Financial aid eligibility is based on several criteria. The following factors can impact a student’s aid package:


  • Degree Status
    Students must be enrolled at Mason in a degree or eligible certificate program to receive financial aid through the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA).
  • Enrollment Status
    Students must be enrolled at least half-time for federal loans and the majority of grant funds. Grant funds may be reduced if enrolled less than full-time. Students are responsible for ensuring the courses they are enrolled in are applicable to their program of study. Enrolling in courses that do not apply to a student’s degree program may result in ineligibility of financial aid funds.

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

Satisfactory Academic Progress

Students must make satisfactory academic progress in order to maintain eligibility for financial aid. Please view our Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) policy for more information.


A student must be a US citizen, permanent resident, or eligible non-citizen to receive federal financial aid. Please view the Citizenship Guidelines for more information.  Undocumented and DACA students may file the VASA form for state aid, and may find more options for aid on our Undocumented/DACA students page.

Repeat Courses

For federal aid (not state aid or institutional aid), if you have taken a course twice, and passed it at least once, you cannot take a course a third time and get federal aid for it. This may affect the amount of federal grants (Pell and SEOG) or federal loans (Direct Subsidized, Direct Unsubsidized, Perkins OR PLUS – Parent – Loans) in your aid award. This is a federal regulation which George Mason has to follow. Please note that a grade of “D” is considered a passing grade. If you took a course twice and withdrew from it both times, or took a course twice and received an “F” in it, (or you got an “F” once and withdrew once) you can still get aid for a third try since you have never PASSED the course. The rule only applies when a student has taken a course twice, and PASSED it at least once.