If health or other unique reasons make it difficult for the student to successfully continue attending Illinois State University the student may request a leave of absence for up to six (6) consecutive terms (Fall, Spring, Summer). Requesting the leave of absence will allow the student to retain their place in the University for the length of time approved. Students granted a leave of absence will not be required to reapply to the University and will retain their admission to the major(s) and minor(s) in which they were enrolled during the last term prior to the start of their leave of absence. Students granted a leave of absence may have changes to their plan of study (due to changes in departmental policy or the curriculum), tuition rates, financial aid, scholarships, or time to degree. A leave of absence does not extend the time limits for degree completion for graduate students.
The request for the leave of absence should be made prior to the 10th day of classes for the semester that is needed and should be made using the Leave of Absence Form which may be sent to the Office of the University Registrar, Illinois State University, Campus Box 2202, Normal, IL 61790- 2202, faxed to (309) 438-8652, or emailed from the student’s Illinois State University email account to registrar@IllinoisState.edu.
After the 10th day a student would not be eligible for a leave for that semester and would have to withdraw from the University through the normal process. The student could request a leave of absence for future semesters. The leave of absence policy does not cover a semester that has started nor withdrawal from classes or any financial adjustments related to withdrawal for the started semester. Please refer to 2.1.14 Withdrawal Policy for information on withdrawal from the University and dropping courses.
Each leave of absence agreement is unique to each student’s situation and is reviewed by the Student Leave of Absence Advisory Group, which will make recommendations to the Office of the University Registrar for leave based on the contents of the leave agreement. The role of the Student Leave of Absence Advisory Group is not to adjudicate but to assist the student with the submission of the required documents in support of their leave of absence request and to assist the student during their transition in (and out of) the leave of absence period. If the advisory group needs further information, the chairperson will reach out to the student and/or request the student meet with the advisory group. If the Advisory Group requests that the student meet with the group, they will be permitted to bring a support person of their choosing. The Student Leave of Absence Advisory Group will be comprised of the Dean of Students (advisory group chair) and one or more of the following:
- a faculty member appointed annually by the Provost (ideally from a social work or health profession background)
- a University College retention/degree completion specialist
- a representative from the University Registrar’s Office, and
- up to five (5) other representatives as needed per case, which may include, but not limited to academic advisor(s), case manager(s), Director of Graduate School, Director of Student Health, Director of Student Counseling, Student Access and Accommodation Services representative, Financial Aid Office representative.
The Dean of Students Office in consultation with other key departments will have the primary charge of explaining the options and implications that a leave of absence may have on plan of study, curriculum, tuition rates, financial aid, scholarships, time to degree, housing assignments, health insurance, etc. Students granted a leave of absence are required to meet with the Dean of Students or designee at least 30 days before returning to campus. All financial and other obligations with the University must be in good standing for the student to be eligible to return. A student maintains the right to cancel their approved leave of absence by notifying the Office of the University Registrar in writing within five (5) business days of the approval of the leave of absence.
A student with a disability and/or medical/mental health condition who may need a leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation, should also consult with Student Access and Accommodation Services.