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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am ready to be a Mason LIFE Patriot?

Here’s what we are looking for in you:

  • The ability to advocate for yourself and accept responsibility
  • Staying on your own for up to 4 hours
  • Having the ability to a follow a routine
  • Correspond independently (e.g. using text messages and email)
  • Follow all policies and procedures of the university
  • Desire to try new activities and experiences
  • Establish and be responsible for a personal budget that is agreed upon with your family
How do I apply to the program?

You will submit an application form with supporting documentation and 2 letters of recommendation.

When should I apply?

The application is currently open and will be due by January 6, 2023

You will be notified by January 13th if you have been selected to move forward with the application process.

What documentation do I need to submit and how recent should it be?

Psychological or Educational Evaluation: The report must include - IQ, Academic and Achievement testing as well as Executive Functioning and information/testing regarding behavioral and adaptive assessment, and social/emotional functioning. Documentation must be within 3 years at time of submission.

Is there an age limit?

Yes, students can apply between the ages of 18-23 years old (must be under age 24 at the start of program).

Is there funding for program costs?

Students can apply for Financial Aid to receive any scholarships, grants, or loans they are eligible for. Students who reside in Fairfax County who qualify for self-directed funds should contact the Fairfax County/Falls Church Community Service Board for funding information.

What is the application timeline?

Selected students will be invited for an on-campus interview January 30th – February 3rd

Do you offer Mason LIFE campus tours?

No, Mason LIFE does not provide individual or group tours, however, if you are invited for an on-campus interview, you will receive a tour at your interview. Additionally, if you are interested in visiting campus and learning more about Mason, you can schedule a tour through the Office of Admissions.

If I am selected for an on-campus interview, what can I expect?

An on-campus interview consists of:

  • Meeting with the Mason LIFE Core Admin Team (Director, Assistant Director, Coordinators). You will be asked a series of questions about yourself and your interests in being a patriot.
  • You will observe a Mason LIFE Foundational class.
  • You will have lunch with other applicants and current Mason LIFE students
  • Campus Tour to include (wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately):
    • Dining Halls
    • Residence Halls
    • Academic Buildings
    • Student Activity Lounges
    • Athletic Centers
  • Question and Answer Session with current Mason LIFE students and alumni
Do I receive a bachelor’s degree when I complete Mason LIFE?

No, you will not earn a degree, nor will you receive college credit. Mason LIFE is a not a degree-seeking program; however, students will receive a certificate of completion.

Is there a path to transfer into a bachelor’s degree program at Mason during or after completing Mason LIFE?

No. In order to earn a bachelor’s degree at Mason, you must apply for general admission into a degree seeking program; this is a separate admission process from Mason LIFE.

Can I participate in Mason LIFE part time?

No, Mason LIFE requires full-time participation.

Can I complete the program earlier than 4 years?

No, the program can only be completed in 4 years.

Does Mason LIFE have a summer program?

No, Mason LIFE does not have summer program.

Do I have to participate in all program components?

Yes, you have to participate in all program components including: Academics (Foundational and Exploration), Community Involvement, and Employment. Housing is optional.

Is it possible to participate in Mason LIFE virtually?

No, it is not possible to participate in Mason LIFE virtually. This is an on-campus program.

Is it possible to fail or be removed from the program?

Yes, it is possible to fail or be removed from the program. Students must maintain satisfactory Student Academic Progress each year, as well as follow all expectation outlined in the Program Expectations.

Do I have to live on campus?

No, living on campus is optional. However, interested students will need to submit a housing application. Housing is not guaranteed for every interested student due to limited number of available spaces on campus. A separate interview will occur for students interested in living on campus in effort to gauge readiness.

Do I have support 24/7?

No, students must have the ability to be independent for up to 4 hours a day.

Does Mason LIFE monitor how much money I spend?

No. Students have the opportunity to take a Budget Course through Foundational Academics, where they can learn about helpful tips and strategies to develop a budget. However, Mason LIFE does not provide oversight of how you choose to spend your money.

I have a therapist (ex: Life Coach, ABA Therapist, Mental Health, etc.), can they provide support for me in the program and coordinate with Mason LIFE staff?

No. You may continue to utilize any support system that is helpful for you, however Mason LIFE staff will not coordinate with those individuals to provide support. Please find more information regarding this in our Communication Policy.

Will I get a college ID?

Yes, students will get a GMU Student ID.

Does Mason LIFE guarantee employment after completion of the program?

No, Mason LIFE is not a job placement program. Students will gain skills through their internship experiences, but we cannot guarantee an employment offer after successful completion of the program. However, Mason LIFE will assist students with preparing a resume, practicing interview skills, and providing a letter of recommendation as they seek out employment.

Will Mason LIFE provide support with skills related to career readiness such as creating a resume, participating in mock interviews, and working on a team?

Yes, students will receive support in this through their Employment class and throughout their time in the program.

Does the program offer internships on and off campus?

Yes, we have internship placements on and off campus in a variety of different industries including office administration, food services, athletics, and animal care to name a few.

Will my Exploration classes be aligned with my internship?

Yes, it may be possible. The first two years a student is participating in the program classes and internships are geared towards exploring classes and work skills. As a student progresses through the program, it may be possible to align exploration classes with your internship dependent upon availability.

Will Mason LIFE plan activities and events?

Yes, Mason LIFE Community Involvement Staff will assist students in planning, sharing, and at times attending campus activities and events as a group. However, students are highly encouraged to participate in any clubs or organizations they are interested in on their own as well.

Will my schedule include free time to engage in my hobbies?

Yes, every student will have time outside of program commitments to use at their leisure.

Can I go off campus when I want to?

Yes, students are permitted to travel off campus independently, but you must complete an Independent Off-Campus Form.

Are there lots of opportunities to get involved in clubs and organizations on campus?

Yes, Mason has over 400 different clubs and student organizations. We encourage students to engage in activities of interest. Additionally, students are required to attend one activity per week and participate in one club or organization each semester. See Mason 360 for full list.

Can I create my own club?

Yes, students can create their own club at Mason through the Student Involvement office.

Are medical services provided on campus?

Yes, Mason has Student Health Services, however there is a $50 co-pay per visit. Student Health Services cannot administer medication or provide on-going individual medical treatment to students of any kind. We encourage students to maintain their primary care provider.

What happens in the event of an emergency, and I need to be transported to a hospital or urgent care facility?

You and your family will be responsible for any costs associated with medical transportation and hospital or urgent care costs.

Do I have access to mental health counseling services on-campus?

Yes, in the event of a mental health crisis. For general on-going mental health counseling support students will need to connect with outside providers. We encourage anyone utilizing mental health providers, to continue working with them while attending Mason LIFE.

Does Mason have a Police Department?