An authorized leave of absence (LOA) is a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study. LOA refers to the specific time period during a program when a student is not in attendance. A LOA is not required if a student is not in attendance only for an institutionally scheduled break. However, a scheduled break may occur during a LOA. The school may grant a LOA for the following reasons: maternity, medical procedures, serious illness, death in the family, and court summons. All other reasons will be reviewed by the school before a LOA is approved.
A LOA must meet certain conditions to be counted as a temporary interruption in a student’s education instead of being counted as a withdrawal requiring an institution to perform a refund calculation. In order for a LOA to qualify as an approved LOA:
- Requests for LOA must be submitted in advance in writing and include the reason for the student’s request and the student’s signature. If unforeseen circumstances prevent the student from applying in advance for a LOA, the school may grant a LOA and collect the LOA request at a later date. The school will document its decision in the student’s file. For example, if a student were injured in a car accident and needed a few weeks to recover before returning to institution, the student would not have been able to request the LOA in advance. The beginning date of the approved LOA would be determined by the school to be the first date the student was unable to attend the institution because of the accident.
- There must be a reasonable expectation that the student will return from the LOA.
- The school will not assess the student any additional institutional charges as a result of the LOA.
- The LOA together with any additional leaves of absence must not exceed a total of 60 days in any 12-month period.
- A student granted a LOA that meets these criteria is not considered to have withdrawn, and no refund calculation is required at that time.
- The school will extend the student’s contract period by the same number of days taken in the LOA. Changes to the contract period on the enrollment agreement must be initialed by all parties or an addendum must be signed and dated by all parties.
- If a student does not return from the LOA or takes an unapproved LOA, the student will be terminated and the withdrawal date for the purpose of calculating a refund is the student’s last day of attendance.