Scholarships

There are many different resources for students to use when searching for scholarship opportunities. Mason’s Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) provides the Mason Scholarship Application for continuing undergraduate students and the Outside Scholarship List undergraduate and graduate students to browse. The OSFA posts scholarship opportunities throughout the year. Below you will find general information to help you get

 

Types of Scholarships and Where to Look

Mason Merit Scholarships

Incoming freshmen must submit their admissions application by November 1st to be reviewed for merit-based scholarships. The number of scholarships available is limited and the consideration process is highly competitive. Scholarships are renewable for up to four years, and are based on maintaining a minimum grade point average of 3.0 at Mason. For additional information contact The Office of Admissions.

Mason (Internal) Scholarships

Endowed scholarships at George Mason University are provided through the generous donations of Mason alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and students. Private philanthropy both enables the university to recognize the exceptional academic achievement of Mason students and helps to ensure access for all who pursue a degree here.

Outside (External) Scholarships

Outside scholarships are offered through private agencies and organizations such as high schools, community organizations, scholarship foundations, employers, and government agencies. Criteria for Outside Scholarships generally include academic performance, financial need, minority status, heritage, community affiliations, or other unique factors important to the sponsoring individual or organization. Students are encouraged to pursue as many Outside Scholarships as possible.

Mason Academic Program Scholarships

The academic department for your major may have information about scholarships related to your field of study. Students should contact the college/school and department in which they plan to major for scholarship opportunities.

Mason Athletic Department Scholarships

Questions about athletic scholarships should be directed to the appropriate Intercollegiate Athletics Coaches.

 

How to Apply

If you are applying for Mason (Internal) Scholarships, the Mason Scholarship Application‎ will be available online in early spring. This application is used to award some of the scholarships offered by Mason. When applying for scholarships on the Outside Scholarship List please read the application process carefully and complete all requirements. Specific questions about scholarships should be directed to the Scholarship Office located in the Office of Student Financial Aid.

 

Guidelines for Outside Scholarships

Notification to the Office of Student Financial Aid about Outside Scholarships

Student’s MUST supply the Office of Student Financial Aid official copy/copies of all scholarship notification letter(s). These letter(s) should include the following:

  • Name of Scholarship
  • Mason Student ID Number/G#
  • Amount of Scholarship
  • Donors Contact Information (i.e. address, phone number, and email)
  • If information is available how the scholarship will be disbursed- by paper check or electronic transmission of funds (EFT), payable to student or school and if the entire amount will be sent at the beginning of the year or semester.
  • Information may be sent to the Office of Student Financial Aid via mail, email, or fax to 703-993-2350.

Outside scholarship awards are considered resources and may reduce the amount of need-based financial aid you are awarded. If the outside scholarship exceeds a student’s financial need and/or cost of attendance, adjustments may be made to the student’s financial aid package to ensure compliance with federal and state regulations. The Mason OSFA policy is to reduce loans or federal work-study first.

 

Scholarships Requiring Documentation

Enrollment and Academic Verification

Some scholarships may require an invoice or billing statement from the university before sending payment to the school. This information is normally noted on the notification letter. Below are some commonly requested documents:

  • Billing statement or invoice – Requests for an invoice must be noted in the notification letter along with the agencies contact and billing address information.
  • Verification forms - Verification forms can be mailed or faxed to 703-993-2350.
  • Transcripts or certification of enrollment: Please be advised that OSFA cannot issue official transcripts or enrollment certifications. Students may contact the Office of the University Registrar for official transcripts and enrollment certifications. Mason students can access information pertaining to their academic standing, financial aid awards, cost of attendance and more on Patriot Web.

Instructions for Submitting Checks to OSFA

Scholarship checks should be made payable to George Mason University with the following information: student’s full name, Mason ID#, and semester(s) to which the funds should be applied. Scholarship checks should be mailed to the address below.

George Mason University
Cashier’s Office
4400 University Drive
MS 2E2
Fairfax, VA 22030

  • Scholarship checks made co-payable to the student and George Mason University must be endorsed by the student before the funds can be applied to his/her account. You will be contacted by the Mason Cash Office when your endorsement is needed. Information may be sent to the Office of Student Financial Aid via mail or fax.
  • Scholarship checks made payable to the student ONLY cannot be accepted by the Cash Office.

Scholarship Tips

  • File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) -The FAFSA is available at fafsa.ed.gov on January 1st each year. Some scholarships require this form to be completed.
  • Begin the Search Process Early – Allow enough time to complete the necessary steps, which may include getting references.
  • Get Organized – Use a calendar to determine when you began your search and keep track of deadlines. Obtain a copy of your academic transcripts and other financial records you may be required to submit. Keep copies of everything you submit in a filling folder or box in case the scholarship program loses part or all of your application.
  • Expand your Search – Searching for scholarships can include local businesses, community and civic organizations, such as the Kiwanis or Rotary clubs, places of worship, the local library, and on the Internet. Some services on the Internet are free, while others may have a fee. Reputable organizations offering scholarships DON’T charge you a fee for applying. You should never have to pay any money to apply for scholarships.
  • Let your personality shine through – In your essay present your ideas in a focused, thoughtful, and meaningful manner. Support your ideas with specific examples.
  • Follow Instructions – Carefully read all instructions. If the application asks for an essay with a word limit, do not exceed the limit. It is important to proofread the application for grammar and spelling errors. Try to send the application early and make sure it is neat. It is best to type the information.
  • Observe Deadlines – Adhere to all deadlines and make sure you have sent the necessary documents that were requested.
  • Do Not Apply Unless you are Qualified – Read the criteria for each scholarship and make sure that you meet the qualifications. Do not waste time on scholarships you are not eligible to receive.
  • Send a Thank You Note – If receive a scholarship, always thank the donor and explain how the scholarship has helped you. It is also important to send a thank-you note to the individuals who write references for you.
  • Tips For Writing A Thank You Note/Letter
  • “A Student’s Guide to Writing a Scholarship Essay

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I apply for Mason Merit and Foundation Scholarships?

The deadline for merit-based scholarship consideration is November 1. The Office of Admissions selects and will notify Freshman Scholarship and Honors College Consideration notifications in mid-February to students who qualify.

The Mason Scholarship Application is open to all returning students enrolled in a degree program. Students are encourage to submit the Mason Scholarship Application available online in early spring. This application is used to award some campus wide scholarships offered by Mason and posted on the Mason Scholarship website.

When should I apply for an Outside Scholarships?

The Outside Scholarship List posts scholarship opportunities with unique criteria important to the sponsoring donor or organization. Scholarships are updated on the website throughout the academic year. Students should check the website on a weekly basis during peak times from October through April. Missing a deadline can mean missing out until the next cycle for many scholarships!

Are there scholarships for transfer students?

Transfer students are eligible for all scholarships available to returning students. Students can submit the Mason Scholarship Application online. Some scholarships require a Mason GPA, which may limit some scholarships for transfers. Students should also check with their college or department.

Are scholarships available for international students?

Scholarships are a great way for international students to obtain financial aid. For more information visit financial aid for international students.

When will I hear if I am awarded a Mason Scholarship?

Scholarship award notifications will be sent to Mason Scholarship recipients no later than mid-August. ONLY those students selected to receive a Mason scholarship will be notified. As funding becomes available additional scholarships may be awarded.

Why should I notify the scholarship office of an award?

Financial Aid recipients are required to report all educational resources to the Office of Student Financial Aid. Once our office has received notification of an award from an outside agency, the student’s award will be updated on his financial aid package as a resource. The combination of resources and other financial aid cannot exceed cost of attendance, as a result a student’s financial aid may be reduced (most often loans) to offset the value of their educational resource(s).

Why was my scholarship check used to pay my balance due instead of paying for my books and supplies, as specified?

Scholarship checks made payable to Mason MUST be applied to the student’s account. Any funds remaining will be provided to the student in the form of a refund, either a paper check or electronic refund (E-Refund), which can be used for books & supplies.

What information does a donor or outside agency need to provide to the school?

Please review “Instructions for Submitting Checks to OSFA.”

Related Information:

Quick Links

Undergraduate Apprenticeship Program at George Mason University - The Undergraduate Apprenticeship Program pairs high achieving undergraduate students with faculty mentors to undertake original research or creative projects.

Mason’s Honor College - All students who apply to Mason by November 1st will be considered for the program.

Postgraduate Fellowships and Scholarships - The Director for Postgraduate Fellowships and Scholarships advises promising Mason students and recent alumni regarding the application process for nationally competitive fellowships.

Center for Global Education – CGE is George Mason University’s hub for study-abroad programs. Global Perspectives Scholarships are open to George Mason University students who participate in CGE Winter Break and Summer Programs, scholarship amounts range from $250 to $1,000 depending on merit and financial need.

Study Abroad Funding – The Institute of International Education directory features hundreds of study abroad scholarships, fellowships, grants, and paid internships for U.S. undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate students, and professionals.

All State Financial Aid Information – A state’s higher education agency may have special programs for college financial aid for residents of the state.

Military Scholarships and Education Benefits - Beyond GI Bill assistance, there are additional education benefits and scholarships available for active military, veterans and their dependents.

Top Ten Myths About Scholarships – Mark Kantrowitz Publisher of Fastweb and FinAid September 23, 2011

Scholarship and Financial Aid Scams | Consumer Information -To find FTC consumer publications on a specific Education, Scholarships & Job Placement.

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