Eligibility and Selection Criteria

The Graduate Inclusion & Access Scholarship seeks to support the growth and development of an inclusive, thriving graduate community across all academic programs at George Mason University. 

At Mason we believe “diversity is our strength.” An inclusive graduate student community is essential to enhance the quality of the intellectual environment for all our students and faculty.

This scholarship, awarded on a competitive basis, is available to domestic first-generation college students who are incoming fall semester full-time doctoral degree students, are from an underrepresented population within their doctoral field of study at Mason, and have demonstrated financial need.

Eligibility Criteria:

· First-generation college student, defined as one of the following:

  • an individual, neither of whose parents completed a baccalaureate (bachelor’s) degree. If your parent(s) and/or guardian(s) attended college but did not receive a bachelor’s degree (i.e., did not graduate), you are considered to be first-generation;
  • an individual who, prior to the age of eighteen (18), regularly resided with and received support from only one parent and whose supporting parent did not complete a baccalaureate degree;
  • an individual who, prior to the age of eighteen (18), did not regularly reside with or receive support from a natural or adoptive parent.

· A member of a community that is underrepresented within their doctoral field of study at Mason.

· A domestic applicant: All applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents or have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, asylum status, refugee status, Temporary Protective Status (TPS), or undocumented within the United States. 

· Cumulative GPA of 3.3 or better (most recent earned degree and any degree in progress).

· Applying as a new, incoming Fall 2024 full-time student to a George Mason University doctoral program. However, scholarships will only be awarded to those selected applicants that are ultimately offered full admission without provisions or conditions. See below for further information.

· Demonstrated financial need, as determined through a timely submission of the 2024-2025 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), as applicable, or a Statement of Financial Need for those that are not permitted to file a FAFSA. See below for further information.

Selection Criteria:

· As reflected on the uploaded CV and/or essay, a demonstrated record of professional/extra-curricular achievement and/or community involvement.

· Essay as described within the application.

A faculty/staff scholarship committee reviews the application materials and makes recommendations for recipients to the Senior Associate Provost for Graduate Education.

Scholarship recipients are eligible for up to five (5) years of renewed financial support, dependent upon the student maintaining: (a) full-time enrollment as defined by the University Catalog; (b) good academic standing each term; and (c) a cumulative GPA of 3.5 for the duration of scholarship eligibility. Recipients will be required to hold a graduate 20-hour per week assistantship within their field of study for the duration of the scholarship. Recipients will be expected to focus on their studies and assistantship, actively engage with faculty mentors and their scholarship cohort, contribute to university-focused services, and participate in professional development activities.

Awarded financial support includes:

· A stipend of $33,000 over 12 months

  • $25,000 (Academic Year)
  • $8,000 (Summer)

· Tuition support of up to eighteen (18) credits toward their degree per academic year

· Subsidized Graduate Health Insurance offered annually

All applicants must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (FAFSA® Application | Federal Student Aid) to the federal processor as required. Those applicants who are undocumented or have DACA status must upload a Statement of Financial Need form as part of the scholarship application. Contact the Graduate Division for the form at geaward@gmu.edu.

FAFSA submissions, as applicable, due: February 2, 2024

Scholarship Application Materials due no later than: February 2, 2024

Scholarship offers expected, but not guaranteed, to be sent to those selected no later than: April 8, 2024.

How Do I Apply?

After you have submitted your doctoral program application, more information about this scholarship application process, including an application link, will be sent to you if additional eligibility criteria are met. You do not need to have an admission decision for your scholarship application to be reviewed. However, scholarships will only be awarded to those selected applicants that are ultimately offered full admission without provisions or conditions.

If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact Mason's Graduate Division at geaward@gmu.edu. Good luck!