George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Financial Aid and Scholarships

Approximately 75% of Mason students receive some form of financial aid and many are receiving a combination of merit and talent-based scholarships.

Many university resources are available to assist you with obtaining academic scholarships, grants, and loans. In addition, we encourage you to work with our programs directly to learn more about program-specific and talent-based scholarships.

College of Visual and Performing Arts Scholarships

Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts Scholarships

Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts is a collaborative effort between the City of Fairfax, George Mason University and Spotlight.  The mission is focused on enhancing awareness of the cultural arts opportunities available in the Fairfax area and providing scholarships to students in the College of Visual and Performing Arts. Fairfax County Spotlight on the Arts offers the following endowed scholarships:

Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts – BP Endowed Scholarship in the Arts

A one-time award of $1,500 for a graduating senior from a public or private high school or home-schooled program in Fairfax County or the City of Fairfax.

Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts – Apple Federal Credit Union Endowed Scholarship in the Arts

A one-time award of $1,500 for a graduating senior from a school system serviced by Apple FCU (see www.applefcu.org for list).

Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts Scholarship – Ruth Haycock Endowed Scholarship in Piano

A one-time award of $1,000 for a graduating senior from a public or private high school or home-schooled program in Fairfax County or the City of Fairfax.

Fairfax Spotlight on the Arts Scholarship in Music for the Potomac Academy

A one-time award of $1,000.

Selection of recipients is determined by the College and Visual and Performing Arts and is based on the completed university application and the audition/portfolio review required for acceptance to the major.

Graduate Scholarships

Please contact your program of interest for specific information about scholarships.

Alice L. Watts Memorial Scholarship

Alice Watts worked at George Mason University for more than 25 years in a variety of capacities in the arts. Most recently, she served as the College of Visual and Performing Arts' Coordinator for Undergraduate Programs and Advising. In honor of her years of service, her dedication and the impactful contribution she made to our students and the university,  we created the Alice L. Watts Memorial Scholarship in her memory.

This scholarship will be awarded each spring to an undergraduate CVPA major who is committed to building community within the college and the university.
 

University Scholarships and Financial Aid

Admissions Merit Scholarships

Mason awards millions of dollars in scholarships to incoming freshmen every year. These awards not only recognize strong academic talent and achievement, but also special talents and other personal characteristics, without regard to an applicant’s financial need.

All freshman applicants who apply by November 1 (the Early Action application deadline) will automatically be considered for merit-based scholarships through the Office of Admissions and the Scholarship Committee. Students who apply Early Action are notified of their admissions decisions by mid-December, and the Scholarship Committee notifies students if they were awarded a scholarship no later than February.

University Scholars Awards

The University Scholars are selected from among the most outstanding students invited to the Honors College. This award is the highest academic distinction that Mason offers to undergraduate students and is given annually to top high school seniors admitted to the university. Each year the University Scholars Program enrolls approximately 20 new first-year students, each of whom receives a scholarship covering the full cost of tuition over four years. Students receiving this award have exemplary records of academic achievement, and they have demonstrated intellectual vision and creativity, the potential to solve problems and overcome obstacles, and a commitment to meaningfully contributing to their communities.

Applications must be submitted by November 1 to receive priority consideration for the scholarship. Prospective freshmen should check the appropriate box for "University Scholar" on their applications. For more information, please visit the University Scholars website.

Financial Aid

If you’re interested in applying for financial aid, complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submit it to the federal processor by March 1 of every year. It’s best to complete the FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1st of the preceding year because some fund types are limited and awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, please visit How to Apply for Financial Aid.

 Visit the university's Office of Student Financial Aid website to learn about available scholarship opportunities.

For additional information on financial aid at Mason, call 703-993-2353.

The Stay Mason Student Support Fund

The Stay Mason Student Support Fund assists matriculated George Mason students who are at risk of not continuing their education due to unexpected financial situations.

The Stay Mason Student Support Fund is designed to provide temporary, short-term, financial assistance to students who are managing demanding academic requirements while struggling with debilitating financial circumstances. The Stay Mason Student Support Fund is not intended to provide ongoing relief for recurring expenses, and the financial assistance is not a loan that is expected to be repaid.

Stay Mason Policies

Stay Mason Application

Scholarships by Major

School of Art Scholarships

Each year, College of Visual and Performing Arts programs award scholarships to applicants who demonstrate exceptional talent.

In addition to the scholarships awarded in the sections above, some scholarships are offered by individual major.

Scholarships awarded by the School of Art are based on the portfolio submitted by the applicant. For further inquiries, please email the School of Art or call 703-993-8898.

Visit School of Art

Arts Management Scholarships

All applicants to the Arts Management Program at Mason are considered for scholarships based on the merit of their academic history and professional promise. There are many different resources for students to use when searching for additional scholarship opportunities. 

The Arts Management Program offers two individual annual scholarships, the Erin Gaffney Memorial and the Andy Bursten Memorial.

Beyond GI Bill assistance, there are additional education benefits and scholarships available for active military, veterans and their dependents. The Office of Military Services can assist veterans, active duty service members, guardsmen, reservists, and dependents in finding funding for their education at Mason.

Planning on participating in the International Arts Management Study Abroad Course?  Find out about funding your trip through Mason Study Abroad.

See the Arts Management website for additional information.

Visit Arts Management

School of Dance Scholarships

Each year, College of Visual and Performing Arts programs award scholarships to applicants who demonstrate exceptional talent. 

In addition to the scholarships awarded in the sections above, some scholarships are offered by individual major.

Dance Talent Scholarships

Friends of Dance fund one to two scholarships each year, awarded to incoming freshmen who demonstrate outstanding talent at an audition. To renew the scholarship each year, recipients must maintain a 3.0 GPA, participate fully in all department performance activities and be a good university citizen. To be considered for an annual Dance Talent Scholarship, apply to the university by November 1 and audition October 24, November 7, November 14 or January 16 in New York City.

Harriet Mattusch Special Recognition Award 

A scholarship funded by Dance Council Partnership is awarded by the Dance faculty to a full-time, continuing, undergraduate student who demonstrates consistent hard work and dedication to dance as an art form and who makes positive contributions to School of Dance activities.

Kevin Campbell Summer Scholarships 

Tuition grants to summer dance intensives were established in 1990 to offer dance majors enrichment opportunities that might not be otherwise available. Applicants must demonstrate a serious intent to pursue a personal objective through summer study, make contributions to the Mason Dance Company through choreography, performance and service, and show a need for financial assistance. These awards have given dancers the opportunity to study in the intensives and workshops of Bates Dance Festival, Parsons Dance, Jacob's Pillow, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Alvin Ailey, Gallim Dance, LEVYdance, Complexions, Mark Morris Dance Center, Urban Bush Women Summer Institute, White Mountain Dance Festival, and the Joe Goode Workshop.

Visit School of Dance 

Film and Video Studies Scholarships

Each year, College of Visual and Performing Arts programs award scholarships to applicants who demonstrate exceptional talent. 

In addition to the scholarships awarded in the sections above, some scholarships are offered by individual major.

Awards and Eligibility

To apply for a Film and Video Studies scholarship, you must be a Film and Video Studies, BA major. If you're not yet a student at Mason, you must pass the FAVS portfolio review, intend to declare (or have declared) the Film major, and be accepted to Mason before any scholarship funds will be disbursed.

If you are awarded a scholarship, you must remain a Film major to receive the full amount. You must be enrolled in at least 12 credits of coursework per semester and maintain a 3.0 GPA overall and a 3.0 in courses in the FAVS major to receive subsequent funds.

Scholarships will be disbursed when all criteria are met after the add/drop deadline each semester. Funding will be contingent on the budget of the program and college.

FAVS Sophomore Scholarship

Awarded to those of rising Sophomore standing starting in upcoming Fall semester will be awarded for six semesters (if grade and enrollment requirements are maintained).

FAVS Junior / Transfer Scholarship

Awarded to incoming Transfer students or those of rising Junior standing beginning in the upcoming Fall semester will be awarded for four semesters (if grade and enrollment requirements are maintained).

FAVS Senior Awards

Awarded to students scheduled to graduate in the upcoming Fall semester will be awarded for one semester (if grade and enrollment requirements are maintained).

Awarded to students scheduled to graduate in the next Spring semester will be awarded for one semester (if grade and enrollment requirements are maintained).

Scholarship Application Timeline

See the Film and Video Studies website for more information.

A committee of FAVS faculty and FAVS advisory board members will award scholarships based on thoughtful presentation of the chosen topic, writing and communication skills, GPA and demonstration of academic excellence at Mason or prior institutions, demonstration of professional experience or commitment (through internships or other professional contexts), and résumé. The panel also considers demonstrated merit in academic and extracurricular activities within the CVPA courses when reviewing applications from current students. Academic transcripts on record from the last three years of study will be considered.

Scholarship Application

To apply, submit all required elements below by the deadline:

Part 1.  Personal Information and Creative Work

Part 2.  A film essay (500 to 600 words) on Topic A or Topic B:

Topic A: Discuss how a film – one you worked on or viewed and studied - has changed your life or the lives of others

OR

Topic B: As an interdisciplinary art form, filmmaking touches many disciplines. Discuss the disciplines beyond Film and Video Studies that have influenced your choices and practice as a filmmaker.

Part 3.  OPTIONAL 

If you have financial challenges as a student and filmmaker, please explain why this scholarship is needed. (50 words or less).

Part 4.  One page resume.

Visit Film and Video Studies

Game Design Scholarships

Each year, College of Visual and Performing Arts programs award scholarships to applicants who demonstrate exceptional talent. 

In addition to the scholarships awarded in the sections above, some scholarships are offered by individual major.

Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Scholarship Program

Visit Computer Game Design

School of Music Scholarships

Each year, College of Visual and Performing Arts programs award scholarships to applicants who demonstrate exceptional talent. 

In addition to the scholarships awarded in the sections above, some scholarships are offered by individual major.

The George Mason School of Music is committed to recognizing talent and potential through merit-based scholarship awards. The school prides itself in offering highly competitive awards to a diverse array of students, based on the quality of the audition and priority needs of the school.

Monson Scholars Program

Peterson Family Scholarship Endowment in the Vocal Arts

Visit School of Music Scholarship Page

School of Theater Scholarships

Each year, College of Visual and Performing Arts programs award scholarships to applicants who demonstrate exceptional talent. 

In addition to the scholarships awarded in the sections above, some scholarships are offered by individual major.

Friends of Theater Scholarships

The deadline for application submission is the Monday before Thanksgiving at 5:00pm EST.

Friends of Theater Scholarships are funded by private donations and ARTS by George!

Friends of Theater Scholarships will be awarded for the following Spring semester to students who excel in one or more of the following areas:

  • Performance (Acting, Directing, Musical Theater)
  • Design, Technical Theater, Stage Management
  • Theater Education, Writing, Dramaturgy or Leadership

Criteria

Eligible applicants must be current full-time Theater Majors or students pursuing the Theater Education Concentration, with a 3.0 GPA minimum, who demonstrate commitment to their craft.

A current FAFSA must be on file with Mason’s financial aid office in order to receive scholarship assistance. For more information, visit http://financialaid.gmu.edu.

Application

Submit your complete application (Parts 1-4) via email to kmurra3@gmu.edu, with subject line of FRIENDS SCHOLARSHIP.

Deadline for submission is the Monday before Thanksgiving at 5:00pm. Late applications will not be considered.

Part One: Please include the following information with your scholarship application, and complete Parts 1-3 below:

Name
G#
Concentration of Interest*

* Although you may list more than one area of interest, please submit only one application.

Part Two: Submit an essay. Describe how you demonstrate your personal and professional commitment to the artistic, technical, and/or educational discipline of Theater, as a student and as a member of your community. Cite examples of participation, volunteerism, leadership, and/or outreach, focusing primarily on the past year. Include your plans and intentions for the next several years.

Part Three: Briefly describe your financial need for scholarship consideration.

Part Four: Attach a current resume.

Howard Vincent Kurtz Theater Endowed Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Howard Vincent Kurtz and is awarded to a full-time student pursuing a degree in theater with a concentration in the areas of design and technical theater within the College of Visual and Performing Arts. The student must be a junior or senior and will qualify on the basis of academic merit and financial need. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) must be completed and submitted to the Office of Student Financial Aid by the deadline date in order to determine eligibility for this scholarship. One $1000 award for academic year.

The application includes the following:

  • A one-page essay on the applicant’s post-graduation plans for a career or avocation in the field of technical theater or design for stage or screen;
  • Current contact information, including name, address, phone, email and G#;
  • Current cumulative GPA;
  • A statement of financial need (current FAFSA required to be on file with Mason’s Financial Aid office).

All applicants must submit scholarship application materials electronically through the Financial Aid system. Applications are available beginning in the Spring Semester via the Financial Aid website.

Visit School of Theater

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