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Summer Registration opens today!

Open registration for summer courses begins today, March 28, 2017!

To review a list of available couses, please click here (Select ELI under Campus/Center).

If you need assistance, we are here for you:

Do you need help registering for the course?  For step-by-step online registration instructions, please click here.  If you need additional assistance, please contact us at 703.323.3347 or ELISuccess@nvcc.edu.

Do you need help with course selection? If you have not been assigned a faculty advisor you can contact an ELI Counselor at elicounselors@nvcc.edu for assistance with course selection. If you would like to schedule a phone call with an academic counselor, please include your contact information. Use your VCCS student email and include your student ID# when emailing.

Are you a visiting/transient student? If you are attempting to enroll in a course at NOVA for which you believe you have successfully completed (a grade of “C“ or higher) the required prerequisite(s) at an accredited college or university, you will need to work with an advisor before being permitted to enroll in courses at NOVA. More information at the Visiting and Transient Student webpage or reach out to a Virtual Advisor at AcademicAdvising@nvcc.edu.

Are you new to ELI?  We encourage you to attend an ELI Orientation webinar! The ELI Orientation will focus on answering key questions to getting started. For more information and to register for a session, click here.

Do you have questions about Tuition and Payment? For payment due dates, methods, and online payment instructions, please click here. Make sure to have your tuition paid or financial aid in place before the deadline, so you are not dropped from your courses.

If you are looking for additional resources to help you achieve academic success, the ELI Student Services Team is here for you! You can access free online tutoringwebinars, and free online workshops to help you succeed in your ELI courses.

We also encourage you to take the SmarterMeasure assessment to gauge your readiness for online learning.

You can reach us at 703.323.3347 or visit us at http://eli.nvcc.edu/

Graduation Application Deadline!

Are YOU planning to graduate in May? The deadline to apply is March 1st! Graduation_16Not sure where to start?

View the recording of Crossing the Finish Line: NOVA Graduation Preparation Program (video opens in a separate window)!

This 17-minute video to obtain information on what you need to graduate from NOVA and plan for transfer or prepare for employment.

You will learn how to:

  • Verify the remaining requirements of your program
  • Apply for graduation and attend commencement
  • Financially prepare for your last semester at NOVA and your new institution. 

Learn about the information you will need to graduate from NOVA and plan for transfer or prepare for employment. Questions? Visit the NOVA Graduation Website or contact an ELI Counselor at ELICounselors@nvcc.edu!

How Do I Apply for Financial Aid?

How Do I Apply for Financial Aid?

To apply for financial aid, you will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). To complete your FAFSA, go to www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA is free and you should never pay to complete the FAFSA! NOVA’s Federal Financial Aid School Code is 003727.

What Documents Do I Need to Complete The FAFSA?

There are several items you will need to complete the FAFSA. The 2017-2018 FAFSA covers Fall 2017, Spring 2018 and Summer 2018. For 2017-2018, you will need financial information from 2015. All students will need the following information to complete the FAFSA application:

  • Your social security number
  • Your driver’s license, if applicable
  • Your 2015 federal income tax return
  • Internal Revenue Service (IRS) form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ
  • Foreign tax return, or tax return for Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Marshall Islands, Federal States of Micronesia or Palau
  • Your 2015 W-2 forms and other records of money earned in 2015, if any income was earned
  • Your 2015 untaxed income records, if applicable (i.e. child support received, interest income, veterans’ benefits, etc.)
  • Your current bank statements
  • Your current business and investment mortgage information, business and farm records as well as stocks, bonds and other investment records, if applicable
  • Your alien registration or permanent registration card, if applicable (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

If you are a dependent student, your parents will need to provide the following information:

Note: A dependent student is a student who does not meet any of the criteria for an independent student. An independent student is one of the following: at least 24 years old, married, a graduate or professional student, a veteran, a member of the armed forces, an orphan, a ward of the court, someone with legal dependents other than a spouse, an emancipated minor or someone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

  • Parent(s) 2015 federal income tax return and W-2s
  • Parent(s) bank statements and current records for all non-retirement investment and asset accounts
  • Parent(s) social security number, date of birth (day, month and year)
  • Date your parents were married, widowed, divorced or separated
  • If you are married, you will also need to provide the 2015 federal income tax return information for your spouse.

How Do I Sign The FAFSA?

To sign your FAFSA online you must apply for an FSA ID. If you are dependent student, you and your parent must apply for an FSA ID. An FSA ID serves as your electronic signature and provides access to your personal records. Never give your FSA ID to anyone, including commercial services that offer to help you complete your FAFSA.

Where Do I Get A FSA ID?

Visit https://fsaid.ed.gov to apply for an FSA ID. You will need your social security number and birthdate to complete this process. If you are dependent student, one of your parents will also need to create an FSA ID to sign your FAFSA.

Questions about your Financial Aid award? Contact them by phone, live chat, or email through the Student Support Center.

FA Support Center


Using Financial Aid to purchase books

Students with financial aid awards for Spring 2017 can purchase required course materials against their excess financial aid–either online or in campus bookstores.

Students wishing to purchase books online must complete and sign the Bookstore Authorization E-Form, via the Financial Aid Dashboard, prior to completing a purchase. If you have completed this form previously in the 2016-2017 academic year (fall 16), your form is on file in your account, and you do not need to complete the form.

Students enrolled or planning to enroll in later starting classes who desire to use their financial aid to purchase books must purchase during one of the two purchase periods; no additional accommodations will be made. The financial aid process must be complete and anticipated aid must be enough to cover tuition, fees and books.  Files can have no negative holds.

First Book Purchase Period

  • First day to purchase books/supplies using financial aid online: December 26, 2016
  • Last day to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: January 26, 2017

Second Book Purchase Period (for students with remaining anticipated aid)

  • First day to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: February 27, 2017
  • Last day to purchase books/supplies using financial aid: March 21, 2017

You may place your online order 24 hours after completing the authorization e-form or on the first business day after completing the e-form, if later.

Questions about your Financial Aid award? Contact them by phone, live chat, or email through the Student Support Center.

FA Support Center


The Tuition payment deadline is by 5 p.m. the following business day after course enrollment, or your courses may be dropped. Make your tuition payment on time, or have your financial aid in place to avoid being dropped.

This Week at ELI!

Is today the first day of your online class? Not sure where to start? How to get started? What time to log in? Let us know  – 703.323.3347 or try the live chat at eli.nvcc.edu. 

Computer screen
Review ELI’s On Your First Day blog post to help you get off to a great start. Get involved at NOVA – Events for the week listed below:

Join us for the ELI Orientation Webinar – Today from 12:15-1:15pm. This one hour webinar will focus on getting started in your courses, navigating your Blackboard course site, and identifying tips for success and student support services. The ELI Orientation is highly recommended for students who are new to online learning. Register now!

Join our Virtual Student Union – ELI’s VSU has a new look! Are you taking online classes and looking to connect with other students outside of a classroom setting? Check out our Virtual Student Union or VSU. This is an engagement hub where ELI students have access to create a profile, join discussion forums and connect with other students. In celebration of our new site launch, students will be eligible for raffle prizes once they create an account and interact on the site. Drawings will be done weekly and monthly through the fall semester. Join now!

Join ELI’s Transfer Counselor Thursday 10/20 from 1- 2pm – for the Transfer Planning Webinar. It’s never too early to begin your planning to transfer another institution. This one-hour webinar will discuss the basics of transfer planning; information about Guaranteed Admission Agreements, Articulation Agreements, and Transfer Guides; and a provide web tour of NOVA’s transfer website. Join the live session by clicking on this link during the session time. ELI offers a number of helpful transfer recordings. You can view our offerings viahttp://eli.nvcc.edu/webinars.htm.

Engage in your Community! Did you miss our Community Involvement Fair last year? Check out our community volunteer booklet to learn more about the variety of non-profits participating and volunteer opportunities available: Community Volunteer Booklet. Email us at elistulife@nvcc.edu and tell us where and when you are volunteering and we will send you a FREE NOVA Student Life T-shirt to wear!

Financial Avenue – Financial Literacy Contest – Twenty $100 NOVA bookstore gift cards towards educational costs at NOVA will be given-away throughout the 2016‐2017 academic year to randomly selected students ELI who successfully complete Financial Avenue web‐based financial literacy modules! For more information visit Financial Aid’s Financial Literacy Blog. Official contest rules and registration to participate can be found here.

Learn more on the ELIfe Student Blog. Want to write for the ELI Student Blog? Share your story? Connect with your peers? Send us a writing sample to get started. Email ELIStuLife@nvcc.edu for more information.


Free Career Planning Tool for NOVA Students

Did you know all NOVA students, staff, and faculty have free access to FOCUS 2, an online, interactive, self-guided career and education planning system that can help you:

  • Select a program/major based on your interests and aspirations
  • Discover occupations matching your personal preferences and attributes
  • Map out your career plans, present and future
  • Make informed career decisions

View a Getting Started with FOCUS 2 handout.

Follow the steps below to begin using FOCUS 2.

  1. Visit NOVA’s Career Services website
  2. Select FOCUS 2
  3. Click FOCUS 2 button
  4. Click REGISTER button
  5. Enter “NOVA” for the access code
  6. Enter your NOVA student e-mail address in the e-mail box
  7. Provide requested information
  8. Check box to acknowledge terms and conditions of system
  9. Click CONTINUE button

Contact Christy Jensen (chjensen@nvcc.edu) if you have any problems accessing the system or to schedule a career advising appointment.

Plan early to take your exams

All ELI courses require proctored exams or assignments. Plan ahead for how you will take your exams depending on your location and/or location.

For more about NOVA’s testing policies, view the Testing Information Website.

exam daYA PLUS

ELI offers three methods to fulfill this requirement:

Campus Testing Centers

Students that live in the Northern Virginia area can use any Campus Testing Center. All 6 campuses have a testing center, and it doesn’t matter which one you go to throughout the term. When using a Campus Testing Center:

  • Know the Hours of the Campus Testing Center: Be aware of testing center hours, location, and parking available for the campus you are going to. Double check campus testing center hours before going to campus, just in case!
  • Plan Well: Do not wait until the last minute to take your exam – it is possible that you could be turned away from the testing center if lines are long and you have not provided enough time to wait and then take the test. As you plan, consider the possibility of traffic, weather, parking, lines, etc.
  • Review Your Course Syllabus: Before going to take your test, be sure you are aware of your exam requirements. Any special information about your test should be referenced in your syllabus. Are you allowed to have a note card, scratch paper, etc.? Check your syllabus and be aware of your test conditions.
  • Exam Pass/Photo ID: When you arrive at the testing center, you will need to turn in your Exam Pass and show a photo ID.  You will need to print your exam pass from the Taking Exams and Using Exam Passes section your course Syllabus.
  • Checking In: When you check-in, you will be asked to stow away your personal belongings in a secure locker. You may want to bring minimal items with you.
  • Multiple Exams: If you are taking more than one exam, you will be required to have an exam pass for each exam and wait in the line for each exam. Please plan accordingly.
  • Be Prepared: Be sure to get plenty of rest and eat a healthy meal or snack before testing. You may also want to consider a short walk to clear your mind before going into the testing center.

Out of Area: Proctor Request

If you are out of the area, or planning to be out of the area at any point throughout your course, you will need to identify a Testing Location to supervise your ELI exams. If you have not already, you should begin the process immediately.

Virginia residents (outside of Northern Virginia): You may take your exams at any Virginia Community College (VCCS) testing center, via our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course (check the availability of this service in your course under Exams), or at the testing center of another Virginia college/university at which you are a student (submit a proctor request form for approval). Use the College Locator feature on the Virginia Community College System (VCCS) website to find a college near you.

Students in other states/outside the US: You may take your exams at a college/university testing center near you (submit a proctor request form for approval), or via our online proctoring service, ProctorU, if it is available in your course. Check the availability of this service in your course under Exams.

  • It is the student’s responsibility to secure a proctor and to pay any related fees.
  • To request a proctor, complete the ELI Proctor Request Form and submit it with your Proctor’s statement on letterhead to ELI Course Specialists at elicoursespecialists@nvcc.edu.
  • Requests for proctored exams and proctors must be approved by ELI. ELI reserves the right to reject requests for proctors for any reason.

ProctorU Testing Service

ProctorU might be an option for one or more of your classes, and allow you to take your exams from your home computer. Using a webcam with a microphone, speakers, and a reliable high-speed internet connection, you can take your exams anywhere. Courses offering this option will have the ProctorU Information in the course Blackboard under the links, Taking Exams and Using Exam Passes in your course Syllabus. If you choose to use this online proctoring service:

  • You will need to schedule to take your exam(s) through ProctorU at least 72 hours prior to testing to avoid a late fee.
  • An associate from the ProctorU will scan your room to ensure no one else is in the room and that the area is clear of books, papers, etc.
  • You must be 18 or older and be prepared to show a current photo ID prior to the exam.
  • You must have speakers & microphone and a webcam connected to your computer and in working order.
  • You cannot take bathroom breaks during the exam and no one is allowed in the room with you.
  • Please note there is a 15 to 30 minute period before you begin your exam itself to verify your identity, to ensure your testing environment is secure, and to ensure your system is working properly. Do not schedule your exam at the last minute.

Regardless of your method of testing, the ELI Success Coaches are here to help you succeed in your ELI courses. ELI Success Coaches can be reached at elisuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.323.3347.

We wish you much success on your exams and remind you that when testing, you may only use materials your proctor specifically tells you may be used, based on instructions from the instructor. Also, as an ELI student, you are required to follow the code of conduct as outlined in the NOVA Student Handbook.

For more about NOVA’s testing policies, view the Testing Information Website.

Written by Adrienne, ELI Student Success Coach

Be Alert for Phone Scams

Identity thieves will use telephone calls as one of the most common tactics to steal your personal information, your money, and your credit. College students are a popular target for identity thieves seeking your financial and personal information, particularly for thieves seeking your information to secure bogus student loans.

First, let’s get some background on the facts surrounding telephone scams. According to the Federal Trade Commission, telephone scams are responsible for thousands of cases of identity theft every year. These scams use a number of tactics to convince you of their credibility. In most cases, the scammers try to convince you that they are from your financial institution, such as a bank or credit card company. A common scam is to pose as a government official, such as the IRS. They might even say they are from your school. NOVA will never make an unsolicited call to you asking for your financial information, so never fall for this trick.

The scammers might even know your first name, which makes it seem like they are legit. The will seem very friendly and talk in a manner that seems to show they are trying to help you with some issue regarding your account. But these are only lies intended to build your trust.

Another tactic involves an unsolicited call to try to sell you something, which of course requires you providing them with an electronic check, a credit card, or a debit card number. One of the most sophisticated scams involves placing an advertisement in the classified section of a newspaper, or sending you a text or email message. They might even send you to a website that appears to represent a legitimate business, but it has been created only to fool you. Never purchase anything over the telephone unless you expected a legitimate business to call you regarding a purchase. Never purchase anything from someone who sent you a spam text or email, even if the message references an existing account or legitimate business. Make sure any online purchase is from a website that can easily be identified as a legitimate business.

Phone with email iconsHere are some common strategies used by telephone con artists:

  • You’ve been selected to receive a special offer
  • You’ve been selected for this bonus if you make a purchase
  • You’ve won a prize
  • You’ve won money in a lottery
  • Here’s a great investment opportunity
  • Here’s a great charitable cause
  • You only have to pay for shipping and handling
  • You need to decide now or you’ll lose this opportunity

The consequences of telephone scams are severe. Some people have lost their entire life savings to telephone scammers. The headlines from around the country provide evidence of trusting people providing information to telephone scammers who then proceeded to liquidate their bank accounts.

For more information about ways you can protect your identity, your information, and your money from telephone scammers, check out this site.

NOVA Works to protect your ID – You should too!

Colleges and universities across the United States work diligently to protect student information.  Unfortunately, criminal operators are also at work attempting to use stolen identities and personal information to inappropriately secure student loans and other financial aid. Just recently, this issue hit home at Northern Virginia Community College as our school was targeted by identity thieves who were able to use other people’s identities to obtain federal student loans in a scheme that targeted NVCC and other schools. This blog provides tips for students to protect their information from identity thieves and outlines how NVCC is committed to protecting student data.privacy - small

NVCC provides various security protocols and technologies to ensure that your student information is protected from identity thieves. In the recent targeting of NVCC in the student loan scheme, it should be recognized that no student information at NVCC was compromised. Rather, as Alexandra News reports, the thieves used the identities of non-students to pose as students at NVCC. These identities were used to obtain federal student loans as the thieves posed as students at NVCC and other colleges and universities around the United States.

Even though no NVCC student identities were appropriated by the thieves, this student loan scheme highlights the importance of protecting your identity and reporting potential theft to authorities and school officials. There are several key actions you can take to ensure that your identity remains protected:

  • Protect your social security number. Your social security number is the primary target of identity thieves as it is the foundation for establishing an appropriated identity to secure financial aid, including student loans. Never provide your social security number to any person or institution unless you are confident in their credibility. Know your number by memory and never keep your number or social security card in your wallet or purse. NEVER give your MyNOVA password, FSA ID or other passwords to anyone!  If you think a password has been compromised, change it immediately.  Be alert for any suspicious activity, and address it.
  • Never respond to unsolicited requests for your information. Identity thieves often pose as official representatives of banks, schools, or government agencies over the telephone. Never provide personal information to someone who has called you unless you are certain that person is calling from the organization he or she claims to represent.
  • Destroy your paperwork. Bank, credit card, and school paperwork can contain vital information that can be used by identity thieves. Use a shredder or other means to safely and wholly destroy your paperwork. Securing paperless billing and communications from your financial and other institutions is another great way to avoid appropriation of your documentation.
  • Install firewalls and virus detection software. Your mobile and computing devices offer another opportunity for identity thieves to steal your identity. Make sure that all your devices have appropriate security software installed to prevent intrusion. Such software is usually provided by the manufacturer of the device and the software provider.
  • Create complex passwords. Your password should contain numbers, characters, and a mix of lowercase and uppercase format.

Lastly, NVCC calls upon all students to REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY that might indicate identity theft. If you think someone might be involved in stealing your information or that of someone you know, contact NVCC Police or your local law enforcement agency ASAP. Such activity can include observing an individual who appears to be physically snooping over the shoulder of a student working on a computer. Or perhaps you have received an unsolicited telephone call from someone claiming to represent NVCC or your financial institution.

NVCC seeks to partner with students in fighting identity theft.   We are very careful in all processes and cautious in disbursing aid.  Financial aid provides necessary support for many students, and identity theft represents a serious threat to this vital source of student aid and academic accomplishment.  Please help us help you!


“Identity Theft.” USA.gov. Retrieved from https://www.usa.gov/identity-theft.

“Two Plead Guilty to Student Loan Fraud Scheme Targeting NVCC.” Alexandrianews.org. Retrieved from https://www.alexandrianews.org/2016/07/two-plead-guilty-to-student-loan-fraud-scheme-targeting-nvcc/.

Are you ready for your first day? Join us to learn more!

Are you enrolled in your first online learning course this fall? Or, have you taken an online course previously and want to ensure that you are headed in the right direction? Do you have any questions about using Blackboard to complete your ELI course? A great place to start is with the ELI Orientation website. 463461567A webinar is a live, online instruction session. You can participate in a webinar from any computer or mobile device with Internet access and speakers. A microphone is not required as we will use a text chat for all questions. Participation in all webinars offered through ELI is free, but registration is required. Register for a live session or request a copy of the recording on the ELI Webinar webpage.

The ELI Orientation webinar is a live, one hour online instruction session geared for students already enrolled in courses. The webinar will focus on getting started, navigating your Blackboard course site, taking online exams, identifying tips for success, and highlighting student support services. During the webinar, you will have the opportunity to ask any questions you have before you start your course.

The ELI Orientation will cover an overview of navigating your Blakcboard Course Site. Instructors make courses available on the course start date or sometimes a few days in advance. If you haven’t used Blackboard in the past, you may be interested in some short videos to review how to submit an assignment, post on discussion board, check grades, etc.

The web conference tool we use at ELI is Blackboard Collaborate. You can test your connection ahead of time by following the steps in this ELI Student Blog post.

This webinar will not satisfy the Student Orientation requirement for the Start Strong Policy at NOVA. Need help enrolling? Participate in a Student Orientation at any campus or online through ELI.

Connect with ELI on Facebook and Twitter for tips for success in your online courses. ELI Student Success Coaches are available for any questions as you are getting started. Reach out to them at ELISuccess@nvcc.edu or 703.323.3347.