Leave of Absence/Withdrawal

A Leave of Absence (LOA) is a temporary leave from the College; it is valid for up to two years for undergraduate students, and one year for graduate students. A Withdrawal (WD) signifies a decision not to return to Emerson College. (Please note that a course withdrawal is a different process.)

Students who are taking a leave during a semester due to a physical or mental condition should file for a Health Leave of Absence. Students filing for a leave in a future term or taking a leave for non-medical reasons such as academic or career opportunities, familial obligations, financial difficulties, or other personal issues should file for a personal Leave of Absence.

Please note that a course withdrawal is a different process.

Undergraduate Student Leave or Withdrawal

Process

  1. Meet with the Office of Student Success to discuss the leave or withdrawal process and ramifications.
  2. Complete the online Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Request form online.
  3. The LOA or WD request will be reviewed and processed through the Emerson College offices of Student Success, Student Financial Services, and the Registrar. You will receive email confirmation once your leave or withdrawal has been fully processed by all offices.

Considerations

If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence during a term, United States Title IV and Emerson College regulations may require that some financial aid funds be returned. This may result in a balance due to the college, which will need to be fully paid before a student may apply to return from a leave of absence or before a withdrawn student will be able to request an official transcript.

Students receiving financial aid who withdraw on or after the first day of classes will have their aid adjusted using the percentage determined by the federal Return of Title IV Funds calculation schedule. Adjustments will be made based on the number of days a student attends up until the 60% point of the semester, at which time they will have earned all aid for the term.

If a calculation determines that aid must be returned, federal aid funds will be adjusted in the following order:

  1. Unsubsidized Federal Direct Loans
  2. Subsidized Federal Direct Loans
  3. Federal Direct PLUS Loans
  4. Federal Pell Grants
  5. FSEOG
  6. TEACH Grants
  7. Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

All students who have borrowed a Federal Direct Student Loan must complete an online Federal Direct Student Loan Exit Counseling at studentaid.gov/exit-counseling upon taking a leave, withdrawing, graduating, or dropping below half-time enrollment. Failure to complete exit counseling will prevent you from receiving copies of your academic transcript in the future and may prevent you from re-enrolling. Borrowers of the Massachusetts No Interest loan will receive exit counseling instructions via email. Borrowers of alternative (private) loans are advised to contact their lender for more information about loan repayment.

  • Students living on campus must vacate Emerson College or contact the Office of Housing and Residential Education to arrange their departure within 24 hours of submitting a LOA or WD form. Students taking a Health Leave have 48 hours. This can be done by meeting with a Residence Director or emailing hre [at] emerson.edutitle="E-mail hre [at] emerson.edu". Students will be charged for room and board on a daily basis until they complete the move-out process, including return of their key. Students leaving campus after the fifth week of the semester are responsible for full room and board charges for the semester.
  • Students who take an LOA or withdraw are not eligible to participate in varsity sports or curricular, extracurricular, or co-curricular activities and cannot work through the student employment program. The student ID will be turned off once the leave or withdrawal is finalized. Emerson email and eCommon accounts will remain active during the period of a leave of absence.
  • Performing Arts BFA majors must consult with the Performing Arts department prior to filing for a Leave of Absence. Readmission to a BFA program is contingent upon course sequencing and space within the program.
  • International students seeking to take an LOA or withdrawal should consult the Office of International Student Affairs regarding citizenship and immigration service regulations (including post-completion OPT eligibility).
  • Students wishing to take coursework elsewhere and transfer it back to Emerson College should submit Transfer Credit Preapprovals via eCommon.
  • Information about returning from a Leave of Absence can be found on our Readmission page. Please note that students returning from a Health Leave of Absence need to submit both the regular Request for Readmission as well as the Health Readiness to Return form. Please refer to the Health Leave of Absence policy or contact the Office of Student Success with any questions.

Special Consideration for Global BFA Leave or Withdrawal

Students in the Global BFA in Film Art program who wish to take a leave of absence or withdraw from the program should do so through the Office of Student Success at Emerson College.  A withdrawal signifies a decision to leave the program permanently. A leave of absence is a temporary leave that is valid for up to two years. Students should file for a Health Leave of Absence if they are leaving for medical (physical or mental health) reasons and wish to use tuition insurance, and a Personal Leave of Absence for any non-medical reason. Additional information regarding the leave of absence and withdrawal process, as well as the Health Leave of Absence policy, should be reviewed prior to submitting an official request for a leave or withdrawal.

Students who are considering taking a leave or withdrawing, or who have made the decision to do so, should contact Emerson’s Office of Student Success at studentsuccess [at] emerson.edutitle="Email the Office of Student Success" or 617-824-8650 (If dialing from outside the U.S., use 001 prefix) to review important information relating to their academic plan, financial responsibilities, and necessary steps to return to the program (if taking a leave). No leave or withdrawal will be processed or considered official until the student has filed with Emerson College. If the decision to take a leave or withdraw occurs during a term at Paris College of Art (PCA), students should also contact Sara Krauskopf (sara.krauskopf [at] paris.edutitle="Email Sara Krauskopf") at Paris College of Art to inform them of the decision and complete PCA’s official leave of absence or withdrawal form. However, such contact does not replace the need to officially file for a leave or withdrawal with Emerson.

Students should plan to vacate campus housing within 48 hours of filing for a leave/withdrawal if they are staying on an Emerson (Boston or Kasteel Well) campus. When filing for a leave/withdrawal while studying at Paris College of Art, students should refer to their Student Housing License.

Refund Schedules and Adjustments to Financial Aid

Institutional tuition charges may be adjusted for students taking a leave of absence or withdrawing from the college, based on Emerson College’s refund schedule. 

In accordance with federal regulations, any federal or state financial aid for the semester in which a student leaves or withdraws will be reduced according to their last date of attendance or participation in an academically-related activity. Institutional aid (scholarships and grants awarded by Emerson College) will not be reduced. Please see the explanation regarding Return of Title IV Funds below for more information.

Room and board charges for students taking a leave or withdrawing during a term at Paris College of Art are nonrefundable. Room and board charges for students taking a leave or withdrawing during a summer term at Emerson’s Boston or Kasteel Well campus are calculated on a pro-rated, daily basis through the fifth week of the semester. A student will continue to accrue charges until the move-out process is completed, including return of key.

Financial Assistance & Return of Title IV Funds

If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence during a term, United States Title IV and Emerson College regulations may require that some financial aid funds be returned. This may result in a balance due to the college, which will need to be fully paid before a student may apply to return from a leave of absence or before a withdrawn student will be able to request an official transcript.

Students receiving financial aid who withdraw on or after the first day of classes will have their aid adjusted using the percentage determined by the federal Return of Title IV Funds calculation schedule. Adjustments will be made based on the number of days a student attends up until to the 60% point of the semester, at which time they will have earned all aid for the term.  

All students who have borrowed a Federal Direct Student Loan must complete a Federal Direct Student Loan Exit Interview Form or complete online exit counseling at studentaid.gov upon taking a leave, withdrawing, graduating, or dropping below half-time enrollment. Failure to complete an exit interview will prevent you from receiving copies of your academic transcript in the future and may prevent you from re-enrolling. Borrowers of the Massachusetts No Interest loan will receive exit counseling instructions via email. Borrowers of alternative (private) loans are advised to contact their lender for more information about loan repayment.

Readmission

Students are eligible for readmission to the Global BFA in Film Arts program within two years. Since the program operates on a cohort model in which students follow a prescribed sequence of courses from one term to the next, students must re-enter the program during that portion of the academic year – fall, spring, or summer – in which their leave went into effect. For example, if a student takes a leave before or during the fall term, they can only re-enter during one of the subsequent two fall terms. Exceptions may be made to allow a student to return earlier, if a student has missed 16 credits or fewer and is able to scaffold them in to subsequent semesters.

Students who wish to return from a leave should complete Emerson’s online Request for Readmission. Deadlines to submit the readmission request for Global BFA students are as follows:

Semester Date
Fall re-entry: May 1
Spring re-entry: October 1 
Summer re-entry: February 1

*Please note that students who are applying to return from a Health Leave of Absence should leave additional time (approximately one week) for their Readiness to Return paperwork to be reviewed and approved. 

*Students who have taken a leave from the Global BFA in Film Arts program are only eligible for readmission to that program. They are not eligible for readmission into a different program at Emerson College or Paris College of Art.

Notice: Emerson Student Agreement

Students seeking readmission must review the Student Agreement in ECommon as soon as possible to avoid any registration holds.

Notice: Emerson Student Agreement

Students seeking readmission must review the Student Agreement in ECommon as soon as possible to avoid any registration holds.

Graduate Student Leave or Withdrawal

Process

  1. Meet with the Office of Student Success to discuss the leave or withdrawal process and ramifications.
  2. Complete the Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Request form. The Office of Student Success will send the form to the Graduate Studies office, but students should discuss the leave or withdrawal with their Graduate Program Director directly.
  3. The LOA or WD request will be reviewed and processed through the Emerson College offices of Student Success, Student Financial Services, Graduate Studies, and the Registrar. You will receive email confirmation once your leave or withdrawal has been fully processed by all offices.

Considerations

If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence during a term, United States Title IV and Emerson College regulations may require that some financial aid funds be returned. This may result in a balance due to the college, which will need to be fully paid before a student may apply to return from a leave of absence or before a withdrawn student will be able to request an official transcript.

Students receiving financial aid who withdraw on or after the first day of classes will have their aid adjusted using the percentage determined by the federal Return of Title IV Funds calculation schedule. Adjustments will be made based on the number of days a student attends up until to the 60% point of the semester, at which time they will have earned all aid for the term.

All students who have borrowed a Federal Direct Student Loan must complete a Federal Direct Student Loan Exit Interview Form or complete online exit counseling at studentaid.gov upon taking a leave, withdrawing, graduating, or dropping below half-time enrollment. Failure to complete an exit interview will prevent you from receiving copies of your academic transcript in the future and may prevent you from re-enrolling. Borrowers of the Massachusetts No Interest loan will receive exit counseling instructions via email. Borrowers of alternative (private) loans are advised to contact their lender for more information about loan repayment.  

  • Students who take an LOA or withdraw are not eligible to participate in varsity sports or curricular, extra curricular, or co-curricular activities and cannot work through the student employment program. The student ID will be turned off once the leave or withdrawal is finalized. Emerson email and eCommon accounts will remain active during the period of a leave of absence.
  • International students seeking to take an LOA or withdrawal should consult the Office of International Student Affairs regarding citizenship and immigration service regulations (including post-completion OPT eligibility).
  • Information about returning from a Leave of Absence can be found on our Readmission page. Please note that students returning from a Health Leave of Absence need to submit both the regular Request to Re-Register from a Leave of Absence as well as the Health Readiness to Return form. Please refer to the Health Leave of Absence policy or contact the Office of Student Success with any questions.

Speech@Emerson Leave or Withdrawal

Process

  1. Meet with your Speech@Emerson Student Success Advisor to discuss the decision to leave or withdraw from the program. Your Student Success Advisor may recommend that you speak with the Graduate Program Director or your Faculty Advisor.
  2. Complete the online Speech@Emerson Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Request Form.
  3. The LOA or WD request will be reviewed and processed through the Emerson College offices of Student Success, Student Financial Services, Graduate Studies and the Registrar. You will receive email confirmation once your leave or withdrawal has been fully processed by all offices.

Considerations

If a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence during a term, United States Title IV and Emerson College regulations may require that some financial aid funds be returned. This may result in a balance due to the college, which will need to be fully paid before a student may apply to return from a leave of absence or before a withdrawn student will be able to request an official transcript.

Students receiving financial aid who withdraw on or after the first day of classes will have their aid adjusted using the percentage determined by the federal Return of Title IV Funds calculation schedule. Adjustments will be made based on the number of days a student attends up until to the 60% point of the semester, at which time they will have earned all aid for the term.

All students who have borrowed a Federal Direct Student Loan must complete a Federal Direct Student Loan Exit Interview Form or complete online exit counseling at studentaid.gov upon taking a leave, withdrawing, graduating, or dropping below half-time enrollment. Failure to complete an exit interview will prevent you from receiving copies of your academic transcript in the future and may prevent you from re-enrolling. Borrowers of the Massachusetts No Interest loan will receive exit counseling instructions via email. Borrowers of alternative (private) loans are advised to contact their lender for more information about loan repayment.  

  • Students on leave for more than one year from the effective leave date will be withdrawn from the institution. Students who wish to re-enter the program after being withdrawn must reapply.
  • Students who wish to return from a Leave of Absence should submit their re-entry request at least 16 weeks prior to the term in which they intend to re-enter. Students must set up an appointment with their Speech@Emerson Student Success Advisor to discuss their re-entry at studentsupport [at] speech.emerson.edutitle="Email a Speech@Emerson Student Success Advisor" or 877-889-7647.