FAQ

General Questions About MHA@GW

Questions About Admissions

Questions About Financial Aid

Tuition and Billing

The FAFSA

Direct Unsubsidized Loans

Direct PLUS Loans

Military Benefits

GW Financial Aid

General Questions About MHA@GW

  • How is MHA@GW different from other MHA programs offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University?
    The online MHA program is specifically designed for experienced professionals with two years of full-time health sector experience or three years full-time experience in any other industry, and who are looking for an online program to advance their health administration career.
  • How is this program like the residential MHA programs offered by the Milken Institute School of Public Health?
    The MHA@GW has the same selective admissions criteria as that of the on-campus program. MHA@GW leverages the same world-class, full-time faculty members who teach other on-campus degree programs, and the subject matter is based on the curriculum delivered on campus. Students in the program enjoy the benefits of being a GW graduate student, including access to library resources, student services, career services and a global network of well-connected and successful GW alumni. Graduates become part of the HSML and GW Alumni Association, and are able to participate in GW’s on-campus commencement.
  • Who will my classmates be?
    MHA@GW students are selected from a pool of professionals with experience across the health care and health services industries from the United States and around the world. We look for candidates with strong professional and academic backgrounds who can thrive in GW’s collaborative online environment. We apply the same rigorous admissions standards that we require of our on-campus programs.
  • Are there any required campus visits?
    Students must attend four immersive campus visits over the two-year program.Although the program curriculum is accessed and completed online, as members of the George Washington University family, MHA@GW graduates are welcome to participate in the on-campus commencement ceremony in Washington, D.C. Students also have the opportunity to take advantage of GW’s vast professional network and community resources.
  • How long does it take to complete the MHA@GW?
    The MHA program can be completed in as little as two years and as many as four. As an MHA@GW student, expect to dedicate approximately 10 hours per week during each of your eight 10-week online cohorts.
  • Is MHA@GW delivered completely online?
    While the majority of the course content and live class sessions are attended and completed online, students are also required to periodically attend hands-on immersion learning experiences.
  • Will my course schedule be flexible?
    You are required to attend weekly, live online classes, and you complete coursework and assignments as your schedule allows, within specified deadlines.
  • What is the program’s curriculum?
    MHA@GW delivers a curriculum designed to produce leaders who possess the values, knowledge and skills to achieve optimal delivery of health care. The curriculum focuses on building expertise in financial and medical fields, but also in areas such as human relations, management theory, ethics, law and critical decision making.The program includes eight 10-week learning modules, broken into four separate cohorts. The online classes are supplemented by four on-campus immersions and Systems Thinking and Learning project for a total of 50 credits.
  • What can I expect from my courses?
    Each course is designed and delivered by a full-time professor and requires:
    • Preparation outside of class, including group work and assignments that may include case studies, readings, projects and papers.
    • Attendance in weekly live classes, which may include discussions, role-play and breakout groups.
    • Completion of highly produced multimedia course content.
  • How much time should I expect to be in class?
    The MHA@GW academic year is divided into eight 10-week modules. All classes meet for 10 full weeks, and you should expect to spend about 90 minutes in live class sessions per week per class. Students should also expect to dedicate approximately 10 hours per week to studying, preparation and completing self-paced coursework outside of the live sessions.
  • What type of career support can I expect as an MHA@GW student?
    You have access to the Student and Alumni Career Advising group, which offers a range of services and resources to students. Some of these services include discussion of job search strategies, resume review and mock interviews. You have access to an extensive jobs database and the GW Career Advisor Network, an online directory of GW alumni who offer career strategy assistance to other alumni and current students.
  • Will my diploma denote that I took classes online?
    Your diploma will not state that you took classes in an online format, and as a member of the prestigious George Washington University family you will be invited to participate in GW’s on-campus commencement ceremony in Washington, D.C.

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Questions About Admissions

  • What are the requirements for admission?
    To be considered for admission, applicants should have a strong academic background and must hold, at minimum, a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution of higher learning or an international institution that is accredited by the country’s ministry of education or comparable governmental agency. Applicants must have at least two years of full-time health sector experience or three years full-time experience in any other industry, and be currently employed in the health care field.
  • What is required of the application?
    For your MHA@GW application to be considered complete, you must submit the following through our application portal:
    • The MHA@GW online application
    • Official transcripts from all prior undergraduate, graduate and professional study
    • A minimum of two letters of recommendation from academic or professional contacts
    • Official and valid TOEFL or IELTS scores for non-native English speakers
    • Certified English evaluation of all international transcripts, even if the transcript is in English (recommended service: World Education Services, Inc.)
    • Resume or CV
    • Statement of purpose
    • Face-to-face interview conducted via web camera.
    • Application fee
    Application materials will be reviewed by HSML faculty.
  • Is work experience required?
    At least two years of full-time health sector experience or three years full-time experience in any other industry.
  • Is an undergraduate degree required?
    Yes, you must hold a bachelor’s degree. International candidates must have a college-level education equivalent to an American undergraduate or baccalaureate degree (the same as a first university degree). Generally this is a four-year degree. There are a number of universities around the world that offer three-year undergraduate programs. If you received a bachelor’s degree upon completion of a three-year undergraduate program, you are eligible to apply to our program. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0 is typically required for admission into the MHA@GW.
  • Do I have to take the GRE, GMAT or other standardized tests to apply to MHA@GW?
    No. As this program is designed for experienced professionals currently employed in the field, no prerequisite standardized testing is required.
  • Is an interview required?
    Yes, applicants are required to complete a face-to-face interview via web camera.
  • Are there any prerequisite courses?
    Yes. MHA@GW students are required to have earned a B or better in Financial Accounting and Introduction to Statistics. If you have not taken one or both of these courses, or earned the required grade, you have the option to complete them as self-paced, online StraighterLine courses. After completion of the StraighterLine course(s), you can request a transcript be sent to MHA@GW to fulfill the prerequisite requirement. Learn more about how StraighterLine works here.
  • If you have additional questions about these requirements, contact an admissions counselor at 1-855-642-2849 or via email.
  • Do you accept transfer credits?
    Yes. The maximum number of credits that may be transferred is 12 taken at a graduate level. Restrictions include:
    • Grade must be a B or better
    • The course must have been completed in the last three years
    • The course must not have counted toward any other degree program
    If you have further questions, please speak to your admissions counselor.
  • If I begin my studies as an MHA@GW student, can I later switch to another program?
    No. Students can petition to transfer to another program, but that there's no guaranteed admittance.
  • What are the language requirements for non-native English speakers?
    International students whose native language is not English are required to take either the TOEFL or the IELTS. The minimum TOEFL score requirement is 100. For the IELTS, applicants must have an overall score of 7, with no individual band score under 6. Please review the Language Proficiency and International Testing Requirement . If you have additional questions about the testing requirements, contact admissions via email.
  • Can I apply to the MHA@GW completely online?
    Yes. The MHA@GW application is entirely online and includes all of your personal information, contact information for your recommenders and payment of your application fee. You are required to mail in official copies of all undergraduate and graduate credit-bearing transcripts.
  • If admitted to MHA@GW, can I defer my start date?
    Please contact an MHA@GW admissions counselor to discuss flexible matriculation options.
  • Does GW offer other online public health programs?
    Yes. Learn more about MPH@GW and HealthInformatics@GW.
  • Can I request that my transcripts be sent electronically?
    Many schools issue transcripts electronically, either through their own web services or through vendors. If this option is available through the institutions you attended, please specify that your transcript(s) be sent to applicationservices@mha.gwu.edu or select MHA@GW - Online Program if listed as an option through a vendor. This will expedite the delivery of your transcript(s) and the completion of your application.

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Questions About Financial Aid

Tuition and Billing

  • What are the tuition and fees for MHA@GW? 
    MHA@GW students are charged tuition on a per-credit-hour basis, and the rate of tuition for the 2018-2019 academic year is $1,710 per credit. You must complete 50 credits to earn your Master of Health Administration, totaling $85,500 at current tuition rates. Please keep in mind that this is only an estimate, as GW tuition rates are re-evaluated each year.
  • How does employer reimbursement work?
    • Employer reimbursement is typically contingent upon academic performance. If you are receiving reimbursement from your employer, you are responsible for paying the balance in full by the established billing date for each semester. GW will not defer tuition payments for students with pending employer reimbursement. If payment is not received by the due date, late payment fees, finance charges and administrative holds will be applied. Employers often request an itemized statement displaying the student’s cost per course. The Student Account eBill does not include the itemized costs per course. Should you require an itemized statement, please fill out the Itemized Statement Request Form. Allow three to five business days for processing.
  • I am not using financial aid. How can I pay my bill?
    The accepted forms of payments are electronic checks, credit cards or paper checks. The GW Student Accounts Office provides an option to pay tuition in monthly payments, with fixed due dates for each term. Read more about monthly payment plans here.
  • Can I use financial aid to pay my deposit?
    Students will not be able to use financial aid to pay their deposit.
  • Are there any payment plans available for my deposit?
    There are no payment plans available for the enrollment deposit.

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The FAFSA

  • What is the FAFSA?
    The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is the Department of Education’s application for determining a student’s eligibility for federal student aid.
  • Where can I find the FAFSA?
    You can complete the FAFSA online at fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA is a free application. If you are asked to pay a fee to complete the application, you are on the wrong website.
  • Do I need my parents’ tax information to complete the FAFSA if I live on my own?
    If you are applying to graduate school, you do not need your parents’ financial information to complete the FAFSA.
  • When is the earliest I can complete the FAFSA?
    Each year the updated FAFSA is available October 1. Your term of entry will determine which FAFSA should be completed to request federal student aid for your first semester. Students are responsible for completing the required FAFSA (as indicated below) for each semester they will request federal student aid.55665 xz
    • Spring 2018: 2017-2018 FAFSA
    • Summer 2018: 2017-2018 FAFSA (must be received by GW by June 30, 2018)
    • Fall 2018: 2018- 2019 FAFSA
    • Spring 2019: 2018 – 2019 FAFSA
  • What types of federal student aid are available to graduate students?
    The most common forms of federal student aid available to graduate students in GW Public Health Online programs are the Direct Unsubsidized Loan and the Direct PLUS Loan.
  • Will I need to fill out the FAFSA each year?
    Yes, the required FAFSA needs to be completed for each term federal student aid is requested. See the chart above for more information.
  • Why am I not eligible for the Pell Grant or Direct Subsidized Loans?
    Current Department of Education regulations restrict use of the Federal Pell Grant and Direct Subsidized Loans to students pursuing degrees at the undergraduate level.

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Direct Unsubsidized Loans

  • What is the difference between an unsubsidized loan and a subsidized loan?
    Direct Subsidized Loans are only available to undergraduate students who demonstrate financial need. The federal government pays the interest on the loan while the student is enrolled at least half time and during the six-month grace period. Direct Unsubsidized Loans are available to undergraduate and graduate students; there is no requirement to demonstrate financial need. Learn more at studentaid.ed.gov.
  • What is the aggregate loan limit?
    The aggregate loan limit determines the total amount of outstanding debt from select federal student loan programs a student can maintain and remain eligible for new loans under those programs. The current aggregate loan limit applicable to students in MHA programs at GW is $224,000.00 which includes certain federal loans received for undergraduate study. Learn more about aggregate loan amounts here. There is currently no lifetime borrowing limit on Graduate PLUS loan funding.
  • How do I find out if I am near my aggregate loan limit?
    You can go to NSLDS.ed.gov to view your federal student loan borrowing history.
  • What is the current interest rate?
    The current interest rate for Direct Unsubsidized Loans is 6.60 percent. Visit studentaid.ed.gov for more information.
  • Do I have to make payments on the balance of my federal student loans while I’m in school?
    You are not required to pay your federal student loans while you are enrolled on a part-time basis. You can contact your loan service provider if you wish to make monthly payments toward the balance of outstanding federal student loans or interest-only payments. You should contact your loan service provider to confirm repayment obligations any time you drop below part-time enrollment, including graduation and any periods of leave of absence.
  • What criteria is used to determine eligibility?
    Some initial requirements for federal student aid eligibility are listed below. Other criteria may be applicable and the GW aid office will request additional information as needed to certify your eligibility based on the results of your FAFSA. To apply for federal student aid, you must: 
    • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
    • Have a valid SSN
    • Be registered with Selective Service, if you’re male (age 18 through 25)
    • Be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree program
    • Be enrolled at least half time in an eligible program
    • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
    • Not currently be in default on previous student loans borrowed through FSA
    • Not have exceeded the maximum aggregate loan limit
    • Title IV graduate student loans are not income dependent. Learn more about student eligibility criteria here.
  • Are there any fees for borrowing unsubsidized loan funds? 
    Yes, there is a loan origination fee on unsubsidized loans currently set at 1.066 percent. This loan origination fee is a percentage of the total loan amount. This fee is deducted proportionately from each loan disbursement you receive.
  • What if I am in default or have defaulted on a prior federal student loan?
    Review your loan history at NSLDS.ed.gov and contact your loan service provider for details on how to clear the default.

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Direct PLUS Loans

  • What is a Direct PLUS Loan?
    Direct PLUS Loans are federal student loans that graduate or professional degree students can use to help pay for education expenses. Learn about Direct PLUS Loans here.
  • How do I apply for a Direct PLUS Loan?
    To apply for a Direct PLUS Loan, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Once you have completed the FAFSA, you can apply for the Direct PLUS Loan by completing the credit application at studentloans.gov.
  • What is the credit criteria for the Direct PLUS Loan?
    To qualify for a Direct PLUS Loan, applicants may not have an adverse credit history. A credit check is performed to determine whether applicants meet this requirement. A list of what is considered adverse credit history can be found here.
  • Who can receive the Direct PLUS loan?
    For purposes of graduate student aid, anyone who is a U.S. citizen, enrolled in a graduate program at least half time and meets the credit requirements as indicated above may be eligible to borrow. Students must first exhaust Direct Unsubsidized loan eligibility before applying for a Direct PLUS loan.
  • What is the current interest rate?
    The current interest rate for Direct PLUS Loans is 7.60 percent.
  • Do Direct PLUS Loans affect aggregate loan limit?
    No. Only Direct Subsidized and Direct Unsubsidized Loans are used to calculate your aggregate loan amount.
  • When do I have to repay my Direct PLUS Loan?
    Your Direct PLUS loan will go into repayment immediately after you graduate, withdraw from the program or fall below half-time status. You are not required to pay your student loans while you are enrolled at a minimum of half-time status as certified by GW. Students should consult with their loan service provider for definitive information on when payments are required.

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Military Benefits

  • How do I apply for military benefits?
    If you are eligible to apply for military education benefits, visit the Veterans Affairs website and complete the Educational Benefits Application Process.
  • Do I need to do anything in addition to completing the Educational Benefits Application Process?
    You need to present GW with an updated Certificate of Eligibility (COE), which will be mailed to you within six to eight weeks of successfully completing your Educational Benefits Application. You also need to follow the VALOR Student Services Checklist, and complete steps one through seven at the minimum.
  • What is the national maximum per academic year for private schools?
    The national maximum tuition and fee reimbursement rate for private schools is up to $22,805.34 for the 2017-2018 academic year. More information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill education and training rates can be found here.
  • What is the Yellow Ribbon Program?
    The Yellow Ribbon Program (YRP) is a matching program between the university/college and Veterans Affairs. Members must be not on active duty or the transfer spouse of someone on active duty and must be 100 percent eligible to receive the Post 9/11 GI Bill (Chapter 33) benefit. Learn more about YRP here.
  • Am I eligible for Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits?
    You may be eligible if you have at least 90 days of aggregate active duty service after September 10, 2001, and are still on active duty, or if you are an honorably discharged veteran or were discharged with a service-connected disability after 30 days. Learn more about the Post-9/11 GI Bill here.
  • Who do I contact with questions about my benefits at GW?
    VALOR Student Services
    202-994-9570
    vetserve@gwu.edu
    https://services.military.gwu.edu/

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GW Financial Aid

  • Can I use loans to cover expenses beyond tuition (housing, books, living expenses, etc.)?
    Yes. A sample estimated cost of attendance for a 9 month period of study at GWSPH is available at https://publichealth.gwu.edu/content/cost-attendance.
  • Are there any scholarships available for this program?
    MHA@GW awards both merit-based scholarships and partner organization benefits to outstanding students whose professional and academic achievements set them apart as leaders in the field.
  • What is the minimum number of credits required to received federal student aid?
    You need to be taking at least 4.5 credits per semester (Fall and Spring) and at least 3 credits for the Summer semester.

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Take the Next Step

If you are ready to advance your career in health care management with an online MHA from GW, request more information today.