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Student Services

Taking Time Away from the College

Undergraduates may take time away from their studies at the University of Chicago for a variety of reasons.

Whatever the reason for taking time away, the College will be here to welcome students back once they are ready to resume studies and looks forward to assisting students with every step along the way.

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Helpful Resources & Support

The College is here to assist students during the leave-taking process, from helping them thrive while they’re away to supporting their success upon returning to campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

    From time-to-time circumstances might compel students to take some time away from the College. These breaks in enrollment are formally recognized as leaves of absence (LOA). A leave of absence might be voluntary or involuntary, might occur while a student is in good standing or on academic probation, and may be associated with a medical condition. The type of leave (voluntary, medical, administrative) may affect the resumption process and access to student health insurance but are otherwise all subject to the same policies.

    Students may talk to their Academic Adviser or a staff member in the Office of College Community Standards (OCCS) if they are thinking about taking a leave of absence. Students can schedule an appointment with their adviser via the College Scheduling site or schedule a meeting with OCCS staff by emailing collegestandards@uchicago.edu.

    Students can request a leave any time before the withdrawal deadline, which is 5 p.m. on the Monday of the ninth week of instruction or the day before the final exam or final assignment is due, whichever is earlier. If a leave of absence is requested after the fifth week of instruction, the student will be required to remain on leave the following quarter as well.  

    The University of Chicago transcript does not note a leave of absence. When a leave of absence is requested before the add/drop deadline (5 p.m. on Friday of Week 3), enrollments will not appear on the transcript. If a leave (medical or otherwise) is requested after the add/drop deadline, “W” (withdrawn) grades will appear as the grades for all enrollments.  

    Tuition refunds will be granted according to the last date of attendance following the Bursar’s refund and proration schedule, which can be found here: https://bursar.uchicago.edu/university-students-managing-your-student-account/policies/#  

    All students are granted 12 quarters of enrollment. A leave of absence will not count against those 12 quarters. A leave might, however, have an impact on a student’s expected graduation date. Please discuss your academic plans with your Academic Adviser prior to taking a leave of absence, as well as upon resumption of study.

    There are not fees associated with a leave of absence, however, students on a medical leave of absence who opt to maintain university health insurance (U-SHIP) will be assessed the insurance premium as well as the student services fee. If you will be living more than 50 miles from campus, you can waive the student services free by following the instructions found here: https://bursar.uchicago.edu/studentservicesfee/ 

    Students supported by the Odyssey Scholarship Program can have their U-SHIP premium and student services fee covered by their scholarship for up to four quarters.  

    The University of Chicago transcript does not note a leave of absence.  

    If a leave of absence is requested after the 3rd week for the current quarter, W’s will appear as the grades for the enrolled courses of that quarter.  

    Students wishing to take a leave of absence in the current quarter must submit their request before the withdrawal deadline, which is 5 p.m. on the Monday of the ninth week of instruction or the day before the final exam or final assignment is due, whichever is earlier. If a leave of absence is requested after the fifth week of instruction, the student will be required to remain on leave the following quarter as well.  

    The University of Chicago transcript does not note a leave of absence. When a leave of absence is requested before the add/drop deadline (5 p.m. on Friday of Week 3), enrollments will not appear on the transcript. If a leave (medical or otherwise) is requested after the add/drop deadline, “W” (withdrawn) grades will appear as the grades for all enrollments.  

    Tuition refunds will be granted according to the last date of attendance following the Bursar’s refund and proration schedule, which can be found here: https://bursar.uchicago.edu/university-students-managing-your-student-account/policies/#  

    Students who would like to maintain access to the library should indicate their interest on the leave of absence form. Once their leave begins, they can request a temporary access card from the ID and Privileges Office located in Regenstein Library. Students wishing to use gym facilities while on leave should contact membership services at Ratner Athletic Center to learn more about their membership options.

    Students receiving financial aid and considering a leave of absence should contact Financial Aid for current information and guidance regarding financial aid program policies and practices, specifically students should discuss the following:

    • Whether or not you will be required to complete an exit interview, which is required of all Stafford Loan recipients.
    • How your financial aid may be impacted by your leave
    • Whether or not you successfully completed your financial aid requirements for the current academic year
    • How your leave of absence impacts your Satisfactory Academic Progress
    • How to apply for aid upon your return

    Students who are recipients of Title IV loans are advised that their grace period for loan repayment may be exhausted should their leave of absence exceed 180 days within a twelve-month period. Stafford Loan recipients who have exhausted their grace period and are unable to begin repayment may be eligible for a deferment or forbearance of payment. For more information, visit https://studentaid.gov/manage-loans/lower-payments/get-temporary-relief/deferment.

    The Office of Financial Aid is located in the Walker Museum, suite 101. They can be reached at 773-702-8666, Monday through Friday

    Students remain on a leave until they submit a request to resume studies.  

    To resume study, please submit a Request to Resume Study at least four weeks prior to the start of the quarter in which you hope to return.

    If you would like to adjust your resumption term, please contact OCCS staff at collegestandards@uchicago.edu to discuss next steps.

    Students may choose to take leaves for any reason. Recent examples include (but are not limited to) internship opportunities during the academic year, attending to personal or family health concerns, compulsory military service, religious missions, once-in-a-lifetime travel opportunities, or simply needing a break from study. 

    All students in the College are granted up to eight cumulative quarters of leave and may extend their leave beyond eight quarters with permission from the Dean of Students. Time spent on leave will not count against a student’s progress toward their degree or their total quarters of enrollment.  

    Yes, however, students cannot transfer from credit from another institution in the United States back to the University if the courses are similar to those offered at the University of Chicago. You can find more information about the College’s policies regarding transfer credit here: https://college.uchicago.edu/advising/enrollment-policies

    While on a medical leave of absence, students are eligible to maintain university health insurance (U-SHIP) for up to four quarters. Students on MLOA with U-SHIP will have access to UChicago Student Wellness. Students on a medical leave of absence are automatically assessed the student services fee. If you will be living more than 50 miles from campus, you can waive the student services free by following the instructions found here: https://bursar.uchicago.edu/studentservicesfee/ 

    Students supported by the Odyssey Scholarship Program can have their U-SHIP premium and student services fee covered by their scholarship for up to four quarters.  

For more information, view the Student Manual.