George Mason University

Disbursements and Refunds

Disbursements and Refunds

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 the semester.  (Please note, graduate students in the 8 week on line modular format will have aid disbursed on day 5 of their semester, after confirmation that they have begun participation in their classes.) 

At the “enrollment freeze 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 enrollment freeze date, your financial aid will be adjusted accordingly to ensure that it is the appropriate amount for your enrollment. If you are issued a refund, then ADD credits or other charges to your account, you will owe money on your account and must pay this from the refund proceeds you received. After enrollment freeze date, no adjustments or increases will be made to your financial aid and all financial aid payments will be final.  Please note, if you are registered in a part of term course that starts later, you will not be charged if you drop it before the course begins. However your aid may be adjusted for dropping a late starting part of term course before it has begun.

Please note this IMPORTANT CHANGE effective Fall 2018. Students will have a full 14 days to finalize their enrollment schedule. If you drop any classes before the 14th day, you will not be charged tuition for them. Your enrollment will be locked at midnight of the 14th day of the semester. After that date you will be charged 100% tuition and fees for any full semester class still in your schedule.* You will not get partial refunds for full term classes you withdraw from after this date. Any class you withdraw from beginning on the 15th day will show up on your transcript as a “W” and the course will count as attempted credits when determining your Satisfactory Academic Progress. For a more complete explanation of this new policy, please visit this page on the Registrar website:

*If you are enrolled in a part of term courses that begins later in the semester and drop it before the start date of the class, you will not be charged tuition. However, your aid may be adjusted to reflect your reduced enrollment level.

What This Means for You

On enrollment freeze 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 enrollment freeze 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 enrollment freeze date (with the exception of completely withdrawing from all classes or dropping a later starting part of term course), 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