Senior Citizen Waiver Program

Posted: April 12, 2013 at 4:42 pm, Last Updated: January 15, 2021 at 9:38 am

Under terms of the Senior Citizen Higher Education Act of 1974, eligible Virginia residents (requires legal domicile for one year) that are 60 years of age or older are entitled to enroll to audit (no academic credit received) up to three academic credit courses per semester and pay no tuition or fees, except fees established for the purpose of paying for course materials or laboratory fees.

Senior citizens may also enroll in an academic credit course and earn academic credit for that course. However, tuition (for courses taken for credit) is waived only if citizens have a taxable income not exceeding $23,850 for Virginia income tax purposes for the year preceding the year in which enrollment is sought. Income must be verified each semester.  Senior citizens are responsible for paying course-related fees (mentioned above).

Senior Citizens must complete the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver form to have tuition waived (if applicable) and to apply the audit grade type. Senior citizens must register for courses via Patriot Web and adhere to all registration policies and must add and drop courses by the deadlines listed in the Academic Calendar.

How to Apply

The procedure for applying to Mason as a senior citizen is exactly the same as the standard procedure for any other student status. You must:

  • Fill out an online application
  • Receive an offer of admission before proceeding with registration.

The Senior Citizen Application Guide will provide detailed instructions to assist you in filing your application. Admission (even to take courses as a non-degree student) is competitive and is not guaranteed.

Registering for Courses

If you are accepted as a student at George Mason University, you will need to gain access to Patriot Web in order to register for courses. To establish your Mason username and password, please visit Password Management at

You will be assigned a registration time ticket which will indicate the first day and time you will be eligible to register for the semester.  You may view your registration time ticket by following these instructions:

  1. Log-in to your Patriot Web.
  2. Select “Student Services”
  3. Select “Registration”
  4. Select “Registration Status, Time Ticket, Override Notification”

On your assigned registration day and time you may register through Patriot Web.  For more information on how to register, please go to the Registration Guide page.

Auditing Courses

  • Senior citizens may register to audit courses regardless of income level.
  • The Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver Form must be submitted only once in your initial semester at Mason.
  • Every semester, after registering for courses, students must contact the Office of the University Registrar at (703) 993-2000 or email to request that courses be changed from credit to audit. Failure to do this may result in an unsatisfactory grade on the transcript, tuition liability being accessed, and a financial hold being placed on the student’s account.

Taking Courses for Credit

  • Under the terms of the Senior Citizens Higher Education Act of 1974, eligible Virginia residents, 60 years or older with a taxable income of less than $23,850 may apply to take university courses for credit through either non-degree study or degree-seeking study without paying tuition.
  • You will also be held to all academic policies as listed in the University Catalog.
  • Every semester, after registering for courses, you must submit the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver Form.  In addition, documentation which verifies income must be submitted. Failure to do this may result in tuition liability being accessed and a financial hold being placed on the student’s account.
  • If you decide to change from receiving credit to auditing the course, you must obtain permission from the instructor on a Course Audit Form by the last day to drop for the semester.

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