- Instructions for Submitting Checks to the Cashier’s Office
- Types of Scholarships and Where to Look
- Mason Scholarship Application
- Outside Scholarship List
- Guidelines for Outside Scholarships
- Scholarships Requiring Documentation
- Scholarship Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Related Information
Instructions for Submitting Checks to the Cashier’s Office
If you are an outside scholarship vendor, please note the following:
Scholarship checks for students attending George Mason University should be made payable to George Mason University and mailed directly to the address below:
George Mason University
Cashier’s Office – MS 2E1
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
Please be sure to make a notation on the check indicating the student’s name, school ID #, and semester(s) scholarship should be applied.
Types of Scholarships
Mason Merit Scholarships – For incoming first-time freshman students:
These merit-based scholarships are awarded to incoming freshmen and are awarded based on the student’s admissions application. The Admissions application and all required materials must be submitted by November 1st in order to receive consideration for merit-based scholarships. The number of scholarships available is limited and the consideration process is highly competitive. For additional information contact the Office of Admissions.
Mason (Internal) Scholarships – For continuing (returning) students:
Scholarships at George Mason University are provided through the generous donations of Mason alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students. Private philanthropy enables the University to recognize students showing academic achievement, financial need and unique interests of those students attending Mason.
The Mason Scholarship Application will be available online in early spring. The application is open for approximately 6-8 weeks and the submission deadline date is around mid-May. Please refer back to this website for the direct link to the application.
Outside (External) Scholarships – Students usually apply to outside organizations:
Outside scholarships are offered through private agencies and organizations such as high schools, community organizations, scholarship foundations, employers and government agencies. Criteria for these scholarships generally include academic performance, financial need, underrepresented groups, volunteerism, heritage, community affiliations or other unique factors important to the sponsoring individual or organization. Students are encouraged to apply to as many external scholarships as possible: Outside Scholarship List.
In addition, below is a list of websites students may choose to use to search for available scholarships:
When applying for external scholarships please read the scholarship application(s) carefully and complete all requirements. Specific questions about scholarships should be directed to the agency offering the specific scholarship.
Mason Departmental 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 Scholarships
Questions about athletic scholarships should be directed to the appropriate Intercollegiate Athletic Coaches.
Notification to the Office of Student Financial Aid when receiving an external scholarship(s):
Students MUST provide the Office of Student Financial Aid with an official copy(s) of all scholarship notification letter(s). These letter(s) should include the following:
- Student’s name and Mason student ID G-number
- Name of scholarship
- Amount of scholarship
- Donor’s contact information (i.e., address, phone number and email, etc.)
- How the scholarship will be disbursed – either by paper check (the check must be made payable to George Mason University) or electronic transmission of funds (EFT).
Outside scholarship awards are considered resources for students receiving federal and state financial aid and may reduce the amount of need-based financial aid awarded to the student. 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 OSFA’s policy is to first reduce student loans or Federal Work-Study funds.
Please note: If the scholarship donor does not specify how to disburse scholarship funds, the OSFA will divide the award(s) evenly between the fall and spring semesters.
Scholarships Requiring Documentation – Enrollment and Academic Verification
Some scholarships may require completion of certain forms by the University before awards are made or before payment is made to the school. Below are some commonly requested documents:
- Billing statement or invoice – Requests for an invoice must be made in writing and must include the agency’s contact and billing address information.
- Verification forms – Verification forms can be mailed to OSFA 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 their personal information pertaining to academic standing, financial aid awards, cost of attendance and more on Patriot Web.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) – The FAFSA is available at fafsa.gov on January 1st each year. Many scholarships require the FAFSA to be submitted as part of the scholarship application process.
- Begin the scholarship search process early – Allow enough time to complete the entire scholarship application, which may include obtaining letters of recommendation.
- Get organized – Obtain a copy of your academic transcripts and other financial records you may be required to submit. Keep copies of everything you submit as part of your application.
- Expand your search – Searching for scholarships can include local businesses, community and civic organizations (i.e., the Kiwanis or Rotary clubs), places of worship, the local library, and on the Internet. Reputable organizations offering scholarships DO NOT charge a fee for applying… never pay any money to apply for scholarships.
- Let your personality shine through – In your personal 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.
- Observe deadlines – Adhere to all deadline dates and make sure all necessary documents have been submitted.
- DO NOT APPLY to a scholarship unless you meet the criteria and qualifications outlined in the application. Do not waste time applying for scholarships you are not eligible to receive.
- Send a Thank You note – If you 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 recommendations 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 Mason Scholarships?
The deadline for merit-based scholarship consideration is November 1. The Office of Admissions makes the selections and will notify the recipients directly.
The Mason Scholarship Application is open to all returning students enrolled in a degree program. Students are encouraged to complete the on-line Mason Scholarship Application in early spring.
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 bi-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?
Generally, transfer students are eligible for most of the scholarships available to returning students and should submit the Mason Scholarship Application. However, certain scholarships do require students to have a GPA from Mason, which could limit some scholarships for transfer students. Students should also check with the individual college or department for financial assistance.
Are scholarships available for international students?
Scholarships are a great way for international students to obtain financial assistance. 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 emailed to Mason Scholarship recipients no later than mid-August. ONLY those students selected to receive a Mason scholarship will be notified.
Why should I notify the Office of Student Financial Aid that I am receiving an outside award?
In accordance with Federal regulations, financial aid recipients are required to report all educational resources to the Office of Student Financial Aid. After the OSFA has received notification of an award from an outside agency, the student’s financial aid package will be updated with the award listed as a resource. The combination of resources and other financial aid cannot exceed the student’s cost of attendance; and, as a result, a student’s financial aid may be reduced to offset the value of the 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 will be applied to the student’s account first and applied to any outstanding balance owed to Mason. Any funds remaining will be provided to the student in the form of a refund which can then be used for books & supplies.
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.
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.
State Financial Aid Information – A state’s higher education agency may have special programs for college financial aid for residents of the state.
Scholarship and Financial Aid Scams | Consumer Information – Federal Trade Commission information