Office of Student Affairs

Taking Time Off (and Returning)


Types of Leaves

Readmission Information

Readmission Webform - to be completed by students returning from leave

 


Educational Leaves

Students who wish to explore the advantages and disadvantages of domestic educational leaves should confer with their class deans. Students interested in studying abroad should speak to the Study Abroad Advisor in the Study Abroad Office.  The College has traditionally recognized the educational and personal rewards that many students receive from a semester or two away from the campus. Some departments, especially language departments, strongly encourage or require that students majoring in their department study in a foreign country.

Students who go on educational leave from the College usually do so during the junior year, although sophomore year educational leaves are permitted. It is expected that students will spend their senior year at Amherst. To receive academic credit for study elsewhere, students must perform satisfactorily in a full schedule of courses approved in advance by the Office of Student Affairs, the Registrar, and the students’ advisor. Students on educational leave from Amherst must enroll at other institutions as visiting non-degree students.

To ensure that students have ample time for changing their status with the College and to allow the College to maintain full use of its educational facilities, some minimum procedures and deadlines have been instituted. All students considering voluntary withdrawals or educational leaves for the fall semester must notify their class deans and advisors before March 15. Students who may be away from campus for the spring term should notify their dean and advisor before April 15 of the previous year. Students who fail to notify the dean of their plans prior to these deadlines will not be guaranteed housing for the semester in which they prefer to return. Educational leaves usually require a considerable amount of correspondence with other colleges and universities, especially in the case of foreign study. Therefore, students who may wish to go on educational leaves should begin discussing their plans at least a full semester before they expect to be enrolled in another institution.

An educational leave is granted for foreign or domestic study for a specified length of time, generally not to exceed two semesters. Readmission from an educational leave is granted automatically when you successfully complete the approved program of study and the two steps above. If you don't complete the program of study successfully, you may have to make up the credit deficiency before you return.

We expect that students on educational leave will return to the College at the time they originally indicated when they left. If your plans change, you must inform your class dean  in writing no later than November 1 (for Spring semester return) or March 15 (for Fall semester return).  If you decide to stay away an extra semester but miss this deadline, the College may not accept the additional transfer credits.

Students considering educational leaves should also read the section on Readmission. TOP


Voluntary Withdrawal

Occasionally, faculty members, advisors, or deans may suggest that students withdraw from formal studies to gain fresh perspectives on their intellectual commitments, career plans, or educational priorities. Family circumstances, medical problems, declining motivation, and other factors commonly encountered by students may require that they remain away from the College for more than the usual College vacation periods. The College, therefore, encourages students to consider carefully their situations, to clarify their objectives, and to decide for themselves whether they should temporarily interrupt their study at the College and take voluntary withdrawals.

Prior to the seventh week of any semester, students may choose to withdraw voluntarily without their final grades being recorded. However, unless granted exemptions for disabling medical reasons or grave personal emergencies by the Committee on Academic Standing or the class deans, students who withdraw after the seventh week of a semester will withdraw with penalty and have final grades for that semester recorded on their permanent academic records. Refunds of tuition, deposits and fees are treated according to the College policy stated in the College Catalog. When withdrawals have been approved by the class deans and faculty advisors, the deans will specify any readmission requirements in writing and will indicate what academic work, if any, must be completed prior to readmission.

Many students choose voluntarily to take time off from school for a number of reasons--to work or travel in this country or abroad; to resolve personal, family, or financial difficulties; to assess academic performance and goals; or simply to experience a new environment for a short period of time. Students normally return from voluntary withdrawal within one or two semesters of the time they leave the College. In addition to following the two steps above, a student on voluntary withdrawal must:

  • Send by email to osa-studentenrollment@amherst.edu a personal statement describing what you have been doing since leaving the College.
  • Arrange for an official transcript to be sent to the Amherst College Registrar, as soon as it becomes available after completion of your coursework, to document that you have satisfied any academic conditions established for your return (if so directed in earlier correspondence from your class dean).
  • Once you have completed the necessary requirements for your return, we will contact you to arrange a readmission telephone interview.  In order to ensure a smooth process, we will need all of the documentation noted above prior to your readmission interview.

Students considering a voluntary withdrawal should also read the section on Readmission. TOP


Medical Leave

A medical leave is granted to a student whose health prevents him or her from successfully pursuing full-time study. In addition to following the two steps above, readmission from a medical leave requires that you:

  • Arrange for an official transcript to be sent to the Amherst College's Registrar as soon as it becomes available to document that you have satisfied the academic conditions established for your return from medical leave (if so directed in earlier correspondence from your class dean).
  • Send an email to osa-studentenrollment@amherst.edu describing what you have been doing since leaving the College and discussing your readiness to return to the rigors of full-time study at Amherst.
  • Submit the "Student Readiness to Return from Medical Leave" forms to be completed by your medical or behavioral health care provider, assessing your readiness to return to the rigors of full-time study at Amherst, and identifying any recommended continued treatment.
  • Once you have completed the necessary requirements for your return, we will contact you to arrange a readmission telephone interview.  In order to ensure a smooth process, we will need all of the documentation noted above prior to your readmission interview.

Students considering a medical leave should also read the section on Readmission. TOP


Academic Dismissal

A student who has been dismissed from the College for a year for academic reasons must follow the two steps above and meet the following requirements in order to return:

  • Arrange for an official transcript be sent to Amherst College's Registrar as soon as it becomes available at the conclusion of your coursework to document that you have satisfied the academic conditions established for your return by the Committee on Academic Standing at the time of your dismissal.
  • Send by email to osa-studentenrollment@amherst.edu a personal statement describing what you have been doing since leaving the College and discussing your readiness to return to the rigors of full-time study at Amherst.
  • Once you have completed the necessary requirements for your return, we will contact you to arrange a readmission telephone interview.  In order to ensure a smooth process, we will need all of the documentation noted above prior to your readmission interview.

Students who have been academically dismissed should also read the section on Readmission. TOP

 


Disciplinary Suspension or Dismissal

A student who has been suspended or dismissed from the College for disciplinary reasons must follow the two steps above and meet the following requirements for readmission:

  • Send by email to osa-studentenrollment@amherst.edu a personal statement describing what you have been doing since leaving the College.
  • Submit documentation of successful completion of any community service or counseling (if imposed through the disciplinary process as a requirement for your readmission).
  • Once you have completed the necessary requirements for your return, we will contact you to arrange a readmission interview with the appropriate dean.  In order to ensure a smooth process, we will need all of the documentation noted above prior to your readmission interview.

Students who have been either suspended or dismissed for disciplinary reasons should also read the section on Readmission. TOP

 

Readmission

When you have taken time off from the College for any reason, you must follow specific procedures by certain deadlines in order to return.

If you are returning for the fall semester, you must submit the readmission form by March 15. If you are returning for the spring semester, this form must be submitted by November 1. If you miss these deadlines, you will jeopardize your housing and your pre-registration. On-campus housing cannot be guaranteed, and you may be put on a wait-list to be housed after everyone who did meet the deadline. Additionally, a request for off-campus application may be denied. You will not receive information about pre-registration or be able to pre-register if you do not submit this form by the appropriate deadline.

Additional requirements for readmission, such as successful completion of courses taken at another college or university, may be imposed in any given instance at the discretion of the Committee on Academic Standing or the class dean.

Information about your readmission and about registering for courses will be mailed to your home address. You should make arrangements to have mail from the College forwarded to you promptly. Students who are out of the country find e-mail an efficient way to communicate with people at the College, and students whose readmission is complete can arrange to pre-register via e-mail.  TOP

 

Academic Standing

If you leave the College in good standing, you return in good standing. If you leave on academic warning or probation, you will stay on warning or probation for one semester when you return. At the end of that semester, depending on your performance, you return to good standing, move from warning to probation, or are considered for dismissal. If you are dismissed from the College, you will be placed on academic warning for the first semester when you return.  TOP

Financial Aid

Questions concerning financial aid should be directed to Dean Gail Holt, or Dean Kate Gentile at finaid@amherst.edu. Students who owe money to the College will not be able to register even if they have been readmitted by the Office of Student Affairs. Students who are out of school for six months or longer will usually be required to begin paying back Guaranteed Student Loans and some other kinds of loans while they are away. Students who have a loan from the College to buy a personal computer must pay back the loan immediately in full if they withdraw from school. Financial aid students who withdraw at the end of the spring semester will not be eligible for summer work-study employment on campus. TOP

Student Health Insurance

Students should check with their individual health insurance providers for policies governing leaves from college, areas of coverage and out-of-network costs for coverage.   For students who use the College's student health insurance plan, please visit www.gallagherkoster.com to learn more about benefits.  TOP

Room and Board

Your meal plan will begin on the same day that upperclass housing officially begins for the semester in which you are returning. Consult the college calendar for the specific housing and meal plan dates relevant to the current and upcoming academic year.  TOP

Contact Information

 

Revised 3/5/15