Voluntary Leave of Absence
Westminster College recognizes that students occasionally find themselves in circumstances that require a voluntary leave. A voluntary leave of absence at Westminster College is defined as an interruption of continuous enrollment for less than three regular semesters (does not include May term or summer term). A voluntary leave of absence may be requested to engage in short-term military service, or for personal, medical*, employment, or financial reasons. An approved voluntary leave of absence does not defer college loans and students should consult with the Financial Aid Office regarding their eligibility to maintain their current financial aid award.
*Note: Students experiencing serious emergent illness should consult with the Dean of Students to request a medical withdrawal rather than a leave of absence.
To be eligible for a leave of absence, students must be a currently registered, degree-seeking student. Some academic programs may impose restrictions upon a leave of absence, so students are encouraged to consult with their academic program or department prior to submitting a request for voluntary leave. A leave of absence is not required for summer term. Students under voluntary leave are not required to readmit upon return and may stay enrolled in their declared governing catalog provided they return within the three semesters. Access to Westminster email and technology accounts remain active during a short-term leave of absence. Students who fail to return to school after an approved leave of absence will be considered withdrawn by the institution and will be expected to reapply.
National or Religious Service
Students may engage in national (such as military service) or religious service for an extended period of time (longer than three regular semesters) but will be required to re-apply to the college upon their return. Westminster will hold institutional scholarships, provided you do not attend another school before returning to Westminster. In most cases, students are expected to be readmitted under current, existing catalog requirements in effect at the time of re-admission.
Applying for a Leave of Absence
- Discuss your desire to apply for a leave of absence with your academic or program advisor.
- Complete the Leave of Absence Form available on-line and in the Start Center or Registrar’s Office.
- Meet with representatives in the Financial Aid Office, Student Account Services, and Campus Housing (if applicable). Students with outstanding financial balances will be required to sign promissory notes and make adequate financial arrangements prior to taking leave.
- Completed forms must be turned in to the Registrar’s Office to complete the leave process.
Note: Students who are unable to apply for voluntary leave in person, may designate an individual to apply for them, provided there is a Release of Information Form (FERPA) on file for that designated individual.