our mission

To help Northern Virginia Community College students achieve their academic potential.

The program

Tatiana mentored students as Professor of Physics at NOVA. Jim was taking physics classes for fun and wanted to support underprivileged students. On a sunny day, huddled in the back of the physics lab room, we brainstormed the creation of a program that paired scholarship money with mentorship. We wanted to ensure that our students received financial assistance and sound academic advising so they could make the most of their experience at NOVA. When Liz heard of what Tatiana and Jim wanted to create, she said, “Let’s do it,” and gave us a name, NOVA Friends Fund. And that is how a fledgling organization dedicated to helping NOVA students was born in the fall of 2020.

Our vision is that one day, our scholarship will provide 100% of our students’ tuition at NOVA and that our students will consider the mentorship they received even more valuable than the money. Until we build that vision, here is what we currently have.

Acceptance to NOVA Friends Program comes with a one-time $750 scholarship and regular mentorship from an experienced and dedicated NOVA educator. 

All our NOVA Friends staff are volunteers and ardent proponents of community college education. 

See Who We Are



Focus on students

Our Students

All students who are registered for at least one class at NOVA for the current semester are eligible to apply to the program. The selection process has two rounds. In the first round, we select the students who appear to fit best with the mission of the foundation. The selection is anonymous, as we focus on the students’ submissions regardless of their background, major of study, etc. 

Students who make it to the second round are interviewed briefly over the phone by another set or reviewers who evaluate once again the alignment between student’s goals and our mission. The selection process is usually complete within three weeks after the application closes for the semester. All students are informed shortly after whether they have been accepted to the program.

We serve students who are currently enrolled in classes at Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) and will remain NOVA students for the duration of the scholarship.

The current application deadlines are posted on the Apply to Program page. 

See Our Past Students

Support NOVA Friends

The cost of one credit at NOVA is approximately $200. The average 3-credit class is $600, and it transfers to all Virginia four-year schools and to many other colleges and universities nationwide. When a  student can complete their 60-credit freshman and sophomore coursework at NOVA, the total cost is less than $15,000. And they receive a high-quality education comparable to other institutions. This is what affordable higher education is!

When you support NOVA Friends, 100% of your donation goes directly to students’ scholarships. And those scholarships go a long way to cover tuition, textbooks, or unexpected expenses. By supporting NOVA Friends, you can truly make a difference in the life of one student. We invite you to visit Our Students page to see how the program transformed their lives. 

 All our staff are volunteers dedicated to the high-quality and affordable education NOVA offers. We make every effort to keep our costs reasonable. They are all paid with private funds from our president, so 100% of your donation goes to scholarships.


We are committed to transparency and accountability and publish our Annual Reports on our website

NOVA Friends is a public charity under the IRC Section 501(c)(3). Your generous donations are tax-exempt. We appreciate your support of high-quality affordable higher education for students of all economical, cultural, and social backgrounds.




Make a difference