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Policy

GSAD-906 Graduate Student Leave of Absence

Procedure

  1. A student who determines a need to be absent from their program for an extended period of time and cannot complete the course(s) in which s/he is currently enrolled should consult with their adviser or committee chair.
  2. Student completes a Request for Extended Absence with Course Drops Form and submits to the Graduate Program Head.
  3. The Graduate Program Head compiles the following information and sends it to Graduate Enrollment Services:
    1. The reason for the request,
    2. Begin and end dates for the Extended Absence,
    3. A written summary of the remaining requirement for the degree, and
    4. A statement of whether or not they support the request, and if not, why.
  4. Graduate Enrollment Services will determine if the Extended Absence with Course Drops is approved or denied.
  5. Graduate Enrollment Services will notify the student, the college/school administrator for graduate education, and the Graduate Program Head regarding the outcome of the request.
  6. If approved, a student MUST take the following steps:
    1. REGISTRATION: If enrolled for the semester(s) requested, the student must drop all courses. The Extended Absence with Course Drops form incorporates the Semester Withdrawal authorization. By completing this form, the student is authorizing course drops for the semester in question which will result in “W” grades.
      1. INTERNATIONAL: If the student is an international student studying in residence (not solely via the World Campus) and all courses are to be dropped, the student MUST contact their International Student adviser at the Penn State Office of Global Programs, Directorate of International Student and Scholar Advising (DISSA) prior to finalizing the drop.
    2. INSURANCE: If the student has purchased the Penn State Student Health Insurance Plan through the University, the student MUST contact the Student Insurance Office (Student Health Center; 814-865-7467) to determine how the Extended Absence with Course Drops might affect their benefits.
    3. HOUSING: In general, student must be enrolled full-time to maintain eligibility for University housing. If the student requesting an Extended Absence with Course Drops is currently living in University housing, the student MUST contact their local housing office to learn how the Extended Absence with Course Drops will impact their housing contract.
    4. FINANCIAL AID. If the student is receiving any form of financial aid they MUST contact the Student Aid representative at his or her campus before dropping all courses due to an Extended Absence with Course Drops, to discuss any potential issues related to repayment of aid funds.
      1. Consequences to financial aid when a student drops all courses can be exceedingly complex. A Student Aid representative can help a student seeking an Extended Absence with Course Drops understand how their aid will be impacted.
      2. Students requesting an Extended Absence with Course Drops due to a medical condition may petition the Bursar for a waiver of tuition; note that not all requests are granted.
    5. PENN STATE ACCESS ACCOUNT. Students with an Extended Absence with Course Drops may qualify to extend their Access Account for the duration of the absence or leave, for a nominal fee.
    6. GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIPS:
      1. If the student is currently being supported on a graduate assistantship, fellowship, or traineeship, that assistantship, fellowship or traineeship may or may not continue to be provided during the Extended Absence with Course Drops. (See Management of Graduate Assistantships, Fellowships, and Traineeships for Graduate Students with an Approved Leave of Absence).
      2. While every effort will be made to identify funding upon the student’s return, there is no guarantee that there will be funding available upon return.
    7. THIRD PARTY or EXTERNALLY FUNDED STUDENTS: Students whose graduate school tuition is paid for by third parties or external sources should contact those sources to determine how dropping all courses will impact their funding.
  7. Upon receipt of the Withdrawal Form, Graduate Enrollment Services will finalize the approval by:
    1. Approving the semester withdraw form and sending it to the University Registrar for processing.
    2. Updating the student information system with the leave of absence status.

NOTE: Students on an approved Extended Absence with Course Drops can enroll in courses for the next semester as normal without the need to complete a Resume Study application. If the situation for the absence persists, students can submit a formal Leave of Absence or extension request prior to the start of the next semester.

If after the end date of an approved leave, a semester (excluding summer) goes unenrolled without an approved Leave of Absence or Extended Absence with Course Drops a Resume Study Application will have to be completed before returning.

Forms

Extended Absence with Course Drops

Further Information

Management of Graduate Assistantships, Fellowships, and Traineeships for Graduate Students with an Approved Leave of Absence

Revision History

Approved by The Graduate School, May 13, 2019

This page was generated on December 3, 2020 at 3:21 AM Eastern Time. This may not be the most recent version. Check the website for updates.