Northern Virginia Community College Student Loans

College money jar

Boasting an internationally diverse population, Northern Virginia Community College hosts working adults seeking professional development, young adults looking for affordable tuition for their first two years of college, and a wide range of international students. Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) participates in the Guaranteed Admission Agreement program, which partners with four-year degree-granting universities and colleges to ensure that students who earn an associate’s degree at NOVA, and meet other agreement requirements, can seamlessly transfer into a bachelor’s degree program. Support from the Commonwealth of Virginia makes NOVA an affordable option with an open-door policy for all students over the age of 18 seeking an associate’s degree or certificate program.

NOVA’s Payment Plans

For a small enrollment fee, you can elect to spread your payments out and pay your tuition and fees in interest-free installments with NOVA’s Tuition Payment Plan. You will also be charged a 2.5 percent convenience fee. If you choose to break your payments into three installments, you will pay a $40 enrollment fee and a 20 percent down payment. The rest of your fees will be automatically charged on the 20th of each month either through automatic bank payment (ACH) or accepted credit cards. For two payments, you will pay a $45 enrollment fee and 40 percent down.

Employers often pay education benefits for their employees. They can do so directly by entering into a contract with NOVA in which they are billed for your tuition instead of you, or via a company check payable to Northern Virginia Community College. Check with your human resources department to determine if they cover education benefits and what their eligibility requirements may be.

Applying for Financial Aid

In order to be eligible for financial aid at Northern Virginia Community College, you must be enrolled in an qualifying degree program, maintain satisfactory academic progress while in college, and not have any federal loans in default. State and federally funded financial aid requires additionally that you be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and have residency in the state of Virginia for most state programs. You will need to create a FSA ID online by submitting your name, date of birth, and Social Security number. You will use this every year to reapply for financial aid. The FSA ID allows you to sign electronic documents as well as access your federal financial aid information.

You will then complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to complete the FAFSA, you will need your tax records, employment data, and other relevant financial information. If you are a dependent student, meaning you are under 24, are not married, and have no dependents of your own, you will also need your parents’ financial information and Social Security numbers. The FAFSA calculates your expected family contribution (EFC) to determine the type and amount of financial aid you may qualify for. Most programs are based on financial need. It takes between one and four weeks to process your FAFSA so be sure to be aware of any deadlines and file accordingly.

Once your FAFSA has been processed, you will need to look over the generated Student Aid Report (SAR) for veracity and make sure NOVA is listed in the school code to ensure that the school also received a copy. After accepting your aid package, funds are automatically disbursed to the school to pay your tuition and fees as well as books if you have enough aid to cover them. Books can be purchased up to 10 days before the start of classes with financial aid funds. Make sure that NOVA has your most current address on file as any remaining funds will be mailed to you to use for any additional educational expenses.

NOVA Connect

Enrolling in the student information system (SIS) at NOVA will ensure that you do not miss any communications regarding your financial aid application or award. NOVA Connect allows you to check on your application status, access your records, register for classes, make payments, and manage your personal information. To set up NOVA Connect, you will need your name, date of birth, and Social Security Number to do a search for your username.

Campus Work-Study

Your SAR may indicate that you are eligible to participate in the Federal Work-Study Program based on your FAFSA and EFC results as well. If this is the case, you can earn between $10 and $11 an hour working part-time around your school schedule. Employment opportunities are generally on a NOVA campus. These are typically community service type jobs in your area of interest or field of study that help you gain experience while earning money to pay for your tuition and fees. Work-study programs do not affect your student financial aid awards in the future either. Work-study programs are not guaranteed to all who qualify; you will need to apply individually.

Direct Student Loans

Student studyingNOVA is a 100 percent Direct Lending school meaning that all student loans NOVA currently accepts are through the William D. Ford Direct Loan Program. These are loans disbursed by the federal government, and the U.S. Department of Education is your lender. Once you have received your SAR, look for information detailing the type and amount of funding you can borrow. You may be able to borrow more than you need, but be careful not to do this. You should only borrow what you can afford to repay in order to keep your debt under control.

Once you accept your loan amount, you will need to sign a Master Promissory Note (MPN) online with your FSA ID. The MPN details your loan rates and terms, and your signature implies your intention to pay the loan back. NOVA also requires that you complete loan entrance counseling to further ensure that you are aware of all of your rights and responsibilities as a student borrower.

Undergraduate students may borrow between $5,500 to $12,500 a year, depending on year in school, enrollment status, dependent student status, and cost of attendance in both subsidized and unsubsidized student loans combined. Subsidized student loans are financial need-based, and the government covers the interest payments. Parents of undergraduate students may also take out federal student loans in the form of Direct PLUS Loans up to the total cost of attendance minus any financial aid the student is receiving. Federal student loans offer low and fixed-interest rate loans with long and flexible repayment plans.


Types of Student Loans