Jul 18, 2024  

2020-2021 NRCC Catalog - Admission Information

General Admission to the College

Admission is open to any person who has a high school diploma, a General Education Development (GED) Certificate, or who is 18 years old, and in any case can benefit from a program as demonstrated by assessment in reading, writing, and mathematics. Minimum scores are noted in the following chart:

Reading ENF 1
Writing ENF 1
Math MTE 1

Exceptions to this policy may be made by the College President only for documented reasons. Persons applying for admission to a particular associate degree program should be a high school graduate, have earned a GED certificate, or otherwise be considered eligible by the college.

Persons may be admitted to the college as curricular or non-curricular students when the items listed below have been received by the Office of Admissions. (See classification of students for non-curricular categories.) For all curricular students, these items are needed:

  1. A completed official application for admission, with Social Security number requested.
  2. College and university transcripts to ensure appropriate transfer credit and satisfaction of course prerequisites. The VCCS Student Information System academic records will be sufficient for colleges within the VCCS.
  3. High school transcripts or GED certificate for Nursing students.
  4. Graduates who complete secondary school in a home school setting must provide a graduation date and may be required to provide documentation of course work.
  5. Additional information may be required by the college for admission to a specific program or curriculum.

For all non-curricular students, the following item is needed:

  1. A completed official application for admission, with Social Security number requested. Non-curricular students must satisfy all required course pre-requisites or placement testing requirements before enrolling in a specific college-level course.

After students have been admitted to the college, they should meet with an advisor to (a) discuss their educational interests, (b) find out what tests they may need to take and (c) apply for admission to a certain plan of study or program at the college. It is the policy of the college to maintain and promote equal employment and educational opportunity without regard to race, color, gender or age (except where gender or age is a bona fide occupational qualification), religion, handicap, national origin, or other non-merit factors.

Students with disabilities who desire accommodations for enrollment should contact the Advising Center to request services. Students with documented disabilities who desire classroom accommodations should discuss specific classroom needs with an advisor. If possible, please request services at least four weeks in advance of the beginning of classes.

Admission Denied/Revoked: The college reserves the right to evaluate and document special cases and to refuse or revoke admission if the college determines that the applicant or student poses a threat, is a potential danger, is significantly disruptive to the college community, or if such refusal or revocation is considered to be in the best interest of a college. The college also reserves the right to refuse admission for applicants that have been expelled or suspended from, or determined to be a threat, potential danger or significantly disruptive by, another college. An applicant may invoke his/her right to an appeal process.

NRCC Policy Related to Legislation Regarding Admissions

Section 23-2.2:1 of the Code of Virginia requires that the VCCS send enrollment information to the Virginia State Police concerning applicants to institutions of higher education. This information is transmitted electronically and compared against the Virginia Criminal Information Network and National Crime Information Center Convicted Sexual Offender Registry. Language on the web application informs applicants that their information is being transmitted to the State Police.

In the event that the State Police determine that an applicant to New River Community College is listed on the Sex Offender Registry, the State Police will notify NRCC. When the college receives such a notification, the following procedures apply:

  1. The applicant will be denied admission to NRCC in accordance with its admission policy as published in its catalog:
  2. If the applicant registers for classes and becomes a student before the college receives notification from the State Police, the student will be immediately informed that he/she is being administratively withdrawn from classes and will receive a refund.
  3. An applicant may invoke his/her right to an appeal process.

Appeal Process for Denial of Admission or Withdrawal for Convicted Sex Offender

When a convicted sex offender is denied admission to or is administratively withdrawn from classes at New River Community College, he/she may invoke the following appeal process:

  1. The applicant or withdrawn student will receive a letter from the Dean of Student Services stating his/ her denial of admission or administrative withdrawal.
  2. The applicant/withdrawn student may write a letter of appeal to the Dean of Student Services in which he/ she provides the following information:
    1. Disclosure of the nature of the offense for which he/she has been convicted;
    2. Justification for consideration of admission/reinstatement;
    3. Statement acknowledging his/her understanding that his/her identity and status as a convicted sex offender will be publicized on the college campus in accordance with federal and state law if he/she is admitted or reinstated. Note: If a student is appealing a denial of admission or an administrative withdrawal, he/she must submit the letter of appeal to the Dean of Student Services within seven (7) calendar days of the administrative withdrawal.
  3. A panel of three (3) full-time faculty or administrators will review the information submitted and make a decision by a simple majority vote within fourteen (14) calendar days of receiving the letter of appeal. The Dean of Student Services will serve as the convener of the panel and will be a member of the panel.
  4. The Dean of Student Services will inform the applicant/withdrawn student by letter of the decision of the appeals panel. The decision of the appeals panel shall be final.

Placement Tests

All students entering a program of study which requires math or English courses must meet placement requirements for these courses. Placement may be determined by high school transcripts, SAT and/or ACT scores, and GED scores; all of which are valid for five years. Additionally, students who have completed English or math courses at another college or 4-year institution may submit college transcripts for placement determination.

Students who do not satisfy the placement requirements based upon the above multiple measures must take the Virginia Placement Test (VPT). Students must submit their applications for admission to NRCC before taking the placement tests. Placement testing must be completed prior to meeting with an academic advisor to establish a course schedule. Students can retake the placement test one time within 12 months of the initial attempt of the VPT.

More information about placement tests is available here.

Other Admission Requirements

Dual Enrollment Student Admissions (High School/Home School) Dual enrollment is restricted to high school juniors and seniors and home school students studying at the high school junior and senior levels. All students admitted under this section must demonstrate readiness for college, meet the applicable college placement requirements and address all other college admission criteria. Home school students must also provide a copy of a home school agreement approved by the school district or a letter from the local school board or a copy of the letter filed by the parent/legal guardian declaring home school for religious exemption. Documentation of parental permission is required for all dual enrollment students. Because enrolling freshman and sophomore students is considered exceptional, the college ready status of each prospective freshman and sophomore student will be treated on a case-by-case basis. Formal approval by the college president is required.

Admission to Specific Curricula or Programs

Besides the general admission requirements to the college listed above, certain requirements are given for each program of study of the college. Among other items considered in the admission process are educational and occupational experiences and other reasonable standards to ensure that students have the ability to meet program requirements.

The exact admission requirements for each program of study are listed in the Educational Programs section of the college catalog. Students who do not meet these requirements for their chosen course of study will be allowed to enroll in developmental courses and other courses that have no math or English prerequisites. Persons applying for admission to a particular associate degree program should be a high school graduate, have earned a GED certificate, or otherwise be considered eligible by the college.

Admission to Courses

Students can be admitted to certain courses only when they meet the needed requirements for the courses as listed in the course offerings in the back of the catalog.

Readmission Requirements

Former students must update their record by completing an application form if they have not attended the college for three years.

Academic Renewal Policy

Students who return to a college after a separation of five (5) years, or more, may petition for academic renewal by completing the appropriate form in the Admissions and Records Office.

If a student is determined to be eligible for academic renewal, “D” and “F” grades earned prior to re-enrollment will be deleted from the cumulative and curriculum grade point average (GPA), subject to the following conditions:

  1. Prior to petitioning for academic renewal the student must demonstrate a renewed academic interest and effort by earning at least a 2.5 GPA in the first twelve (12) semester hours completed after reenrollment.
  2. All grades received at the college will be a part of the student’s official transcript.
  3. Students will receive degree credit only for courses in which grades of “C” or better were earned prior to academic renewal, providing that such courses meet current curriculum requirements.
  4. Total hours for graduation will be based on all course work taken at the college after readmission, as well as former course work for which a grade of “C” or better was earned, and credits transferred from other colleges or universities.
  5. The academic renewal policy may be used only once and cannot be revoked once approved.

International Student Admission Requirements

International students applying for admission on an F-1 visa must meet the general admission requirements for curricular students. and the following additional requirements:

  1. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
    1. TOEFL score of 500 (paper and pencil version) or better, OR
    2. TOEFL score of 173 (computer-based version) or better, OR
    3. TOEFL score of 61 (internet-based version) or better, OR
    4. IELTS minimum academic score of 6, OR
    5. Proficiency at the ENF 2 levels as determined by English and reading placement tests.
  2. International Student Supplementary Data Form and financial support documentation.
  3. Proof of health and accident insurance providing 24-hour, year-round coverage (including summer).
  4. Proof of compliance with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (U.S.C.I.S.) regulations for transfer students.

For more information, refer to the “International Students” section on NRCC’s Admissions & Records Office webpage.

Admission Priorities

When enrollments must be limited for any curriculum, priority will be given to all qualified students who are residents of the political subdivisions supporting the college and to Virginia residents who do not have access to a given program at their local community college, provided such students apply for admission to the program prior to registration or by a deadline established by the college. In addition, residents of localities with which the college has clinical site or other agreements may receive equal consideration for admission.


Transfer between Curricula or Programs Students who want to change their curriculum or course of study should fill out the appropriate form, which may be obtained from the Admissions and Records Office. Students who change programs must request a reevaluation of their transcripts in the Admissions and Records Office.

Transferring from Other Colleges For the most part, students who transfer from other colleges and who can reenter the last college of attendance, can also be admitted to New River Community College.

It is the role of the college to help students succeed in a program from which they can benefit. If transfer students are not able to return to a certain course of study in a college they had attended, they may not be allowed to enroll in the same course of study at NRCC until one semester goes by or until they complete an approved developmental (preparatory) program at the college. The Coordinator of Admissions and Records shall decide on each case and may put special conditions on the admission of each student.

Students who transfer from other colleges should consult the Coordinator of Admissions and Records for an assessment of credits to determine where they stand before they register for classes. Generally, no credit will be given for courses with grades lower than “C,” and at least 25 percent of the credits for a program must be earned at NRCC. Transfer students may be asked to repeat courses if it is clearly in their best interest to do so in order to make good progress in their course of study. Any VCCS course in which a student received a grade of “C” or better will transfer as the same course (excluding general usage courses).

In determining transfer credit, course work applicable to the program at NRCC will be accepted if the courses were taken at another college or university accredited by a regional accrediting agency. Other course work taken at institutions which are approved by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia may be considered on an individual basis.

Transferring to Other Institutions Students planning to transfer to a four-year college or university are responsible for finding out what is required by the department of their intended major field at that school. The requirements there should guide the students in choosing their course of study and electives. The college keeps a file of catalogs and transfer guides for many other colleges. The advising center will help the students choose a school and find out its requirements.

Credit for Prior Learning

Credit for Prior Learning is the administrative placement of a student that awards credit for subject matter competency based upon previous academic study or acquired through nontraditional means. This may include, but is not limited to college credit and advancement based upon the administration and evaluation of locally-developed examinations, individual college participation in nationally recognized standardized examinations; experiential learning; and training provided by non-collegiate institutions, such as armed forces and service schools. Credit will be based upon the student’s selected program (curriculum) of study.

  • College credit is a means of achieving Credit for Prior Learning through an administrative determination by the college that equivalent course coverage has been satisfactorily completed at a regionally accredited postsecondary institution. Credit through this means must be verified through receipt of an official transcript (see “Transferring from Other Colleges”).

  • Credit by Local Examination is a means of achieving Credit for Prior Learning through satisfactorily demonstrating subject-matter competency by means of an examination developed, and evaluated by college faculty. Examinations must be based on established course learning outcomes and must be comprehensive. See the appropriate academic dean for more information.

  • Credit by Standardized Examinations is a means of achieving Credit for Prior Learning through a nationally recognized or college-approved external agency. External examinations used for this purpose include but are not limited to the College Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Test (DSST) of the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Educational Support (DANTES), Excelsior Credit by Exam (ECE), the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB), Advanced Placement (AP) program, Cambridge Advanced (A/AS) examinations, the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, and the Defense Language Proficiency Test (DLPT).
    Upon receipt of official test scores, all Virginia community colleges shall accept a score of three (3) and higher for Advanced Placement (AP) courses, a score of four (4) or higher for higher level International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, a score of five (5) or higher for standard level International Baccalaureate (IB) courses, a score of fifty (50) or higher on CLEP courses, and scores of C or better for Cambridge Advanced (A/AS) examinations when the equivalent course is offered by the college. The colleges assume no responsibility regarding the acceptance of Credit for Prior Learning by other institutions to which the student may transfer.

  • Credit by Experiential Learning is a means of achieving Credit for Prior Learning through an administrative determination by faculty of the college or by a college-approved learning assessment service that the occupational experience of an individual is at least equivalent to the course(s) to be exempted. Credit may be awarded based upon an individualized portfolio evaluation, which may be conducted by faculty at the individual colleges or by using the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning’s (CAEL) guidelines, and/or CAEL’s LearningCounts.org prior learning assessment service. See the appropriate academic dean for more information.

  • Credit may be granted for prior learning for non-collegiate education, training, and/or occupational experiences as recommended by college faculty, the American Council on Education (ACE), the National College Credit Recommendation Service, or another college-approved organization.  

In all of the above areas, neither grades nor grade points will be awarded for successful completion. The appropriate credit will be noted on the student’s transcript. Students who plan to transfer to other colleges or universities are advised to check with those institutions to determine acceptability of these credits.

Classification of Students

All students are classified according to the following categories:

Curricular Student: A student who has been admitted to one of the curricula of the college.

Non-curricular Student: A student who is not formally admitted to one of the curricula but who is classified according to these goals or conditions:

  1. Upgrading Job Skills for Present Job. Student is working and seeking to upgrade skills for current job.
  2. Developing Skills for New Job. Student is trying to develop skills for a new job.
  3. Career Exploration. The college will counsel students in making decisions about career/curricular goals. Student is expected to declare an educational goal before completing 30 credit hours of course work.
  4. Personal Pleasure and General Knowledge. Student is enrolled for reasons not related to certain occupational or educational goals.
  5. Transient Student. Student, while enrolled at a community college, keeps chief enrollment with another post-secondary school. Example: A student chiefly enrolled at the College of William and Mary also enrolls at New River Community College during the summer session.
  6. Non-degree Transfer Student. Student is enrolled at a community college with the intent to transfer to another post-secondary school before completing the graduation requirements of the community college.
  7. High School/Dual Enrollment Student (with college approval only.) High school juniors and seniors may take classes taught by college faculty and may receive both high school and college credit. There are other classes which may be taken, if the college Dean of Student Services agrees and if the college has a letter of consent from the student’s high school principal on file.
  8. Restricted Enrollment (with college approval only.) Student has met college admission requirements but is temporarily denied entry because of program restrictions.

Full-Time Student: A student is said to be a full-time student if taking 12 or more course credits.

Part-Time Student: A student is said to be a part-time student if taking fewer than 12 course credits.

Freshman: A student is called a freshman until completing 30 course credits in the chosen course of study.

Sophomore: A student is called a sophomore after completing 30 or more course credits. Transferred credits are included if they apply toward the requirements of the student’s course of study.