Northern Virginia Community College is eliminating tuition for its contract dual enrollment high school students—those taking NOVA classes at their high schools—beginning in September 2015.
Dual Enrollment allows eligible students the opportunity to take college courses while still enrolled in high school. Local school districts contract with NOVA who provides and oversees the curriculum as well as administrative services, and the high school provides the venue and an instructor who is qualified to teach college-level courses. In the past, dual enrollment students have been charged a reduced tuition that was a fraction of what on-campus college students paid, but could still present a hardship to some.
“There has been national discussion regarding free community college for all, and dual enrollment is one way Virginia opens this opportunity to its students,” said Dr. Mel Schiavelli, NOVA’s acting president. “Up until now, students in some smaller school districts have had the opportunity to take free college classes through their high schools. However, in larger districts, schools may have opted to cover tuition only for those on free or reduced lunch. In order to include all students who wish to complete college coursework while attending high school, NOVA has decided to make free dual enrollment available to all students taking NOVA classes at their high schools.”
Dual Enrollment is becoming an increasingly appealing option for high-achieving students who want to get some college classes out of the way while in high school and it helps contain the costs of college tuition as well. In the 2014-2015 school year, 3,476 students took 6,545 courses, representing a 54 percent increase from the 4,239 courses taken during 2013-2014 school year.
And new courses are being added each year. Last year, Career and Technical Education courses were added at TC Williams, Arlington Career Center, Chantilly Academy and Oakton High Schools; Student Development (a college-level study skills course) was added in several Prince William and Manassas City Public Schools and English Composition sections were added to seven additional high schools within Loudoun County Public Schools.
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Northern Virginia Community College is the largest institution of higher education in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls more than 75,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield and Woodbridge, and through the Extended Learning Institute. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, call 703-323-3000 or visit the College's Web site, www.nvcc.edu.