When students enter college, the last thing they can imagine is needing to leave for some reason. Why might a student decide to leave? Some typical reasons include:
■ A medical emergency
■ A family emergency
■ Financial setback requiring a student to work full time to get the money needed
■ Military duty
■ Academic difficulties which can’t be overcome
■ An opportunity to gain professional experience for an extended time. (e.g. a co-op)
When you are granted a leave of absence, you are assured that you will be able to return to the university. You should contact your admissions office to request the leave.
There are some aspects to a leave of absence you should be aware of:
■ When you withdraw during the semester, you will receive withdraw grades (W’s) for your classes. A W doesn’t figure into your GPA, but if does lower your percent completion. If your percent completion drops below 67%, you could lose any federal financial aid you are receiving.
■ Should you take off time from college, you should check to see if your scholarships will continue when you return. Many scholarships are for a set number of semesters and will continue. You may need to sign some documents to continue your scholarships.
■ Should you be called to military duty in the middle of the semester, you may be able to get credit for your classes should you have reached a certain point in the semester. Many campuses that have significant veteran populations have made accommodations for students with military obligations.
■ Should you withdraw in the middle of the semester, you may be entitled to a percentage of your tuition returned to you.
Requesting a leave of absence shouldn’t be done without a lot of thought, but if you do need to withdraw for a while, there is a process to follow. Be sure you don’t just leave without notifying the university.