George Mason University

How can I find information about scholarships?

Mason scholarship information can be found on our Scholarship page.

How do I apply for financial aid at Mason?

The first step in applying for financial aid is to complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) at www.fafsa.gov. Once the OSFA receives your FAFSA, you will be notified via email if additional information is required.

Do I have to apply for financial aid every year?

You must apply for financial aid each year by completing the Renewal Application for Federal Student Aid or by completing the next year’s FAFSA available at fafsa.gov.

What determines whether or not I will qualify to receive financial aid?

The primary factor is financial need. Financial need is computed by determining the educational costs (tuition and fees, room and board, books and supplies, and a personal allowance as set by the university) less expected family contribution (as determined by the federal government). The difference between these is financial need. Whether or not a school is able to meet this financial need is determined by the timing of your financial aid application, availability of funds, and eligibility requirements for the individual financial aid programs.

Does my GPA affect my eligibility for federal or state financial aid?

While federal and state financial aid is “need-based”, students must maintain satisfactory academic progress to continue receiving financial aid each year. These Satisfactory Academic Progress requirements have been established by the Mason Office of Student Financial Aid in accordance with federal and state guidelines, and you may view them on our Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) Policy page.

Does the size of a family or the number of students in college at the same time affect financial aid eligibility?

When there is more than one child in college (undergraduate) at the same time, your expected family contribution is generally reduced. For example, if there were two children in college one year and only one enrolled in college the following year, the expected family contribution for the one child in college would be expected to be higher that second year.

Why does my financial aid award seem to change from year to year?

At George Mason University, eligibility for financial aid is based on Federal estimates of your family’s ability to contribute to your cost of education. As this contribution calculation varies from year to year, so does your eligibility for financial aid.

Keep in mind that your award is likely to change each year for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The cost of education may increase.
  • Your family’s income may change.
  • Your student loan eligibility may increase as you continue through school.
  • The number of children in college may change.
  • If you forget to reapply for financial aid and miss the priority filing date.
  • The amount of available funding changes.
What if the FAFSA does not truly reflect my present situation?

Please email your Financial Aid Counselor to discuss your present situation.

My parents did not claim me on their tax returns this year. Can I file my FAFSA as an independent student?

Probably not. To determine dependency status, first see if you meet any of the automatic criteria on the FAFSA. If you do not meet any of those, but feel that you should be considered an independent student, please review the Dependency Appeal information and email your Financial Aid Counselor with any questions.

Can I get financial aid for study during the summer?

Please review the Summer Aid section of our website for more information.

What happens to my financial aid eligibility if I withdraw from the semester?

Please review the Withdrawing from Courses section of our website for more information.

How do I request an IRS tax transcript?

To obtain an IRS tax return transcript, go to www.irs.gov and under “Tools”, click on the “Get Transcript of Your Tax Records” link; or call 1-800-908-9946. Make sure to request the “IRS tax return transcript” and not the “IRS tax account transcript.” You will need your Social Security Number, date of birth, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used when the IRS tax return was filed).

In most cases, for electronic filers, a IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested from the IRS within 2–3 weeks after the IRS income tax return has been accepted by the IRS. Generally, for filers of paper IRS income tax returns, the IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 8–11 weeks after the paper IRS income tax return has been received by the IRS.

My Student Aid Report (SAR) says I was selected for a process called “verification.” Should I send in my tax transcripts and other paperwork before you ask for it?

No, please do not submit your tax transcripts to the OSFA. The OSFA will notify you via email if any additional documentation is needed to determine your financial aid eligibility.

How do I know my application was processed by the federal processor? How can I verify that George Mason University will receive the results?

After completing the FAFSA, you should receive a Student Aid Report (SAR); this is verification that you filed the FAFSA and that it has been processed. Check to make sure you listed George Mason University as one of the schools to receive your FAFSA. Questions about FAFSA processing can be directed to the Federal Student Aid Information Center (1-800-4-FED-AID). You can also determine the status of your FAFSA application through fafsa.gov.

My Student Aid Report (SAR) isn’t accurate. Do I need to correct it?

Since corrections to your financial aid application data may affect your eligibility, you should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to find out whether or not the corrections are necessary and whether or not the OSFA can make those corrections electronically. You may also be able to correct your information through the Department of Education’s FAFSA on the Web at www.fafsa.gov.

George Mason isn’t listed on my SAR, what should I do?

You can add Mason’s school code to your SAR through the FAFSA website at fafsa.gov. The school code is 003749.

I’m not sure which university I’ll be attending. What should I do with my Student Aid Report (SAR) if it’s correct?

You do not need to submit your Student Aid Report to the OSFA. If you listed Mason’s school code (003749) on your FAFSA, the OSFA will receive your FAFSA data electronically.

How do I request an IRS Tax Return Transcript?

To obtain an IRS tax return transcript, go to www.irs.gov and under “Tools”, click on the “Get a Tax Transcript by Mail” link; or call 1-800-908-9946. Make sure to request the “IRS tax return transcript” and not the “IRS tax account transcript.” You will need your Social Security Number, date of birth, and the address on file with the IRS (normally this will be the address used when the 2014 IRS tax return was filed).

In most cases, for electronic filers, a 2014 IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested from the IRS within 2–3 weeks after the 2014 IRS income tax return has been accepted by the IRS. Generally, for filers of 2014 paper IRS income tax returns, the 2014 IRS Tax Return Transcript may be requested within 8–11 weeks after the 2014 paper IRS income tax return has been received by the IRS.

How do I submit feedback or a complaint?

We welcome feedback. Please direct all concerns to the Office of Student Financial Aid at finaid@gmu.edu, or by letter or fax using our contact information on our Contact Us page.