Leaves of absence

Emergency absence

If a student needs to leave the college for a short period of time, but intends to return and complete the semester's work, the student should apply for an emergency absence. This status will not extend beyond three weeks or the end of the semester and does not result in a refund of tuition or fees.

Students should consult with one of the deans in student services to learn how to apply for an emergency absence, what is required on returning from an absence, and what the implications of such an absence are with regard to their courses. The instructor of each course will determine whether it is possible for the student to resume and complete the course after returning to Reed.

Emergency absences may be granted for personal and family emergencies as well as for health reasons.

In an emergency, when a student's continuing at the college poses a risk to the well-being of that student or the community, the dean of students can place a student on an involuntary emergency absence. The student may appeal this decision to the college president within eleven days of notification.

Leave of absence

Any student who is eligible to register at the college may apply for a one- or two-semester leave of absence. Students choose to take leaves for a variety of reasons: to travel abroad, to pursue a full-time job or internship, to take coursework elsewhere, or simply because they would like a break from academic work. Students interested in taking a leave of absence may obtain a leave of absence form in the student services office (Eliot 218) and should plan on meeting with their adviser and a dean in student services to discuss their plans. This discussion should include the academic implications of the leave and any courses the student plans to take while on leave.

Leaves normally should be requested before the start of the semester and no later than the beginning of the tenth week. Information about a refund for tuition, room, and board for leaves that occur after classes have begun for the semester can be found in the college catalog or at the business office.

Students who have been granted a leave of absence should reapply for financial aid on the same basis as continuing students. If a student plans to return in fall or spring of the next academic year, the student should meet the following deadlines and submit appropriate forms in order to receive financial aid consideration:

  • Submit FAFSA to federal processor by April 1.
  • Submit Profile to College Scholarship Service (CSS) by April 1.
  • Provide signed copy of the verification worksheet, student and parent tax returns, including all schedules and W-2s, directly to financial aid office no later than May 1.

Please be aware that a student's eligibility for institutional funding will be reduced if any one of these deadlines is missed.

Please refer to the Leave of Absence home page for more information.

Medical leave of absence

A medical leave of absence is available for students who have medical or psychological conditions that severely limit their ability to perform their academic work. Students who need this type of leave of absence should meet with either a dean in student services or with a staff member in health services. Medical leaves of absence are granted by one of the student services deans in consultation with Reed's health services and are based on the written recommendation of a physician or therapist. Medical leaves are usually granted for up to two semesters.

Students who take a leave during the semester will earn no academic credit for the semester and will be refunded for tuition and room and board on a daily pro-rata basis calculated by the business office. If the medical leave is granted after the final deadline to drop without a W grade but before the end of the semester, W will be recorded on the transcript for all enrolled courses. During the time of the leave, students must actively engage in appropriate treatment as recommended by their physician or therapist. A student who has been granted a medical leave of absence may file for financial assistance on the same basis as continuing students. Click here for the medical leave of absence form.

Return and re-enrollment from a medical leave of absence are contingent on a written assessment by a physician or therapist, which will be evaluated by a dean in student services and the health services staff. For students on medical leave who have applied for financial aid for the semester in which they return, requests for return from a medical leave and the supporting documentation must be received early enough that a decision can be made by July 1 for fall term and January 2 for spring term.

In an emergency, when a student's continuing at the college poses a risk to the well-being of that student or to others in the community, the dean of student services can place a student on an involuntary medical leave. The student may appeal this decision to the president of the college within 11 days of notification.

Please refer to the Medical Leave of Absence home page for more information.

(last modified: August 19, 2016)