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George Mason University
2002-03 University Catalog

Tuition, Expenses, and Financial Aid

Tuition and Fees

General Guidelines and Student Responsibilities

  1. Students are responsible for maintaining current addresses via the Internet (, and for activating and checking their George Mason e-mail accounts.

  2. Registration shall not be considered completed unless all prior term outstanding balances due to the university are paid in full.

  3. By registering for classes, students accept responsibility for charges for the entire semester.

  4. Payments are due at the Cash Office (SUB I, Room 104) on or before 4:30 p.m. on due dates, regardless of postmark if mailed. Refer to the Payment Schedule and Academic Calendar in the Schedule of Classes for payment due dates and penalties.

  5. The entire student's early registration may be cancelled if payment or payment arrangements are not made in full by the due date. A $25 cancellation fee is assessed.

  6. Students who have not completed the financial aid process must be prepared to pay for their courses by the tuition due date or their classes may be dropped for nonpayment. The amount of financial aid accepted and processed will be reflected in the account balance. If the amount of aid awarded is less than the charges, the difference must be paid by the tuition due date. Federal Direct Loan borrowers must submit a completed promissory note at least four weeks before the payment due date for these funds to be considered in the balance. Federal work-study awards cannot be deducted from the balance.

  7. Failure to receive a reminder bill confirming charges does not waive the requirement for payment when due. The 4GMU telephone system (703-993-4GMU) will confirm balance due.

  8. Students are responsible for dropping unwanted courses (including waitlist courses) by the drop dates and using the drop/withdrawal procedures published in each term's Schedule of Classes. Full or partial tuition liability may apply.

  9. Non-returning students are responsible for submitting a written withdrawal to the Offices of the Registrar, Housing and Residence Life, and Student Financial Aid. Penalties may apply.

  10. A few George Mason degree programs include academic credits that students must earn at other institutions. Students enrolling for such credits assume all financial responsibility directly with the other institutions.

  11. Students enrolling in George Mason off-campus courses are assessed tuition and fees at the same rates as those for on-campus courses.

Tuition and Required Fees

Tuition Charges Per Semester

Subject to change. For current tuition charges, call the Student Accounts Office at (703) 993-2484, option 4.

Students are charged tuition rates according to their classification.

  In-State Undergraduate

In-State Graduate*

Out of State
Full-time (12-17 credits): Tuition $2,208 $2,502 $6,858
Per credit (fewer than 12 hrs. or more than 17 hrs.):Tuition $184.00 $208.50 $571.50

*Graduate rates may vary. Please contact your graduate program.

Related Fees**

(Applicable to all students) In State Out of State
Application Fee $35 $35
Lab Fees $15 $15
Orientation/New Student Fee $100 $100
International Students Health Insurance Fee N/A TBA

** Graduate related fees may vary.

Eligibility for In-State Tuition

To be eligible for in-state tuition charges, a person must have been domiciled in Virginia for at least one year before the semester for which in-state tuition is sought, or qualify through one of the exceptions. A person becomes domiciled in Virginia when legally capable of establishing a domicile and when physically present in Virginia with the present intention of remaining in the state indefinitely.

Domiciliary intent is a part of the definition of domicile. The student seeking the privilege of in-state tuition rates bears the burden of demonstrating such intent existed for at least one year.

A copy of the complete domicile legislation is available at the reserve desk in the Johnson Center Library.

Change of Domicile Classification

Domicile classification is made at the time of admission and is considered a Level One decision. Students who believe they qualify for in-state tuition after they have been admitted may apply for a change of domicile classification.

Out-of-state students who seek reclassification of their domicile status are strongly encouraged to complete a Request for Domicile Reclassification form so that a decision can be made before tuition payments must be made. All applications are processed in chronological order as of the date they are received. Reclassification requests are considered to be Level Two by the Registrar's office.

If a student is deemed out-of-state at Level Two, he or she can submit a Request for Reconsideration and/or appeal to the Third Level Domicile Appeals Committee within the time frame set forth in the letter denying in-state status. University procedures for appealing domicile decisions have been established pursuant to state law and are subject to change.

No requests will be accepted after the first day of classes within the semester for which the reclassification is sought. Out-of-state students with request(s) pending at the time of tuition billing will be billed at the out-of-state rate. Students subsequently determined to be in-state can request reimbursements from the Office of Student Accounts.

The Request for Domicile Reclassification form is available in the Registrar's Office, North Chesapeake Module, Room 1A, 703-993-2441. Questions should be addressed to the Registrar's Office.


A student who fraudulently or knowingly provides false information in an attempt to evade payment of out-of-state tuition shall be charged out-of-state tuition for each term or semester attended, and may be subject to dismissal from the institution.

Tuition Charges/Refunds for Dropped Courses

Students are required to pay full or partial tuition for courses that they drop after the first week of classes. See the tuition liability dates in the Academic Calendar in the Schedule of Classes. In cases where charges are less than the payments on the student's account, a refund of the overpayment may be requested. A Refund Request form, available in Student Accounts and the Schedule of Classes, must be completed and submitted to the Student Accounts Office. Questions should be addressed to 703-993-2484. Check refunds payable to the student will come from the Virginia Department of Treasury in Richmond. Credit card refunds will be credited back to the originating credit cards.

Special Registration Fee

Students not enrolled in a credit-bearing course, but whose academic department certifies that they are pursuing an activity related to their George Mason matriculation, can retain active status by registering for Special Registration (SREG 200, Section 001) for a $45 fee. Written approval of the student's advisor or instructor and the academic department chair is required. This special registration allows students to retain their library and computer privileges, to receive a student ID, and to buy a parking decal. Students must have active status to apply for or receive a degree, take an examination, or participate in cooperative education. Students pursuing a master's or doctor's degree have a requirement to maintain continuous enrollment. See under Graduate Policies in the Academic Policies chapter.

Orientation/New Student Fee

The Orientation/New Student Fee is a mandatory, non-refundable, one-time fee. It is charged to the account of every newly admitted, undergraduate degree-seeking student, regardless of Orientation attendance and enrollment status. The fee helps to cover costs associated with Orientation and new student programs throughout the first semester.

Health Insurance Fee for International Students

Health insurance is required for all F-1 and J-1 visa holders. The health insurance fee is deducted from all payments received by the university before funds are applied to tuition or other charges. Failure to make this payment can result in cancellation of classes. For more information, see also Additional Requirements for International Students in the Admission section.

Private Music Instruction Fee

Subject to change. Private music instruction is arranged through the Department of Music on a fee-paying basis as follows:

For a music major or minor:
half-hour lesson (1 credit): $164.50
hour lesson (2 or 3 credits): $329.00

For a nonmajor:
half-hour lesson (1 credit): $182.00
hour lesson (2 credits): $364.00

Payment Methods

Where to Pay

Phone: 703-993-4GMU [703-993-4468], Option 4. MasterCard or VISA

Window: Cash Office, Student Union I, Room 104, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday

Drop Box: Outside Cash Office, Student Union I, Room 104

U.S. Mail: George Mason University, Cash Office, 4400 University Drive, MS 2E1, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. Postmarks are not considered proof of payment date.

How to Pay

Cash: At window only, Cash Office, Student Union I, Room 104

Check: Payable to GMU, student ID number written on front. Third-party checks are not accepted. Checks must be payable in U.S. dollars.

Credit card: (subject to credit approval): MasterCard or Visa. Daytime phone number must be provided. Written authorizations or call 703-993-4GMU, Option 4.

Fax: 703-993-2492. Use Fax Payment Authorization form in back of the Schedule of Classes and online at .

When to Pay

See Payment Schedule on page 2 in the Schedule of Classes for deadlines. Payments received at the Cash Office by 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, will be considered as that day's business. Please call 703-993-4GMU, Option 4, to confirm receipt of payment and balance due on account. Allow ample time for processing payments.

Payment Plan Options

Semester Payment Plan

A semester payment plan is available for students whose total balance due is at least $400. A payment contract is available at the Cash Office, Student Accounts Office, in the back of the Schedule of Classes, and online at The contract must be submitted to the Cash Office with the required down payment (one-half of contracted amount plus $25 contract fee) by the due date. The contract fee is nonrefundable. Failure to pay the outstanding balance by the due date on the contract will result in a late fee of up to $50, financial suspension, and normal George Mason University collection activity; and may prevent the student from being eligible to use this contract and defer payments in future terms.

Monthly Installment Plan

Students may budget all or part of their fall and spring tuition, room, and meal expenses in 10 equal monthly payments. Budgets are determined by the student and/or parent and must be a minimum of twice the fall semester balance due. A life insurance benefit is included in this plan. A minimum budget of $1,000 is required and an annual fee is charged. Failure to make budget payments will result in a cancelled budget, financial suspension, a late fee (up to $50), and normal George Mason University collection activity. For complete information, call Academic Management Services, 800-635-0120.

Third-Party Payment Authorizations

Students may receive an individual billing statement. Students must provide the third-party billing authorization or government training voucher before the student's individual payment due date to the Student Accounts Office, North Chesapeake Module, Room 13; or mail to MS 2E2, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax, VA 22030-4444; or fax to 703-993-2460. See payment schedule on page 2 in the Schedule of Classes. The student's due date is based on the registration date(s). Third-party billing authorizations are accepted through the second week of each semester. Call 703-993-2484 for a copy of the third-party billing requirements or check the web at departments/student_acc/index.html or departments/student_acc/forms/third.pdf (Adobe reader required).

Financial Penalties

Late Fee

Failure to make any payment on or before the due date results in a late fee of up to $50.

Nonpayment Cancellation Fee

Students whose classes are cancelled for nonpayment or insufficient payment of tuition are assessed a $25 fee. This fee is not removed upon re-registration.

Returned Check Fee

A $25 returned check fee will be charged for each unpaid check returned by the bank. If the returned check results in an unpaid account, an additional late fee will be charged, and financial suspension will result.

Financial Suspension

All academic service is withheld for students who are not in good financial standing with the university. This means that no transcripts are issued, no diplomas are released, and no registrations are permitted until outstanding obligations have been paid in full. Outstanding obligations include, without limitation, fines owed for traffic and parking violations, and to libraries of institutions and participating public libraries of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area.

Collection of Accounts

Failure to meet financial obligations to the university may result in the delinquent account being placed with a collection agency, the withholding of money from tax returns, and other collection procedures. Students are responsible for costs incurred by the university in collecting their delinquent accounts.