Following is detailed information that provides answers to some of the most frequently-asked questions from applicants to the Juris Doctor program at George Mason School of Law. Questions are grouped in five broad areas. We encourage all potential applicants to review materials on this page prior to contacting our office with questions. All of the most commonly-asked questions about admissions are found here.
Note: The Admissions Office will begin accepting applications for fall admission on October 1. Applications received prior to that time will be held and processed in early fall.
- Can you tell me about your law school and the JD application process?
- General Information
- Law & Economics at George Mason
- Rigorous Legal Research and Writing Program at George Mason
- Opportunities for Specialization: Tracks & Concentrations
- Student Population
- Full-Time and Part-Time Programs
- Is it easier to gain admission to the part-time program?
- If I enter the part-time program and want to transfer to the full-time program after the first year, may I?
- How many credit hours are required?
- May I take a couple of courses at the law school prior to being admitted to the JD program?
- General Admissions Information/Application Process
- What were the medians for fall 2013?
- How many applications do you receive? How many applicants do you accept?
- When will George Mason begin accepting fall applications to the J.D. program?
- Does George Mason have rolling admissions?
- Does George Mason have an early decision process?
- What is George Mason's application deadline?
- Does applying early help one's chances of gaining admission to George Mason?
- What if I'm on the Wait List? What can I do to increase my chances of gaining admission?
- Requirements to Be Considered for Admission
- Application Form
- Bachelor's Degree Required
- Is there a required or preferred undergraduate major? Are there courses I must take to qualify for law school?
- Are there any specific courses I should take to help prepare me for law school?
- My undergraduate GPA is not as high as it should be. This is because I started in one major and did poorly. Once I changed majors, all my grades were high. Will George Mason look only at the last 60 credit hours? Or only at my major GPA?
- I have an undergraduate degree and a master's degree. I did not do very well undergrad, but I did very well in my graduate program. Which GPA will be considered? Can you consider my graduate GPA instead of my undergrad GPA?
- My LSAT or GPA is lower than George Mason's medians. Is there any chance I will be admitted?
- The LSAT
- May I take the December or February LSAT?
- Do I need to prepare for the LSAT? Should I take a prep course? If so, which one?
- I have already taken the LSAT and did not do as well as I thought I would. Should I take the LSAT again?
- If I take the LSAT more than once, will you consider the high score or an average?
- Is there a minimum LSAT score required?
- I just don't do well on standardized tests. Should I explain that in my personal statement?
- Other Helpful Information
- I earned my undergraduate degree overseas. Is there anything I must do with respect to my foreign degree?
- Does George Mason require a Dean's Certification as part of the application?
- How many letters of recommendation are required?
- Does George Mason require that letters of recommendation be submitted through the Law Services Letter of Recommendation Service?
- May I use my college's credential evaluation service and recommendation forms instead of the George Mason forms?
- May I submit more than two letters of recommendation?
- Who should write my letters of recommendation?
- I've been out of college for a long time and may not be able to get letters of recommendation from college professors. What should I do?
- May I submit a resume with my application?
- Is there a preferred topic for the personal statement?
- My personal statement is longer than 500 words. Is that a problem?
- Does George Mason give preference to Virginia applicants or to applicants from certain parts of the Commonwealth?
- Are Personal Interviews Required?
- Must I disclose information about prior or pending criminal, disciplinary, or academic problems in my application?
- I did some stupid things in high school and college - alcohol violations, fraternity pranks, etc. Will these past indiscretions prevent me from being admitted to law school?
- Can I visit the law school and sit in on a class?
- Does George Mason ever have any Information Sessions?
- Admission and Decision to Attend George Mason
- If I am admitted to George Mason, how long will I have to decide if I will attend? Does George Mason require seat deposits?
- If I am admitted to George Mason, may I defer my admission to the next year?
- Where are George Mason's law classes held?
- Can I get to George Mason Law by Metro?
- Tuition, Fees, and Financing
- What is the cost of attendance at Mason?
- What if the seat deposit date is approaching and I am not sure whether I want to attend George Mason?
- Are seat deposits credited toward tuition?
- Are seat deposits refundable in whole or in part?
- When is tuition due?
- Is financial aid available?
- What forms must I submit to be considered for financial aid?
- Are federal student loans available?
- Are private student loans available?
- What if I have undergraduate student loans? Can I defer repayment while in law school?
- Are there any scholarships available?
- Must my parents disclose their financial information?
- Do I need to do anything special in order to be considered for scholarship money?
- How many students are awarded scholarship money each year?
- Does George Mason offer in-state tuition rates for Virginians?
- If I am an out-of-state student for my first year at George Mason, is it possible for me to qualify for in-state tuition by my second year?
- Admissions Office Staff — Contact Information
As a starting point, it is generally most useful for prospective applicants to visit our website (www.law.gmu.edu), as well as the websites of other law schools in which they are interested. The time admissions counselors spend talking with prospective applicants can be used more effectively if individuals have done some background investigation beforehand. It is always better for us to talk with individuals about their unique situations and interests, rather than reciting information that is readily available on the web. Likewise, reviewing the general information posted often helps prospective applicants formulate specific questions that are most important to them.
George Mason University School of Law is a public law school, being part of the Virginia state university system. Located in Arlington, Virginia, just minutes from downtown Washington, D.C., George Mason offers tremendous opportunities to its students. We have an outstanding faculty, a state-of-the-art facility, and a student body whose diversity and talents are unrivaled.
The best way to learn about any law school is to peruse information about special programs, course descriptions, required courses, faculty biographies, and current events at the law school (guest lectures, conferences, etc.). By reviewing this information, one can get a sense of the strengths and weaknesses of the different law schools, where the schools direct their resources, and other important features of the school.
Review basic statistics for George Mason Law, including J.D. enrollment, test scores, undergraduate g.p.a.s, curriculum, faculty, fees and bar passage rates in the ABA/LSAC Official Guide to ABA-Approved Law Schools.
At George Mason, we have an interdisciplinary approach with a focus on law & economics. A number of our faculty members have PhDs in Economics in addition to law degrees. All students are required to take a class covering basic microeconomic concepts that are essential to understanding the economic implications of legal rules. No prior knowledge of economics is required or expected. In addition, many of our professors will bring economic theory into other substantive law courses such as Torts and Contracts.
Basic knowledge of economic theory is invaluable in gaining a sophisticated legal education and in developing as an attorney. Our students become versed in public choice theory, cost-benefit analysis and basic statistical methods. With these tools, our graduates are ready to take on complex analysis of legal problems and policies in the current economic and legal climate.
At George Mason, we have a strong and unique legal research and writing program. Students take four semesters of legal research and writing that trains them in the following: (1) basic legal research tools (books and electronic resources included); (2) legal memo writing; (3) trial level writing and oral argument of a motion; (4) brief writing and oral argument of an appeal; and (5) drafting other legal documents, such as contracts and other transactional documents. In addition, as part of our Legal Research, Writing & Analysis Program, all students must do two oral arguments before judges and practitioners from the community. Most law schools require only one or two semesters of legal research and writing classes, usually focusing on basic research tools, memo and brief writing. At George Mason, we ensure that our students are exposed to many of the actual types of legal documents they will see when they enter practice. Our legal research and writing program equips our students to hit the ground running when they start their summer and permanent jobs in law firms, government agencies or other organizations.
The first-year curriculum at most law schools is prescribed - students take required core courses in contracts, torts, property, criminal law and civil procedure. Law students may specialize in a particular area of substantive law, although they are not required to do so. It is during the second year that students will begin to take electives and to focus their legal studies in areas of law that interest them. At George Mason students have an opportunity to specialize in a particular area of law by choosing to pursue one of our tracks or concentrations after their first year of study.
Through our specialty tracks, students may acquire a sophisticated understanding of particular substantive areas of law usually gained only after years of practice or through advanced legal study. The three track programs focus on Litigation Law, Patent Law, and Regulatory Law. Students pursuing a track will take a number of courses in the particular area of specialization and write a thesis.
Alternatively, students may pursue one of the law school's concentrations. We offer concentrations in Technology Law, Corporate and Securities Law, Patent Law, Homeland & National Security Law, general Intellectual Property Law, International Business Law, Litigation Law, Regulatory Law, Communications Law, Personal Law, Criminal Law, International Business Law, Legal & Economic Theory, and Tax Law. Students who choose to specialize will begin to take the electives that are required in each of the specialization programs during the second year.
The majority of our students will pursue the General Law Program, picking and choosing electives as their interests develop.
In any given semester, we generally have between 500-600 students in our JD program. Our fall 2013 entering class was made up of 151 new first-year students, holding 22 advanced degrees, including 9 MAs, 7 MSs, 1 MBA, 1 MFA, 1 MPP, and 3 PhDs. We also welcomed 12 transfer students.
George Mason offers both a three-year full-time and a four-year part-time program. In recent years the entering full-time class has been roughly three times the size of the part-time class.
Students in the full-time program attend classes during the day (day classes are scheduled between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.). Students in the part-time program attend classes in the evenings (evening classes are scheduled between the hours of 6:00 and 10:00 p.m.) and take fewer classes.
Students who are enrolled as full-time law students may not work more than 20 hours a week.
No. Our admission standards are the same for the full-time and part-time programs. However, there is typically a much greater demand for full-time seats.
If I enter the part-time program and want to transfer to the full-time program after the first year, may I?
Yes. After the first year, students may transfer from the full-time to the part-time program, and vice versa, on a semester basis. Students frequently make such changes to accommodate employment opportunities and schedules.
In order to earn a JD at George Mason, students must successfully complete a total of 89 credit hours.
Full-time students take 12-15 credit hours per semester; part-time students take 8-12 credit hours. During the first year, full-time students will complete 30 credit hours (full-time students carry 15 credit hours in each of the first and second semesters); part-time students will complete 23 credit hours (part-time students carry 11 credit hours during the first semester and 12 credit hours during the second semester).
No. Our law school classes are open only to those students who have been through our application process and admitted to our degree program. It is important that law students take courses in the prescribed order.
As a preview, our fall application, along with detailed instructions, is posted in the admissions section of our website. To apply you must go through LSAC. If you have questions about the admissions process, you should contact the Admissions Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (703) 993-8010.
The fall 2013 matriculants had a median LSAT of 161 and a median GPA of 3.59.
Generally we receive between 4,000 and 5,000 applications for fall admission. We make offers of admission to approximately 20-25% of our applicant pool.
We will accept applications beginning on October 1.
Yes. We will make decisions on a rolling basis beginning in late December and continuing into May, June and July -- until we complete the admissions process.
Yes. We do have an early decision process. Early decision applications are due by December 15. All application materials with the exception of December LSAT scores, must be in to LSAC by that date. We will make decisions on those applications in early January and notify applicants by January 15.
Our fall application deadline is April 1. We admit students to begin in the fall semester only. There are no spring admissions.
Applying early does not significantly increase one's chances of gaining admission. We make admission decisions very carefully throughout the process. It is not our goal to fill our entering class in the early months of the admissions cycle. Rather, if an outstanding applicant submits his or her application on the deadline date (April 1), we will have space available for that person. We do our best to admit very strong applicants very quickly; we deny very weak applicants quickly; and many strong applicants may be asked to wait until we have had a chance to see how the entire applicant pool shapes up. Therefore, many applicants will not receive a final decision until well after the April 1 application deadline.
Each year we invite a number of strong applicants to be on our wait list. We do not rank our wait list. As we are able to offer admission to applicants on our wait list, we will review the entire list.
We appreciate that the law school admissions process can be very difficult and filled with anxiety - particularly for individuals on the wait list. Therefore, we will do our best to keep all applicants apprised of how our decision-making is coming along. If you are an applicant who has been asked to wait for a final decision, we will try to send you regular updates to let you know when we might have a final decision for you.
If you are on our wait list, you may submit additional information to supplement your application to email@example.com. However, you should not feel compelled to do so. If you have submitted a complete application and have nothing further to add, the only thing you should do is wait.
If you are invited to be on our wait list, please understand that final decisions for wait-listed applicants can sometimes come as late as July or August.
There are a number of requirements that you must satisfy in order to be considered for admission to our JD program. Please be sure that you carefully review the instructions that accompany our application form. You can view application forms and information on our website, but you must apply through LSAC.
You must complete and submit our application form, along with two letters of recommendation, resume, transcripts, and a 500-word personal statement.
To be considered for admission to our JD program, you must have completed your bachelor's degree or be in the final year of your bachelor's degree program. (If you apply and are admitted during your final year of college, your admission is contingent upon your completing your bachelor's degree prior to the start of fall semester law classes.)
Is there a required or preferred undergraduate major? Are there courses I must take to qualify for law school?
Unlike medical school, law school does not require specific pre-law courses. Law schools admit individuals who have majored in a variety of fields - math, accounting, biology, English, economics, history, political science, music, engineering, etc. Historically, many applicants to law schools have had liberal arts backgrounds. In the past 15 years, we have begun to see more and more applicants who have backgrounds in the hard sciences, computer science, and engineering, particularly among individuals who are interested in pursuing careers in intellectual property law.
What is most important is that you major in a field of study that you enjoy and that you advance in your coursework. Students tend to perform better in courses in which they are interested. Law schools will review your transcripts to see that you took upper level courses during your junior and senior years.
It will be useful if you take at least a couple of courses that will require you to write substantial research papers. (In law school, as well as in the practice of law, you will do a great deal of research and writing). Other courses that may help you prepare for the type of work you will be doing in law school: logic, accounting, microeconomics, business law (or any course that is taught by the case method), and any course that introduces you to the American legal system. Some colleges also offer very helpful courses in legal research and writing.
My undergraduate GPA is not as high as it should be. This is because I started in one major and did poorly. Once I changed majors, all my grades were high. Will George Mason look only at the last 60 credit hours? Or only at my major GPA?
In the admissions process, we consider your cumulative GPA - for all semesters of your undergraduate studies. However, we will review your transcripts and take note of trends and improvements.
I have an undergraduate degree and a master's degree. I did not do very well undergrad, but I did very well in my graduate program. Which GPA will be considered? Can you consider my graduate GPA instead of my undergrad GPA?
The undergraduate cumulative GPA for the first bachelor's degree earned is the statistic that is used for admissions purposes. We will receive copies of your undergraduate and graduate transcripts with your CAS report and certainly will evaluate your graduate work and take into account the course of graduate study you pursued. However, in terms of the objective, numerical factors, your undergraduate GPA is the one that will be considered in our admissions process.
A large majority of applicants do not have LSATs and GPAs that both exceed our medians. Realistically, the closer an applicant comes to meeting our medians, the greater the likelihood of his or her gaining admission to George Mason. However, we have many students who have a weak LSAT but a very strong GPA; we have students who did very poorly at the undergraduate level but did well professionally and earned a strong LSAT score; we have students who performed poorly in college and on the LSAT, but who have strong graduate records and professional accomplishments. Applications are reviewed in their entirety. No decisions are made on the basis of LSAT and/or GPA exclusively.
You must take the LSAT in order to be considered for admission. You can get information about the LSAT at http://www.lsac.org.
Yes. The latest score we will consider for fall admission is the score from the February LSAT of the year in which you hope to gain admission. Be sure that you check with each of the schools to which you intend to apply. The February score may come too late for some law schools' application deadlines.
Your goal should be to prepare as much as you need to for the LSAT and to take the LSAT only once (and of course, to earn a very strong score).
We strongly recommend against individuals taking the LSAT cold. The LSAT is a difficult test, and anyone taking it should do some preparation. There is no one course or method of preparation that will work for everyone. It is important for you to investigate the different prep courses, prep materials available in most book stores, and/or the availability of individual tutoring. You can purchase past LSAT tests and practice on those (go to www.lsac.org for more information about purchasing past tests). Some of the prep courses are quite expensive and may not be the best method for you. You may be a person who is very disciplined and will do best to do practice tests and prepare on your own. Or, you may be a person who needs the structure of a course. As a starting point, review the information on the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) web site (www.lsac.org). Talk with people you know who have taken the LSAT and get their suggestions. Look through prep materials in the legal reference or test prep section of a bookstore.
Because LSAT prep is really an individual thing, we do not recommend one prep course over another. You need to do some independent investigation and determine which approach will work best for you. We do not recommend or endorse specific prep courses.
I have already taken the LSAT and did not do as well as I thought I would. Should I take the LSAT again?
If your LSAT score is weak and you think you can improve your LSAT score significantly, you should consider taking the test again. You should also consider whether there is a different method of preparation you should follow in order to increase the likelihood of raising your score.
We will receive each LSAT score from LSAC and, therefore, will see if there has been significant improvement. However, for statistical purposes, we will consider the high score of any LSAT scores that you earned in the past 5 years. For fall admission, scores earned between June 2008 and February 2013 will be considered.
No. We do not have a minimum LSAT score. We will consider every application in its entirety. No one factor is determinative of whether an applicant will be admitted.
We do not recommend that you use your entire personal statement to explain poor LSAT score. If you wish, you may include a separate addendum discussing your performance on the LSAT.
The LSAT score is a very important factor in the admissions process at all law schools. It is not the sole factor that will determine whether you are admitted, but it is one of the main indicators of your likelihood of succeeding in law school. Therefore, your LSAT score will be given very careful consideration.
It seems that some individuals give up on doing well on the LSAT - even before they take it - because they believe that they just don't do well on standardized tests. We urge you not to do that. There are individuals who did not do well on the SATs or GREs, but who prepared adequately and did very well on the LSAT. Not having tested well on prior standardized tests does not necessarily mean that you will not do well on the LSAT. Prepare and practice - and take the LSAT with confidence!
As part of the law school application process, you also must register with the LSAC's Credential Assembly Service (CAS) if you earned or are completing your bachelor's degree at a college or university in the U.S. You can get information about and subscribe to CAS at www.lsac.org.
You must have your transcripts - undergraduate and graduate - sent to the CAS. CAS will produce a comprehensive report that will be forwarded to all law schools to which you apply for use in the admissions process. Do not forward official transcripts directly to George Mason. They must go through CAS for admissions purposes. It is the responsibility of each applicant to be sure that all information has been sent to CAS and that your subscription with CAS is current so that the CAS report will be sent to us.
If you are admitted and decide to attend George Mason, you will be required to send us final, official transcripts prior to beginning fall semester classes.
I earned my undergraduate degree overseas. Is there anything I must do with respect to my foreign degree?
If you earned your degree overseas, you must have your foreign transcripts evaluated to show the U.S. equivalency of your foreign course of study. You must have earned the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree in order to be considered for admission to our law school. Please be sure that you provide a course-by-course evaluation. You need not provide us copies or translations of your transcripts.
We require that your foreign transcripts be submitted through the LSAC Credential Assembly Service.
You can get detailed information at www.lsac.org.
No, we do not require a Dean's Certification as part of the application.
We require two letters of recommendation.
Does George Mason require that letters of recommendation be submitted through the Law Services Letter of Recommendation Service?
We prefer that applicants submit letters through the LSAC Letter of Recommendation Service. However, if your recommenders prefer to submit letters directly, they may do so using the letter of recommendation form (be sure to scroll down the page until you reach the recommendation form).
May I use my college's credential evaluation service and recommendation forms instead of the George Mason forms?
Yes. We will accept individual college credential evaluation or recommendation forms instead of the George Mason form.
Yes - but you certainly are not required to. LSAC will accept and send up to three letters to us, and we will consider all of them.
We like to see at least one letter from an undergraduate or graduate professor or instructor. The other letter can come from a work supervisor or colleague. What is most important is that the individuals who are recommending you really know you and can speak to your abilities, work ethic, character, etc.
I've been out of college for a long time and may not be able to get letters of recommendation from college professors. What should I do?
We like to see at least one academic recommendation, particularly if an applicant is just completing college or has recently graduated. However, if you have been out of college for a number of years, it is not necessary that you provide an academic reference. You may submit two letters from work supervisors, colleagues, etc. What is most important is that your letters of recommendation come from individuals who really know you and can speak to your work abilities, work ethic, character, and skills that will allow you to succeed in law school.
Yes. All applicants must submit a resume.
Your personal statement can be on any topic. The personal statement gives you the opportunity to tell the Admissions Committee about yourself in addition to the academic and professional accomplishments listed in your application. Use the personal statement to help the Admissions Committee learn more about you.
You may choose to write about a person who was a major influence in your life. You may write about a significant obstacle that you have had to overcome. You may choose to write about one significant experience you have had over the course of your life. You may even choose to write about why you wish to attend law school, what your ultimate goals are, and/or how you came to your decision to pursue a legal career. What you write about is entirely up to you.
In addition to learning more about you, the Admissions Committee looks to the personal statement to evaluate your writing ability. Be sure you use proper grammar, good paragraph construction, and convey your message in a concise manner. Proofread your statement to be sure there are no typos. And, most importantly, be yourself in your personal statement. Do not try to use big words and complex sentences to impress. Write clearly and concisely to convey your message.
We strongly prefer that you stay within the 500-word limit. However, we do not count words and penalize applicants for overages. If your statement is 550 or 650 words, that's fine. If your statement is 2,000 words, you should try to rework it to get the word count closer to 500.
Does George Mason give preference to Virginia applicants or to applicants from certain parts of the Commonwealth?
No. Applications are reviewed in their entirety, and admission offers are made to the most desirable candidates without regard to geographic distribution or residency.
No. We do not conduct personal interviews as part of the admissions process for first year admissions.
Must I disclose information about prior or pending criminal, disciplinary, or academic problems in my application?
Yes. It is extremely important that you describe details of any criminal, disciplinary and/or academic actions in response to questions in the Character and Fitness section of our application. Failure to disclose this information can result in serious problems, both in relation to your law school application (we have revoked acceptances in the past in cases in which we learned of the applicant's failure to disclose information) and in applying for admission to the bar in any state. State boards of bar examiners will conduct character and fitness investigations to determine if you are fit for admission to the bar. Those investigations typically include criminal background checks, as well as review of your law school application, undergraduate record and law school record. It is critically important that your disclosures of the type of information requested in our Character and Fitness section questions be complete, truthful and consistent in your law school and bar applications.
I did some stupid things in high school and college - alcohol violations, fraternity pranks, etc. Will these past indiscretions prevent me from being admitted to law school?
First and most important: Disclose everything about events that resulted in criminal or disciplinary actions.
Second: The fact that you were a teenager or college student who did not use perfect judgment at all times will not necessarily bar you from admission to law school or from admission to one or more state bars. In terms of admission to law school, we will consider everything in your application. If you have a DUI in your record, or if you got caught spreading toilet paper on campus, etc., it is still possible to gain admission to law school.
If you have a pattern of criminal activity, or have shown a pattern of very poor judgment, that may pose a problem in gaining admission to law school and/or to the bar. If you have been convicted of one or more felonies, or have abused positions of trust in which you have been placed, you could have a problem gaining admission to law school and/or to the bar. In the past, we have contacted applicants to make them aware of problems that may lie ahead in terms of gaining bar admission, and to urge them to contact the board of bar examiners in the state in which they ultimately wish to practice. If you have serious criminal convictions in your record, and if you are an applicant we would like to admit, we may contact you to discuss your particular situation.
Applicants are welcome to visit our law school for a tour and class visit. Please check our web site at tour schedule.
Yes. We will have information sessions in the fall. Please check the information session schedule.
We do our best to help each admitted applicant learn as much as possible about our law school and to feel good about his or her decision to join our law school community. Once you are admitted, you will receive multiple mailings from us and will be kept apprised of law school news. We host an Open House in the spring to provide the opportunity for you to meet some members of our faculty and student body. You should also stay in touch with us. Be sure that all of your questions are answered and that you have complete information before you make the important decision of which law school you will attend. Call or e-mail us as often as you wish. When you call our office, you generally will not get a recording; we each answer our own telephone lines (see below for listing of names, e-mail addresses and direct lines of our admissions office staff). Our job is to serve our applicants and students and to provide whatever assistance you need.
If I am admitted to George Mason, how long will I have to decide if I will attend? Does George Mason require seat deposits?
If you are offered admission to George Mason prior to April 1, you will have to make a first seat deposit in April (the first deposit will be in the amount of $750.00). You will be required to make a second seat deposit in June (in the amount of $250.00).
If you are admitted after April 1, you will have at least 2-4 weeks to make your seat deposits (the length of time you will have will depend upon how late in the spring or summer you are admitted).
We review requests for deferral on a case-by-case basis. If you are considering requesting a deferral, please contact Associate Dean and Director of Admissions Alison Price to talk about your situation (firstname.lastname@example.org) - before you make any seat deposits. If you make seat deposits and subsequently defer your admission, your seat deposits will be forfeited.
Law classes are held in Hazel Hall or Founders Hall located on the Arlington Campus on Fairfax Drive, Arlington Virginia.
Yes. George Mason Law is on the Orange Line of the Metro - one block from the Virginia Square/GMU station.
Costs of attending law school have risen substantially across the country in recent years, and most students rely heavily on financial aid. At Mason, we work with students to acquire the necessary financial aid, and we offer limited scholarships.
Comparatively, Mason provides good value in legal education. For estimated costs for full-time and part-time students, go to www.law.gmu.edu/financing.
What if the seat deposit date is approaching and I am not sure whether I want to attend George Mason?
Choosing the right law school is a big decision, and you must carefully consider location, course offerings, bar passage, employment prospects, other personal considerations, and—of course—costs of attendance. We encourage you to make the decision that is right for you! Even if you ultimately choose another school over Mason, you are welcome to consider visiting status for a semester to investigate the public service employment opportunities available in the D.C. area or to take some of our specialized courses in intellectual property law, law and economics, or Virginia practice, while potentially enjoying the benefit of lower tuition costs.
As you are making your final decision, you should feel free to keep in touch with our Admissions Office. The Admissions Office staff members are here to help you. Call or visit to talk with us; let us know how we can help you at every step of the way.
Yes. The seat deposits that you make prior to matriculating will be credited to your first semester tuition.
No. Seat deposits are completely non-refundable. If you make your seat deposits and subsequently decide that you will not attend George Mason, you will forfeit your seat deposits.
Tuition is due on a semester basis, on the first day of each semester.
Yes. George Mason students may receive scholarship funds and loan funds.Visit the Office of Student Financial Aid at financialaid.gmu.edu.
The only form that you must complete for our financial aid purposes is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can complete the FAFSA form online at www.fafsa.ed.gov/. We do not require that you submit any additional forms to be considered either for loans or scholarships.
Most George Mason law students rely very heavily on the federal student loan programs.
With the unsubsidized Stafford loan, Mason law students may borrow a maximum of $20,500* a year. The interest accrues on the unsubsidized loan on a quarterly basis while in school, and the student has the option to pay the interest; otherwise, it will be capitalized upon repayment.
Graduate and professional students may participate also in the Federal Graduate PLUS loan. Students may borrow up to the cost of attendance minus any federal Stafford loans and scholarships. Eligibility is not based on household income, assets, or financial need, but it is determined by personal credit history. Many students with limited or no credit history can qualify.
Yes. If you need loans in excess of $20,500 per year, you may borrow additional amounts from private lenders. George Mason University works with a number of different private lenders. You should work with your financial aid counselor to line up private loans during the spring or summer prior to the start of school.
Yes. If you have federally-guaranteed student loans, you may defer repayment of those loans while you are in law school. Be sure that you obtain a deferment form from your lender prior to the start of law school. Once you begin law classes, our law school registrar will certify that you are enrolled in law school, and your loans can be deferred.
Yes. We have limited scholarship funds available. We award all of our available scholarship monies based upon merit (we have no purely need-based scholarship funds available).
No. Only the student's financial information must be provided on the FAFSA. George Mason Law does not require any additional forms from students wishing to be considered for institutional scholarship funds. For purposes of obtaining financial aid at George Mason - either in loan or scholarship form - no parental information is required. This may not be the case at all law schools to which you apply, so be sure to inquire of each law school in which you are interested.
No. Each applicant who is admitted to our law school is considered for a scholarship award. We determine who will be awarded the available scholarship funds based upon the strength of applications for admission.
We have limited scholarship funds available. None of our current students receives a full tuition award for all three or four years (with the exception of our Levy Fellows - we award three full-tuition Levy Fellowships each year to individuals who have PhDs in economics or a related field). Fortunately, however, each year we receive more and more funds from alumni, law firms and other organizations who become supporters of our law school.
Currently scholarship awards range in amount from $5,000 to $20,000.
Yes. George Mason offers lower tuition rates for individuals domiciled in Virginia. For more detailed information about domicile, please go to http://registrar.gmu.edu/domicile/index.html.
If I am an out-of-state student for my first year at George Mason, is it possible for me to qualify for in-state tuition by my second year?
It is extremely difficult to quality for in-state tuition if you are an out-of-state student at the time of your application and matriculation into the law school. If you establish your domicile in Virginia during your first year of study, you may petition for reclassification of your status. However, living in Virginia for the purpose of attending law school is insufficient to establish domicile; in fact, the Virginia Supreme Court has issued a restrictive ruling in this regard, stating, "[The Virginia Code presumes] that an out-of-state student be required to demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that he entered the Commonweath for a primary purpose other than an educational purpose..." A student seeking reclassification should consult the following websites: registrar.gmu.edu/students/domicile/index.html and www.schev.edu/Students/VAdomicileInfo.asp?from=adminfaculty. These sites provide information on the factors assessed to determine a student's domicile and provide guidelines and checklists. Students are encouraged to speak with the Director, Student Academic Affairs or an Admissions Office representative prior to completing reclassification forms.
- Price, Alison
- Associate Dean and Director of Admissions Phone: 703-993-8264
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- Office Manager Phone: 703-993-8010
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- Director of Diversity Services Phone: 703-993-8197
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- Glackin, Penny
- Admissions Counselor Phone: 703-993-8010
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Liden, Tracy
- Admissions Counselor Phone: 703-993-8010
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