Leave of Absence Policy
Indiana Wesleyan University understands there are life events that may require a student to modify class enrollment and schedules. The leave of absence policy is designed to allow students flexibility in their program enrollment to adjust to these life events. The leave of absence policy also extends to students the ability to make up any courses missed during the approved leave.
A student on an approved leave of absence will be considered enrolled at IWU and eligible for an in-school deferment for student aid loans. Federal financial aid and in-school deferment may be negatively impacted if a student fails to apply for the leave of absence or if the application is denied. This impacts students who receive Title IV federal financial aid (Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Grants, Federal Stafford Subsidized or Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Parent Loans) or who want to have a federal student loan deferred from payment while in school.
Students who will be out of attendance for a period of 29 days or more should request a leave of absence. Students out of class for less than 29 days are not eligible for a leave of absence, and a recalculation on current financial aid will be done. Students who are not on federal financial aid programs or who do not have a federal loan in deferment are not required to request a leave of absence. However, the approved leave of absence will result in the $100 registration change fee being waived.
Students needing to make a change in their schedule need to contact the Office of Student Services to process the registration change. At that time, the leave of absence request form will be mailed to the student. The Leave of Absence Application can be downloaded, or can be requested by calling the Office of Student Services at 765-677-1207. Students must request the leave within 21 days of initiating the registration change. The request for a leave of absence should be made prior to the date the leave is to start. The start date of the leave is the first date of the class or, if the class has already started, the date the registration change is initiated.
An approved leave of absence must meet the following criteria: the request must be received within 21 days of the registration change; the request must be made prior to the start of the leave (first day of class); the reason for the request must be one approved by IWU's Leave of Absence Committee (military, medical, jury duty, loss of job, family emergency, employment emergency, transfer of coursework, passing pre-requisite requirement, transfer of core groups, changing programs, administrative cancelation of core classes, or other reasons as approved by the Leave of Absence Committee); appropriate documentation must be submitted if the request is submitted after the leave has started; the student must have an expected date of return; and, the leave of absence together with any additional leaves of absence must not exceed a total of 180 days in any 12-month period.
Documentation is required if the request for the leave of absence is made after the beginning date of the leave of absence and needs to address the nature of the reason for the request. Documentation for each circumstance will vary; the student is required to provide whatever paperwork from a third party will attest to the circumstance outlined on the application form. Examples would include physicians' statements, letters from employers, letters from pastors or counselors, court documents, etc. Documentation is also required if a request is submitted after the 21 day deadline, and needs to address the reason for the delay in the submission of the request.
The leave of absence together with any additional leaves of absence must not exceed a total of 180 days in any 12-month period. Time in excess of 180 days will not be approved. A student may request an extension to a leave providing the request is made before the end of the leave, there are unforeseen circumstances which prevent the return from the leave, and the total number of days of approved leave do not exceed 180 in a 12-month period. A maximum of two leaves of absence are allowed during a 12-month period.
Failure to return from an approved leave of absence nullifies the approved leave and may have an impact on student loan repayment terms as well as the grace period. The first day of the leave will be reported as the beginning of the grace period for loan deferment. Students may return early from an approved leave of absence prior to the leave end date. The leave will be shortened according to the student's return date.
Students will not receive disbursements of Title IV student loan financial aid funds during the leave. Students are not deferred from making regularly scheduled payments to the Accounting Office for normal fees incurred. Any change in registration can impact current financial aid regardless of approval or denial of the leave of absence request. Questions about impact on current financial aid should be directed to the Financial Aid Office at 800-621-8667 ext. 2516. Students on an approved leave of absence will be reported as such and will be eligible for in-school deferment of previous loans. Students whose request for a leave of absence is denied will be reported as withdrawn and the grace period for loan repayment will go into effect.