Early Online College

The Early Online College program is a collaboration with Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) and Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) that offers qualified high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to take up to two college courses online each semester. Early Online College courses are asynchronous courses with weekly due dates. These courses can be used for college credit only and do not impact students' high school transcripts. PWCS pays the tuition; students are responsible for purchasing any textbooks or course materials.

Benefits of Early Online College

  • Students can complete up to two college courses per semester.
  • Families save money – students pay for course materials and the division pays for tuition.
  • Lowers the cost of college – students graduate from high school with college credits
  • Students have access to campus resources and participate in college events and activities.
  • NOVA has transfer agreements with Virginia state colleges, ensuring that credits transfer to Virginia four-year public colleges.
  • Courses are asynchronous so students can still participate in jobs, sports, and activities.

Target Students and Course Expectations

Early Online College is open to juniors and seniors in PWCS. Students must meet college readiness requirements, must maintain good academic standing at NOVA (2.0 GPA for NOVA courses) and may not exceed a total of 18 NOVA credits per semester.

Because Early Online College courses are online and asynchronous, it is important that students are self-starters who find success with online learning. Students will be responsibility to adhering to weekly due dates.

During a 12-week semester students can expect to spend 8-12 hours studying for and working on each three-credit course. Students can expect to spend 3-4 hours per week for each one-credit course.

Criteria for Participation

Students interested in participating in Early Online College must be a junior or senior in PWCS and meet the criteria for participation established by NOVA. Students should speak with their school counselor to ensure that this program is a good academic fit.


Prince William County Public Schools covers the cost of tuition for students enrolled in Early Online College courses. Students may receive an invoice remember via email, but these should be disregarded for Early Online College courses.

Some Early Online College courses may require students to purchase textbooks. These courses are noted in the Session Details under each Early Online College Session. Costs for the textbooks range between $40-250 per course.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many classes can I take each semester?
Students can take up to two classes each semester through Early Online College (EOC). Remember that these classes are in addition to a student's high school course load, so balance is important.
How do I decide what classes to take at my high school and what classes to take in EOC?
Students should talk to their school counselor and families when considering EOC courses. EOC courses cannot be used to satisfy high school graduation requirements.
How much do these classes cost?
Prince William County covers the cost of tuition for students enrolled in EOC courses. Students may receive an invoice reminder via email, but these can be ignored for EOC courses.
Do I need to purchase books for these courses? How much will they cost?
Some courses may require students to purchase textbooks. These courses are noted on our Early Online College. Cost for the textbooks range between $40-250/course.
Will these classes count towards my high school GPA? Can I use them to meet high school graduation requirements?
No, EOC courses do not count towards student's high school GPA and cannot be used to meet high school graduation requirements. These courses will become a permanent part of a student's college transcript and students will need to share their transcripts with institutes to which they're applying.
What four-year institutions will accept these courses as transfer?
Courses offered through Early Online College are highly transferable courses through Virginia to four-year public institutions. Students should look at the transfer policy at colleges and universities they're interested in applying to.
Does NOVA provide accommodations?
Student wishing to receive accommodations for a NOVA course must request accommodations with NOVA. NOVA makes reasonable accommodations in providing course, program, and building modification and/or auxiliary aids and services in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008. IEP and 504 accommodations are not guaranteed for college coursework.