Virginia Guaranteed Admission Agreements
- Blue Ridge Community College
- Central Virginia Community College
- Danville Community College
- Germanna Community College
- J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College
- Lord Fairfax Community College
- Northern Virginia Community College
- Patrick Henry Community College
- Piedmont Virginia Community College
- Rappahannock Community College
- Richard Bland College
- Thomas Nelson Community College
- Tidewater Community College
Guaranteed Admission Agreement (GAA) Letter of Intent
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 participating Virginia community colleges. 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 Letter of Intent is a document that serves two purposes: 1) it indicates to Mason that you intend to apply and enroll for an upcoming semester, and 2) it serves as a checklist and advising tool to remind you of our requirements. The Letter of Intent is required for NVCC GAA applicants and optional for others. We request that you complete it after earning 30 and no more than 45 credits at your GAA community college. It’s an online form for your reference and no counselor signature is required.
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”.
What if I’m attending a community college that you do not have a GAA with?
Stay tuned. Mason is working with all Virginia community colleges to establish GAA partnerships. As the largest transfer institution in the Commonwealth of Virginia, we enroll students from all 23 VCCS campuses annually and welcome your application.
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 participating GAA Virginia community college with an AA, AS or AA&S degree.
- Meet the minimum 3.00 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 your GAA community college and earn grades of C or better in each course.
- Earn at least 30 credit hours (including the English and Math courses) in residence at your GAA campus.
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 3.00 or higher, to match the 3.00 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 ever 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.
Why do I have to complete two English courses and a Math course at my community college to be considered for GAA admission?
All transfer applicants are expected to have completed English composition and college-level mathematics courses prior to Mason. These foundational courses will prepare you for the rigor of Mason coursework. We recognize that your community college may award you transfer credit for AP or IB exams resulting in ENG 111 and 112, for example. However, our faculty establish our minimum score requirements for the award of credit-by-exam. As with most Virginia institutions, the minimum score requirements for transfer credit vary. If you meet Mason’s minimum score, be certain to send the official AP or IB transcripts and we’ll award credit after admission. If you do not complete the required ENG and MTH courses at your community college, we will consider you for regular transfer admission.
What is the minimum GPA requirement for GAA admission?
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’m 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 program will be classified as Undeclared. Admission to the School of Management and School of Nursing 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 should I complete the required English and Math courses prior to my last semester at my GAA community college?
The Admissions Committee reviews GAA applications early in our cycle. If you meet the CGPA requirement and have completed ENG 111 and ENG 112/125 (RBC ENGL 101 and ENGL 102) and the required Math course we can move forward with a quick admission decision. The benefit to you is that earlier admission offers you priority in arranging campus housing, dining, financial aid and the ability to register for an earlier transfer orientation session.
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 December or August?
We will consider fall and summer GAA applicants on a space available basis. Given our volume of applications, we are typically unable to accommodate summer graduates. 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 for details and deadlines.