Frequently Asked Questions

Topics:


Safe Return to Campus

For the most up to date information about Mason’s Safe Return to Campus, including Frequently Asked Questions, please visit here.


Hours of Operation and Location

What are your hours of operation and where are you located?

Please note the university is currently closed due to COVID-19 until August 10 and our office is working remotely.

A: The Student Accounts Office is open Monday through Thursday from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Friday 9:30 AM – 5 PM. We are located in Suite 1600 Student Union Building I.

For the Fall semester, we are conducting most of our business virtually. Walk-in services are unavailable at this time. If you require in-person service, please visit the Mason Student Services Center for appointment and other service options.

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Balance, Billing and Payment Information

What is my balance?

A: Balances may be verified via Patriot Web or the Bill+Payment System. For Patriot Web, navigate to the Account Detail for Term page in the Student Accounts section. Account Detail for Term provides semester charges, payments, and approved but pending future payments, such as Financial Aid or Third Party memos. The Bill+Payment System displays the current balance of the account as soon as you log in.

Will I receive a bill for my classes?

A: Electronic bills are generated approximately one month prior to the start of each semester. Reminder bills are not mailed for additional charges or schedule adjustments. Electronic bills are available for review in the Bill+Payment System. When these bills are created, an email is sent to the student’s Mason email account and to any authorized users who are set up in the payment system. Failure to receive a reminder bill confirming your charges does not waive the requirement to make the payment prior to the due date.

How do I pay using my credit card?

A. Payments using VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card, and electronic checks (from personal checking accounts only) can be made using the Bill+Payment System up until 10:30 PM nightly.

Having trouble logging into the Bill+Payment System?

A. For help with unlocking your Bill + Payment System, please try the following:

  • Ensure your log-in is correct, for students this is the same NetID and Password as Patriot Web.
  • Wait 30 minutes.
  • Change password, limiting special characters, at https://password.gmu.edu/index.jsp.
  • Clear your browser cache and/or use a different browser.

For authorized users, the student may need to reset your access.

The Student Accounts Office is not able to reset passwords for the Bill+Payment System. For authorized users, your student will need to reset your information in the Bill+Payment System (delete user and then re-authorize to generate a new password).

Please ensure your browser meets the minimum requirements for the Bill+Payment system: Microsoft Internet Explorer 7.0 or higher, Mozilla Firefox 2.0 or higher, or Apple Safari 3.0 or higher. JavaScript must be enabled.

What if I am unable to pay online?

A. For those not able to make payment online and, who traditionally pay with cash, you may purchase a Money Order made payable to George Mason University and send to us by mail.  Money Orders can be purchased at the following places, as well as banks and credit unions:

  • U.S. Post Office
  • Giant grocery stores
  • Safeway grocery stores
  • Walmart
  • 7-11 stores

In addition, check payments for student account balances (including scholarship checks) can be sent to:

George Mason University
P.O. Box 76475
Baltimore, MD 21275-6475

If payment is being sent for overnight delivery by courier, please send to:

Lockbox Services 76475
Wells Fargo Bank
Attn:  George Mason University Lockbox 76475
7175 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia, MD 21046

Please make sure that the student’s ID number (G#) is included on the check or in correspondence with the check.

What payment plans are available?

A. Payment plans are available online for students who want to budget their accounts. A $25 contract fee, is required at the time of enrollment. The contract fee is nonrefundable. Study Abroad/Global Education fee payments cannot be deferred. Failure to pay the deferred balance by the due date will result in financial hold, a late fee of 10% (up to $125), collection activity, and may prevent future eligibility of the payment plan.

To view the plans available for enrollment, please visit the Bill+Payment System.

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Refunds and Financial Aid

Do I need to submit a refund request for Financial Aid?

A. A refund request form is not needed for financial aid refunds. Overpayments from Financial Aid awards will automatically generate a refund payment.  If you are not enrolled in direct deposit, this payment will be a paper check, which is mailed to the address on file with the University.  Direct deposit payments will be automatically deposited into your bank account.  This is quickest way to receive your refund payment. Instructions on how to enroll in direct deposit are located here (link to guide).

Can I use my Financial Aid to pay for my Mason Payment Plan?

A. When calculating your Mason Payment Plan budget, your financial aid award is only factored in when you are determining your balance due to Mason. It may not be used as the down payment.

When will I receive my refund for account credits from non-Financial Aid sources, such as overpayments?

A. After submitting a refund request, your refund will be processed within 10-14 business days. If you are not enrolled in direct deposit, this payment will be a paper check, which is mailed to the address on file with the University. Direct deposit payments will be automatically deposited into your bank account. This is quickest way to receive your refund payment. Instructions on how to enroll in direct deposit are located here (link to guide). For more information, please review the refund process.

Can funds be transferred from my student account to the bookstore?

A. Credit balances are not transferrable to the bookstore. Students can request a refund of the credit balance if they are not receiving Financial Aid, and the credit is due from an overpayment.

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Account Holds

Can you release library and/or parking holds?

A. No, only the library and/or parking services can release their holds. We can only release student account holds.

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Tuition Liability Information

What is the Add/Drop policy?

A. For information, please refer to the Registrar’s FAQ page.

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Domicile and In State Residency

My tuition shows that I am being charged the out-of-state rate but I should be in-state. How can this be adjusted?

A. You must contact the Domicile office with questions regarding your domicile status. You may visit their web site or contact them at (703) 993-2464.

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Late Schedule Adjustments

I have a late schedule adjustment that needs to be signed by the Student Accounts Office. What is the process?

A. Submit the late schedule adjustment form to saccount@gmu.edu. We will inform you of the pre-payment amount, which is required for all late schedule adjustments. Please keep in mind the amount of the pre-payment is an ESTIMATE. It will be your responsibility to ensure that all charges are paid by checking your account on Patriot Web after the class registration is complete. If additional fees are due, it is the student’s responsibility to make the payment or incur additional penalties.

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Enrollment over 15 credits (Undergraduate Students Only)

What is the rate if I am enrolled for more than 15 credits?

A. If you are enrolled as a full time student with 12-15 credit hours, you are charged the same tuition rate. However, if you exceed 15 credits, the tuition for the extra credits are assessed at the rate per credit hour. The current rates are available in our Tuition & Fees section.

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Procedures for Post 9/11 GI Bill Applicants

How do I receive Post 9/11 (Chapter 33) GI Bill benefits?

A: Please refer to the Registrar’s Office website for complete instructions on initiating your benefits: http://registrar.gmu.edu/topics/post-911-gi-bill/

What is the VRRF and when do I have to fill it out?

A: VRRF stands for Veterans Registration Reporting Form. The VRRF must be submitted after students register for classes at the beginning of every semester, and anytime a schedule change is made.

My tuition is to be covered by the GI Bill, but I received a bill for my tuition and fees, why?

A: Have you turned in your VRRF?

If No: You must submit a VRRF every semester and after every schedule adjustment so that a memo can be placed on your account for the payment expected from the VA. http://registrar.gmu.edu/forms/vrff/vrrform.html

If Yes: Do to high submission rates it may take two weeks to process your VRRF and have a memo credit applied to your account. Please allow time for your VRRF to process.

Why did I receive information stating Mason did not certify my tuition and fees?

A: In accordance with VA net-tuition requirements, certification without tuition and fees is first completed by Registrar’s Office staff. After the deadline to drop classes Third Party Billing amends the certification by adding tuition and fees. This process reduces overpayments and debt issues while expediting other payments from VA, such as BAH and book stipends.

Why does George Mason University wait to bill the VA until after the add/drop deadline?

A: George Mason participates in dual certification, which allows our veterans to start receiving their BAH and book stipend sooner, while significantly reducing the amount of over-payments and debt issues associated with class and schedule changes.

Why do I have to pay my enrollment deposit if I am covered by the GI Bill?

A: The enrollment deposit is the financial commitment a prospective student makes to attend Mason. The VA will not pay for the enrollment deposit because it is refundable and can be returned to the student after the student is in attendance or used to offset other financial obligations.

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Disclosure of Student Account Information

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) provides privacy protection of a student’s educational record and restricts the release of those records without the student’s consent. Students who would like the Student Accounts Office to discuss their account with other person(s) or organization(s) must complete and return the release form which can be found here: http://registrar.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/FERPA-Release-Form.pdf

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Deposits

Where is the deposit I sent in?

A: Deposits are the financial commitment to attend Mason and, if applicable, to reside in University housing. Deposits are credited to student accounts as follows:

  • Fall Enrollment: July 1
  • Spring Enrollment: January 1
  • Housing Deposits: July 1

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Financial Responsibility Agreement

What is Financial responsibility Agreement?

A: Student Financial Responsibility Agreement is based on recommendations from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) as well as guidance from the Office of the Attorney General Division of Debt Collection, George Mason University now requires students to acknowledge the financial responsibility agreement each semester. All students are required to accept George Mason University’s Student Financial Responsibility Agreement prior to registering for classes each semester. The agreement outlines financial terms and conditions associated with course registration. Your registration will not automatically be cancelled for non-attendance or non-payment of charges. If you do not plan to attend the semester, you must drop your registration by the end of the add-drop period per the George Mason University academic calendar. You remain financially responsible for all charges on your account.

As a Faculty Advisor, why do I see a student responsibility agreement when trying to view a class schedules?

A: The student responsibility agreement appears before class schedules because students can also register using this page in Patriot Web. Please be aware that as a Faculty Advisor, clicking accept does not obligate a student or you for any of the provisions in the agreement. Students must accept financial responsibility per the agreement when they are logged into their own account in Patriot Web to register each term.

Can I get a copy of Financial Responsibility Agreement?

A: You can find the copy here.

How do I accept it?

A: You can accept the Financial Responsibility Agreement in the Patriotweb. It will be displayed when you are registering for the classes. It is required to be accepted one time per term. Please refer here for instructions.

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Third Party Billing Info

What is Third Party billing?

A: The Third Party Billing office invoices military departments, international embassies, public /private sector organizations, and educational institutions for tuition charges and associated fees for students.

What is the Third Party billing process?

A: Students provide the agency approved documents to the Third Party Billing office to defer their tuition while the Third Party Billing office invoices their paying agencies.

What do you require?

A:  Students must provide the Third Party Billing office with an approved payment authorization, financial guarantee letter, or training authorization form prior to the due date.

What is the due date for Third Party?

A: The due date for accepting Third-Party Billing authorizations is posted in Calendars. However, your tuition and fee payment due date is based on your registration date. To avoid being charged late payment penalties, payment arrangements must be completed by your tuition payment due date.

How do I know that you have processed my financial guarantee?

A: When your financial guarantee is processed, the deferred payment amount will appear as a memo credit on the Account Detail for Term page in the Student Accounts section of Patriot Web. If the full balance is being covered by the sponsoring agency, no balance due will show in the lower right hand column of the webpage.

When do you invoice my agency?

A: We will invoice your agency after the add/drop date has passed.

What happens if my agency does not submit payment?

A: If your agency does not cover the balance of your tuition payment after two (2) invoices have been sent, you will be responsible for payment.

I have just checked my account on Patriot Web and my agency has not submitted payment. Do I need to be concerned?

A: The Third Party Billing Office sends agency bills approximately 10 days after the drop deadline of each semester. If you do not see your agency payment 75 days after the semester start, you should contact us.

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1098-T

What is the IRS Form 1098-T?

A: The Form 1098-T is a statement that colleges and universities issue to students. It provides the total dollar amount paid by the student in a calendar year towards qualified tuition and related expenses (or “QTRE”).

When will 1098-T be available?

A: The IRS requires that mailed Form 1098-T to be postmarked by January 31 of the following calendar year. This form is mailed to the preferred address of a student who was enrolled at Mason for at least half time during the calendar year. Address changes can be made on Patriotweb.

Alternatively, you may opt to receive an electronic 1098-T at Bill + Payment, My Profile set up, Consents and Agreements. 1098-T forms will be available to view mid-January at Bill + Payment.

How to Retrieve Tax Information

A: Log in to the Bill + Payment with your net ID and password to retrieve the information from your Form 1098-T.

A PDF guide can be found here.

Can my authorized user see my 1098-T?

A: By default, they cannot. You can give them permission to view 1098-T in Bill + Payment A PDF guide can be found here.

Why don’t the numbers on Form 1098-T equal the amounts I paid to George Mason University during the year?

A: There are potentially many reasons for this discrepancy. First, the amount in Box 1 only represents amounts paid for qualified tuition and related expenses (QTRE) and does not include payments made for room and board, insurance, or other fees, which are not considered as qualified education expenses for tax purposes. Secondly, Form 1098-T reports amounts that the student paid in a certain year, and the pay date does not necessarily correspond to the dates that the classes were registered. For example, tuition for the Spring 2020 semester is typically billed in November 2019 and student may have paid tuition for the Spring 2020 semester in 2020. The best and most accurate source of information about the amounts that you paid for qualified tuition and related expenses will be your PatriotWeb or Bill + Payment accounts.

Why didn’t Mason provide me with a 1098-T?

A:  Mason is not required, by the IRS, to furnish a Form 1098-T in the following instances:

  • Payments for courses for which no academic credit is offered, even if the student is otherwise enrolled in a degree program.
  • Enrolled student is a nonresident alien, unless requested by the student.
  • Students whose qualified tuition and related expenses are entirely waived or paid entirely with grants/scholarships.
  • Students for whom you do not maintain a separate financial account and whose qualified tuition and related expenses are covered by a formal billing arrangement between an institution and the student’s employer or a governmental entity, such as the Department of Veterans Affairs or the Department of Defense.

Where can I get a listing of payments made to Mason?

A: You can view your qualified fees assessed and payments applied to those fees on Bill + Payment. Requests for printed bill statements can be made to the Student Accounts Office.

Since I received a Form 1098-T from Mason, am I qualified for one of the education tax credits?

A: The taxpayer is responsible for determining eligibility. If you have questions about eligibility please check the IRS website, contact the IRS, or contact a tax advisor.

I did not receive a Form 1098-T because my school is not required to provide a Form 1098-T to me for 2019. Can I still claim an education credit for tax year 2019?

A: You may still be able to claim a credit, but it is taxpayer’s responsibility to determine the eligible tax credit. If you have questions about eligibility please check the IRS website, contact the IRS, or contact a tax advisor.

What are qualified and non-qualified expenses?

A: As determined by the federal government, qualified expenses are defined as expenses required by and paid to the institution for enrollment purposes. They include fees for tuition, facilities, technology, mandatory fees, and a portion of the course and services fees.

Nonqualified expenses are defined as room and board, student activities, parking, athletics, insurance, equipment, or other similar personal living expenses.

A: As a result, the amount of qualified expenses will likely be less than the total amount of money paid.

Why there is an amount in Box 1 and Box 2 is blank for 2019?

A: Due to a change to institutional reporting requirements under federal law, beginning with tax year 2018, the University will report in Box 1 the amount of payments received for qualified tuition and related expenses paid during the calendar (tax year) 2019.

How do I update my address on the 1098-T form?

A: Address changes can be made at the Patriotweb.  Please ensure that your address is updated using a preferred address by December 31st of the current tax (calendar) year.

How do I add or correct a SSN/TIN on the 1098-T form?

A: Corrections to a SSN/TIN requires downloading and complete the IRS Form W-9S: http://studentaccounts.gmu.edu/wp-content/uploads/W-9S.pdf

Be sure to write your current Mason G number at the top of the form.

Do not email the form. You may send the form via fax: (703) 993-2490 or Mail to:

George Mason University
MSN 2E2, Student Accounts Office
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030

I can’t get access to my Form 1098-T because I have graduated and have forgotten my access information.

A: Please contact the ITS at support@gmu.edu or (703) 993-8870 to have your NetID password reset in order to access to your PatriotWeb or Bill + Payment

I have a question about my 1098-T form. Who can I call for help?

A: If you have questions about your 1098-T form please contact the Student Accounts Office:

Customer Service Phone Number: (703) 993-2484
Email: saccount@gmu.edu

Mason is not allowed to provide students with tax advice.  Check the IRS website, contact the IRS, or contact a tax advisor for questions on what you may be eligible to claim.

Additional Resources

1098-T Instructions from the IRS

IRS Tax Information for Students

About IRS Form 8863

Tax Form Details: Sample Form

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