The LOA is a federally mandated policy for all students who receive Title IV federal financial assistance (Federal Pell Grants, Federal Direct Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Parent Loans and Student Educational Opportunity Grants) who have experienced a situation that will require them to temporarily stop attending classes. LOA refers to the specific time period during a program when a student is not in attendance.
The student’s request for an LOA must be in writing, signed and dated. The LOA is a temporary situation and must not exceed a total of 180 days in any 12-month period. The 12 month period begins with the first day of the initial request.
Approved Leave of Absence Process
The student will complete the Financial Assistance Leave of Absence (LOA) Request and submit it to the Director of Financial Assistance. The request will be submitted prior to non-attendance unless unforeseen circumstances prevent the student from doing so. The LOA must be complete and the reason for requesting the LOA should be substantiated by the request form. The LOA request should give a reasonable expectation that the student will return from the LOA to complete classes. The student may submit additional supporting documentation as deemed appropriate. The following data must be provided on the LOA request:
- Complete name
- Student ID number
- E-mail address
- Degree program
- Semester the LOA is being submitted for
- Start and end date for the LOA
- Current enrollment hours
- Students current standards of progress status
- Complete explanation for the LOA request
The Director of Financial Assistance will review the request and either approve, deny, or request additional information. The student will be notified by e-mail of the decision. Once the LOA is approved the student must attend a LOA counseling given by one of the Financial Assistance staff. The student will need to schedule that appointment and attend to complete the LOA request process.
LOA and Direct Loans
Direct Loans for the student during the LOA may not be disbursed (34CFR 682604(c) (4)). A student who has an approved LOA remains in an in-school status and the loan will remain valid while they are on the LOA. The loan will disburse once the student has completed the LOA. If the student does not return from the LOA, the school will report the last date of attendance as the approved start date of the LOA. One of the possible consequences of not returning from an LOA is that the student’s grace period for a Title IV program might be exhausted.
Leave of Absence and Return of Title IV Funds
A student who has an approved LOA is considered to be attending school. No return of Title IV funds is required. If the student fails to meet the requirements of the LOA the student will be considered to have ceased attending classes. A return of Title IV funds will be completed with the last date of attendance being the approved start date of the LOA. If the student fails to meet Standards of Progress and receives all “F” grades, this will be considered a withdrawal for which a Title IV computation will be completed.
School charges for student on LOA
Students are considered to be continuously enrolled while on an LOA. As such, they are not assessed additional charges while they are on the LOA or once they return from the LOA. While students are not charged any additional charges in either case they may not also receive any additional Title IV monies for the period once they have returned.
Completion of Coursework upon return
The student is required to resume training at the same point in the academic program that he/she began the LOA. The student will complete all course work from the approved date of the LOA. Additionally, the school must allow a student returning from an LOA to complete coursework that he/she began prior to the LOA approval.