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Advising Handbook

Leave of Absence

(formerly Inactive Status)

A student wishing to leave the College for a semester or more to study elsewhere, to work, to take time off for medical reasons, or to do something else, may apply for a leave of absence (LOA) at the College Center for Advising Services (CCAS) in Lattimore 312.  Please note that in the past, Leave of Absence (LOA) was referred to as Inactive Status.  The decision to take time off can be made before the start of a new semester or once a semester is underway.  Since the reasons for requesting a leave of absence can have important implications for academic planning, including financial aid, students are encouraged to discuss their options with an advisor in CCAS and their financial aid counselor before making a final decision.  For students receiving financial aid, leaving after the semester has started has implications for both the current semester, in regard to determining the amount of aid earned on a prorated basis, as well as the upcoming semester, in regard to the ability to meet the minimum Satisfactory Academic Progress standards for renewal of federal, state, and University financial assistance.  (See Financial Aid Office for additional information).

Students who declare leave of absence prior to the start of the new semester complete a Change of Status form at CCAS and pay $60 prior to each semester s/he wishes to be on leave.  Students who wish to retain their mailbox in the River Campus Mail Service will also be charged a $29 fee per semester.  Students may remit payment to the Bursar’s Office by check, wire transfer or through UR epay. (See Office of the Bursar for additional information).

An active student who withdraws or voluntarily takes a leave from the University on or after the first day of classes but before the time when s/he will have completed sixty percent (60%) of the period of enrollment (semester) will have their institutional charges and institutional aid adjusted based on a daily proration of attendance.  The complete refund policy can be found at: http://www.rochester.edu/registrar/policies.html#refunds.

Dining, health insurance, mandatory health fee, room and board refunds are decided by the UHS, Residential Life, and Dining Services, respectively as applicable.

Students who declare a leave of absence for medical reasons complete a Medical Information Request form in CCAS that is forwarded to the University Health Service (UHS) or the University Counseling Center (UCC) for their review and recommendation.   Prior to their departure, students who leave for medical reasons should consult with UHS/UCC for an evaluation and to help them identify a set of recommendations for treatment and support while they are away.  While on leave of absence, students are encouraged to provide a health update and an interim report to UHS/UCC.  Additionally, academic advisors in CCAS can provide recommendations and advise students on academic plans and goals. 

Students who leave school during the semester for medical reasons are expected to seek treatment while they are away.  While there is no specific timeline that students must meet prior to returning, it is expected that students allow for sufficient time to address the difficulties that led to their departure.  Often, this period of time will be six to nine months, or longer, depending upon the medical issues that were present.  Students who leave for medical reasons are expected to consult with UHS/UCC to discuss their request to return.  Every case must be evaluated individually.  Any student who has been away from the College for more than 10 months must submit a new Health History Form. All students are required to comply with the New York State immunization laws

The Registrar will contact students via email during each semester they are on leave of absence in order to inquire about plans for the following semester. Ordinarily requests for reactivation should be submitted no later than November 1 for the spring term and July 1 for the fall term.  Students who leave for medical reasons should allow for sufficient time to consult with UHS/UCC to discuss their plans to return.  The Dean of the College, following the recommendation made by Health Services, will make a final decision regarding reactivation.

Once a student has been reactivated for the following semester, s/he should contact Residential Life to request a housing application and related information about the application and assignments process.  Residential Life must have a copy of the official change of status in order to provide housing information.

Financial Aid recipients are responsible for filing their aid forms in a timely manner and should consult with their financial aid counselor prior to beginning the reactivation process.

Students who take a leave of absence will likely be reclassified to a new class year when they return.  Credit for courses taken while on leave of absence must receive approval by the College and, if used to fulfill major or minor requirements, by the appropriate academic department as well. Grades of “C” or better must be earned.  This approval process will be undertaken by CCAS upon receipt of the official transcript and course descriptions. Course approval forms obtained by the student prior to return and submitted to CCAS will be filed in the student’s academic file. (See Transfer Credit) Students should also consult the College’s enrollment policy for further information.

Students cannot be reactivated if any monies are owed to the University.

Please note that there is a five-year limit on leave of absence.

Students who study abroad and want transfer credit cannot declare a leave of absence, but must be on study abroad status. (See Center for Education Abroad.https://www.rochester.edu/college/abroad/.)

Click on the link provided for the most updated Procedures for Students Withdrawing or Requesting Leave of Absence.

Students with questions about leave of absence may see an advisor in CCAS or email ASEchangeofstatus@rochester.edu.