Military Activation Policy

Uniformed services students at Mason who are deployed, mobilized, or must change their duty assignment after classes have started don't have to worry about financial penalties.

You're considered a uniformed services student if you're on active duty in the armed forces, in the Reserves, or National Guard. If you're called to duty, we have policies in place to ease your transition. Please submit your orders and supporting documents through our Military Activation Policy Online Application.

Military Activation Policy

In accordance with the “Virginia Tuition Relief, Refund, and Reinstatement Guidelines,” Mason students in the uniformed services under call or order to active duty, after the beginning of a semester or summer session have two options they may consider with the dean's office of their school of enrollment and Office of the University Registrar in determining their enrollment status with the University:

1. Students may withdraw from courses in which they are enrolled as of the effective date of the call or order to report to active duty. When this option is selected, a credit of tuition and fees, and any pre-paid tuition, room, or board deposits, will be made to the student's account. Students will receive a pro-rated credit of dining service and housing contract charges. Financial aid awards that were credited to the student’s account will be recovered by the University in the amount of tuition and fees, dining, or housing credit. Loans used to cover the remaining charges will be subject to normal repayment procedures. For students receiving Title IV funds, financial aid recovery will be subject to requirements for return of Title IV funds to the federal government.

2. Students may take a grade of incomplete in all courses.  Students may request an incomplete grade for military deployment, mobilization, or duty changes occurring in the final three (3) weeks of the course if they have satisfactorily completed more than 50% of the course requirements. The conditions for completing course work and receiving a regular grade should be agreed to between the student, course instructors, and the appropriate dean's office of the school in which the student is enrolled. A copy of the military orders must be provided to the Office of the Registrar as documentation. The deadline for removing an incomplete given on the basis of military service is the last day of the subsequent term, which includes the summer session. This option requires joint agreement of the student and faculty member(s).  Faculty and Departments are encouraged to take additional steps to accommodate short absences due to military obligations.  If a joint agreement can’t be reached, students may withdraw from the course and are eligible to receive a 100% reduction of tuition charges after withdrawal is approved for classes that have been discontinued.

Please coordinate requests under the Military Activation Policy with the Office of Military Services.  The Office of Military Services will assist with the processes in accordance with current policies.  Students will need to discuss their situation with the appropriate representative form their dean’s office in consultation with Student Accounts and the Office of the Registrar.  A copy of the active duty orders are required.

Regardless of the option selected above, the following provisions govern reinstatement to the University upon release or return from service in the uniformed services.  Students that have a leave of absence under the military activation policy are entitled to reinstatement, to their program of study (if available), without having to reapply for admission if (1) they return to the University after a cumulative absence of not more than five years, and (2) they provide notice of intent to return to the University not later than three years after the completion of the period of service. (Exceptions to these time periods may be found in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) of 2008.) Throughout the entire process, former students/students will have access to counseling to determine the impact of absence from the program, to evaluate the ability to resume study, and to assess options when a program is no longer available or suitable.

Applicants to the University who have accepted an offer of admission but who have not yet registered in a degree program may defer admission for up to two consecutive semesters by making a request in writing to the Office of Military Services.  To request a deferment for longer than two consecutive semesters, a copy of the military orders must be provided with the written request.

For further information, students should contact the Office of Military Services at (703) 993-8243.

- Policy updated March 2019