Scholarship and Fellowship Policies and Procedures


The policies and procedures set forth in this Policy are applicable to all George Mason University students who receive scholarship or fellowship payments and who are U.S. Citizens or resident aliens.  The policies and procedures pertain to all campuses of George Mason University.


This Policy is written to provide clear guidelines for scholarship and fellowship payments made to students who are U.S. Citizens or resident alien students.  The purpose is to eliminate any inconsistencies in establishment of the award criteria, the selection of recipient(s), and the reporting of such payments to government authorities.  This procedure applies to all scholarships and fellowships paid by either the George Mason University Foundation or George Mason University.


1. The awarding department is responsible for ensuring that a) the criteria is legal, b) all students seeking financial aid can become aware of the award’s availability, and c) all scholarship awards are recorded on the University system.  This may be done by coordinating the award criteria with a scholarship coordinator in the Student Financial Aid Office before the award is finalized/announced.

2. If the scholarship is to be funded using Foundation dollars, the following documents must be received by the Foundation office: i) copy of scholarship voucher, ii) copy of the financial aid office’s approval of scholarship, iii) copy of the letter referenced in Section 4. These documents should be forwarded to the Student Financial Office by the awarding department and must be approved before the disbursement of the funds. Student Financial Aid will forward the approved vouchers to the Foundation for payment.

3. All scholarship/fellowship payments made by the George Mason University Foundation will be payable to George Mason University in care of the student receiving the award. Checks will be sent to the Cash Office for deposit. If a payment must be made directly to the student by the Foundation, the award must be processed through the Office of Student Financial Aid in care of the student. The payment request must be accompanied by IRS form W-9, and a copy of a tax accountability letter signed by both the student and the Project Director which certifies that the recipient is not subject to backup withholding by the IRS.

4. The awarding department is responsible for ensuring that all scholarship/fellowship recipients sign and receive a copy of the letter which states the following: “If you have any questions regarding the taxability and reporting requirements of this payment, please refer to IRS publication 520. You can get this publication by calling the IRS, at 1-800-829-3676 and requesting that they mail it to you.”


Substantive revisions to this Policy to are to be reviewed and approved by the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance, and the President, George Mason University Foundation, Inc.


This Policy is effective July 17, 1995.  The Policy shall be reviewed and revised, if necessary, annually and to become effective at the beginning of the University’s fiscal year, unless otherwise noted.


/S – Provost

/S – President, George Mason University Foundation, Inc.

/S – Executive Vice President for Finance and Planning


Date Approved: July 17, 1995

Revised: March 10, 2021