Leave of Absence

A student wishing to leave the College for a semester or more to study elsewhere, to work, to take time off for medical and mental health reasons, or to do something else, can apply for a leave of absence (LOA) at the College Center for Advising Services (CCAS) in Lattimore 312.

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.

Students should review the University's policy on refunds which is available here. A student who withdraws or takes a leave of absence after the 60 percent point of the period of enrollment will receive no refund of institutional charges or financial aid for that term, except under extraordinary circumstances. 

Note: Students who wish to declare a leave of absence due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, should contact the College Center for Advising Services to discuss their plans. As noted above, taking time off can have important implications for academic planning and financial aid.

For students receiving financial aid, leaving after the semester has started has implications for both the current and upcoming semester. A LOA affects the current semester with regard to the amount of aid earned on a prorated basis. In addition, a LOA affects the upcoming semester with regard to meeting the minimum satisfactory academic progress standards of federal, state, and University financial assistance. See the financial aid page for more information.

There is a three-year limit for a continuous 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 Procedures for Students Withdrawing or Requesting Leave of Absence (pdf) for the most updated information.

Forms and Fees

Students who declare a leave of absence must complete a Change of Status Form at CCAS and pay $80 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 the Office of the Bursar website for more information.

An active student who withdraws or voluntarily takes a leave from the University on or after the first day of classes but before they have completed sixty percent of the semester will have their institutional charges and aid adjusted based on a daily prorated attendance. The complete refund policy can be found on the registrar’s policy page under “refunds.”

Dining, health insurance, mandatory health fee, and room and board refunds are decided by University Health Service (UHS), the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services, and Dining Services, respectively and as applicable.

Coursework and Transfer Credit

Students with incomplete coursework on their academic record are eligible to complete this coursework while on a leave of absence as long as they have the permission of the instructor. Students who wish to enroll in courses at another college or university while they are on leave are strongly encouraged to consult with an advisor in CCAS and should also review the policies regarding transfer credit and the College's enrollment policy.

Medical Leave

Students who declare a leave of absence for medical reasons, including mental health reasons, complete a Medical Information Request Form in CCAS that is forwarded to 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 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.

Medical Leaves during the Semester

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 present.

Returning from Leave

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.

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.

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

International students should review the international students returning from leave page for information about returning to campus after a leave of absence.

Returning from Medical Leave

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. Students should contact UHS/UCC well before the deadline to discuss their plans to return. The dean of the College, following the recommendation made by UHS/UCC, will make a final decision regarding reactivation.

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.

Financial Aid

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.

Course approval forms obtained by the student prior to return and submitted to CCAS will be filed in the student’s academic file. Students should read the College’s enrollment policy for more information.


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