General Guidelines

  • Students are responsible for maintaining a current mailing address in their student record on Patriot Web, and for activating and checking their George Mason University e-mail account to receive official university communications.
  • All students are required to accept George Mason University's Student Financial Responsibility Agreement prior to registering for classes each semester. The agreement outlines financial terms and conditions associated with course registration. Students are responsible for withdrawing from all classes that they do not intend to complete by the deadlines listed in the Semester Calendar. Students must confirm withdrawals and class drops; full or partial liability may apply. George Mason University does not cancel classes for nonpayment or nonattendance.
  • Refer to the Payment Schedule and the Semester Calendar on the Student Accounts Office web site for payment due dates and tuition penalties for dropping classes after the start of the semester. Classes that do not meet for the full semester have non-standard liability deadlines, which can be found on the part-of-term chart of the Semester Calendar.
  • Tuition Insurance is available to students and their families at a reduced rate through GradGuard. This insurance strengthens and broadens the scope of the existing refund policy by ensuring reimbursement for tuition, housing and other payments if a student withdraws for any covered medical reason at any time during the semester. The deadline to purchase for each semester is the last day to drop with 100% tuition refund for full semester classes.  Refer to the Semester Calendar on the Student Accounts Office web site.
  • Payments are due by the payment deadline. Check and credit card payments made through the Bill + Payment system must be completed by 10:30 p.m. to be considered in that day's business. Checks mailed to the lockbox must be received by the due dates, regardless of postmark.  Payments made in person must be placed in the Cashier's Office Payment Drop Box, Student Union Building I, Room 1600, on or before 4:30 p.m. on due dates. 
  • Bills are provided electronically only, approximately thirty (30) days prior to the semester start, to students and authorized payers. Bills are not provided for individual class registration and schedule adjustments. Students must check Patriot Web for balance due, verify registration, and pay through the Bill + Payment system or at the Cashier's Office by the due date. Failure to receive a reminder bill confirming charges does not waive the requirement for payment when due.
  • Students who have not completed the financial aid process must be prepared to pay for their courses by the payment due date or a late payment fee may be charged. The amount of financial aid accepted and processed will be reflected in your account balance. If the amount of aid awarded is less than the charges, the difference must be paid by the tuition due date. Federal work-study awards cannot be deducted from your balance. Financial aid recipients must also notify their financial aid counselor if they drop courses below the minimum required credits for their financial aid award. Class registrations or schedule adjustments after financial aid has disbursed may result in a balance due. Students are responsible for checking their balance after all schedule adjustments.
  • Out-of-state students with pending domicile requests are responsible for payment at the out-of-state rate. Students who are later determined to be in-state can request reimbursement for the difference in tuition rates.
  • Non-returning students are responsible for withdrawing from their courses for the semester and ensuring they do not have an outstanding balance on their account. Any documentation or intent made to university departments that you are not returning does not withdraw you from the registered courses.
  • Some Mason degree programs include academic credits that students must earn at other academic institutions. Students enrolling for such credits assume all financial responsibility with the other institutions.

Semester Tuition Charges and Related Fees

Approved tuition rates and fees are available June 1. For more information, call the Student Accounts Office at 703-993-2000 or go online. Students are charged tuition rates for registered courses according to their academic level and program; graduate rates vary by academic program.

Please Note: Many courses require additional course fees and/or lab fees. Refer to the Student Accounts Office website for up-to-date information on these fees.

New Student Fees

All new degree seeking students pay a New Student Fee. The fee is a mandatory, nonrefundable, one-time charge that is assessed when a new student registers for classes, regardless of orientation attendance or future enrollment status. The current fee amount is listed on the Student Accounts Office website:

Mandatory Student Fee

This is a mandatory fee based on credit enrollment. The Mandatory Student Fee is essential to support ongoing student services and activities that are available to all students whether they attend classes on campus or online. It supports the maintenance of facilities and buildings, auxiliary services, intercollegiate athletics, campus shuttle, academic services, student activities, and health services.

Special Registration

Students not enrolled in a credit-bearing course, but whose academic department certifies that they are pursuing an activity related to Mason matriculation, can retain active status by having the Office of the University Registrar process a registration for the Special Registration course (ZREG 200). A $45 fee is charged for this course, and students must pay this fee before the Office of the University Registrar will process the registration. Written approval of the student's academic department chair is required. This special registration allows students to retain their library and computer privileges, receive a student ID, and buy a parking decal. Students must have active status to apply for or receive a degree, take an exam, or participate in cooperative education. Students pursuing a master's or doctoral degree must maintain continuous enrollment. For more information, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

International Student Health Insurance

Health insurance is required for all F-1 and J-1 visa holders, and nonpayment may result in class cancellation. International students who fail to adhere to this policy are subject to class cancellation. Health insurance fees are deducted from all payments received by the University before funds are applied to tuition and other charges. For more information, refer to the Admission of International Students section.

Music Instruction

Private music instruction is arranged through the School of Music on a fee-paying basis. Refer to the Student Accounts Office web site for up to date fee information. This fee is non-refundable.

Payment Information

Payment Deadline

Payment is due the first day of the semester. Check and credit card payments made through the Bill + Payment system must be completed by 10:30 p.m. to be considered in that day's business. Check payments mailed to the lockbox must be received by the due date, regardless of postmark. Payments received at the Cashier's Office by 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday will be considered in that day's business. Payments received at the Cashier's Office by 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday will be considered in that day's business. To confirm receipt of payment and balance due on account, go to Patriot Web.

Methods of Payment

Credit/Debit Card

Online only. Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover Card. There is a 2.95 percent convenience fee for domestic credit/debit card payments, and a 4.25% convenience fee for international credit/debit card payments. The convenience fee is nonrefundable. A $50 returned item fee will be charged for credit or debit card reversals (charge-backs).


Online, mail or drop box. Make check payable to George Mason University, with student ID number written on front. Third-party checks are not accepted. Checks must be payable in U.S. dollars on a U.S. Bank. A $50 return check fee will be charged for checks returned unpaid by the bank for any reason.


We do not accept cash payments.

Delivery Methods


Bill + Payment system, online checks or credit cards

Drop Box (no cash payments)

Student Union Building I, #1600, across from the Mason Student Services Center

U.S. Mail

George Mason University
P.O. Box #716475
Philadelphia, PA 19171-6475

Overnight Express Delivery:
Lockbox Services - #716475
George Mason University
2005 Market Street, 5th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103-7042

Semester Payment Plan

Mason payment plans are available online only for students who want to budget their accounts.

Payment plans have a $30 contract fee charged each semester. The contract fee is non-refundable and must be paid at the same time as the payment plan is agreed to within the Bill + Payment System. For more information, call the Student Accounts Office at 703-993-2000 or go to

Failure to pay the deferred balance by the payment plan due date will result in a financial hold, a late fee of 10% (up to $125), collection activity, and may prevent future eligibility of the payment plan.

Third-Party Billing Authorizations

Students using a third-party billing authorization will be charged a $25 processing fee.  For students sponsored by an international agency, the fee is $125.  Students must provide the third-party authorization or government training voucher to the Student Accounts Office before the payment due date (for payment schedule by semester, please see Students are responsible for any payment default by the sponsoring agency. Call 703-993-2000 for a copy of third-party billing requirements, or check online. Please visit the following website,, and submit the third-party billing authorization through the Financial Guarantee/Authorizations Student Portal.


Late Registration

A late registration fee of $125 is automatically assessed to students who add their first class on the first day of the semester or after. It does not apply to students already enrolled prior to the start of the semester who make schedule adjustments. Wait-listed classes are not considered class registration. Late registration fees are nonrefundable and will not be removed, regardless of enrollment status.

Any class registration after the deadline to add classes, if approved by the academic department, is subject to a $125 late registration fee. Late class registrations require an account in good standing.

Late Payment Fee

Past due balances are subject to a late payment fee that is 10% of the balance, up to $125.

Returned Checks

Per Commonwealth of Virginia statute, a $50 return item fee will be charged for each item (checks, debit/credit card reversals) returned by the bank unpaid. Repeat returned payments may result in the restriction of the online payment option for future semesters. Payments for past due balances and/or to release holds for registration that are later returned unpaid by a financial institution may result in the immediate suspension of services and the cancellation of classes. Returned checks that create a balance will be sent a written or electronic notice, and a financial hold will be placed on the account until the balance is paid in full. Certified fund payments by cashier's check are required for immediate hold release. Waiting periods will apply for other payment methods.

Financial Good Standing; No Holds on Record

Financial good standing and a university record clear of holds are required for students to receive services. Services, including but not limited to transcript issuance, diploma release, class registration (add, drop, withdrawal, etc.), and/or housing and meal plans, will not be provided to students with a financial balance due or a hold of any kind on their record. Holds are based on outstanding obligations and may be financial. Examples include unpaid Student Health charges, fines owed to the Mason libraries, parking and other administrative holds.

Students in noncompliance with payment deadlines as of the end of the semester may be required to submit a financial guarantee or prepayment prior to future registration. The return of the prepayment by a financial institution may result in the immediate suspension of services and cancellation of classes.


Per the Virginia Debt Collection Act (§2.2-4800 et seq.), all delinquent accounts with past due balances are assigned to authorized collection agencies each semester. Failure to meet financial obligations to the university will result in other collection procedures, which include account referral to credit reporting bureaus, private collection agencies, the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Taxation, and the Office of the Attorney General. Past due accounts are subject to garnishments, liens, and judgments and the withholding of money from tax refunds. In addition to late fees and interest, delinquent accounts will be assessed additional collection costs up to twenty-five percent of the past due balance, reasonable attorney fees, and other administrative costs. Once an account is referred to a collection agency, payment must be made to the agency, not the University.

Course Withdrawals

Students are required to pay full or partial tuition for courses they withdraw from after the last day to drop with full tuition refund, including withdrawals to change from one section of a course to another section. For more information, see the tuition liability dates in the Semester Calendar.

Tuition Insurance

George Mason has partnered with GradGuard™ to make the Tuition Insurance Plan available to our families. The Tuition Protection Insurance Plan helps students and their families overcome the financial losses that may result from events which force students to withdraw from the semester due to a covered medical reason. This coverage strengthens and broadens the scope of our existing refund policy by ensuring reimbursement for tuition, housing and other payments if a student withdraws for any covered medical reason at any time during the semester. The deadline to purchase for each semester is the last day to drop with 100% tuition refund for full semester classes. Learn more at or call (877) 794-6603.

Refund Policies

Direct Deposit Refunds

Students should enroll in direct deposit for expedited refunds. Enrollment is completed in Patriot Web. A Direct Deposit Guide to assist students with this process is located on the Student Accounts Office website. Direct deposit refunds are sent electronically to the student's bank account. Direct deposit refunds are not available for Parent PLUS loans.

Refund for Credit Balances

In cases where tuition charges are less than the payments on the student's account, a refund of the overpayment may be requested. To initiate the refund process, a Refund Request form is completed and submitted to the Student Accounts Office. Credit balances are also reviewed and refunds processed throughout the semester, regardless of refund request forms. NOTE: Students should not overpay accounts with an expectation a credit balance will pay for future semester charges. 

Refunds will be processed according to the last method of payment received:

  • Flywire and TransferMate payments are sent via direct deposit or check.
  • Payments made by check require a seven-day waiting period. The waiting period may be waived if proof of check clearance is presented, such as a canceled check copy or bank statement showing that the check cleared the account.
  • Credit card payments are credited back to the credit card that was most recently used for payment.

Note: Refund checks may take up to four weeks for processing and mail delivery, are made payable to the student, and are mailed to the address listed in the student record. In person check pick up is not available.

Financial Aid Refunds

Credit balances from financial aid awards will automatically generate a refund, which will be sent via direct deposit if authorized by the student. A refund request form is not needed for financial aid disbursement refunds, except in cases of schedule adjustments after aid has been posted. Students who do not opt for direct deposit will receive check refunds mailed to the address on file in their student record. Check refunds require more processing time than a direct deposit refund.

In-State Tuition

To be eligible for in-state tuition, a student must have been domiciled in Virginia for at least one full year before the semester for which in-state tuition is sought, or qualify through statutory exception. A person establishes domicile by demonstrating physical presence and the intention to remain indefinitely in accordance with the Code of Virginia and the domicile guidelines. Copies of the guidelines and other applicable state laws are available from the Office of the University Registrar.

Domicile Change

Domicile classification is determined at the time of a student's admission. To be considered for in-state status when applying to the university, students must file an application for in-state rates.

New and currently enrolled students classified as out-of-state who believe they qualify for in-state tuition after being admitted must file a domicile appeal form with the Office of the University Registrar no later than the first day of classes for the semester in which in-state rates are sought. Appeal forms are available from the Office of the University Registrar.

Students whose appeals are denied have the right to seek further review of their status by the Office of the University Registrar or the Domicile and Tuition Classification Appeals Committee. These requests must be filed in the manner articulated in denial letters. Forms are available from the Office of the University Registrar and the web site. In addition, students should be aware that university procedures for appealing domicile decisions have been established pursuant to state law and are subject to change. Out-of-state students with an appeal pending at the time of tuition billing are responsible for payment of tuition at that rate. Students subsequently determined to be in-state may request reimbursement of overpayment from the Office of Student Accounts. Also, any student who fraudulently or knowingly provides false information in an attempt to evade payment of out-of-state tuition will be charged out-of-state tuition for each term or semester attended and may be subject to dismissal from the institution.

For more information regarding in-state eligibility, contact the Domicile Appeals Administration in the Office of the University Registrar in Student Union Building I, Suite 2101; phone: 703-993-2000; e-mail:

Tuition Surcharge: 125 Percent of Degree

Undergraduate students who have established Virginia domicile and eligibility for in-state tuition will be subject to a surcharge if they exceed 125 percent of the credits required to complete a degree. The surcharge will be determined by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia.

The following courses and credit hours shall be excluded in calculating the 125 percent credit threshold: remedial courses; transfer credits from another college or university that do not meet degree requirements for Mason Core courses or the student's chosen program of study; advanced placement or international baccalaureate credits that were obtained while in high school or another secondary school program; and dual enrollment, college-level credits obtained by the student prior to receiving a high school diploma.