Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Leave of Absence Policy

Students who find it necessary to leave the College either during a semester or who choose not to return for one or two semesters are eligible to request a Leave of Absence (LOA).

A Leave of Absence occurs when a student leaves the College due to medical or personal/experiential reasons and, at the time of departure, fully intends to return within one or two semesters. A Leave of Absence can occur either during the semester or in advance of an upcoming semester.

Benefits of a Leave of Absence: The student retains college e-mail; is eligible to register for classes during the registration period; may participate in the housing lottery; and remains in an ongoing relationship with the College. The College maintains connection with a student who has every intention of returning.

Leaves of Absence

The following conditions apply to all Leaves of Absence:

  1. The LOA/Withdrawal Form must be completed with a Dean in Academic Services and signed by all appropriate offices.
  2. The College retains the matriculation deposit and the advance registration deposit.
  3. The standard Refund Policy applies, if applicable.
  4. A student on a Leave must meet the normal deadlines for applying for financial aid in order to be considered for funding for the semester in which the student plans to return.
  5. Commencing with the last day of enrollment before the Leave takes effect, a student who has taken out an educational loan has a six-month grace period before repayment of the loan must begin, as per federal policy.
  6. During the LOA, the student must follow the College's Guest Policy when visiting campus.
  7. If a student is unable to return from a Leave within the agreed upon time, a request to extend the Leave may be granted by writing to the Office of the Registrar.
  8. If a student is unable or chooses not to return to the College within the agreed upon time of the Leave, the student’s status code will change from Leave to Withdraw. No action on the part of the student will result in the change of status.
  9. For students requesting a Leave who are not in good standing, a request to return to the College must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar. The Registrar will then forward the request to the Academic Standards Committee (academic standing) or the Vice President for Student Life (disciplinary standing).

A. Leave of Absence for Medical Reasons

  1. A Leave of Absence for medical reasons occurs when a student experiences a medical issue that requires time away from the College to address it.
  2. To request a Leave of Absence for medical reasons, the student must provide documentation to a Dean in Academic Services from Health Services, Counseling Services, or a recognized medical professional.
  3. As with any Leave of Absence, a medical LOA is granted for a specified length of time (usually one or two semesters) depending upon the nature of the reason for the LOA.
  4. When a student is granted a medical LOA during a given semester, the student will receive a grade of "W" or "I" as determined by the course instructor. The determination is made based on the nature of the course and the amount of work yet to be completed. The student should discuss this with a Dean in Academic Services and each course instructor. In the case of an "I," if the student has not completed the requirements within six months of the start of the Leave, the grade will become a "W."

B. Leave of Absence for Personal / Experiential Reasons

  1. A Leave of Absence for personal or experiential reasons occurs when a student wishes to work, travel, or participate in other meaningful opportunities. In certain circumstances a Leave may be granted if time away from the College is needed to consider future academic plans and goals. As with any Leave of Absence, a personal or experiential LOA is granted for a specified period of time- usually one or two semesters.
  2. A request for a Leave of Absence for personal reasons may be made to a Dean in Academic Services, and in some cases, in consultation with a faculty member.
  3. A Leave of Absence for personal reasons is approved by a Dean in Academic Services in consultation with the Provost or Vice President for Student Life depending on the circumstance of the Leave e.g., academic or social.
  4. A Leave of Absence for experiential reasons is approved by a faculty member in consultation with the appropriate academic departmental chair. If the experiential LOA is for a reason other than an academic pursuit, it will be approved by the Vice President for Student Life.

Updated: March 22, 2016