LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICY
March 30, 2020
SUBJECT: Interim Leave of Absence Policy
PURPOSE: To set and define an Interim Leave of Absence Policy due to the COVID-19 National Emergency.
EFFECTIVE FOR: All Active Students in good Satisfactory Academic Standing unable to begin or complete a course(s) of study due to the COVID-19 National Emergency.
A leave of Absence is an interruption in course progression/completion due to a documented unforeseen circumstance (in this case, the inability to begin or complete coursework and/or an externship due to the COVID-19 National Emergency) with an approved reason and the institution determines that there is a reasonable expectation that the student will return to complete the educational program.
- The student will be responsible for submitting a written request that is signed and dated to the Education Department requesting a Leave Of Absence (LOA).
- The student submitting the request will be currently enrolled in classes or enrolled during the most recently completed term during the period of the COVID-19 disaster.
- The student will have a history of performing satisfactorily on all course work as defined by the institution’s satisfactory academic progress policy found in the school catalog on the institution’s website.
- The student will include the date in which the leave will begin and the expected date of return.
- The Leave of Absence cannot exceed 180 days in any 12-month period as outlined by Title IV regulations.
- The requested Leave of Absence will be reviewed to determine if the school has a reasonable expectation that the student will return to complete his/her educational program. The outcome of the review (approved, denied, or more information requested) will be returned to the student in writing via email.
- Direct loans for the student during the LOA period will not be disbursed and no other institutional charges will be assessed. The Direct Loans will remain in an in-school status. However, if the student does not return from the LOA, the Financial Aid Department will report the student as withdrawn to the National Student Loan Data Center (NSLDS) and a possible consequence is that the student’s grace period for Title IV program may be exhausted or some of the six-month grace period may have been used.
All other absences not meeting the requirements above will be considered unapproved. These absences in which coursework and/or an externship is not completed will be treated as a withdrawal and the proper procedures following internal and federal return to title IV regulations will be implemented.
- The student will complete the Leave of Absence request in writing, signed and dated to the Campus President’s email address provided on the Leave of Absence request from.
- The Leave of Absence will be reviewed and approved/denied by the Campus President within 5 business days of the written request. The Education Department will determine whether he/she has a reasonable expectation that the student will return from the LOA.
- Special attention will be focused on the ability of the student to complete the externship coursework that is not available due to the COVID-19 National Emergency within 180 days.
- The student’s interrupted course(s) will remain in progress for the duration of the LOA and the Direct Loan will remain in an in-school status.
- The Financial Aid Office will report to the National Student Loan Data Center (NSLDS) a status of “A” in enrollment reporting for the duration of the Leave of Absence. If the student does not return within 180 days, this status will be changed to withdrawn and the Last Date of Attendance will be the date the Leave of Absence began.
- If the Education Department does not approve the LOA Request, the student will be withdrawn as of the Last Date of Attendance.
Failure to Return:
Failure to return from an approved Leave of Absence shall be considered a withdrawal. The Last Date of Attendance date shall reflect the start date of the Leave of Absence even though the leave was approved. The date of determination is the date the student was expected to return. The withdrawal policies and procedures shall then be implemented.
Based on the extenuating circumstances presented as a result of COVID 19, the following revisions have been made to the current Incomplete policy. Students who have completed all of the required programmatic course work, including all required externship hours, but have not yet sat for the certification exam (if applicable) will be issued an “I” (Incomplete) for the Externship course. It is the student’s responsibility to sit for the certification exam within ninety (90) days from the date that the incomplete was earned.