George Mason Board of Visitors approves one-year, 3% tuition increase


The George Mason University Board of Visitors voted to increase in-state tuition by 3% for 2024-25, consistent with guidance from the Commonwealth of Virginia for the current budget cycle.

George Mason, with campuses in the fifth-highest-cost region of the country, is making this tuition change as a necessity to keep up with inflation and compensate for lower state support. George Mason receives at least $6,000 less funding for each in-state student compared with the mean of its five doctoral peer institutions when state and tuition funding are combined.

In-state undergraduates will pay $297 more. In-state graduate students will pay $410 more, and in-state law students will pay $728 more. Out-of-state tuition also increases by $601, $803, and $994 for undergraduate, graduate, and law, respectively.

“With a lower cost of attendance than all but one of our doctoral peers, we are proud of our accessibility and affordability for commonwealth families,” said Deb Dickenson, executive vice president for finance and administration. “Parents and students want the student services to remain robust, and they recognize we need faculty and staff here to support students and the educational mission.”

An infographic detailing how a tuition dollar is spent. A link to an accessible pdf is available in the caption.
Illustration by George Mason University. View an accessible version of infographic >>

George Mason puts its student tuition to good use—84% of every tuition dollar is spent on direct instruction, academic support, financial aid, and student services, and the remaining 16% also is devoted to services that benefit students, Dickenson said.

In addition, the BOV approved a 4.9% increase in board rates and a flat $300 increase across all Fairfax Campus rooms, a $570 total increase for most on-campus first-year students. These increases will offset higher costs of providing campus services and support expanded dining offerings for students.

Student fees will increase by 3%—$108 more for most students. Mandatory student fees fund student activities, student support services, student health services, emergency aid, athletic and recreational programs, student transportation, maintenance and operation of student facilities, and auxiliary services, including mail, vending, and card services.

“This campus is incredibly efficient,” George Mason President Gregory Washington said. “Any time a study is done, and they put our campus up against other campuses in the state and in the region, every single study I've seen has come back with data” favorable to George Mason. “We are very, extraordinarily frugal, but sometimes you just can't go below a certain level and still provide the necessary services that are needed for our students.”

The Virginia Legislature meets in a special legislative session on May 13 to consider the two-year commonwealth budget.

State investment in George Mason pays off for the commonwealth, Dickenson added. A recent study by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia found that 73% of in-state George Mason graduates stay in Virginia—3% higher than public four-year institutions in the state. For out-of-state George Mason students, 29% remain in Virginia after graduation, 9% higher than the state average.