Withdrawals and Leaves of Absence

If you are considering withdrawing from the University, either permanently or for a leave of absence, there are a number of policies and procedures that you should keep in mind.  

Note: If you are looking for policies about withdrawing from a course while remaining enrolled, please review the relevant policies in the University Catalog.

The University Catalog provides an overview of the leave of absence process and links to school-specific policies for both undergraduate and graduate students.  

SRFS also publishes policies regarding the financial implications of a withdrawal or leave of absence: 

Finally, please review these recommended checklists for initiating and returning from a leave of absence.  

Checklist for Withdrawal/Leave of Absence 

  1. Notify your school about your intention to withdraw or take a leave of absence 

  2. Contact Student Financial Services. Arrange a telephone or in-person appointment with an Assistant Director to discuss your student account and review other financial concerns. Note to aided students: Eligibility for Federal aid funds for the term will be re-determined based on a statutory formula. Institutional aid will be re-determined based on actual charges and prorated allowances for living expenses. 

  3. Complete an online exit loan counseling session to understand the effect of your withdrawal or leave of absence on your loans. SFS will mail you instructions for accessing your online session. Depending on how long you are not enrolled, you may need to begin loan repayments. It is critically important that you avoid becoming delinquent on your loans while you are out of school. Delinquency may result in ineligibility for further aid and may make it impossible for you to return at a later date. 

  4. Advise Penn Residential Services of your departure as soon as possible. Upon receipt of your keys, your contract will be canceled. Please note that a cancellation fee may be charged. \

  5. Contact Penn Dining Services to cancel your meal contract. 

  6. Check with Student Health Service regarding your coverage, policies, and procedures during your leave. Some insurance providers discontinue coverage if a student is not enrolled full time at a college or university. 

  7. Clear any pending issues with the Office of Student Conduct. Failure to do so will result in your being placed on Disciplinary Hold, which will prevent you from registering for classes when you return or from getting copies of your transcript should you choose to transfer to another institution. 

  8. If you are an international student, update your student visa while you are away from Penn. 

Returning to Penn Checklist  

  1. Contact Student Financial Services 

  • Complete financial aid application forms as early as possible. 
  • Discuss how to resolve matters of financial hold if you are on hold as a result of a past-due balance on your student account or a delinquent student loan. 
  1. Contact Penn Residential Services to apply for housing. 

  1. Contact Penn Dining Services to set up a new meal contract.