Staff had asked her to remove her burqa or the veil which covers everything but her eyes for identity fraud purposes, but she told them she could not because of her religious beliefs.
She was forced to abandon plans to sign up for the Access course to Higher Education Diploma.
"It is my choice to wear the veil. I live around the corner from the college in an area where there are so many practising Muslims. I tried to compromise, but they wouldn't. The college sent me a letter to say I could continue with my course if I stopped wearing the veil," the tabloid quoted Shawana, as saying.
"We are in the 21st Century and we get people from all walks of life. I'm in the police cadets as well and yet it's not a problem wearing the veil there," she added.
Burnley College has 7,500 sixth-form students and a 100 per cent pass rate for the fourth year running.
Principal John Smith defended the decision, saying, "The highest standards of learning require unimpeded communication with students. This is not possible if the face is not fully visible."
He also insisted all staff and students must wear a tag showing their face for security reasons.