George Mason University Summary

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Basic Statistics

Location
Fairfax, VA
Website
www.gmu.edu
Full-Time Undergrads
16,265
Part-Time Undergrads
4,388
Setting
Suburban
In-State Tuition
$9,620
Out-of-State Tuition
$27,764
Room & Board
$9,250
Acceptance Rate
55 %
Admission Difficulty
Average
Average SAT Scores
1540–1840
Average ACT Scores
23–28

Best ThingsMore . . .

  • The weather in Fairfax is great, students get to experience the best of all four seasons.
  • Mason's proximity to Washington D.C. means there's always something to do on the weekends, plus the city provides great internship and job opportunities for students.
  • Dining-both on and off campus-provides students with plenty of different options no matter what they're in the mood for.
  • Professors at Mason are very knowledgeable about what they teach. Many have had successful careers in the subjects they teach, and some even teach and work part-time in their field.

Worst ThingsMore . . .

  • Mason doesn't have a football team and not all students attend basketball games, so there's not as much school spirit as you see at schools with Division I football teams.
  • Parking is not only expensive, sometimes it's hard to find a spot and get to class on time.
  • Mason doesn't have a Greek Row, so unless one's involved in Greek life, getting to parties is tough.
  • The primary freshmen housing area, Presidents Park, is a "dry area," which means no alcohol at all. It's fairly easy to get in trouble for drinking with RAs or the Mason Police if things get rowdy in the dorms.

Frequently ComparedCompare . . .

Overall ExperienceWhat's This?

Let’s get brutally honest for a minute: Mason’s not for everybody. For students dreaming of wild house parties and a 24-7 drinking fest akin to scenes in “Animal House,” they might be better off at a school with a bigger party reputation than Mason. But just because Mason isn’t what people stereotypically associate with a college experience, doesn’t mean students don’t get a real college experience nonetheless. As one of the most diverse schools in the nation, Mason offers students a unique college experience and plentiful opportunities to get involved in different organizations or groups and meet a lot of different people while doing so. Not to mention the campus’s central location, just 20 minutes outside of Washington D.C., which gives students access to museums, clubs, restaurants, and popular attractions like the monuments. So what if students can’t walk next door and do a keg stand? They have the opportunity to mold their very own college experience around Mason’s numerous clubs, events, and classes.

It might sound a little cliché, but Mason truly offers the best of both worlds. Whether students are into hanging out on campus in the middle of Suburbia, U.S.A., or they want to go into D.C. every night, the University gives them that option. While people are divided on campus issues like parking, the campus social scene, and food options, overall, Mason students are satisfied with the University’s offerings. Of course there’s always room for improvement, and the University’s constant expansion and rally to become a well-respected public institution is always upgrading facilities, programs and services for students.

George Mason Student Reviews

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3 College Sophomore

Local Atmosphere: Being close to Washington DC means to a of amazing museums and pubs and attractions. But no one I know has time to take the train into the city, and traffic is so bad, you'd have to be crazy to drive. But the suburbs offer some good dining and shopping, even though it's so expensive no college student could really partake.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: I cannot speak to the rigor of other majors outside of my own concentration on History. Have I heard English, Sociology, Psychology and even Law students complain about their departments? Sure. But in my experience, the History students at my school are mostly satisfied with our classes and our professors. There is an enormous amount of reading required, and the professors demand a sophisticated level of analysis, but I have found this to be enriching.

4 College Sophomore

Academics: There are some schools that boast excellent Science departments or English departments. I think GMU boasts an incredibly strong History department. I feel that the History students are by and large the most enthusiastic about the university, the most active in campus life and the ones most closely connected to their faculty.

4 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: I would hazard a guess that the professors at my school aren't too very different than most, and that the classes at my school aren't all that unique. But I have had a lot of really great experiences in my classes and with my professors. In the History department, the professors have been very accommodating in terms of making time for students outside of class. And many of the professors have crafted fun and challenging syllabi that go beyond lectures and note-taking and genuinely engage students.

3 College Sophomore

Overall Experience: On one hand, GMU's emphasis on using digital resources, social media and blogging as educational tools give every student an important advantage in searching for jobs in the 21st century. So this aspect is incredibly helpful. Yet on the other hand, there is not enough emphasis on networking and professionalization. Now more than ever, with unemployment rates the highest they have been in this country since the Great Depression, universities need to be investing time and money in training students how to transition from school to career.

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