Students wishing to take a leave from their respective college are required to apply for a voluntary Leave of Absence (LOA) with an expected return date in a future semester. Students on a LOA may not enroll in any courses offered by the University during their leave. Students on a LOA are not eligible for services such as housing, dining, library and transportation services. For purposes of enrollment reporting, University LOAs are treated as withdrawals.
A college may place a student on leave of absence or withdraw a student who fails to meet the academic expectations of the college. A college may withdraw a student who fails to return at the end of a period of authorized leave. Students may withdraw from the University at their own discretion.
Specific leave information can be found within the following policies:
When a student ceases to participate in a course, but has not provided official notification of withdrawal, the student shall be considered unofficially withdrawn. Additionally, due to regulatory requirements, the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment may consider students to be unofficially withdrawn if students do not receive a passing grade for any of the courses they attempted in a term.
If students are unofficially withdrawn, any financial aid the student receives may be adjusted according to federal and state regulations and institutional policy.
Causes of unofficial withdrawals:
- Students enroll in but do not attend classes, which may result in failing grades of (U, UX or F) and outstanding tuition charges.
- Students drop all enrolled classes within a term and fail to notify their college.
- Students do not enroll for one or more terms and lose automatic registration eligibility.
- Students earn non-passing grades for all courses within a term.
Financial Aid Impacts
Students attending Cornell University who are receiving federal Title IV financial aid (e.g., federal Stafford or PLUS loans; Pell or FSEOG) are required to return the portion of unearned federal aid if they withdraw, go on leave of absence, do not register, or otherwise fail to complete the period of enrollment for which the Title IV aid was provided. For federal aid purposes, a student is considered to have withdrawn from Cornell when a student ceases to be enrolled for any reason – required by the college, requested by the student, medical reasons, etc. Please note, Cornell University does not process Title IV Leaves of Absence.
For more information, refer to the Leaves and Withdrawals policy page on the Financial Aid website.