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A New Student’s Guide to Getting Started at NOVA

Registration for New Students

All first-time-to-college students (ages 17–24) and Pathway to the Baccalaureate students must take the following steps:

Step 1: Apply for Admission Online
If you are attending NOVA for the first time and are 17–24, you are considered a new student and must submit an Application for Admission. Apply online. You can also print an application online and drop it off at a Student Services Center. Online applications can be processed within 24 to 48 hours. If you apply in person or by mail, it may take longer.

Step 2: Placement into English and Mathematics Courses
Because the College is operating remotely due to the COVID-19 situation, in-person placement testing has been suspended for Summer and Fall 2020 registration. Students who have graduated from high school less than six years ago will submit their high school transcript and if available, SAT or ACT scores to the College Records Office or to their advisor. Unofficial copies of transcripts and test scores are acceptable for this time period. For other students, the VPT practice test and advising questionnaires may be used for placement guidance. All students new to college should attend an orientation session or meet with an advisor or counselor.

Step 3: Attend Required Student Orientation
Your next step is to attend a Student Orientation session. During Student Orientation, you will meet with your academic advisor, register for classes and learn about available student resources. You will also learn where to buy books and get a NOVACard, and how to purchase a parking permit. Students with disabilities can meet with the counselor for disability services; financial aid and veterans advisors are also available.

Apply for Financial Aid

Step 4: Enroll in Required SDV 100 or 101
All first-time-to-college students (ages 17–24) must enroll in a one-credit Student Development course (SDV 100 or SDV 101). College Success Skills (SDV 100) helps students make a successful transition to college. The course provides students with academic tools for success and teaches self-management and self-responsibility skills that relate to being a successful student. Students will also learn about NOVA policies, procedures and resources, giving them the tools they need to navigate the College successfully. Students in healthcare, teacher education, information technology, business and horticulture programs may substitute SDV 101 Orientation (which is targeted to a specific discipline) for the SDV course.

Step 5: Enroll in Developmental Courses During First Semester, if Required
Developmental courses prepare students to succeed in college transfer and career/technical programs. These English (ENF) and mathematics (MTT) courses are designed to develop the basic skills and understanding needed for success in other courses. ENF courses are offered in various formats. MTT courses use individualized technology-based instruction. If you have any questions, check with a counselor or academic advisor.

Step 6: Pay Your Tuition
You will NOT be billed for tuition. If you enroll in classes by August 2, payment for all classes is due August 3 by 5:00 p.m. Beginning August 3, the payment deadline for any classes in which you enroll is 5:00 p.m. the next business day. Business days are Monday through Friday. Your enrollment in unpaid classes is not guaranteed. After the deadline, you will be financially responsible for any classes you have not dropped. Check your enrollment information online.

Regardless of your attendance, you are financially responsible for all classes for which you register unless you drop the class by the deadline. If you decide not to take a class, you must drop it through NOVAConnect or visit a campus Student Services Center to drop it officially by the stated deadline; otherwise, you will be charged for that class and may receive a failing grade. 

To pay your tuition in installments, enroll in NOVA’s Tuition Payment Plan before your due date, or by 5:00 p.m. the day after you register.

Step 7: Activate Your Email Account
You must establish a NOVA email account and check it frequently. Our faculty and staff will only contact you via your NOVA email account about class assignments, course announcements and updates on your financial aid status. Learn more about setting up your email account.

Step 8: Buy Your Parking Permit
NOVA has discounted flex parking options! Learn about hangtags, discounted hourly and daily choices and our mobile payment application by visiting Parking or calling 703–323–3123. Students are not required to display a permit while parked in a “B” lot after 3:45 p.m. on weekdays or any time on weekends.