every class. Students who do not attend at least one class meeting or participate in an online learning class by the last day to drop with a tuition refund (census date) will be administratively deleted from the class. This means that there will be no record of the class or any letter grade on the student’s transcript. Furthermore, the student’s class load will be reduced by the course credits, and this may affect his or her full-time or part-time student status. This, in turn, can impact financial aid, veterans benefits, and F-1/M-1 status. The student’s tuition will not be refunded.
Withdrawal from a Course
Students may withdraw from a course within the first 60 percent of a session without academic penalty and will receive a grade of W. Students may withdraw from a course through NOVAConnect or by completing a Withdrawal Initiated by the Student Form (125–047) and submitting it to the Student Services Center. Instructions for withdrawal from a course are outlined on the 125–047 Form. Withdrawal after the first 60 percent of the session will result in a grade of F, except under mitigating circumstances that must be documented on the course withdrawal form, approved by the instructor and dean, and submitted to the Student Services Center. Students may only withdraw after the 60 percent point if they are in good academic standing in the class. This documentation will be retained electronically. See Grading System in the Academic Policies and Information section for an explanation of grades. The student’s money will not be refunded for courses from which he or she withdraws. To obtain a refund, students must have dropped the classes within the published tuition refund deadlines.
A student may request a voluntary withdrawal from the College for emergency and severe medical and/ or psychological reasons. Examples of situations that may fall into this category include
- an extended illness or major medical issue occurring during the semester the student is registered which requires hospitalization, is lifethreatening, or is contagious and a danger to the remainder of the College community. The student must have been absent more than 10 percent of the session length. A written verification by the attending physician is required.
- a psychiatric/psychological emergency or severe, extended illness occurring during the semester the student is registered which requires hospitalization or that prevents the student from attending classes. A written verification by the attending mental health therapist is required.
- death of the student or a member of the student’s immediate family (mother, father, sister, brother, husband, wife, or child).
The student will complete the Withdrawal Initiated by a Student Form (125–047) with appropriate documents attached. The form will be submitted to the Office of the Dean of Students. If the withdrawal is approved, a grade of W will be assigned to the student’s records. Any documentation from medical or mental health personnel should be detailed enough for the dean of students to make an informed determination. Students may request consideration for a tuition refund by following the Business Office procedures.
If the withdrawal is approved by the dean of students, the dean will forward the information to the registrar, financial aid (when appropriate), and the Business Office. The Office of the Dean of Students will notify the affected faculty that the student has been withdrawn.
Withdrawal Policy for Students With Federal Financial Aid
Students who have received federal financial aid (Title IV) funds and have withdrawn from all their courses within the first 60 percent of their period of enrollment, or who drop, withdraw, or stop attending a course while not simultaneously attending another are subject to the mandatory refund policy for federal student financial aid (Return to Title IV or R2T4). Students must complete an official withdrawal (Form 125–047) and submit it to the Student Services Center. Students must include their last date of attendance in the course. The current financial aid handbook outlining complete details may be found on the financial aid website or at any campus Student Services Center. Financial aid recipients who stopped attending all courses and did not complete the “official” withdrawal process, but who can produce an instructor-documented last date of class attendance (i.e., last exam, last paper, etc.), will have R2T4 calculated based upon their last reported date of attendance.
For financial aid recipients who stopped attending all their courses and their last date of attendance is unknown, the calculation of federal refunds returned will be based upon the midpoint (50 percent) of the period of enrollment. Students who did not attend beyond the census date of a course will have their financial aid recalculated based upon the enrollment level of courses in which attendance beyond the census date was established. Such students may be liable for repayment of federal funds.
Financial aid applicants who withdraw from courses may have difficulty subsequently in achieving the satisfactory academic progress standards for financial aid (see Satisfactory Academic Progress on the financial aid website or in the Student Services Financial Aid Handbook). Failure to follow established procedures could affect a student’s future eligibility for financial aid benefits.
Withdrawal as a Result of Military Service
Military students who are mobilized or ordered to active duty, and request to be withdrawn from the College after the census date may contact their campus dean of students for assistance with the process of withdrawal from the College and tuition refund.
The military student needs to provide the dean with his/her name; Student ID number; and a copy of his/her military orders, deployment orders, or documentation indicating he or she must leave the area for service. If the service member used Tuition Assistance (TA), the service member must contact his/her military education counselor regarding dropping/canceling TA due to military-related duties or assignments. If the military member used VA benefits, it is the member’s responsibility to contact the College veterans office that certified the course. If the member needs guidance through this process, he/she should contact the Office of Military Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Withdrawal by Students Receiving Veterans Benefits
Students who have received any veterans benefits must also report their withdrawal to the veterans advisor. The Withdrawal Initiated by a Student Form (125-047) must include the student’s last date of class attendance. Failure to follow established procedures could affect his or her future eligibility for veterans benefits. For more guidance, contact any campus veterans advisor.