Withdrawals and Deferment
Approved leave of absence or temporary withdrawal
The University defines a temporary withdrawal as ‘an approved absence from University for a set period of time’. Students wishing to take a temporary withdrawal must speak to their School to receive approval in advance of the withdrawal period. The School will guide students through the withdrawal procedures.
To request a temporary withdrawal Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught students should refer to the Regulations for Students 1.20-1.22. Postgraduate Research students should refer to the withdrawal information here.
Please inform the U.S. Federal loans administrator immediately if you are thinking about requesting a leave of absence (LOA). We can then ensure that your leave of absence meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of Education.
Please note: When a LOA is required for a student to submit a visa application for a new programme, the LOA does not meet the conditions of an approved LOA. In this case the student will be confirmed withdrawn until they are re-registered at least part-time. E.g. changing from PhD to MPhil.
Conditions of a leave of absence and how it may effect your federal loan
- To maintain U.S. Federal Loan eligibility, the longest approved LOA a student can take is 180 days within a 12-month period. After 180 days, a student is assumed to have withdrawn and their withdrawal date is backdated to the first day of their LOA. This means a student could be potentially late starting their loan repayment as their grace period may be exhausted.
- While a student is on an approved LOA, he/she is not eligible for any federal Loan disbursements and loans enter a grace period. If the LOA is longer than the 6 month grace period, loan repayments will begin. If a student returns to study at least half-time before the 6 month grace period ends, then the student will be allocated another six-month grace period. If the grace period has expired, another six-month period will not be allocated. Please note: PLUS Loans do not have a grace period.
- Students must complete exit counselling before completing a programme or before a LOA as this counselling provides important information including the length of a grace period and repayment options.
- Exit counselling may be repeated at any stage to review the details of a loan. Stafford loans carry a grace period of 6 months whereas a PLUS loan does not have a grace period. The loan promissory note will confirm the details of the grace period associated with that loan.
If you are considering a LOA please contact your School to request the appropriate form and also notify the federal loans administrator at email@example.com.
Please Note: Periods of LOA do not count towards the length of a programme.
- Permanent Withdrawal
How a permanent withdrawal may effect your federal loan
Students withdrawing permanently from their programme must notify the U.S. Federal Loans Administrator immediately.
- When a student withdraws we are required to cancel any pending loan disbursements, calculate the amount of aid earned by the student and report the student's withdrawal date on the National Student Loan Data System. The U.S. Federal Loans Administrator will calculate the amount of aid earned using a formula provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Depending on the amount of aid a student has earned, the University and or the student may be required to return part of or the entire loan to the U.S. Department of Education.
- Students must complete exit counselling to receive information about their loan grace period and repayment options. Exit counselling may be repeated at any stage to review the details of a loan. Stafford loans carry a grace period of 6 months whereas a PLUS loan does not have a grace period. The loan promissory note will confirm the details of the grace period associated with that loan.
- The withdrawal date is the date a student’s grace period begins for loan repayments.
- Further information about grace periods and repayment options can be found here. Please contact your lender if you have any questions about repayment options or your grace period status.
For further information please see the Return to Title IV Policy on our Consumer information page.
Procedures for officially withdrawing from school
- Please contact your School for further information and to begin the withdrawal process. Information regarding withdrawals can be found within the General Regulations.
- To determine your tuition fee liability when withdrawing, please view the Student Finance Framework here.
- Loan Deferment
Students are eligible to defer repayment of current or previous federal loans whilst they are enrolled on at least a half-time basis.
The University is required by the US Department of Education to provide bimonthly student enrolment reports to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS). NSLDS makes this information available to the U.S. Department of Education, lenders, loan servicers and guarantee agencies.
If you are in receipt of federal loans for a degree programme at Queen's, you will be automatically included in this report until you complete your programme. If you are not receiving federal loans at Queen's, but would like to defer the repayment of loans borrowed at a previous school, please email the U.S. Federal Loans Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will report your enrolment at Queen's.
Postgraduate students: The submission of a thesis/dissertation is regarded as the last day in school - this ensures that there is a fair repayment deferral period after study for all students.