George Mason University

Census Date and Financial Aid Eligibility

Census Date and Financial Aid Eligibility

If you are eligible to receive financial aid, and have satisfied all of your financial aid requirements, your grant and loan funds (if applicable) will be disbursed approximately 10 days prior to the start of classes for each semester. At the “census date” (which is the last day students are permitted to add a course or drop a course with a full tuition refund), the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) will verify your enrollment. If you increase or decrease your enrollment between the disbursement date and the census date, your financial aid will be adjusted accordingly to ensure that it is the appropriate amount for your enrollment on the census date. Please refer to the academic calendar on the Registrar’s website for current census dates.. After the census date, no adjustments or increases will be made to your financial aid and all financial aid payments will be final, unless you withdraw from all of your courses. Before dropping all courses, please refer to Withdrawing from Courses.

What this means for you:

On the census date your enrollment will be locked and your financial aid will be adjusted accordingly. If your financial aid award was originally disbursed on full-time status and you are not enrolled full-time at the census date, your financial aid may be decreased to match your enrollment and this adjustment could result in a balance owed to the University.

Financial aid refunds will be issued only to those students who have excess funds on their account. Be advised that no refunds will be issued based on pending financial aid. The easiest way to receive a refund is to submit a direct deposit authorization to the Student Accounts Office.

Enrollment Requirements

Undergraduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of six (6) credits to qualify for the majority of financial aid programs. Funds may be reduced if enrolled less than full-time.

Graduate students must be enrolled in a minimum of 4.5 credits to qualify for federal loan funds. Funds may be reduced if enrolled less than full-time.

If you change your enrollment after the census date (with the exception of completely withdrawing from all classes), your financial aid will not be revised and you will be responsible for any additional charges. Students, who are completely withdrawn from ALL of their classes, may be responsible for returning financial aid they received prior to withdrawing from school. This determination will be made by the OSFA through a process called Return to Title IV. For more information on Return to Title IV, visit the Withdrawing From Courses page.

Enrollment Status Definitions

Undergraduate Students

Credit Hours Enrollment Status
12 or more Full-time
9 - 11 Three-quarter time
6 - 8 Half-time
1 - 5 Less than half-time

Graduate Students

Credit Hours Enrollment Status
9 or more Full-time
6 - 8 Three-quarter time
4.5 - 5.5 Half-time
4.4 or less Less than half-time