In-State Eligibility for Doctoral and MFA Students

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University Policy Number 6003


Responsible Office: ,

Policy Procedure:


Related Law & Policy:


This policy outlines in-state tuition eligibility to nonresident graduate students employed by George Mason University.


The purpose of this policy is to enable all eligible nonresident Doctoral and MFA students to be charged at the in-state rate for tuition and fees.


Doctoral Student – a student enrolled in one of the following degree programs: Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy), D.M.A. (Doctor of Musical Arts), D.N.P. (Doctor of Nursing Practice), D.A. (Doctor of Arts).

Eligible Graduate Student – A student who meets all of the following conditions:

  1. A Doctoral or M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts) student, and
    1. Students who intend to graduate in the current fall semester are eligible for only that semester if all other eligibility requirements are met.
    2. To meet eligibility requirements for the spring semester, students must benewly admitted into their program for the current spring semester.
  2. A full time student in their Doctoral or M.F.A. program as defined by the University Catalog, and
  3. Does not have in-state domicile status as defined by the University Catalog, and
  4. Is supported by a tuition waiver or grant covering enough credits to support the student’s full time course load, and
  5. Is appointed to a full time (20 hours/week total) graduate assistantship(s) with a stipend of at least $10,000 per academic year. The assistantship(s) must cover both the fall and spring semesters with two exceptions:
    1. Students who intend to graduate in the current fall semester must have a stipend of at least $5,000 for the current fall semester and a full time assistantship(s) for the current fall semester, and
      1. Must submit their application to graduate to the Office of the University Registrar by the relevant deadline.
    2. For the spring semester, newly admitted students must have a stipend of at least $5,000 for the current spring semester and a full time assistantship(s) for the current spring semester.


The Office of the Provost will work with pertinent offices and units in the implementation of the policy by publishing and administrating procedures including the tracking of student eligibility each semester. The Office of the Provost will notify units of when students originally thought to be eligible are not (see Other Information below) for purposes of budgeting and planning.

Each school, college and institute is responsible for submitting a list of eligible students in accordance with the published procedures and communicating with the Office of the Provost concerning the completion of their graduate assistantship processes and any changes in eligibility of students.

All sponsored awards that include tuition support for eligible graduate students as defined above on and after July 1, 2011, will charge tuition at resident rates proportionately with the assistantship stipend.


Additional credits taken above those supported by a graduate assistantship will be charged at the appropriate academic unit’s in-state tuition rate. Charges for additional credits taken will be the financial responsibility of the student and applied to their student account.

Students whose full-time assistantships end during the fall semester will have their tuition revert to out-of-state tuition rates for the spring semester.

Students found to have been erroneously identified by an academic unit as eligible, at any time during the semester, based on information provided by the academic unit, will have their tuition rates revert to out-of-state rates the current semester. The student’s academic unit will be responsible for the additional tuition charges.

Students who meet eligibility requirements for both the current fall and spring semesters will continue to be eligible to receive in-state tuition rates for classes taken during the subsequent summer term.


Student eligibility will be checked by the Provost’s Office throughout each semester and at the end of each semester in order to maintain compliance. Processes and procedures will be reviewed each semester during the first year of implementation and then annually thereafter and updated as necessary.


This policy is effective as of July 1, 2011. This policy will be reviewed one year after implementation, and subsequently reviewed and revised as necessary.


Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President

Peter N. Stearns

Date approved: June 30, 2011