How to Apply for Financial Aid

Undergraduate Students

For priority consideration of limited State and Institutional grant funds, undergraduate students must submit their FAFSA by February 15, (March 1 for transfer students) and all required other documents by March 1.

Undocumented and DACA students may file the VASA instead of the FAFSA.  The official priority filing deadline for the VASA application is February 1 each year. February 1, 2023 was the deadline for the 2023-24 year.

Awarding for prospective freshmen and new transfer students will begin in early January. Returning students will be awarded in June after the annual Satisfactory Academic Progress review at the end of the spring term.

Graduate Students

Newly accepted graduate students will be notified about aid on a rolling basis as they complete their application for admissions.  Continuing graduate students will be notified of aid eligibility for the following year in early June.  

To be considered for aid, George Mason University requires ALL students to submit a valid FAFSA and all other required documents four (4) weeks prior to the end of the term for which aid is requested.


How to Apply for Financial Aid

If you are filing the VASA, please see the VASA website for information on its process.

  • Create a FSA ID. You will use your FSA ID each year to apply for financial aid.
  • Submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) no later than February 15 (as a freshman) or March 1 (as a transfer) of the calendar year for which you are applying for aid for priority consideration of limited financial aid funds.
    • Normally, you can complete the FAFSA as early as October 1 of the preceding year, but the form for the 2024-25 aid year will not be available until December due to the FAFSA Simplification Act. For updates on this process, please visit our FAFSA Simplification page.
  • By filing early, it will give you time to get the Aid Office any additional documents that may be needed to complete your application. Any needed supporting documents must be received by March 1 for priority aid consideration.
    FAFSAs received after February 15 are considered late and will not be given priority consideration but will be reviewed for other federal sources of financial aid.
  • Send your FAFSA to Mason by entering school code 003749.
  • After you complete the FAFSA, you will receive your Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR is a summary of the FAFSA data you submitted. Review your SAR for any errors and make corrections to your FAFSA if necessary. Corrections can be made at
  • Respond to any requests for additional information promptly. The OSFA will notify you via email if additional information is required to process your file. Students applying for aid should ensure their FAFSA is in and application complete no later than one month before the end of the semester for which the student is applying for aid.
  • Once your file is complete, you will be notified of your financial aid package. Incoming freshmen will be notified via mail beginning in late January/early February. Returning and transfer students will be notified via email around June 1.
  • Your award notification will instruct you how to view and accept your award package in  
  • At Mason, summer is a trailer term. The aid year begins with the fall semester and runs through the end of the following summer semester. When reviewing your aid offer in Patriot Web, please be sure to check the correct year.

Important Tips

  • You must reapply for aid every year.
  • Although the FAFSA is usually available October 1, the form for the 2024-25 aid year will not be available until December at the earliest due to the FAFSA Simplification Act. For updates on this process, please visit our FAFSA Simplification page.
  • Write the student’s name and Mason ID (G#) on all documents submitted to the OSFA.
  • Keep a copy of all documents related to your financial aid, including promissory notes and loan disclosure statements.
  • Private scholarships often require separate scholarship applications, so begin searching for scholarships early.

How to Submit Requested Documents

Students that are required to submit additional documentation will be notified via email. New students who have not established Mason email accounts will be emailed at the email account listed on their Mason student record.

For faster processing students are encouraged to submit requested documents via their Patriot Forms account.

Proof of Citizenship and Immigration status can be submitted by the student in-person at the Mason Student Services Center or online via Patriot Forms.

After submitting your documents, please allow a minimum of 7-10 business days for processing. If any additional documentation is still required from you, you will receive another email from the OSFA. When all documents are verified, PatriotWeb will show a complete status.

Please do not email sensitive information such as tax returns, social security numbers or other personally identifiable information. Instead, fax to 703-993-2350 or mail to:
Office of Student Financial Aid, 4400 University Drive, 3B5, Fairfax, VA 22030.

Helpful Videos

How to Apply for Federal Aid

The FAFSA Process Graphic