August 10, 2017

Types of Financial Aid

There are several types of financial aid that students may be eligible for while attending Mason. Since Financial Aid is renewed each year, it is possible that students may receive one form of aid for one year, and a different type of aid for the following year.

The most common type of aid that is awarded to students are loans. There are two types of loans, subsidized and unsubsidized. Both  of these loans require students to  repay what money they have borrowed upon graduation or should they drop to less than half-time enrollment status. Subsidized loans do not begin collecting interest until after a student graduates or drops to less than half-time, while unsubsidized loans begin collecting interest immediately after the aid is disbursed to the student. Information on your interest and payment is available through the company that provides your loan – for most students, this is If your university-offered loans do not cover your cost of tuition, you may consider applying for other types of loans. Information on the other types of loans and how to apply can all be found here. If you apply for private loans through another company outside of George Mason University, you will need to ask them about their interest rates and types of loans.

Preferable to loans are  grants and scholarships, as these types of aid do not need to be repaid. Students typically receive grants based on eligibility, availability of funds, and by meeting their Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements. To find information on grants that are available to Mason students, please visit here. The majority of Scholarships available to students are considered Outside Scholarships and  as such, are not directly awarded by the Financial Aid Office.  While Mason has a list of some recommended outside scholarships, students can independently find scholarships through a variety of resources, such as their high school, local clubs and organizations, or national companies.

The Office of Student Financial Aid does provide a few Mason Scholarships that students can apply for once the application is open.

Another type of aid that is available is federal Work Study. This program provides incentives to campus employers to employ eligible students as part-time workers, giving them an opportunity to earn money towards their expenses (both living and educational). If you would like to find out more about Work Study and how to obtain it, you can do so here.

If you have questions about your specific financial aid package or would like to speak with a financial aid counselor, please feel free to visit our office or find your financial aid counselor.