Leave of Absence, Withdrawal from College

The Undergraduate Application for Leave of Absence/Withdrawal from College form is available online; in the Advising Center, Butler Library 149, (716) 878-5223; and in the student’s academic department office.

Students in a major should begin the application process by conferring with their department chair. Undeclared students should meet with the Academic Advisement Office coordinator. Tuition refunds, if applicable, will be made on a prorated basis as outlined for that semester. Financial aid recipients who withdraw or take a leave of absence may owe a refund of aid they received for the semester. For additional information about financial aid, refer to the financial aid section of this catalog or https://financialaid.buffalostate.edu, Moot Hall 210.

Leave of Absence

Matriculated undergraduate and graduate students who wish to leave the college for academic, financial, medical, military, or personal reasons may be granted leaves of absence for the fall or spring semesters only. A leave of absence (LOA) is a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study. A LOA cannot exceed 180 days in any 12-month period and may have a serious impact on a student’s financial aid. Any student who received financial aid and is considering a LOA should consult with the Financial Aid Office to determine how their aid will be affected (e.g., grace period, repayment, failure to return as stipulated, etc.) prior to LOA approval. In accordance with federal regulations, 34 CFR 668.22 (d), the following criteria outlines the requirements to process an approved LOA:

  • The student must submit a completed Leave of Absence form for approval. The form must state the reason(s) for the LOA request. A LOA cannot be granted for academic reasons (i.e. to keep a student from failing).
    • When a student submits a leave of absence before the start of a semester, the leave will start on the first day of the next semester (fall or spring).
    • When a student wishes to take a leave of absence during a semester already in progress, they must submit the paperwork no later than the last day to drop without financial penalty. No leaves of absences will be granted after that date.
    • Retroactive leave of absence requests will not be approved.
    • Students can automatically remove their leave of absence status by registering for the semester in which they had originally planned to take a leave or for the following semester after the approved leave of absence.
  • There must be reasonable expectation that the student will return from LOA. A student granted a LOA is not to be considered withdrawn and no return of Title IV calculation is required.
    • Student borrowers are given a six-month grace period on most types of federal loans starting at the date enrollment ceases. During this time, lenders will treat the borrower’s loans as if the borrower were still enrolled in school full time.
    • Once a grace period is used on a specific loan, it will not be given again.
    • At the end of this six-month grace period, the student will be required to enter repayment on their federal educational loans until they return to school. However, deferment or forbearance options may be available if the student makes a request to their lender.
  • A student returning from a LOA must resume training at the same point in the academic program that they began the LOA.
  • Students who change their majors when they return will be required to meet the curriculum of the new program in place at the time of their return.
  • If a student does not register for classes within the 180day-requirement, the student is considered to have ceased attendance from the institution and a title IV return of funds calculation is required if the student received federal aid.
  • When a student returns from a LOA, the institution may not assess the student any additional institutional charges relative to reinstatement.
    • Students on an approved leave of absence who fail to return (for any reason) will be inactivated at the end of the following semester (fall or spring) and must apply for readmission to the college when they are interested in resuming their progress toward a degree.
    • Students who are not enrolled for three consecutive semesters will be readmitted using the catalog year of their readmittance.
  • Students who do not register for courses for the semester after their leave expires will be deactivated as students and must apply for readmission to the college when they are interested in resuming their progress toward a degree.
  • Upon return from a leave of absence, students will be allowed to complete the program requirements in place at the time they took the leave of absence. Students should seek financial aid eligibility consultation and academic advisement before registering for courses for their return semester.

Withdrawal from College

To maintain good academic standing and eligibility for readmission to the college, students finding it necessary to withdraw must do so officially. Failure to file for withdrawal will result in the recording of an E grade in each course in which the student is registered. When it is impossible to withdraw in person, it must be done in writing from the student to the dean. Students withdrawing officially with no outstanding obligations or commitments to the college are considered to be in good academic standing.

The chair must sign the Withdrawal from College form. A request to withdraw from the college must be received in the Registrar’s Office, Moot Hall, no later than the Friday before the Critique and Evaluation Period.

Refer to DOPS Policy I:07:00