Leave of Absence

A leave of absence is a period when a student is not enrolled in classes at Central College but typically intends to re-enroll. It is granted to students who need to step away from their current academic experience for the remainder of the semester. This may be to focus more intensely on their physical or mental health (requires the support of a licensed medical or mental health care professional), family emergency, military service, or other specified reason.

Who needs a Leave of Absence?

Students may want to consider a leave of absence if:

  • A student’s physical or mental health is disrupting their ability to participate in academic and campus life (even with supports and accommodations); they feel they are in crisis or that their level of distress is becoming intolerable; they believe the stress and pressure of college is seriously disrupting their ability to focus on recovery; or an increased level of care is needed.
  • A family emergency requires the student step away from their studies for the remainder of the semester.
  • A student chooses to enlist in the military and leaves for basic training or is deployed on active duty.
  • Other specified reason.

How long is a Leave of Absence?

A leave of absence may be a partial semester or a full semester but may not exceed two consecutive full semesters. Students who are granted a leave of absence prior to the start of classes or during the official drop/add period will be dropped from their courses without a transcript notation. Students who withdraw after the official drop/add period and before the 12th week of classes will receive a “W” (withdraw) grade on the transcript for each full-semester course they are currently registered. Students who receive financial aid will have the term counted as one of their terms of financial aid used toward the maximum financial aid eligibility.

How do I know if I qualify for a Leave of Absence?

A student seeking a leave of absence for any reason should contact their class dean to initiate a conversation about a leave of absence. The request for a LOA cannot be made after the end of the 12th week of classes. Medical requests will be considered after the 12th week on a case-by-case basis. In no case can a request for a LOA be made after the end of the term. Students seeking a leave of absence for a medical reason should talk with licensed medical provider or mental health care professional to determine if a medical leave of absence is something they would recommend and support with documentation for demonstrated need.

What happens to my student status with a Leave of Absence?

If approved by the Vice President for Academic Affairs or designee, the student will stop all courses and be granted grades of “W” in all enrolled courses and have course registration for any subsequent term cancelled if applicable.  Students may seek to re-enroll in a subsequent semester by completing the application for re-entry. Students granted a leave of absence will not be permitted to continue living on campus and are required to vacate their residence hall room within 24 hours of signing the withdrawal paperwork AND must verify completion of move out with Residence Life staff. Students will be charged pro-rated room and board fees until verification of move out is complete. If move out date verification with Residence Life staff is not completed before 60 percent point in term, student will not be eligible for a refund on room & board.

Students typically spend at least one full semester away from campus, though time away can be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Students are encouraged to consult with the Financial Aid Office to determine if there are other financial implications to their decision to take a leave.

If you would like to proceed with a Leave of Absence or have any additional questions, please contact:

            Registrar’s Office