Virginia Guaranteed Admission Agreements
The Guaranteed Admission Agreement Advantage
Transferring to Mason via the GAA is one of the smartest decisions you can make. Graduating with a transfer associate’s degree before enrolling at the University allows you to:
- Save approximately $15,000 in tuition and fees
- Transfer up to 75 credits from the community college
- Fulfill lower-level Mason Core requirements which allow you to begin your major coursework in your first semester
- Qualify for the Virginia Two-Year College Transfer Grant for admitted students with a 3.00+ gpa
Guaranteed Admission Agreement Frequently Asked Questions
What is a GAA and why is it offered?
The GAA, or Guaranteed Admission Agreement is a document that provides a clear transfer pathway for students earning AA, AS or AA&S degrees from VCCS colleges or Richard Bland College. Students who follow the GAA and meet all of the terms of the agreement are assured transfer admission to Mason. GAA admission is offered to students pursuing a first bachelor’s degree. Students with an earned bachelor’s degree may pursue a post-baccalaureate degree via regular admission.
What is the difference between “regular transfer admission” and “GAA admission”?
Transfer applicants who do not qualify for GAA admission may be considered for regular transfer admission. Although admission is not “guaranteed” many transfer students with successful records are granted regular admission. We enroll transfer students from all over the world. In fact, more than 50% of our transfer class each year is comprised of students who did not earn an associate’s degree.
What happens if I’m unable to meet the priority application deadline?
If Mason is your transfer destination, we expect you to meet our deadline. If we do not receive your application by March 1 for fall or October 1 for spring admission you will be considered for regular transfer admission as long as space remains in the transfer class.
What is the GAA Letter of Intent and is it required?
The GAA Letter of Intent is mandatory and serves as an advising checklist for prospective GAA transfers who wish to be considered for GAA admission.
How do I know if I’ve been offered GAA vs. regular transfer admission?
GAA admits receive an admission letter that states “you have been admitted on the basis of our Guaranteed Admission Agreement with your Virginia community college”.
How is Mason’s GAA different than other GAA’s in Virginia?
The goal of our GAA is to provide you a clear pathway to success as a transfer. Just as admission requirements vary among the universities in Virginia, so do the GAA’s. We specify the degree required, the minimum cumulative GPA and three specific courses that must be completed with grades of C or better in our GAA.
What is required for GAA admission?
- Graduate from a VCCS college or Richard Bland College with an AA, AS or AA&S degree.
- Meet the minimum 2.85 cumulative GPA requirement at time of application and upon graduation.
- Meet the March 1 or October 1 transfer application deadline.
- Take the three required courses (two English and one Math) at the VCCS college or RBC and earn grades of C or better in each course. There are alternative ways of meeting this requirement. Be sure to read the GAA for details.
- Earn at least 30 credit hours (including the English and Math courses) at the VCCS college or RBC.
Am I eligible for GAA admission if I’ve attended another college or university other than my GAA community college?
If you attended a college or university prior to attendance at your Virginia community college, the Admissions Committee will review your academic record for the five year period prior to application to Mason. Your cumulative grade point average at the non-GAA institution must be 2.85 or higher, to match the 2.85 required at your community college.
If you transferred to another institution after leaving your GAA community college you are ineligible for GAA admission. We will be happy to consider you for regular transfer admission.
Are there other things that will prevent me from being considered for GAA admission?
YES. You are ineligible for GAA admission if you have been academically or non-academically suspended or dismissed from a college or university or have been convicted of a felony. Mason will consider on a case-by-case basis these applications for regular transfer admission. NOTE: The University honors academic actions from other institutions and does not enroll students who are actively suspended or dismissed.
What are the benefits of GAA vs. regular transfer admission?
If offered GAA admission, you are assured that you will transfer as a junior and will be awarded at least 60 transfer credits. You will also receive a waiver of lower-level general education requirements at Mason. All new transfers receive a course-by-course transfer credit evaluation. However, GAA students receive prioritized evaluations.
Why do I have to declare a specific major when I apply?
All transfer students with more than 45 earned hours are required to select a specific major for admission. Students with advanced standing benefit from academic advising from faculty within your intended major.
I am eligible for GAA admission and applied to a specific major. Why did I receive an admission letter stating that I am an Undeclared major?
Mason has several selective admission majors that require a higher CGPA or additional course requirements. Applicants who meet the minimum requirement for GAA admission but not the criteria for admission to that selective admission major will be classified as Undeclared or may be deferred to the next semester. Admission to the School of Nursing or Volgenau School of Engineering are common examples of this situation. Undeclared students receive academic advising each semester from the Academic Advising and Transfer Center and establish an academic plan to gain acceptance to the intended selective admission major.
What if I want to change my major after admission?
New students may change their major with the Office of the University Registrar after submission of their enrollment deposit. Students who do not meet the criteria for entrance into a selective admission major will have their request denied.
Why does Mason want me to graduate in May and enroll for fall as a GAA admit?
Following this advice ensures the smoothest possible transition to Mason. It allows the Admissions Committee enough time to thoroughly review your application and offer you admission in a timely fashion such that you can take advantage of all of our exciting campus opportunities.
What if I plan to graduate in August or December?
August or December graduates will be considered for spring admission only. We encourage you to plan your associate’s degree path EARLY and if you need additional time, complete summer school courses the year before you intend to transfer, such that you can graduate in May and enroll at Mason for the fall semester.
What happens if I discover that I can’t enroll for the semester to which I was admitted?
Admitted and deposited transfer students may defer their admission for one consecutive future semester, fall to spring or spring to fall. Contact the Office of Admissions no later than the first day of the semester to which you were admitted to request deferral to the next semester.