Leaves and returns

Students taking time away from Denison can align their personal and academic paths, pursue volunteer or other work opportunities, or take care of medical or health needs for themselves or loved ones.

Denison’s goal is to support students, enable time away to be constructive, and set students up for a successful path forward.

The DU Cares team can advise students on options and policies and can support them through the process to achieve their time away. To achieve these goals, the DU Cares team works closely with colleagues in offices across Denison, including the Provost’s Office, the Office of Student Life, the health center and counseling services, and the Academic Resource Center.

We strongly recommend that all students considering a leave or withdrawal should schedule an appointment with a DU Cares team member to review their situation and discuss these policies. However, this is not a required step in the process because we recognize that situations may develop quickly.

All time away will fall under specific categories and is subject to review and approval by Denison.

Students who are considering taking time away from Denison should review this information and the applicable policies to understand the different categories of leaves and withdrawals, return parameters, and deadlines.

What to Consider

Financial aid

It is important to be aware that there may be financial implications for taking a withdrawal. The Office of Financial Services is required by federal statute to recalculate federal financial aid eligibility for students taking a leave of absence prior to completing 60 percent of a payment period or term. We encourage you to meet with the Office of Financial Aid to understand the potential implications of a withdrawal on your financial aid.

Student loans

Students placed on any type of leave are considered not enrolled and are reported to the National Student Clearinghouse as withdrawn from Denison. Federal loans will go into repayment after a 6-month grace period (unless the 6-month grace period has been used previously, in which case there is no grace period.)

Timeline to graduation

Taking a medical withdrawal may affect your planned graduation date. Please contact your academic advisor to discuss your remaining courses required for graduation and potential timelines.

Tuition refund

Depending on when the leave is put in place, students will be refunded between 0 and 100% of tuition, in accordance with the university’s refund policy. Housing and dining fees will also be adjusted based on when the student vacates the room and terminates a dining contract.

Housing refund

A pro-rata refund of housing and meal charges will be made following official withdrawal or dismissal from Denison as of the date the student vacates university premises, discontinues use of university facilities and services, and returns their key. The Dean of Student Support or their designee will determine this date.

For international students

Per the Office of International Services, all international students on F-1 or J-1 visas must see a staff member in the Center for Global Programs to avoid potentially serious immigration issues, both concerning departure from the U.S. and return. Global Programs can be reached at 740-587-6532 or schedule an appointment.

Leave and withdrawal options

Students: if you have any questions or concerns about policies, dates, deadlines, or documentation, please reach out directly to DU Cares. We are happy to assist you. 

Medical withdrawal

The purpose of a medical withdrawal is to provide students with time away from their academic studies if they encounter a health condition that prevents them from meeting the normal expectations of a student or impacts their ability to function safely or successfully as a member of our community.

A medical withdrawal is voluntary and shall be requested at the sole discretion of the student.

Hardship withdrawal

If students are experiencing significant extenuating circumstances that prevent them from meeting the normal expectations of a student, they may be eligible for a hardship withdrawal.

Typical reasons for a hardship withdrawal include but are not limited to family or personal emergencies, the serious illness or injury of a family member, serving as a caretaker, significant financial distress, extended bereavement, etc.

Leave of absence

If students in academic and disciplinary good standing wish to place studies on hold for one or more semesters to pursue opportunities incompatible with full-time student status, they may be eligible for a leave of absence. A leave of absence is a pre-planned specified time away from academic study and students should have an articulable plan for their time away.

General withdrawal

Students can exercise a general withdrawal from Denison at any time, including at any point in the academic semester. Students may choose a general withdrawal from Denison for a variety of reasons, ranging from a wish to be closer to family, to transfer and finish their studies at another institution, or other reasons. Many students who utilize the general withdrawal are permanently leaving Denison. In some limited circumstances, students may seek to return after no more than two semesters away.

Returning from withdrawal

When requesting to return from a leave or withdrawal, all students must complete and submit the re-enrollment form, regardless of their specific type of leave or withdrawal. This is the first step in initiating the return process. 

Students must also follow the appropriate process as outlined below, including providing all documentation. Deadline dates are as follows, and all documentation must be received by 4:30 p.m. in accordance with the schedule below.

  • Fall semester: July 1
  • Spring semester: November 1

Returning from medical withdrawal

Returning from a hardship withdrawal

Returning from a leave of absence

Returning from a general withdrawal

Should a student decide they wish to return after a general withdrawal, they must reapply through the Office of Admissions. The Office of Admissions will notify and consult with Student Life, the Office of the Provost, and the student’s academic department. Return is within Denison’s discretion and is not guaranteed based on initial admission.