Jul 13, 2024  
2021-2022 College Catalog 
2021-2022 College Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Admissions/Residency/Placement Testing

Admissions Policy and Procedures

West Virginia Northern Community College is an open door college admitting students to the College regardless of academic background. The College admits students as degree seeking or non-degree seeking, early entrance high school students or those enrolling in career development or community education. Some programs are limited enrollment with specific entrance requirements, including Health Sciences. The College admissions policy follows the basic guidelines of the WV Community and Technical College System.

Applications and information may be obtained from any Campus Service Center, through local high school counselor offices, or online at the College’s website. There are separate applications for general admission, career development, community education and early entrance/home-schooled students. General admission student applications may be submitted online or at any Campus Service Center.

All general admission students must select a Program of Study at the time of application for admission. A separate application for admission into a Health Sciences program is required in addition to the general application. Students cannot double major; the College has no minors. The College is required to maintain a list of states where Northern is authorized to offer a state’s residents distance education. A current list of states is available on the College’s website, on the Online Programs/Courses page. Northern is not permitted to enroll students in courses in states where it does not have current authorization for distance education.

In addition to the admissions application the following is required at the College:

  • A U.S. high school transcript or high school equivalency scores from a state agency approved test program. Final, official transcripts must be sent with graduation date from the high school. Note: Applicants who graduated from high school or passed their state approved high school equivalency more than five years prior to admission and/or have earned 30 or more semester hours of credit at a regionally accredited institution do not have to submit a high school transcript/equivalency scores for admission (but may need to for financial aid or selective admission programs).
  • Transfer students must provide an official transcript from each regionally accredited institution the student attended. Transcripts cannot be older than 120 days (transcripts from other colleges may be needed for financial aid purposes).
  • Early entrance students must submit permission of high school officials and parents through a special early entrance admission application.
  • Foreign national students are admitted as full-time students only. They must demonstrate a satisfactory command of the English language, provide evidence of sufficient support funds, and meet standard expectations of the U.S. Immigration Office to obtain a visa through WVNCC.
  • Returning students who have not enrolled in WVNCC courses for more than one year must submit a new application for admission that will update their major to the current catalog.
  • Transfer students who have been dismissed from other colleges for disciplinary reasons are required to undergo review to determine if they will be admitted and must report this on their admission application.
  • Home-schooled students may be required to submit written verification of subject mastery.

Student placement skills information is required for all admitted general admission and early entrance students in order to determine academic preparation for course placement and program entry. This assessment should be completed prior to enrollment and entry into specific courses and programs. Placement skills information may include the following:

  • Official college transcripts from an AACRAO accredited institution showing completion of an approved college level mathematics and/or English course.
  • ACT or SAT scores.
  • Freshmen placement test scores. See the Student Services section of this catalog for specific information.

Health Sciences Selection and Admission

The Health Sciences programs have limited enrollment and a selective review process.

Applicants must meet all general admission criteria for the College; complete a separate Health Sciences or Nursing application (including an application fee); provide official copies of their high school transcript, prior college transcripts, and any requirements specific to admission for the student’s intended program. See the applicable application and individual program webpage for any additional items needed. Selection of applicants is a continuous process. Early application is highly recommended. For more information contact the Division of Health Science or refer to the College’s website under Programs of Study then Health care Professions.

Classification of Residents and Non-Residents for Admission and Fee Purposes

West Virginia Northern adheres to Council for Community and Technical College Education and Higher Education Policy Commission policy for determining residency for tuition and fee purposes. Generally, a student who did not reside in WV (or a reciprocity or Metro county) for 12 consecutive months prior to the start of classes is considered an out of state student. The Records Office is responsible for administering this policy, which is cited below. The decision of the Registrar may be appealed by written petition to the Student Appeals Committee for Non-Academic Matters and then to the President. The policy states:

  1. Classification for Admission and Fee Purposes. Students enrolling in a West Virginia public institution of higher education shall be assigned a residency status for admission, tuition and fee purposes. In determining residency classification, the issue is essentially one of domicile. In general, the domicile of a person is that person’s true, fixed, permanent home and place of habitation. The decision will be made by the Records Office, and shall be based upon information furnished by the student and all other relevant information. Appeal of the decision is to be made to the Registrar Office. The Records Office is authorized to require such written documents, affidavits, verifications or other evidence as is deemed necessary to establish the domicile of a student. The burden of establishing domicile for admission, tuition and fee purposes is upon the student.

    If there is a question as to domicile, the matter must be brought to the attention of the Records Office at least two weeks prior to the deadline for the payment of tuition and fees. Students found to have made a false or misleading statement concerning domicile shall be subject to institutional disciplinary action and will be charged the nonresident tuition and fees for each academic term theretofore attended.

    The previous determination of a student’s domiciliary status by one institution is not conclusive or binding when subsequently considered by another institution; however, assuming no change of facts, the prior judgment should be given strong consideration in the interest of consistency. Out-of-state students being assessed resident tuition and fees as a result of a reciprocity agreement may not transfer said reciprocity status to another public institution in West Virginia.
  2. Residence Determined by Domicile. Domicile within West Virginia means adoption of West Virginia as the fixed permanent home and involves personal presence within West Virginia with no intent on the part of the applicant or, in the case of a dependent student, the applicant’s parent(s) to return to another state or country. Residing with relatives (other than parent(s)/legal guardian) does not, in and of itself, cause the student to attain domicile in West Virginia for admission or fee payment purposes.

    West Virginia domicile may be established upon the completion of at least 12 months of continued presence within West Virginia prior to the date of registration, provided that such 12 months’ presence is not primarily for the purpose of attendance at any institution of higher education in West Virginia. Establishment of West Virginia domicile with less than 12 months’ presence prior to the date of registration must be supported by evidence of positive and unequivocal action.

    In determining domicile, institutional officials give consideration to such factors as the ownership or lease of a permanently occupied home in West Virginia, full-time employment within West Virginia, payment of West Virginia property tax, filing of West Virginia income tax returns, registration of motor vehicles in West Virginia, possession of a valid West Virginia driver’s license and/or marriage to a person already domiciled in West Virginia. Proof of a number of these actions shall be considered only as evidence that may be used in determining whether or not a domicile has been established.

    Factors mitigating against the establishment of West Virginia domicile might include such considerations as the student not being self-supporting, being claimed as a dependent on federal tax forms or the parents’ health insurance policy if the parents reside out of state, receiving financial assistance from state student aid programs in other states and leaving West Virginia when school is not in session.
  3. Dependency Status. Dependent students are those who are listed as dependents on the federal or state income tax return of their parent(s) or legal guardian or who receive major financial support from that person. Such a student maintains the same domicile as that of the parent(s) or legal guardian. In the event the parents are divorced or legally separated, dependent students take the domicile of the parent with whom they live or to whom they have been assigned by court order.

    However, a dependent student who enrolls and is properly classified as an in-state student maintains that classification as long as the enrollment is continuous and that student does not attain independence and establish domicile in another state.

    A nonresident student who becomes independent while a student at an institution of higher education in West Virginia does not, by reason of such independence alone, attain domicile in West Virginia for admission or fee payment purposes.
  4. Change of Residence. Individuals who have been classified as out-of-state students and who seek resident status in West Virginia must assume the burden of providing conclusive evidence that a domicile has been established in West Virginia with the intention of making this state the permanent home. The intent to remain indefinitely in West Virginia is evidenced not only by a person’s statements, but also by that person’s actions referenced in Sect. 2. The change in classification, if deemed to be warranted, shall be effective for the academic term or semester next following the date of the application for reclassification. It is the student’s responsibility to notify the Financial Aid Office.
  5. Military. An individual who is on full-time active military service in another state or a foreign country or an employee of the federal government shall be classified as an in-state student for the purpose of payment of tuition and fees provided that the person established a domicile in West Virginia prior to entrance into federal service, entered the federal service from West Virginia, and has at no time while in federal service claimed or established a domicile in another state. Sworn statements attesting to these conditions may be required. The spouse and dependent children of such individuals shall also be classified as in-state students for tuition and fee purposes.

    Persons assigned to full-time active military service in West Virginia and residing in the state shall be classified as in-state students for tuition and fee purposes. The spouse and dependent children of such individuals shall also be classified as in-state students for tuition and fee purposes.

    Any student living in West Virginia and receiving education or vocational rehabilitation benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs shall be charged in-state tuition and fees to attend a West Virginia public institution of higher education so long as such student is considered a “covered individual” as described in 38 U.S.C. § 3679, as in effect at any time.
  6. Aliens. Students who meet the domiciliary requirements noted in Sections 3, 4, and 5 of this policy, and who are U.S. Permanent Resident Aliens, Political Asylums or Political Refugees, or who hold an A, E, G, H, I, L, O, P, R, TD, TN, U, or V visa, may apply to be reviewed for in-state residency for tuition purposes.

    Students who hold B, C, D, F, J, K, M, or Q visas are not eligible for establishing in-state residency for tuition purposes.

    Students who meet the domiciliary requirements and who are the beneficiary of a pending I-485 application to adjust status to permanent resident may apply to be reviewed for in-state residency for tuition purposes.
  7. Former Domicile. Individuals who were formerly domiciled in the State of West Virginia and who would have been eligible for an in-state residency classification at the time of departure from West Virginia may be immediately eligible for classification as West Virginia residents provided they return to West Virginia within a one-year period of time and satisfy the conditions of Sect. 2 regarding proof of domicile and intent to remain permanently in West Virginia.

Residency Appeal Process

The decision of the Registrar may be appealed in accordance with the Student Appeals Procedure for Non-Academic Matters. The appeal shall end at the institutional level.

Placement Testing

All degree-seeking students admitted to the College are assessed for appropriate placement into the appropriate course including supplemental education or college-level courses, occasionally a student may be placed in a course below a 100 level for additional remedial coursework (below 100 level coursework has a different grading system and affects GPA and academic honors; see the appropriate section in this catalog) Academic advising, new student welcome event, and placement are all components of the new student process

Who must take placement tests? To assure the integrity of degree programs and a student’s ability to succeed in college courses, the West Virginia CTCS (Nov. 2010) established uniform standards for placement of students in college-level mathematics and English courses. Upon admission, all degree and certificate objective students are required to take course placement tests or provide documenation, for example through high school transcript grades within five years of high school graduation, for reading, writing, and mathematics to asess their current skills if ACT/SAT score are not available. Students not seeking a degree or certificate must meet these requirements before registering for any class with an applicable prerequisite.

When does a student test? Students are required to take a placement test prior to registering for their first class to determine appropriate course placement(s). Students may retest in any of the required subject areas one time. Students must wait at least 24 hours between testing and retesting.

How is testing arranged? Testing sessions are scheduled individually on each campus or remotely to accommodate students’ needs. Information regarding placement testing is available through the Academic Success Center.

Alternate testing arrangements can be made for students with documented physical or learning disabilities. Contact the Academic Support Center at 304-214-8921 to arrange necessary modifications to enhance the student’s chance for success. Isolated testing, having a test read to the student or physical adaptations are examples of modified arrangements.

Placement Score Table: The following table identifies scores required on a variety of Placement Tests in order to place a student into the corresponding course.

English Required Test Scores

Consult your Northern Navigator or speak to your advisor to determine which English is required for your program.



(MARCH 2016 & Later)



High School Grades/GPA

Reading 16 or Below


English 17 or Below

Reading 22 or Below
Reading 251 or Below
No Scores Needed
ENGLISH 101 + 101S or ENG 115 + 115S


(MARCH 2016 & Later)



High School Grades/GPA

Reading 17 or Above


English 17 or Below

ERW 460 - 479 Reading 252 or Above
Writing 249 or Below
A’s or B’s in all high school English courses AND 2.5 cumulative GPA
ENGLISH 101 or ENG 115
English 18 or Above

ERW 480 or Above


Essay 13 or Above

Reading 252 or Above
Writing 250 or Above
A’s or B’s in all high school English courses AND 3.0 cumulative GPA 

Math Required Test Scores

Consult your Northern Navigator or speak to your advisor to determine which Math is required for your program.

MATH 101, 109, 113, 115, 205, 205

Test Taken Math + Supplement
(5 credit hours)
Math without Supplement
(3 credit hours)


(MARCH 2016 & Later)

509 or Below 510 or Above
Accuplacer NextGen QAS 200-249 250 or Above
High School Grades/GPA A’s or B’s in all high school English AND Math courses AND 2.5 cumulative GPA A’s or B’s in all high school English AND Math courses AND 3.0 cumulative GPA

Math 108, 110, 210

Test Taken Math 108 and 110 Math 210
ACT Math 21 or Above 20 or Above


(MARCH 2016 & Later)

530 or Above 520 or Above
Accuplacer NextGen QAS 260 or Above 255 or Above
High School Grades/GPA A’s or B’s in all high school English courses,  A’s in all high school Math courses, AND 3.0 cumulative GPA A’s or B’s in all high school English AND Math courses AND 3.0 cumulative GPA

Placement Review/Retest Program

The College offers several options for students to review their placement:

  1. Review and Retest
    Schedule some “boot camp” style review sessions, on campus, with an Academic Support Center tutor who will provide “right on” resources and tips within a structured study plan to have you prepped and ready for retest success.
  2. Course with Supplement
    Enroll in program requirement with an additional, credit–bearing supplement designed to provide the scaffolding and support that will allow you to thrive in a college-level class.

For more information, contact the Academic Support Center on any campus.