Short-Term Absences from Campus
- Students leaving campus due to health reasons (e.g., physical or mental health needs) should contact the Winslow Health Center or Counseling and Professional Development Center. The Health Center will then notify professors and other need-to-know offices.
- Students leaving campus due to the death of a family member or friend and other reasons should contact the Dean of Students Office. The Dean of Students Office will then notify professors and other need-to-know offices.
- Please note that this is a notification only. Any student leaving campus is responsible for working with their professors in making up any missed course work. Students may be required to show proof of illness, etc. Please refer to the Class Attendance, Exam and Academic Policy section of this handbook for additional information.
Voluntary 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 request a Leave of Absence from the College without grade penalty up until the last day of classes in any semester. When a student takes a Leave of Absence 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 take a Leave of Absence from the College between the conclusion of the second week of the semester and the last day of classes will receive the grade of “L” for all courses for which they are registered. This will not affect their grade point average. If a student takes a Leave of Absence 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. Grades of X for Student-initiated Withdrawals taken prior to the leave will be posted to the student’s transcript, as will grades for Module or Short Courses completed prior to the leave.
A leave may include conditions for re-entry that will need to be met before the student is approved to return. The student will receive written notification of any conditions when the leave of absence is processed.
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 intending to return from a leave should contact the Dean of Students Office to initiate the return process. Once approved to return, students may be placed into housing; if the approval is completed before the Housing Selection process begins, they may participate in the process. Additionally, once approved to return, students also may register for the next semester during the designated registration period. Students must inform the Registrar of their intent to participate in registration. Housing and registration are contingent upon the student being in good financial standing with the institution.
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. Billing refunds for Leaves of Absence are governed by institutional policy; please contact the Office of Financial Services for information.
A student taking a leave of absence who is a recipient of federal financial aid should consult the Office of Financial Aid about possible return of Title IV funds. Those students should also be aware that a semester in which they take a leave of absence may affect their ability to maintain minimum satisfactory academic progress and retain eligibility for federal financial aid.
Involuntary 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.
Involuntary Leave for Non-Registration or Non-Attendance
Students must be registered for classes by the end of the add/drop period for the semester. All holds must be lifted, balances paid, and other conditions of registration met AND students must have registered for at least one credit prior to the posted add/drop deadline. Students who do not do so are deemed to have failed to resume study and are placed on a Leave of Absence from the College by action of the Dean of Students, effective the end of the prior semester attended. All other conditions of a leave of absence apply to these students.
A student who is registered for classes but who fails to return to campus by the end of the add/drop period for the semester is deemed to have failed to begin attendance, and will be placed on a Leave of Absence from the College by action of the Dean of Students, effective the end of the prior semester attended. All other conditions of a leave of absence apply to these students.
Voluntary 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. The general deposit is not required to be maintained on account and may be refunded if there is a positive balance. 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.
A withdrawal may include conditions for re-entry that will need to be met before the student is approved to return. The student will receive written notification of any conditions when the withdrawal is processed.
Students who withdraw are expected to return their student identification card to the Dean of Students Office or the Student Accounts Office. 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. Billing refunds for withdrawal are governed in the provisions set forth by the Financial Services Office.
A student withdrawing from the College who is a recipient of federal financial aid should consult the Office of Financial Aid about possible return of Title IV funds.
Re-entry after Leave of Absence or Withdrawal
All outstanding financial balances must be paid before re-entry can be approved. In addition, any conditions for re-entry will need to be met before the student is approved. The student will receive written notification of any conditions when the leave of absence or withdrawal is processed.
Students who take a leave of absence or withdraw may return to the College by contacting the Office of the Dean of Students. It is advisable that such notice occur no later than July 1 for the fall semester or November 15 for spring semester. A student re-entering from a withdrawal is required to pay the $400 deposit at the time they notify the Office of the Dean of Students of the date of return.
This policy is under the purview of the Academic Standards Committee. Changes are subject to a vote of the faculty.
Dating Leaves and Withdrawals
Colleges and universities are required to accurately report the date that a student takes a leave or withdrawal. This date must be supported by appropriate institutional documentation.
For end-of-semester leaves or withdrawals (those where the student completes the semester), the date of the leave or withdrawal will in all cases be the last day of exams for the last semester completed. Requests for end-of-semester leaves or withdrawals may be submitted before the end of the semester and will be dated to the last day of exams. A leave taken in between semesters but before the first class day of the next semester will also be dated to the last day of exams for the last semester completed.
For leaves occurring during the semester (from the first day of classes until the last day of classes), if a student is deemed to have begun attendance at Allegheny College, the date of the leave or withdrawal will be the date on which the student submits the official Leave of Absence or Withdrawal Form. An exception to this would be a hospital stay or incarceration that was institutionally documented and which would have precluded the student from completing the form in a timely manner. In such cases the start date of the in-patient treatment or incarceration shall be used. A student is regarded as having begun attendance if they have conducted academic activity as defined by federal regulations, principally that they are registered for courses AND have attended classes or submitted an academic assignment. Students who are present in College housing or using a meal plan may be billed for those activities even if they have not begun attendance in classes. Students who are deemed not to have begun attendance in a given semester will be placed on leave or withdrawn effective the end of the prior semester attended.
In all cases, students have one business day to change their mind and rescind the leave or withdrawal. Requests to rescind a leave or withdrawal after that time will be forwarded to the Dean of Students.
Determining the date of leave or withdrawal has significant consequences for billing and financial aid, so students are advised to complete the Leave of Absence or Withdrawal Form in a timely fashion. Students are also advised in particular to consult with Financial Aid.
If a student has questions about this process, they should consult with the Office of the Dean of Students as soon as possible.
Leaves of Absence and Withdrawal Form
Leaves of Absence and Withdrawal Form