Stay Mason/Emergency Assistance Fund – Fall Term 2021

Application open August 16 – December 8

Program Description

You must be enrolled at Mason in the Fall Term 2021 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 federal 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.

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

Application Process

Dates: Applications during Fall Term 2021 will be accepted from August 16 at 10:00 AM ET through December 8 at 5:00 PM ET (subject to availability of funds).

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

Eligibility Criteria for Fall Term 2021 Stay Mason/Emergency Assistance Fund

  • 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 federal financial assistance, including all subsidized and unsubsidized loans if eligible for federal financial aid; and
  • Completed at least 12 credits of coursework in your current program at Mason prior to Fall Term 2021; and
  • Have a minimum GPA of 2.00; and
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as outlined in University policy *; and
  • Experiencing an unexpected financial hardship resulting from 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.


Examples of expenses incurred during Fall Term 2021 which may be considered:

  • Current emergency medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • Books/Course Materials for Fall Term
  • Technology/equipment needed to ensure continuity of learning
  • Homelessness or sudden loss of housing
  • Utility bills – current date
  • Loss of childcare
  • Health insurance premiums
  • Tuition and fees for current term will only be considered 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 and copy supplied)
  • Other financial needs arising from individual and/or special circumstances to be determined on a case-by-case basis

Examples of expenses during Fall Term 2021 which will NOT be considered:

  • Expenses incurred prior to August 3, 2021 (except books/course materials purchased for Fall Term 2021)
  • Anticipated future expenses related to Spring 2022 or past due expenses from prior terms
  • Reimbursement for tuition and fee payments already made by the student
  • Expenses belonging/pertaining to family members, pets 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
  • Expenses already awarded emergency funding support for in a previous term


Additional Items to Note


  • Students are only eligible to receive funding through this process one time during the Fall Term 2021.
  • If a student who has received funding withdraws during Fall Term 2021, the student must return the award and a balance in the amount of the award the student received through the funding process will be posted on the student’s account if appropriate.
  • Students who received Stay Mason/Emergency Assistance funding in previous semesters are eligible to request funding again through the Fall 2021 application; however, previous awards can be considered by the review committee when making decisions.
  • Students can be granted assistance through the Stay Mason/Emergency Assistance Fund process up to a maximum of three times during their undergraduate/graduate enrollment at Mason. The committee can let students know their number-of-times status upon request.
  • Funds awarded do not need to be repaid unless the student withdraws from enrollment; however, the award may be subject to federal taxes, and the student is responsible for reporting income to the IRS and ensuring that all taxes are paid.
  • Based on the funding source, the award 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, and special requests for distribution of funding cannot be made by students.
  • Assistance through this process is NOT guaranteed. There is no guarantee that funding will be available for any given semester or term; and the University may discontinue funding at any time. The number of students who can be served and the amounts awarded 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 also submit current documentation to support each item in your request for assistance. Failure to submit proper documentation with your application will delay the response time. We ask that you familiarize yourself with the Frequently Asked Questions page to see what documentation is needed before you submit. 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.

Important Note

We recently changed the application process to a platform called Guardian. You will access the application via Guardian by clicking “APPLY” below. You will see that the application says “George Mason University Incident Reporting Form” at the top. Then under ‘Report Type’ you will see “Stay Mason Student Support Fund.” This is the correct application for emergency assistance. Please fill out everything carefully and completely. As always, you can email us at with any questions.

All application decisions are final.