Contemporary students are an 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 facing financial difficulties related to your off-campus living situation, the COVID-19 Resource page on the Off-Campus Housing Finder has been set up to supply you with local resources. You can access these resources by clicking here.

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 

  • Transfer Student Advisory Board 
    • Want to have your voice heard and make a difference at Mason? Join the Transfer Student Advisory Board! Led by the Vice President of University Life, this board meets twice a semester to talk about your experience as a transfer student. For more information, contact
  • Mason Student Services Center 
    • The Mason Student Services Center (MSSC) is your first stop and central resource for information and solutions related to registration, enrollment, financial aid, billing, academic records and other student support services. Here, a team of cross-trained representatives provide their assistance and expertise for new and continuing students at all points of the academic year. MSSC is located on the first floor of Sub I.  
  • Office of Transfer Services
    • Located in the Johnson Center, room 213, the Office of Transfer Services is able to 
      • Assist with your application to Mason 
      • Answer questions on transfer requirements 
      • Offer guidance on what course work may transfer to Mason. If you do not have all of your transcripts, be sure to bring copies with you. 
      • Counsel students on the Guaranteed Admissions Agreement (GAA) 
      • Provide general guidance throughout the transfer process 
  • Tau Sigma Honor Society
    • Tau Sigma is a nationally recognized honor society for exceptional transfer students. The goal of the Mason Beta Nu Chapter is to support and motivate transfer students and to spotlight their excellence to the greater Mason community. 
  • Transfer Student Events
    • Every semester events are held specifically for transfer students to help with your academic and social transition to the university. To find events, download the Mason360 app or go to the website and use the “Transfer Student” tag to find events just for you.  

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!

Apply for the Contemporary Student Advisory Board! Applications close September 8th. Board members support the Mason community in creating a more supportive environment for all contemporary students.

Learning Services Video Tutorials

Learning Services Video Tutorials

Tips for Being Successful in Online Courses

Tips for Being Successful in Online Courses

Tips for Student Parents in College

Tips for Student Parents in College

Approaching Your Faculty as a Contemporary Student

Approaching Your Faculty as a Contemporary Student

News: Call Them What They Are (2017)

News: Call Them What They Are (2017)

News: College Students are More Diverse Than Ever

News: College Students are More Diverse Than Ever