J. Leave of Absence, Deferral, Withdrawal, and Reinstatement
Leave of Absence
A student in Yale College who is in academic good standing will normally receive permission, upon petition to the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing through the residential college dean, to take one or two terms of leave of absence, provided that the student departs in academic good standing at the end of a term and returns at the beginning of a term. Such permission will not be granted to first-year students during their first term of enrollment, who instead may request permission to defer for one year and enter the following fall term. See section D, Promotion and Good Standing, “Requirements for Academic Good Standing.” In order that the University may make plans to maintain enrollment at the established level, students desiring leaves of absence are requested to make their intentions known to their residential college deans as soon as possible. Yale College assumes that students who take leaves of absence will inform their parents or guardians in good time that they intend to do so. Ordinarily, residential college deans do not notify parents or guardians that a student has taken a leave of absence, though they may do so if they believe that such notification is appropriate.
- Petition for a fall-term leave For a fall-term leave of absence, a student is requested to submit a petition by May 1. Since a student’s plans often change during the summer, however, the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing will ordinarily grant a petition for a leave that is received on or before the fifteenth day of the term in the fall. First-year students may not request a leave during their first term of enrollment, and instead may request to defer for a year.
- Petition for a spring-term leave For a spring-term leave of absence, a student’s petition must be received on or before the fifteenth day of the term in the spring.
- Petition for a fall-term deferral For a fall-term deferral by a first-year student in their first term of enrollment, a student’s petition must be received on or before the fifteenth day of that term.
- Relinquishing housing Students considering a leave of absence should be aware that there is a substantial financial penalty for relinquishing on-campus housing after the relevant deadlines for relinquishing such housing. See “Rebates of Undergraduate Charges” under “Financial Services” in the Yale College online publication Undergraduate Regulations.
- Canceling a leave A student may cancel a leave of absence for either term as late as the first day of classes in the term for which the leave has been requested. Given this deadline, a student who requests a leave during the first fifteen days of the term may not subsequently cancel that request. However, the deadlines for payment of the term bill and the penalties for late payment apply in such cases. See “Payment of Fees” under “Financial Services” in the Yale online publication Undergraduate Regulations.
- Total terms of leave A student is eligible for a total of two terms of leave of absence. These two terms need not be taken consecutively.
- Accelerated students A student taking an accelerated degree by use of acceleration credits who has had two terms of leave of absence may receive a third term of leave if the third term of leave is needed to bring the student’s pattern of attendance into conformity with the pattern of attendance stipulated for an accelerated degree. See section Q, Acceleration Policies.
- Returning from a leave Permission to take a leave of absence normally includes the right to return, with prior notification to the residential college dean but without further application, at the beginning of the term specified in the student’s petition to the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing. In the case, however, in which a student achieved eligibility for a leave of absence because of a postponement of a deadline for course work as a result of an identified medical problem, the Yale College Dean’s Office may require medical clearance from Yale Health before the student’s return from the leave of absence. Such clearance may also be required for a student who had sought and had been granted, on medical grounds, a waiver of the fee for the late relinquishment of housing at the time the leave of absence was requested.
- Financial aid Students taking leaves of absence who have received long-term loans will be sent information about their loan repayment obligations, which in most cases begin six months after the last day of formal enrollment at Yale. A student taking a leave of absence who is receiving financial aid through Yale must consult with a counselor in Student Financial Services before leaving Yale; see “Rebates of Undergraduate Charges” under “Financial Services” in the Yale online publication Undergraduate Regulations.
- Health coverage A student on a leave of absence is eligible to retain coverage by Yale Health during the time of the leave, but the student must take the initiative to apply for continued membership in Yale Health by completing an application form and paying the fee for membership. See “Leave of Absence” under “Health Services” in the Yale online publication Undergraduate Regulations. Application forms and details about medical coverage while on leave of absence may be obtained from the Member Services Department of Yale Health.
There are five types of withdrawal, three of which—academic, medical, and personal—are discussed below. For information on disciplinary and financial withdrawals, consult the Yale online publication Undergraduate Regulations. The period of withdrawal for disciplinary reasons is imposed by the Yale College Executive Committee or recommended by the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct at the time the student's enrollment is suspended.
Regardless of the type of withdrawal, students who have been withdrawn may not stay in residences on campus, attend classes, participate in organized extracurricular activities, or make use of University library, athletic, and other facilities. They may come to campus only upon receiving prior permission from their residential college dean or the Dean of Student Affairs.
Students may be dismissed for academic reasons on a variety of grounds; see section I, Academic Penalties and Restrictions, “Dismissal for Academic Reasons.” Students whose withdrawal was for academic reasons must remain away for at least one fall term and one spring term, in either order, not including the term in which the withdrawal occurred.
A withdrawal for medical reasons must be authorized by the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department, or by their official designees within the Health Center. If a student under the care of a non–Yale Health physician wishes to withdraw for medical reasons, that physician should submit sufficient medical history to the director of Yale Health for a final decision on the recommendation. A student planning to return to Yale should discuss the requirements for reinstatement with the residential college dean or the chair of the Committee on Reinstatement.
Yale College reserves the right to withdraw a student for medical reasons when, on recommendation of the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department, the dean of Yale College determines that, because of a medical condition, the student is a danger to self or others, the student has seriously disrupted others in the student’s residential or academic communities, or the student has refused to cooperate with efforts deemed necessary by Yale Health and the dean to make such determinations. Each case will be assessed individually based on all relevant factors, including, but not limited to, the level of risk presented and the availability of reasonable modifications. Reasonable modifications do not include fundamental alterations to the student’s academic, residential, or other relevant communities or programs; in addition, reasonable modifications do not include those that unduly burden university resources. An appeal of such a withdrawal must be made in writing to the dean of Yale College no later than seven days from the effective date of withdrawal. An incident that gives rise to voluntary or mandatory withdrawal may also result in subsequent disciplinary action.
Students whose withdrawal has been authorized as medical by the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department must normally remain away at least one full term before a return to Yale College, not including the term in which the withdrawal occurred.
Withdrawal for Personal Reasons
At any time during the year, a student may withdraw from Yale College for personal reasons. After consulting with the residential college dean, a student wishing to withdraw should write a letter of resignation to the college dean. In consulting with the college dean, a student planning to return to Yale should discuss the requirements for reinstatement. Also, students in academic good standing who fail to register in a term will be withdrawn for personal reasons.
Students whose withdrawal was for personal reasons must remain away for at least one fall term and one spring term, in either order, not including the term in which the withdrawal occurred. A student who withdraws from Yale College for personal reasons rather than face disciplinary charges that are pending against that student will not be eligible for Yale College reinstatement, re-enrollment, or a Yale College degree until the student's case has been adjudicated by the Yale College Executive Committee or the University-Wide Committee on Sexual Misconduct.
Rebates of Undergraduate Charges
For information on financial rebates on account of withdrawal from Yale College, consult the section “Financial Services” under “Regulations” in the Yale online publication Undergraduate Regulations.
During the time that students who have withdrawn are away from Yale College, the Committee on Reinstatement expects them to have been constructively occupied and to have maintained a satisfactory standard of conduct.
Further requirements depend to some extent on the circumstances of the withdrawal and its duration. Students who are not in academic good standing, i.e., students who withdrew while a term was in progress or who were dismissed for academic reasons, must ordinarily complete the equivalent of at least two term courses, either in Yale Summer Session or at another accredited, four-year, Bachelor's degree-granting college or university, earning grades of A or B. See section I, Academic Penalties and Restrictions. Courses conducted online, whether taken at Yale Summer Session or elsewhere, do not fulfill this reinstatement requirement. In general, such a record of course work is also required of students who withdrew for medical reasons and of any students who have been away from full-time academic work for more than four terms, whether or not they were in academic good standing at the time of their departure, in order to demonstrate that upon return they can satisfactorily complete their academic program. Courses themselves, as well as the institution at which they are taken, should be cleared in advance with the chair of the Committee on Reinstatement. All such course work must be completed no later than the opening of the term to which the student has applied to be reinstated, but no earlier than two years before the date that term begins. Courses completed in fulfillment of reinstatement that are eligible for graduation credit must be applied to the student’s Yale College transcript.
While the majority of students who apply for reinstatement do return to Yale College, reinstatement is not guaranteed to any applicant. Since the committee seeks to reinstate only those students who have demonstrated the ability henceforth to remain in academic good standing and thus complete degree requirements within the specific number of terms of enrollment remaining to them, the committee may sometimes advise applicants to defer their return until a time later than the one originally proposed. At the conclusion of each of the two terms following their reinstatement, students are expected to complete and pass all of the courses in which they remained enrolled. Students who fail to meet this condition are ordinarily required to withdraw after their record has been reviewed by the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing.
A student is eligible to be reinstated only once; a second reinstatement may be considered only under unusual circumstances, ordinarily of a medical nature.
For reinstatement to a fall term, applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. (EST) on June 1. For reinstatement to a spring term, applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. (EST) on November 1. These deadlines are strictly enforced.
Frequently Asked Questions are available online to provide additional information about reinstatement procedures. This site also includes contact information for any reinstatement inquiries, as well as for the Chair of Reinstatement.
Financial Waivers and Reinstatement
Students on financial aid who have successfully completed the course requirements for reinstatement in the summer prior to reinstatement will be forgiven their Student Share for the subsequent summer. Students may apply for a Student Share waiver through Yale’s Student Financial Services.
Some students require, upon reinstatement in Yale College, a ninth term of enrollment in order to complete their bachelor’s degree. Students who receive financial aid and find themselves in such a situation should consult with a counselor in Student Financial Services about possible Federal financial aid implications.
Interviews with members of the Committee on Reinstatement are required of all applicants for reinstatement. The committee may not approve a student’s return to Yale College until after the necessary interviews have taken place. These may include individual in-person meetings for any applicant with the chair of the committee and any other member of the committee, including a member of the Yale Health staff. Interviews are normally conducted prior to the beginning of the term to which the student is seeking reinstatement. While the expectation is that these meetings will take place in person, they may be conducted by video teleconference when circumstances warrant. Contact the chair of the Committee on Reinstatement with questions.
As an integral part of the application for reinstatement, students who withdrew for medical reasons must obtain a recommendation from Yale Health. Such a recommendation must come from either the director of Yale Health or the chief of the Mental Health and Counseling department, or from their official designees within the Health Center; no such recommendation can be made in the absence of documentation provided to Yale Health that the student has had successful treatment from an appropriate health clinician.
U.S. Military Service Reinstatement Policy
Students who interrupt their studies to perform U.S. military service are subject to a separate U.S. military leave reinstatement policy.
In the event that a student withdraws or takes a leave of absence from Yale College on or after August 14, 2008, in order to serve in the U.S. military, the student will be entitled to guaranteed reinstatement under the following conditions:
- Students must have served in the U.S. Armed Forces for a period of more than thirty consecutive days.
- Students must give advance written or verbal notice of such service to their residential college dean. In providing the advance notice students do not need to indicate whether they intend to return. This advance notice need not come directly from the student, but, rather, can be made by an appropriate officer of the U.S. Armed Forces or official of the U.S. Department of Defense. Notice is not required if precluded by military necessity. In all cases, this requirement of giving notice can be fulfilled at the time the student seeks reinstatement, by submitting an attestation that the student performed the service.
- Students must not be away from the University to perform U.S. military service for a period exceeding five years (this includes all previous absences to perform U.S. military service but does not include any initial period of obligated service). If a student’s time away from the University to perform U.S. military service exceeds five years because the student is unable to obtain release orders through no fault of the student, or the student was ordered to or retained on active duty, such students should contact their residential college dean to determine if they remain eligible for guaranteed reinstatement.
- Students must notify Yale within three years of the end of the U.S. military service of their intention to return. However, students who are hospitalized or recovering from an illness or injury incurred in or aggravated during the U.S. military service have up until two years after recovering from the illness or injury to notify Yale of their intent to return.
- Students may not have received a dishonorable or bad conduct discharge or have been sentenced in a court-martial.
A student who meets all of these conditions will be reinstated for the following term unless the student requests, in writing, a later date of reinstatement. Any student who fails to meet one of these requirements may still be eligible for reinstatement under Yale’s general reinstatement policy but is not guaranteed reinstatement. Upon returning to Yale, such students will resume their education without repeating completed course work for courses interrupted by U.S. military service. They will have the same enrolled status last held and will be in the same academic standing. For the first academic year in which such students return, they will be charged the tuition and fees that would have been assessed for the academic year in which they left the institution. Yale may charge up to the amount of tuition and fees that other students are assessed, however, if veterans’ education benefits will cover the difference between the amounts currently charged other students and the amount charged for the academic year in which the student left. In the case of students who are not prepared to resume their studies with the same enrollment status and academic standing as when they left or who will not be able to complete the program of study, Yale will undertake reasonable efforts to help such students become prepared. If, after reasonable efforts, Yale determines that the student remains unprepared or will be unable to complete the program, or Yale determines that there are no reasonable efforts it can take, Yale may deny reinstatement.