Returning students who will be reapplying for aid are awarded after Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) is run at the end of spring semester (generally in early June). Students must be making Satisfactory Academic Progress in order to receive aid at George Mason. Students who are not making SAP will be notified, and given information on the right to appeal. Learn more about the types of aid available to Mason students.
All students requesting need-based aid assistance should file their FAFSA by March 1 and submit all other documents by March 15 of each year. The FAFSA becomes available in October of each year for the subsequent year*.
Recipients of most George Mason Scholarships are required to have a cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.75 on a 4.00 grading scale to have the scholarship renewed for the next year. (Please refer to your scholarship letter for specific requirements of your scholarship.) If you have lost your scholarship due to failure to meet GPA standards, you can appeal for reinstatement. Please review the appeal process in the on-line Financial Aid Handbook. Some scholarships are based on residency. If you change your residency from out of state to in state, your scholarships may be reduced or cancelled. In general, most scholarships will only be renewable for three years beyond the initial year. Again, please refer to the specific requirements indicated in the scholarship letter.
Federal Pell Grant and Federal SEOG (Supplemental Grant)
Renewal of Federal Pell and Federal SEOG is dependent on the FAFSA you file each year, and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) generated on that FAFSA. Federal SEOG funds are limited and therefore not all students will have SEOG renewed each year. SEOG funds will be awarded until expended. Students are encouraged to file their FAFSA as early as possible, and no later than the priority deadline.
Mason Grants are awarded on the basis of need. Students should file the FAFSA as early as possible. The amount of the Mason Grant will be dependent on the Expected Family Contribution (EFC) as determined by the FAFSA, and other scholarships the student is receiving. Therefore the amount of the grant may vary from year to year. Some grants are dependent on residency. If you are an out of state student and change to in-state residency, some types of grants (for example, the Out of State Grant) will be cancelled. Some grants are available for four years only. If you will be studying beyond a fourth year, you should make an appointment with a Financial Aid Counselor to discuss your situation.
Graduate Tuition Grants/Departmental Fellowships or Scholarships
Graduate students receiving this type of aid should contact their individual departments to determine the criteria for renewal.
Virginia State Grants
Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP)
Students receiving VGAP their first year at Mason are eligible for renewal provided they maintain continuous full time enrollment, progress to the next grade level the following year, and maintain a GPA of 2.0 or above. State grant funds are limited so filing the FAFSA on time and submitting any required documents is essential for renewal. VGAP is need based so the amount of your award may vary if your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) changes. VGAP grants are available only to students working on their first undergraduate degree, and students may receive VGAP for four years.
Virginia Commonwealth Award (COMAWD)
Commonwealth Grants are need based and are eligible for renewal based on the information from your FAFSA. Therefore the amount of your grant may vary from year to year. Students have to be enrolled at least half time (6 credits). State grant funds are limited so filing the FAFSA on time and submitting any required documents is essential for renewal. Commonwealth Grants are available only to students working on their first undergraduate degree.
Virginia Two-Year College Transfer Grant (Community College Transfer Grant/CCTG)
If you received a Virginia Two-Year College Transfer Grant, it may be renewable for two additional years. You must maintain a GPA of 3.0 or better, continue to demonstrate financial need (based on your FAFSA), and be making satisfactory academic progress. Any break in eligibility after the initial award terminates all future eligibility.
Students must demonstrate need based on the FAFSA, which must be submitted each year as soon as possible. The FAFSA should be submitted by the priority deadline of March 1 and all required supporting documents should be completed by March 15. Students should indicate on the FAFSA that they wish to be considered for Federal Work-Study funds. Students must be enrolled at least half time (6 credits for undergraduate, 4.5 credits for graduate students). Federal Work-Study funds are limited and will be awarded until they are spent.
Federal Subsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Subsidized Direct Loan is a need based loan. Therefore, renewability is based on the FAFSA and your demonstrated level of need. The amount of your Federal Subsidized Loan will be based on your grade level (number of credits earned).
Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan
- Federal Unsubsidized Direct Loan is not need based, but in order to receive it, you must have a FAFSA on file. The amount of your Federal Subsidized Loan will be based on your grade level (number of credits earned).
Federal Parent Loans (PLUS Loans) or Graduate PLUS Loans
- To request a subsequent PLUS Loan (Parent Loan for a Dependent Undergraduate Student) or a Graduate PLUS Loan (for Graduate Students), please submit a FAFSA, and apply for a new loan after July 1 for the upcoming fall semester.
*Due to the FAFSA Simplification Act passed by Congress, the 2024-25 FAFSA did not become available until December of 2023.