Student Emergency Assistance Funding – Fall 2020

Program Description

Emergency funding is available to students who experience unexpected financial situations and meet the eligibility criteria outlined below. For Fall 2020, students are asked to identify one of two levels of funding needed: (1) requests up to $999; OR (2) requests $1,000 and greater.

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.

Mason’s emergency funding application is a process for emergencies and unexpected hardships. Funding 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 for the future.  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.

HAVE QUESTIONS?  Before you apply, check out the student emergency assistance fund FAQs.

Other Funding Sources 

If students know they need continued financial assistance, they are encouraged to work with, and will be referred to, the Office of Student Financial Aid to discuss all options available to them. Student Financial Aid can be reached at finaid@gmu.edu. Students who do not qualify for federal financial aid are welcome to apply for student emergency assistance funding.

  

Application Process

Dates: Applications for emergency funding during Fall 2020 will be accepted from August 17 through December 4.

You must be enrolled in the Mason Fall 2020 term in a degree-seeking program at the time you apply for emergency assistance.

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

REQUESTS up to $999

Eligibility Criteria for Fall 2020 Emergency Funding**

  • Enrolled in at least 1 credit hour during FALL term in a degree-seeking program at George Mason University (part-time or full-time and graduate or undergraduate); 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.

REQUESTS $1,000 and greater

Eligibility Criteria for Fall 2020 Emergency Funding**

  • Enrolled in at least 1 credit hour during FALL 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
  • Completed at least 12 credits of coursework at Mason prior to FALL term 2020; and
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.00; and
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress 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 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 https://www2.gmu.edu/admissions-aid/financial-aid/eligibility/satisfactory-academic-progress-policy. 

** Students in some fully online programs are not eligible for emergency funding.

Examples of applicant’s expenses incurred during the Fall 2020 semester that will be considered through the student emergency assistance funding process:

  • Emergency medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Technology/equipment needed to ensure continuity of online learning
  • Emergency travel expenses
  • Homelessness or sudden loss of housing
  • Overdue utility bills
  • Loss of childcare
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Tuition and fee funding will only be approved on a case-by-case basis
  • Replacement of stolen equipment essential to student's coursework at Mason
  • Other financial needs arising from individual and/or special circumstances to be determined on a case-by-case basis

 

Examples of applicant’s expenses incurred during the Fall 2020 semester that will NOT be considered through the student emergency assistance funding process:

  • Expenses incurred prior to August 17, 2020
  • Anticipated expenses related to Fall 2020
  • Reimbursement for tuition and fee payments already made by the student
  • Expenses belonging to family members
  • 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 lost or stolen items (unless stolen item is essential to Mason coursework)

Additional Items to Note

  • Students are only eligible to receive funding through this process one time during the Fall 2020 semester. Fall applications will be accepted August 17 through December 4.
  • If a student who has received emergency funding withdraws during Fall semester 2020, 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 or Summer 2020 are eligible to request funding again through the Fall 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 deposited to a student’s account at George Mason University. The University will determine the method of fund delivery
  • 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 the awards are subject to the availability of funds.
  • For more information about the process or the status of your application, please contact smfund@gmu.edu.

 

Application

Complete and submit the online application below. Applications will be reviewed by a committee composed of University Life staff.  Decisions will be communicated to students via their Mason email within fourteen days of submission.

All application decisions are final.