Leaves of Absence
Students may apply to the Office of the Dean of Students for a Leave of Absence when personal circumstances make a temporary absence advisable and a commitment to return to the College is evident. The length of the leave is determined by the student’s needs, but normally will not exceed one calendar year. Students may be granted leaves from the College without grade penalty up until the last day of classes in any semester. Depending on the circumstances, a leave may be arranged during or between semesters. However, students on a leave may return only at the beginning of an academic semester. When a student is granted a Leave of Absence during the semester, the course registration remains on the transcript and the notation “L” is assigned instead of a letter grade.
During a Leave of Absence, the general deposit required of all students is maintained on account; when applicable, financial aid and course registration arrangements are held for the student’s return. Students on leave should contact the Office of Residence Life to make arrangements for on-campus housing. Students also may register for the next semester in person during the designated registration period. Students must inform the Registrar of their intent to participate in registration.
Students considering a Leave of Absence must consult their advisor and others, as appropriate, about the effect it will have on progress toward a degree, financial aid, and billing. Tuition and board refunds for Leaves of Absence are governed by institutional policy; please contact the Office of Financial Services for information.
Leaves of Absence for Personal or Community Health/Safety Reasons
- Students are permitted to take voluntary leaves of absence to address medical or mental health concerns. All requests for voluntary leaves must be approved by the Dean of Students or his/her designee. The Dean of Students, in consultation with health professionals as necessary, will specify the conditions to be satisfied (if any) before the student may return to Allegheny.
- The Dean of Students may place a student on a leave of absence following an individualized assessment of a student in which the College determines in the exercise of its judgment that a student reasonably meets one or more the following criteria:
- A student presents a substantial risk of harm to others or has engaged in threatening or violent activities;
- A student presents a substantial risk that the student will harm him/herself, and that risk cannot be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level through reasonable and realistic accommodations;
- A student significantly disrupts the educational or other activities of the College community;
- A student is unable or unwilling to carry out substantial self-care obligations or to participate meaningfully in educational activities; or
- A student requires a level of care that exceeds the resources and staffing that the College can reasonably be expected to provide for a student’s well-being.
- Where appropriate and feasible, the Dean of Students or his/her designee will notify a student that a leave of absence is under consideration. In situations involving an imminent or ongoing threat to the College community, it may be appropriate for the College to require the student to be away from the College while the individualized assessment and review are taking place. Students are expected to cooperate in the assessment. The Dean of Students may require a mental or physical evaluation from a clinician designated by the College (at no cost to the student) if the Dean believes such an evaluation of a student will facilitate a more informed decision. Students are expected, if necessary, to sign a release of information to facilitate the discussions between the College and the clinician conducting an evaluation.
- If a student declines to take a leave of absence voluntarily, the Dean of Students will convene a Committee to advise the Dean on whether a mandatory leave of absence should be invoked. The Committee will include at least three persons, one of whom shall be the Director of the College’s Counseling Center or designee. The Dean of Students and the Committee may consider relevant documentation made available to them. They may also confer with individuals who have relevant information about whether a leave of absence is appropriate for a particular student. The student will have the opportunity to respond to the concerns in writing and/or in-person/telephonically before the Committee.
- The Dean of Students will provide written notice to the student regarding the decision as to imposition of a mandatory leave. If a leave of absence is imposed, the written notice shall include (i) a time-frame when the student could be eligible to return; and (ii) the conditions the student would need to satisfy to be eligible for return. If a leave is not imposed, the Dean of Students may require conditions for the student’s continued enrollment at Allegheny.
- All reviews under this policy should be done in a reasonably timely manner. Where a student has been asked to remain off campus pending the review, every effort will be made by the Dean of Students to reach a decision within seven business days provided the student responds timely to requests for information and (if appropriate) evaluation.
- A student placed on mandatory leave of absence has the right to appeal to the Executive Vice President. The appeal must be in writing, delineating the reason(s) why the student believes the decision is inappropriate. The appeal must be received within three days of receiving written notification of the decision to place the student on mandatory leave. The appeal may relate to the leave decision itself and/or the conditions imposed to return to school. The Executive Vice President will review the student’s appeal and uphold, reverse or modify the decision. The Executive Vice President’s decision shall be considered final.
- The length of any mandatory leave of absence will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Unless expressly permitted by the Executive Vice President or the Dean of Students in writing, students on mandatory leave of absence are not permitted to be present on campus and are not permitted to engage in any College-related activities. Students on a voluntary leave of absence are expected to check in with the Dean of Students prior to visiting to discuss their visit.
- When a student who has been on a mandatory leave of absence pursuant to this policy wishes to return to the College, the student must submit a written request to the Dean of Students to return. The Dean of Students may require further evaluation of the student to determine readiness to return. The Dean of Students may confer or seek information from others to assist in making the determination. If the Dean of Students is not satisfied that the student is ready to return, the Dean will notify the student in writing of the decision, including the reasons for the decision. A student not permitted to return may appeal the decision to the Executive Vice President. If the student is approved to return, Winslow Health Center or Counseling Center staff members may make recommendations to the Dean of Students regarding conditions of return. The student will receive written notification of any conditions. Written requests for return from mandatory leave should be submitted no later than July 1 for the fall semester or November 15 for the spring semester.
- A leave of absence under this policy is an administrative process, not a disciplinary process. It is possible that conduct leading to a mandatory leave of absence under this policy may also be subject to review and sanctions under the College’s Student Code of Conduct.
- For information regarding the effect of a leave of absence under this policy on matters such as transcripts, registration, financial aid, housing and refund policies, see above.
Withdrawal From the College and Readmission
Students wishing to withdraw from only a single course while still completing other registered courses should consider dropping the course (see “Adding and Dropping Courses ” in the “Course Registration ” section), if still permitted, or a Withdrawal if the drop deadline has already passed (see “Withdrawing From a Course ” in the “Course Registration ” section).
Students desiring to withdraw completely from the College must complete the withdrawal form available from the Office of the Dean of Students. In order to receive a deposit refund, students must withdraw according to the following deadlines: July 1 for the Fall semester; by one week prior to the first official day of classes for the Spring semester. Students may withdraw from the College without grade penalty up until the last day of classes in any semester. When a student withdraws from the College during the first two weeks of the semester, 14-week courses will not appear on the official transcript, but, as appropriate, will appear on the academic record. Students who withdraw from the College between the conclusion of the second week of the semester and the last day of classes will receive the grade of “WC” for all courses for which they are registered. This will not affect their grade point average. If a student withdraws after the last day of classes, the grades for that semester will be posted to the student’s record, and the student is subject to all applicable academic standing actions, including academic dismissal.
Students who do not resume study at the opening of any semester are withdrawn from the College by action of the Dean of Students.
Students who withdraw may return to the College by notifying the Office of the Dean of Students no later than July 1 for the fall semester or December 1 for spring semester. A re-entering student is required to pay the $400 deposit at the time he or she notifies the Office of the Dean of Students of the date of return.
When students re-enter, they shall be governed by the academic requirements applicable to the class of which they become a part, with the exception that the total number of credits required for graduation is that specified for the class with which they originally matriculated at the College. Students who withdraw from the College are expected to leave the campus within 48 hours. They lose all privileges of enrollment until such time as they are readmitted. Tuition and board refunds for Leaves of Absence and Withdrawals from the College are governed by institutional policy; please contact the Office of Financial Services for information.