Student Resources

Contemporary students are an essential part of the Mason campus. Below are more resources for specific contemporary student communities.

Contemporary Student Advisors are here to support you while you adjust to Mason’s new academic structure. If you’d like to set up a meeting with someone click here.

For students looking for off-campus housing, check out local listing by clicking here.

Join us in the Contemporary Student Lounge in the HUB on the first floor. We have coffee, study space, and chances to get to know your Contemporary Student Advisors and other students!

George Mason University welcomes thousands of transfer students every spring, summer, and fall. Students transfer in from community colleges or universities, return from military service, resume their college education after working full-time, and more! Transfer students may have a variety of questions from transferring credits to getting involved to paying for college. Please refer to the Transfer Resources page or contact our staff at

Apply for the Contemporary Student Advisory Board!  The Student Advisory Board is an opportunity for you to create a Mason that is engaging for all students. It’s a place to share your conners, meet other students like you, and make a positive impact on your peers and campus. All Contemporary Students are welcome! Applications are ongoing. Contact or for more information.

What is a Contemporary Student?

Being a contemporary student means that you may be over 25, didn’t begin college right out of high school, work full-time, are a student with children of your own, are a veteran or are military affiliated, were previously in the foster-care system, are a transfer student, or live off-campus.

Foster Care Alumni
Virginia State Resources 
  • The Education and Training Voucher (ETV) Program assists eligible foster care and adopted teens or young adults with post-secondary education and training expenses. It is designed to help teens or young adults aging out of foster care with the education, training and services needed for employment.Program funds can be applied toward, but not limited to, colleges, universities, community colleges, vocational programs, and one-year training institutions. 
  • Expenses Covered 
  • Tuition and fees 
  • Room and board 
  • Rental or purchase of required equipment, materials or supplies (including a computer) 
  • Allowance for books, supplies and transportation 
  • Required residential training 
  • Special study projects 
  • Child-care 
  • Other related expenses 
  • Application Eligibility 
  • Eligible students must be between 14 – 25 years of age, hold a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED) certificate, enrolled or planning to enroll in a post-secondary education or vocational training program, and meet one of the following requirements: 
  • Currently in foster care or Fostering Futures 
  • Have aged out of foster care or left Fostering Futures after turning 18 
  • Have left foster care through adoption or the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program after turning 16.
  • Applicants must maintain a 2.0 grade point average or make satisfactory progress, and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), if applicable. Students can access ETV funds for a maximum of five years until their 26th birthday, and must apply annually to remain eligible. 
  • Completed applications should be submitted to the local department of social services where the student is, or most recently was, in foster care or Fostering Futures.

  • Fostering Futures
  • Fostering Futures is a foster care program available to teens and young adults in foster care after they turn 18. This voluntary program allows your local department of social services (LDSS) to provide you with financial and social support and services until you are 21 years old. It can cover things like housing (with your foster parents, room and board at school, or supervised independent living when you are ready), education and/or job training assistance, and other independent living needs specifically for you.
    • If, on or after July 1, 2016, you turned 18 in foster care; or, you turned 18 while in a DJJ facility but had been in foster care when you entered; you may be eligible. 
    • Your commitment to go to school, vocational training, or work 
    • Your willingness to continue to work with your foster care worker 
    • Your participation in the development of a transition plan and efforts to achieve your goals 
    • Completion of the Voluntary Continuing Services and Support Agreement (VCSSA) 
    • Your attendance at court hearing(s), administrative review(s), and case planning meetings
    • You may apply for Fostering Futures anytime between 18 and 21 years of age. 
    • Before 18: Talk with your foster care worker and begin making plans 
    • Between 18-21: If you have left foster care, contact your LDSS and speak with your former foster care worker or another agency representative about Fostering Future 
  • National University Resources 
  • Oklahoma State R4T Fund  
    • The R4T Fund primarily provides a final safety net for individual, current foster alumni college students who are at risk for dropout due to financial challenges. It is intended to be secondary to existing campus-based assistance and campus-based Foundation crisis/emergency funds. It is a grant to the student and repayment is not required; however, students with temporary needs for whom additional funding becomes available are strongly encouraged to later donate R4T funds back to the RisforThursday Fund so that they can be used by other students during their times of financial need.  
    • FCAA is a national advocacy group with regional chapters.  
    • This toolkit includes tips and resources intended to help foster youth access and navigate social, emotional, educational and skills barriers as they transition into adulthood, continue to postsecondary education and set out on a career with personal fulfillment. The toolkit is written for foster youth and is also meant to be a resource for caseworkers, care givers, teachers and mentors.
Transfer Students

George Mason University welcomes thousands of transfer students every spring, summer, and fall. Students transfer in from community colleges or universities, return from military service, resume their college education after working full-time, and more! Transfer students may have a variety of questions from transferring credits to getting involved to paying for college. Please refer to the Transfer Resources page or contact our staff at 

Mason Online Learners

At MasonOnline online learners can find important resources.

  • If you would like to show your Mason pride by receiving some free swag sign up here:
  • If you’re are a fully online Mason student and would like to provide feedback about your experiences, we would appreciate your time and perspectives! Please connect with us!
Adult Learners
  • The complexity of adult lives means they have needs that differ from those of traditional-age students. Adult college students face the challenges of balancing school with work, parenting and other responsibilities. As the proportion of adult students grow on college campuses more services for adult learners are being cultivated to support them in degree completion.  
  • Every semester events are held specifically for adult learners to help with their academic and social transition to the university. To find events, download the Mason360 app or go to the website and use the “Adult Learners (25+)” tag to find events just for you.
Members of the Military and Veterans

The Office of Military Services provides Mason students with tailored benefits counselings, admissions support, and opportunities to build community for members of the military, veterans, and their families.

Students Who Are Parenting

Whether studying as undergraduate or graduate students, parenting and expecting students are valued contributors to the Mason community. Contemporary Student Services coordinates with faculty, staff, and outside organizations to provide information that meets the unique needs of Mason’s student-parent population.

On this website, pregnant and parenting students can find resources for academic support, food and housing security, child care, health care, and more. Faculty and staff are encouraged to review the suggested syllabus statement and FAQs to learn more about student-parent support on campus.

Additionally, some offices on campus have been denoted as “Kid Friendly” areas to bring your children during advising appointments or meetings with staff members. These offices have a Kid Krate filled with games, toys, and art supplies to entertain your child while you get the information you need to be successful. A complete list of offices with Kid Krates can be found on our Initiatives page.

Off Campus Students

The goal of Contemporary Student Services is to give off-campus students the resources they need to be academically and socially engaged with University Life and assist in the transition to Mason and to off-campus life. 

More information on resources can be found on the Off Campus Students Housing Finder and Renters Resources website.

The Off-Campus Student Lounge is located in The Hub. There you’ll find a comfortable place to connect with other students or do homework in a casual environment – complete with coffee, a microwave, refrigerator, and programs!

Financial Resources for Contemporary Students

Programs for Contemporary students that may help you complete your degree at Mason. Please look into them and reach out George Mason Financial Aid Office for any questions: 

Child Tax Credit 

Eligible individuals may receive up to $3,600 for each child under age 6 and up to $3,000 for each child ages 6 through 17. Eligible families will receive the other half by claiming the child tax credit when filing their 2021 federal income tax return in 2022. Most families can receive the full amount—even families with little to no income.  

Most parents should have received the tax credit automatically, but if for some reason they did not and they are eligible, then they should receive the full amount of the credit when they file their income tax return.   

 Recovery Rebate Credit / Economic Impact Payment 

Students who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment under the American Rescue Plan, and on whose behalf as a dependent a payment was not made, could be eligible for a $1,400 per-person Recovery Rebate Credit when they file taxes in 2022. To be eligible for the full amount, a student would typically have to be: 

  • single and make less than $75,000/year;  
  • the head of a household and make less than $112,500/year; or  
  • married and the couple together makes less than $150,000.  

For more information on eligibility, visit the IRS website on Economic Impact Payments.  

 Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) 

Students may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a Federal program that provides nutrition benefits to supplement the food budget of low-income individuals and families so they can purchase healthy food. Eligible students can use SNAP benefits to buy food for their households, including fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, breads, cereals, and other foods such as snack foods and non-alcoholic beverages. 

Students can find their local office or State SNAP webpage using the SNAP State Directory of Resources. For more information about student eligibility and other student exemptions, visit the SNAP Students webpage. 

Affordable Connectivity Program 

Eligible households can receive a benefit of up to $30 off their monthly internet bill (or up to $75 per month if the household resides on qualifying Tribal lands). Students can apply herestarting on December 31, 2021. Households are required to contribute more than $10 but less than $50 toward that connected device.  

Eligible households must both apply for the program and contact a participating provider to select a service plan. To receive this benefit, a student will need to provide documentation that the student received a Federal Pell Grant for the current award year. 

There are three ways for eligible households to apply: 

  1. Contact a participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process. If an eligible household is unable to apply directly, it may apply by using option 2 or 3 below, and then contacting a participating provider to select a service plan. 
  1. Go to to apply online and to find local participating providers. After applying, contact a participating provider to select a service plan. 
  1. Call (877) 384-2575 for a mail-in application or print a copy, and return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to: 

Affordable Connectivity Program Support Center
P.O. Box 7081
London, KY 40742 

The student may provide along with their application a screenshot from the student’s profile that displays their receipt of the Federal Pell Grant or other records provided by the IHE to serve as that documentation. 


Other Federal Assistance 

Below, we also include an illustrative list of federal programs that we encourage IHEs to engage in broad outreach around, but for which IHEs are not at this time permitted to use FAFSA data to engage in those communications. For federal programs that, at this time, have not been designated under the Higher Education Act, the Department still encourages institutions of higher education to broadly inform their campus communities about their availability. However, because they are not been designated, the IHEs are not permitted to use FAFSA data in those communications. Below are illustrative examples of federal assistance that some students may quality for. 

 Unemployment Insurance 

If students have become unemployed through no fault of their own (as determined under State law), and meet other eligibility requirements of State law, they may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits. 

  • Unemployment insurance payments (benefits) are intended to provide temporary financial assistance to unemployed workers who meet the requirements of State law. 
  • Each State administers a separate unemployment insurance program within guidelines established by Federal law. 
  • Eligibility for unemployment insurance, benefit amounts, and the length of time benefits are available are determined by the State law under which unemployment insurance claims are established. 

Students can contact their State Unemployment Insurance agency as soon as possible after becoming unemployed. 

 Housing Assistance 

The American Rescue Plan expanded numerous COVID-19 housing supports for homeowners, renters and landlords who may be struggling to pay their rent or mortgage. We encourage IHEs to inform students about the Homeowners Assistance Fund (HAF) and local Emergency Rental Assistance programs. Links to available resources and applications are available through the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.