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Undergraduate Leave of Absence and Voluntary Withdrawal Policy

Distinction between Leave of Absence and Voluntary Withdrawal:

  • Students who need to step away from the university for a set period of time and have the intention of returning to the university within a four-semester timeframe (not including winter or summer sessions) should elect a leave of absence.
  • Students who have no intention of returning to the university should elect a voluntary withdrawal.

Procedure:

Undergraduate students who wish to take a leave of absence or voluntarily withdraw from all their classes at the university must begin the process by submitting the online Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Request Form available at https://www.umassd.edu/registrar/forms/student-forms/  

Deadlines: 

  • During Semester: The online Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Request Form must be submitted by the semester’s last day of classes.
  • Between Semesters: The online Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Request Form must be submitted by the upcoming compulsory semester’s (fall or spring) established add/drop deadline if leaving the university prior to the start of that semester.

Effective Date:

  • The date the request is submitted will be recorded as the official leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal effective date unless the student is requesting a leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal effective after the current semester’s completion. In that instance, it will be processed effective after final grades have been posted for that semester.
  • The effective date will be provided to the Bursar and Financial Aid Offices for appropriate billing, refund, and financial aid adjustments. It is imperative that the student submits the online Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Request Form as soon as they have made the decision to stop attending/participating in courses.
  • The leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal effective date cannot be changed once it has been recorded in the university’s student information system.

Leave of Absence and Voluntary Withdrawal Options & Conditions:

There are three leave of absence options and one voluntary withdrawal option available:

  • Leave of Absence – Standard (requires approval from College Dean’s Office) 

When a Leave of Absence - Standard occurs during a semester in which the student is enrolled in courses, the class grades are recorded as Ws on the transcript and count toward the maximum number of Ws allowed by the university and may impact financial aid, including Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. Student is not required to apply for readmission to the university or pay a readmission fee as long as student returns after no more than four semesters of absence (not including winter or summer sessions). If absent for more than four semesters, the student is subject to the university’s readmission procedures.

  • Leave of Absence – Medical (requires approval from Health Services for physical health or Counseling Center for emotional health)

When a Leave of Absence - Medical (emotional health or physical health) occurs during a semester in which the student is enrolled in courses, the class grades are recorded as Ws on the transcript and do not apply toward the maximum number of Ws allowed by the university but may impact financial aid, including Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. Student must submit all required documentation requested by Health Services or the Counseling Center, and must meet​ with the Counseling Center (if emotional health) before the leave of absence can be approved. Student is not required to apply for readmission to the university or pay a readmission fee as long as student returns after no more than four semesters of absence (not including winter or summer sessions). If absent for more than four semesters, the student is subject to the university’s readmission procedures.

  • Leave of Absence – Military (requires approval from Office of Student Affairs)

When a Leave of Absence - Military (active duty) occurs during a semester in which the student is enrolled in courses, the class grades are recorded as Ws on the transcript and do not apply toward the maximum number of Ws allowed by the university but may impact financial aid, including Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. Student is not required to apply for readmission to the university or pay a readmission fee as long as student returns after no more than four semesters of absence (not including winter or summer sessions). If absent for more than four semesters, the student is subject to the university’s readmission procedures.

  • Voluntary Withdrawal (requires approval from College Dean’s Office)

When a Voluntary Withdrawal occurs during a semester in which the student is enrolled in courses, the class grades are recorded as Ws on the transcript and count toward the maximum number of Ws allowed by the university and may impact financial aid, including Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations. A voluntary withdrawal should only be requested if the student does not intend to return to the university.

PLEASE NOTE: Students who do not submit the online Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Request Form by the established deadline who independently withdraw from all courses during the semester (unofficial withdrawal) will be deemed as withdrawn from the university as a Voluntary Withdrawal.  The effective date of the voluntary withdrawal will be determined based on the date of the last dropped (W) course.  When an unofficial withdrawal occurs during a semester in which the student is enrolled in courses, the class grades are recorded as Ws on the transcript and count toward the maximum number of Ws allowed by the university and may impact financial aid, including Satisfactory Academic Progress calculations.  Students who withdraw from all courses in a given semester without officially requesting a leave of absence will be required to follow the readmission application procedures if they wish to return.

Impacts of a Leave of Absence or Voluntary Withdrawal:

  • Billing: A full or partial refund may be possible depending on the leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal effective date and the University Refund Policy. In the event the submission date of the leave is after the refund eligibility date, all charges on the account remain due. Unpaid balances may be subject to collection activities. The refund policy is available at umassd.edu/uec/billing/tuitionrefunds
  • Financial Aid: Students who are granted a Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal before 60% of the semester is completed will have their federal and state financial aid eligibility recalculated in direct proportion to the length of their enrollment. This recalculation could result in an outstanding balance. For additional information, visit umassd.edu/financialaid/maintainingaid/
  • Student Employment: If currently working on campus, a student may NOT continue university employment.
  • Housing: If living on campus, student must schedule an appointment with their Resident Director (or RA) to officially check out of the hall and turn in the room key. This will help avoid bills for keys, improper checkout, and room/hall damages. NOTE: All housing charges will remain until the student completes a proper residence hall checkout, which includes return of room key(s), removal of all personal property, and a signed Room Condition Report (RCR). There will be no refund of housing charges after the published “no refund” date in the housing agreement each semester.
  • International Students: Must arrange to meet with the International Student and Scholar Center BEFORE requesting a Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal. The Center will explain the impact on VISA status and the process required when returning.

 

Confirmation of Leave of Absence or Withdrawal:

Once the student has submitted the online Student Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Request Form and all required approvals (including any documentation requested by Health Services or the Counseling Center if Leave of Absence – Medical) are received, the Office of University Registrar will process the leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal in the student information system. Student will be sent an email confirmation to their UMass Dartmouth email address. The leave of absence/voluntary withdrawal status and effective date will be reported to appropriate university departments and other federal and state agencies including the National Student Clearinghouse.

 

Returning to the UMass Dartmouth:

After an approved Leave of Absence:

  • Students granted a Leave of Absence - Standard or Military may return by sending an email to the Office of the University Registrar at registrar@umassd.edu at least four weeks prior to the semester of return.
  • Students on a Leave of Absence - Medical must provide documentation from a therapist to the Counseling Center (emotional health) or a physician to Health Services (physical health) at least four weeks prior to the semester of return. The final approval for a Leave of Absence - Medical return is determined by the Counseling Center or Health Services Director.
  • Students on a Leave of Absence who exceed the stipulated time on leave will be considered to have withdrawn and are subject to the university’s readmission procedures.

After a Voluntary Withdrawal:

  • Former students may request readmission to continue their education after an absence of one or more semesters or after an absence for which they did not obtain official approval.
  • The readmission application form is available at https://www.umassd.edu/registrar/readmission-application/
  • Readmission requests must be submitted to Office of University Registrar, who forwards the request to the department chairperson of the student’s major.
  • A fee is charged to each applicant for readmission.
  • Readmission is not automatic; some readmission requests are denied. Individuals are evaluated for prior academic progress and for availability of space in the major program of study and must receive Bursar’s Office clearance.
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