Virginia Guaranteed Admission Agreements

Virginia Guaranteed Admission Agreements

The Guaranteed Admission Agreement Advantage

Transferring to Mason via the GAA is one of the smartest decisions you can make. Graduating with a transfer associate’s degree before enrolling at the University allows you to:

  • Transfer up to 75 credits from the community college
  • Fulfill Foundation and Exploration (lower level) Mason Core requirements which allow you to begin your major coursework in your first semester
  • Qualify for the Virginia Two-Year College Transfer Grant for admitted students with a 3.00+ gpa

Guaranteed Admission Agreement Frequently Asked Questions

What is a GAA and why is it offered?

The GAA, or Guaranteed Admission Agreement is a document that provides a clear transfer pathway for students earning AA, AS or AA&S degrees from VCCS colleges or Richard Bland College. Students who follow the GAA and meet all of the terms of the agreement are assured transfer admission to Mason effective fall 2014 forward. GAA admission is offered to students pursuing a first bachelor’s degree. Students with an earned bachelor’s degree are ineligible for GAA admission.

What is required for GAA admission?

  1. Graduate from a VCCS college or Richard Bland College with an AA, AS or AA&S degree.
  2. Meet the minimum 2.85 cumulative GPA requirement at time of application and upon graduation.
  3. Meet the March 1 or October 1 transfer application deadline and the March 10 or October 10 transcript(s) deadline.
  4. Take the three required courses (two English and one Math) at the VCCS college or RBC and earn grades of C or better in each course. There are alternative ways of meeting this requirement. Be sure to read the GAA for details.
  5. Earn at least 30 credit hours (including the English and Math courses) at the VCCS college or RBC.
  6. Earn no grade lower than a C in any course, or any previous institution used for admission consideration, that has not been repeated with a grade of A, B or C. D or F grades must be repeated before applying for GAA admission.

What are the benefits of GAA vs. regular transfer admission?

If offered GAA admission, you are assured that you will transfer as a junior and will be awarded at least 60 transfer credits. You will also receive a waiver of Foundation and Exploration (lower level) Mason Core requirements at Mason. More information about the Mason Core can be found at All new GAA transfers receive a prioritized course-by-course transfer credit evaluation.

How is Mason’s GAA different than other GAA’s in Virginia?

The goal of our GAA is to provide you a clear pathway to success as a transfer. Just as admission requirements vary among the universities in Virginia, so do the GAA’s. We specify the degree required, the minimum cumulative GPA and three specific courses that must be completed with grades of C or better in our GAA. We also require applicants to earn no lower than a C in any course, or any previous institution used for admission consideration, that had not been repeated and replaced with a grade of A, B, or C.

What is the difference between “regular transfer admission” and “GAA admission”?

Applicants who meet all of the terms of the Guaranteed Admission Agreement and who select this option on the transfer application are considered for GAA admission. All other transfer applicants are considered for regular transfer admission. If you do not meet the requirements for GAA admission, do not request GAA admission on your transfer application.

Which English courses meet the requirement for GAA admission consideration?

VCCS: ENG 111 and ENG 112
RBC: ENGL 101 and ENGL 102

Which math courses meet the requirement for GAA admission consideration?

These math/statistics courses will satisfy the Mason Core and GAA quantitative reasoning requirement. The course must be earned with a grade of C or better before application to Mason. VCCS students should choose one of the following:

VCCS MTH 154 = MATH 106
VCCS MTH 155 = STAT 105T
VCCS MTH 261 = MATH 108
VCCS MTH 263 = MATH 113
VCCS MTH 288 = MATH 125
VCCS MTH 245 = STAT 250

RBC students choose one of the following:

MATH 110
MATH 200
MATH 217
MATH 251

NOTE: Both VCCS and RBC have revised their math offerings since 2014 when the GAA’s became effective. The Admissions Committee recognizes that students may have repeated a MTH or MATH course with an original grade of D or F after the newer math courses were implemented. For example: VCCS MTH 151 is now offered as MTH 154. Mason will recognize the repeat of an older course with the newer course. Be certain to read the section on repeated courses.

How does the Mason Admission Committee review repeated courses for GAA consideration?

GAA applicants must present grades of A, B or C in every course indicated on academic transcripts. Students with D or F grades must repeat and replace poor grades before applying to Mason. The Admission Committee utilizes the last A – F grade earned in a course, not the highest grade earned when calculating a cumulative grade point average for transfer admission. Students who have not repeated D or F grades before applying to Mason will be denied GAA admission.

Am I eligible for GAA admission if I’ve attended another college or university other than my GAA community college?

If you attended a college or university prior to attendance at your Virginia community college, the Admissions Committee will review your academic record for the five-year period prior to application to Mason. Your cumulative grade point average at the non-GAA institution must be 2.85 or higher, to match the 2.85 required at your community college.
If you transferred to another institution after leaving your GAA community college you are ineligible for GAA admission. We will be happy to consider you for regular transfer admission.

Are there other things that will prevent me from being considered for GAA admission?

Yes. You are ineligible for GAA admission if you have been academically or non-academically suspended or dismissed from a college or university. Mason will consider on a case-by-case basis these applications for regular transfer admission. NOTE: The University honors academic actions from other institutions and does not enroll students who are actively suspended or dismissed.

Are there any VCCS associate's degree programs that do not qualify for GAA?

Yes. A.A.A. Associate of Applied Arts, A.A.S. Associate of Applied Science and A.F.A. Associate of Fine Arts degrees are not included in the Guaranteed Admission Agreement. Students pursuing these degrees may apply for regular transfer admission.

Why does Mason want me to graduate in May and enroll for fall as a GAA admit?

Following this advice ensures the smoothest possible transition to Mason. It allows the Admissions Committee enough time to thoroughly review your application and offer you admission in a timely fashion such that you can take advantage of all of our exciting campus opportunities.

What if I plan to graduate in August or December?

August or December graduates will be considered for spring admission only. We encourage you to plan your associate’s degree path EARLY and if you need additional time, complete summer school courses the year before you intend to transfer, such that you can graduate in May and enroll at Mason for the fall semester.

How do I know if I’ve been offered GAA vs. regular transfer admission?

GAA admits receive an admission letter that states “you have been admitted on the basis of our Guaranteed Admission Agreement with your Virginia community college”.

I am eligible for GAA admission and applied to a specific major. Why did I receive an admission letter stating that I am an Undeclared major?

Mason has several selective admission majors that require a higher CGPA or additional course requirements. Applicants who meet the minimum requirement for GAA admission but not the criteria for admission to that selective admission major will be classified as Undeclared or may be deferred to the next semester. Admission to the School of Nursing or Volgenau School of Engineering are common examples of this situation.

What happens if I discover that I can’t enroll for the semester to which I was admitted?

Admitted and deposited transfer students may defer their admission for one consecutive future semester, fall to spring or spring to fall. Contact the Office of Admissions no later than the first day of the semester to which you were admitted to request deferral to the next semester.