Paying for College

Mason’s tuition and room and board rates are lower than the state average for four-year schools, an unexpected benefit when coupled with our status as the largest public research institution in Virginia.

Students who invest in their future at Mason become part of one of the Top 50 public colleges in the nation and study with world-renowned faculty who lead the way in their respective fields.

Mason’s campus offers the best of a large university atmosphere—20 NCAA Division I teams, more than 460 student groups, and daily activities and events—yet carries the feeling of a small school where every student can make a difference.

Invest in Your Future

The more you learn, the more you earn. Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics*, college graduates earn $26,000 more per year than high school graduates. That’s almost $780,000 over a 30-year career. Higher education carries lifelong benefits. 

*Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Mason graduates earn among the highest starting salaries of graduates from Virginia public universities, and its student loan default rate of approximately 2.1 percent is among the lowest in Virginia and the nation.

**Source: Payscale.com

2021–22 Tuition and Fees

Aid Eligibility and Important Dates

To be eligible for need-based aid, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year they attend Mason. Tuition assistance can vary year to year and there are deadlines for submitting the required documents.

Federal Work Study

Flexible part-time jobs, either on Mason’s campus or with university partners, can help with the expense of college and build experience that aligns with your future career goals. Need-based aid is made available to students who have submitted the required FAFSA. Students can attend resume workshops hosted by University Career Services, and they must apply and interview for positions that are part of the work-study program. Students without federal work study can also find on-campus employment. However, jobs are limited and should be sought as early as possible.

Earning potential varies and work is capped at 20 hours per week while classes are in session and 29 hours during breaks. Students can use paychecks for tuition, fees, room and board, or day-to-day living expenses.

Mason provides students a clear path to success with innovative programs like ADVANCE, which is dedicated to helping Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) students achieve a Mason degree in four years, in both a cost-friendly and efficient way. This bold initiative connects students with Mason’s admissions, financial aid, and student success advisors to streamline their journey from college to career.

Get Ahead with an Accelerated Master’s Program

Whether you plan to teach or simply know the direction your career is headed, you can earn two degrees in five years through more than 100 different bachelor's and accelerated master's programs. Applicants get their graduate application fee waived, and admitted students may obtain both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree after satisfactory completion of 144 to 159 credits, depending on the program.

Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships for Incoming Freshmen

Both one-time and four-year awards are granted by the Office of Admissions to eligible admitted students. Eligibility can be based on a number of factors, including GPA, standardized testing (if applicable), and degree program. Students who apply by the November 1 deadline will be considered for merit scholarships.

Score Optional applicants are also considered for merit-based scholarships.

External Scholarships

Scholarships are available through a wide array of local, state, and national awards that reduce the cost of attendance. Our guidance to students is to apply early and seek as many scholarships as possible. Visit go.gmu.edu/externalscholarship for more information and resources.


Mason participates in multiple need-based federal and state-funded grant programs that can assist first-year and transfer students. Grants do not have to be repaid but often come with standards of attainment in order to be renewed.

  • Federal Pell Grants
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
  • Virginia Commonwealth Award
  • Virginia Guaranteed Assistance Program
  • Two-Year College Transfer Grant Program
Apply today and start your educational journey with us!


Photos owned by George Mason University