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 In this case the student will be confirmed withdrawn until they are re-registered at least part-time.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 After 180 days, a student is assumed to have withdrawn and their withdrawal date is backdated to the first day of their LOA.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please Note: Periods of LOA do not count towards the length of a programme.