Student Emergency Assistance Funding – Spring 2021

Application open January 21 – April 26

Program Description

You must be enrolled in the Mason Spring 2021 term in a degree-seeking program at the time you apply for emergency assistance.

Emergency funding is available to students who experience unexpected financial challenges, emergencies, or sudden financial hardships and meet the eligibility criteria outlined below.

Funding is not guaranteed and is not meant to provide long-term or full tuition relief. This funding is a last resort for students who need it most and should NOT be considered part of a student’s financial planning.

Priority consideration will be given to students whose continued enrollment at George Mason University may be at risk because of unexpected and unforeseen events or expenses.

Emergency funding is made possible through the generous support of George Mason University and donors committed to helping students as well as from the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.

Other Funding Sources

An application for emergency assistance funding will NOT be considered until you have exhausted all other sources of financial assistance, including all subsidized and unsubsidized loans.  If you know you need continued financial assistance, you are encouraged to work with, and will be referred to, the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss all options available to you. Student Financial Aid can be reached at

If you do not qualify for federal financial aid, you are welcome to apply for student emergency assistance funding (for example, if you are undocumented, protected by DACA or TPS, seeking/pending asylum, or are an international student).

Application Process

Dates: Applications for emergency funding during Spring 2021 term will be accepted from January 21 12:00 AM through April 26 5:00 PM (subject to availability of funds).

Criteria: To qualify for funding consideration through this emergency application process, you must meet the following criteria:

Eligibility Criteria for Spring 2021 Emergency Funding

  • Enrolled in at least 1 credit hour during Spring term in a degree-seeking program at George Mason University (part-time or full-time and graduate or undergraduate); and
  • Exhausted all other sources of financial assistance, including all subsidized and unsubsidized loans; and
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.00; and
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as outlined in University policy *; and
  • Experiencing unexpected financial hardship resulting from an emergency or crisis situation; and
  • Provide documentation to support the request as may be required by the University.

*Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requires that: undergraduate students maintain a 2.0 GPA and a 67% completion rate, and graduate students maintain a 3.0 GPA and a 67% completion rate. For more information, please review the policy at



Examples of expenses incurred during Spring 2021 semester which may be considered:

  • Emergency medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Books/Course Materials for Spring semester
  • Technology/equipment needed to ensure continuity of online or virtual learning
  • Homelessness or sudden loss of housing
  • Utility bills – current date and/or not greater than 2 months in arrears from January 21, 2021 (to avoid shut-off)
  • Loss of childcare
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Tuition and fee funding will only be approved on a limited, case-by-case basis
  • Replacement of stolen equipment essential to student’s coursework at Mason (as long as a police report is filed)
  • Other financial needs arising from individual and/or special circumstances to be determined on a case-by-case basis


Examples of expenses during Spring 2021 semester which will NOT be considered:

  • Expenses incurred prior to January 21, 2021 (except books/course materials purchased for spring 2021 semester)
  • Anticipated expenses related to Summer or Fall 2021
  • Reimbursement for tuition and fee payments already made by the student
  • Expenses belonging to family members or others
  • Student loan expenses and payments
  • Credit card expenses and payments
  • Study abroad costs
  • Legal fines or expenses
  • Non-essential personal bills
  • Parking tickets, library fines or other expenses mistakenly incurred
  • Funds for the replacement of damaged, lost, or stolen items (unless stolen item is essential to Mason coursework and a police report is filed)


Additional Items to Note             [PLEASE REVIEW CAREFULLY]

  • Students are only eligible to receive funding through this process one time during the Spring 2021 semester.
  • If a student who has received emergency funding withdraws during Spring semester 2021, the student must return the award and a balance in the amount of the award the student received through the emergency funding process will be posted on the student’s account if appropriate.
  • Students who received emergency funding in Spring, Summer, or Fall 2020 are eligible to request funding again through the Spring 2021 application; however, previous awards can be considered by the review committee when making decisions.
  • Students can be granted assistance through the emergency funding process up to a maximum of three times during their undergraduate/graduate enrollment at Mason.
  • Funds awarded do not need to be repaid unless the applicant withdraws from enrollment; however, awards may be subject to federal taxes.
  • Based on the funding source, awards may be disbursed to a student either via check, direct deposit (if it is previously set-up through Student Accounts), or by deposit to a student’s account at George Mason University. The University will determine the method of fund delivery.
  • Assistance through this process is NOT guaranteed. There is no guarantee that funding will be available for any given semester; and the University may discontinue student emergency assistance funding at any time. The number of students who can be served and the amount of awards are subject to the availability of funds.
  • For more information about the process or the status of your application, please contact


Complete and submit the online application below. You must submit current documentation to support your request for assistance. Applications will be reviewed by the committee in University Life.  The committee will do its best to communicate a decision to you via your Mason email within 21 days of submission.

We recognize that the documentation you are asked to submit may be of a personal nature. It is important that we receive it to understand your need – but your information will only be shared with parties that have a legitimate need to be informed of your situation and will be in protected files.

All application decisions are final.