Grants Provide a Financial Helping Hand

To receive grants, students must be meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP).

Renewal of Virginia State Grants is based upon eligibility and availability of funds. The award cannot exceed a maximum of 4 years.

Students who receive full tuition scholarships from George Mason will not receive Institutional or State Grants.

Grants do not require repayment. George Mason University participates in several need-based federal and state-funded grant programs. Failure to maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours (full-time enrollment) each semester may result in cancellation or reduction of some grants. Students must submit a FAFSA for the appropriate aid year to be considered for all grants listed below:

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is an award for undergraduates earning their first bachelor’s degree. Eligibility is determined by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and your enrollment status. The maximum award is set annually by the US Department of Education. A minimum of 12 credits each semester is required to receive full eligibility, with pro-rated amounts for less than full time enrollment. Students may receive a Pell Grant for six years or the equivalent.

FSEOG (Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant)

FSEOG is for undergraduates with exceptional need, i.e. the students with the lowest EFC who are also Federal Pell Grant recipients. Generally, a minimum enrollment of six credit hours per semester is required to receive the limited FSEOG funds. Students who have received a prior bachelor’s degree are not eligible for FSEOG.

Funds are limited and will be awarded until exhausted. Renewal of SEOG is therefore not guaranteed.

Virginia Commonwealth Award

The Virginia Commonwealth Award is a state-funded grant that provides assistance to undergraduate Virginia residents. A minimum enrollment of six credit hours is required each semester in order to receive the VA Commonwealth Award. Students need at least a 2.0 GPA. Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree are not eligible to receive a Virginia Commonwealth Award. Students may only receive one State Grant at a time, with the exception of the Virginia Two-Year College Transfer Grant. 

Funds are limited and will be awarded until the fund is depleted. Therefore, renewal of state grant funds is not guaranteed. Students should complete their FAFSA and submit any required documents well before the published deadline in order to maximize likelihood of receiving the grant.

Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program (VGAP)

This is a state-sponsored grant program. To be eligible for the VGAP award at George Mason, a student must:

  • Be classified as a first-time freshman or have participated in VGAP during the prior academic year
  • Be admitted for enrollment in an undergraduate degree program at Mason
  • Be enrolled as full-time student every semester in an approved degree or certificate program
  • Be a domiciliary resident of Virginia
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Demonstrate significant financial need as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Graduate from a Virginia high school or complete a program of home school instruction in accordance with § 22.1-254.1 (students who obtain a GED are not eligible)
  • Have at least a 2.5 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale or its equivalent at the time of admission or according to final high school academic transcript
  • If a home school completer: achieve a SAT verbal and math combined score of at least 900 or ACT Composite score of at least 19
  • Be classified as a dependent student for federal financial aid purposes (Note: Beginning fall 2018, entering independent freshmen will also be considered for VGAP)
  • Awards may be renewed provided that the student meet the eligibility requirements stated above AND
  • Maintain continuous full-time enrollment
  • Progress to the next grade level each year

Students may only receive one State Grant at a time, with the exception of the Virginia Two-Year College Transfer Grant. Students who have completed a bachelor’s degree are not eligible to receive a VGAP Award.

Funds are limited and will be awarded until the fund is depleted. Therefore, renewal of state grant funds is not guaranteed. Students should complete their FAFSA and submit any required documents well before the published deadline in order to maximize likelihood of receiving the grant.

Virginia Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program

In 2007, the Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program (CTG) was passed into law in Virginia. Under this program, qualifying undergraduate students who complete their Associate’s Degree at a Virginia two-year public college and then transfer to a participating Virginia four-year college or university may be considered for the Transfer Grant award.

How Much Can A Student Receive?

This grant is awarded to students enrolled at participating four-year institutions.

  • Maximum annual standard award is $1,000.
  • Additional $1,000 for students enrolled in specific degree programs in: science, teaching, engineering, mathematics, or nursing.
  • Amount may be reduced if the new grant results in an overaward.
  • State grant funds may be reduced if you receive a Transfer Grant.
  • Any CTG award may be reduced subject to funding availability and the anticipated number of eligible students.
  •  A CTG award might be unavailable if a student’s eligibility is confirmed after funds have been exhausted.
  • Any CTG award may be reduced if there is an over award (total financial assistance cannot be greater than the student’s Cost of Attendance). Note that the CTG awards can affect eligibility for other need-based aid.

Eligibility Information for the Two-Year College Transfer Grant

To be eligible for the grant, a student must:

  • Be a first-time entering freshman no earlier than fall 2007 (this refers to the first time student is degree-seeking at any college).
  • Be an undergraduate in-state student.
  • Meet selective service requirements.
  • Have received an Associate’s degree at a Virginia two-year public institution, and submit a final academic transcript to the Admissions Office as soon as the Associate’s degree is posted.
    NOTE: New transfer students should confirm with the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) that their final academic transcript showing an earned Associate’s degree has been received by either the Admissions Office or the OSFA.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater on a scale of 4.0 for the Associate’s degree
  • Enroll full-time into a Virginia four-year public or Virginia four-year private nonprofit college or university by the fall or spring semester following completion of Associate’s degree.
  • Enroll into a degree program not for religious training or theological education
  • Have applied for financial aid by completing the FAFSA  by March 1.
  • Have sufficient financial need: defined as a federally calculated Expected Family Contribution (EFC) of 12,000, or less.  

To be eligible for renewal of the grant for up to three years or 70 credit hours, a student must:

  • Continue to maintain a college GPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Continue to demonstrate financial need and meet EFC requirements
  • Continue to maintain satisfactory academic progress.

Any break in eligibility after initial award terminates all future eligibility.

How to Apply

Complete the Virginia Two-Year College Transfer Grant application.

You can find additional information about this grant on the SCHEV website

The four-year institution will verify eligibility as of the institution’s Enrollment Freeze Date (generally, after add/drop). In some instances, final eligibility will not be established until after the four-year institution’s semester is in session for 45 to 60 days.

Out-of-State Grant

This grant provides assistance to undergraduate students working on their first bachelor’s degree. It's limited to four years. You must meet the following conditions to be considered for the grant in future years:

  • Continue to be in a degree-seeking program.
  • Continue to meet the level of financial need as established by the OSFA.
  • Maintain financial aid satisfactory academic progress standards.
  • Maintain out of state residency.
  • A minimum of six credits is required to receive this grant. A minimum of 12 credits each semester is required to receive full eligibility, with pro-rated amounts for less than full time enrollment.

The Out-of-State grant is a need based grant and is awarded after all other scholarships, federal and state grants are awarded. If you receive any institutional scholarship (academic, athletic, departmental etc.) after you have been awarded Out-of-State Grant, the Out-of-State Grant will be recalculated and may be eliminated based on the amount of scholarship received. Out-of-State Grant will also be recalculated or eliminated if you are receiving ROTC or other benefits that are for tuition and fees.

Institutional Aid Programs

George Mason University has limited amounts of institutional grants that may be awarded based on high need and/or unusual circumstances. Students should contact the OSFA. A separate application may be required.  Priority consideration will be given to students who have exhausted all other aid, including loans, are close to graduation and are working on their first degree.  Institutional grants are designated for tuition only. Students who receive any other aid, scholarship, employee tuition waiver or other benefit/resource that pays full tuition are ineligible for institutional grants.

Stay Mason Student Support Fund

The Stay Mason Student Support Fund assists matriculated George Mason students who are at risk of not continuing their education due to unexpected financial situations. The fund is for all students – undergraduate and graduate, full-time and part-time – enrolled in degree-seeking programs. The fund is designed to provide temporary, short-term, financial assistance to students who are managing demanding academic requirements while struggling with debilitating financial circumstances. It is not intended to provide ongoing relief for recurring expenses, and the financial assistance is not a loan that is expected to be repaid. Find out more or fill out an application.

District of Columbia Grants

For information please visit their site.  You may apply at

For information about the DC Mayor's grant please visit their site. The Application Guide is on this page.

For information please visit

Mason Need-Based Grant

To be eligible for the Mason Need-Based Grant, students must meet all of the eligibility requirements listed below.

  • The student needs to have a valid FAFSA on file for the award year. 
  • For 2024-25, their SAI must be between $6,655 and $15,000. 
  • The student must have demonstrated need, which is calculated as the cost of attendance minus the SAI, other gift aid, and outside resources.
  • The student must be classified as being domiciled in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
  • The student must be enrolled in at least six credits (half time enrollment).

Students should also be aware of the following parameters of the grant:

  • The full-time award prorates after the enrollment freeze date if the student is not full time, and the award is split between fall and spring semesters. 
  • The awarding of this grant is subject to available funding.
  • The grant is only available to students who do not qualify for a state grant.

Mason Virginia Promise Grant

This is a Mason need-based grant currently awarded to Virginia undergraduate students who:

  • are part of the Mason NOVA Advance program


  • who are designated as Early Identification Program (EIP) students 

and have now matriculated to Mason, or who are dependents of a current Mason employee.

The award will be based on family income and the FAFSA calculated EFC (Expected Family Contribution).

To qualify, a student must:

• Be an undergraduate student and resident of Virginia

• Be eligible for Virginia state grants and federal aid

• Report on their FAFSA form a family income of $75,000 or less (starting in the 2024-25 academic year), OR be Pell-eligible AND have an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) of less than $25,000 (starting in the 2023-24 academic year).

• Have filed the FAFSA or VASA by March 1 preceding the fall semester of the next year (e.g. March 1, 2024 for the 2024-25 academic year that begins in the fall).

• Be enrolled full-time at the end of the drop (freeze) period (which occurs around three weeks into the semester)

The grant will disburse to Student Accounts at the end of the Drop period (freeze date) each semester, once full-time enrollment for the semester is confirmed. If students are less than full-time at freeze, the award will be cancelled.

For those applying as a dependent of a Mason employee, the student must be a tax dependent of the Mason benefits- eligible employee. Mason employees can learn more about this benefit on the Human Resources site.