This policy applies to George Mason University (Mason) students who might qualify for Stay Mason Student Support Fund (Stay Mason) financial assistance. The Fund’s resources are aimed at helping currently enrolled George Mason University students continue their education while facing unexpected emergencies or financial hardships.
II. POLICY STATEMENT
- Stay Mason financial assistance may be granted to qualifying students, who meet eligibility requirements and document unexpected emergencies or financial hardships.
- The Stay Mason application process is open to all Mason students currently enrolled in a degree-seeking program, including undergraduate and graduate students; full-time or part-time students; US citizens; permanent residents; and non-immigrant students who might be identified as international, DACA, TPS, asylum-seeking, or undocumented.
- Only students, who meet all of the following minimum eligibility requirements, will be considered for funding:
- Enrolled in at least 1 credit hour in a degree-seeking program at George Mason University during the academic term for which the funding application is filed;
- Earned at least 12 credit hours of coursework at George Mason University prior to the academic term for which funding is being sought;
- Met the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) standards as defined by the University’s Office of Student Financial Aid;
- Have a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 prior to the academic term for which funding is being sought;
- Exhausted all other sources of financial assistance, including submission of FAFSA and acceptance of all offered subsidized and unsubsidized loans, if eligible for federal financial aid;
- Demonstrated an unexpected emergency or financial hardship; and
- Provided documentation to support the request, as requested by the University.
- Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. The decision to grant assistance is based on the demonstrated unexpected emergency or financial hardship that affects the student’s ability to contribute toward cost of attendance expenses. Decisions made by the Stay Mason Student Support Fund Review Committee are final.
- Students may apply only one time per semester, unless an exception is made by the Review Committee in its discretion to consider an extenuating circumstance. Students may be awarded Stay Mason assistance no more than three times during their academic tenure at Mason. Priority will be given to first-time applicants and those who are approaching graduation.
- Financial assistance is subject to the availability of funds. There is no guarantee that funding will be available in any given semester and the University may discontinue assistance at any time. The Stay Mason is not meant to provide long-term or full tuition relief.
III. PROCESS AND COMPLIANCE
- The Student Support and Advocacy Center will administer the Fund and will serve as the intake office for the electronic application. The Student Support and Advocacy Center will:
- Convene the Stay Mason Student Support Fund Review Committee to consider requests for financial assistance;
- Determine whether the eligibility criteria are met; and
- Access student enrollment, financial aid, and student account records to provide relevant information to the Stay Mason Student Support Fund Review Committee to aid its decision making process.
- The Stay Mason Student Support Fund Review Committee will:
- Follow guidelines and funding limits in reviewing applications and determining awards
- Schedule meetings to discuss and decide on funding recommendations. As needed, applications may be assigned to individual members for review;
- Submit funding recommendations to the Office of Student Financial Aid for approval of awards and identification of funding source; and
- Arrange for notification of the student regarding the final disposition of the application.
- The Office of Student Financial Aid will approve awards, identify the funding source, and record award amount on the student’s account.
- As part of the application process, a student may be required to submit supporting documentation or to meet with a staff member in the Student Support and Advocacy Center or the Office of Student Financial Aid. Applicants may also be referred to other University offices to access further support services.
- To be considered for Stay Mason Student Support Fund assistance, students must:
- Meet all qualifications outlined in Section II Point 3; and
- Submit application at http://ulife.gmu.edu/forms/stay-mason-student-support-fund-application/
- All information requests for data regarding the Stay Mason Student Support Fund shall be addressed to the Policy Point of Contact, who is the Director of the Student Support and Advocacy Center.
A. Effective Date
This policy became effective on December 18, 2015, the date of approval by the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost and Executive Vice President.
B. Date of Most Recent Review
June 4, 2021
V. TIMETABLE FOR REVIEW
This policy and related procedures shall be reviewed annually by June 1 by the Director of the Student Support and Advocacy Center, who shall submit recommended revisions and updates to the Vice President for University Life and the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance for final review and approval.
Carol D. Kissal
Senior Vice President, Administration and Finance
Vice President for University Life
Revised: June 4, 2021