Leave of Absence

What is a Leave of Absence?

A leave of absence is a temporary leave from Juniata, which may be necessary during your academic career.

Typically, a leave of absence is for one semester or one academic year.

Declaring a Leave of Absence communicates to Juniata that the student will not be enrolling at Juniata for the current or upcoming term, but plans to continue their studies at Juniata in a future term. Declaring a Leave of Absence also ensures that the student’s academic program of emphasis and access to academic advising services remain active.


Types of Leaves


Academic leaves of absence are related to a student’s degree studies. Situations that are considered an academic leave include: taking time off due to program of emphasis uncertainty, non-Juniata study abroad programs, or other unique academic opportunities outside Juniata. Please note that students enrolled in a Juniata-affiliated study abroad program are considered currently enrolled at Juniata and do not require a leave of absence.


Financial leaves of absence are typically related to a student’s ability to pay tuition at Juniata. Situations that are considered a financial leave include: changes in financial aid awards or an outstanding collections balance that will not be resolved before the next semester begins.

Foreign Aid Service:

Foreign aid service leaves of absence are related to a student’s participation in a foreign assistance program sponsored by the U.S. Government. Situations that are considered a foreign aid service leave include: work with the Peace Corps or USAID.


Health-related leaves of absence indicate that the student is requesting a leave to address personal health concerns.  Situations that are considered a health-related leave include: treatment of illness or injury (either temporary or chronic), mental health conditions, and hospitalization.

Military Service:

Military service leaves of absence are related to a student’s obligation for active duty in the military. Situations that are considered a military leave include: call to active duty for any branch of the U.S. military forces, or mandatory conscription service as a citizen of another country.


Personal or family leaves of absence are related to various individual interests, concerns, or responsibilities. Situations that are considered a personal or family leave include: attending to a family crisis such as caring for a sick family member, personal travel, and participation in a non-academic program.

Professional Opportunity:

Professional opportunity leaves of absence are related to unique prospects for students to supplement their studies with practical experience, usually away from Juniata. Situations that are considered a professional opportunity leave include: selective internship programs (such as the Disney College Program), participation in competitive sports (such as Olympic training or the NFL draft), and opportunities in the performing arts.

Religious Mission:

Religious mission leaves of absence are related to a student’s full-time service in a church ministry or other religious-affiliated cause, usually away from Juniata. A religious mission leave may be international or domestic.

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Declare a Leave of Absence:

Before declaring a leave of absence, all students should review and understand the following:

  • A leave of absence is a temporary leave from Juniata.
  • Students are responsible for making contact with all applicable offices/departments to ensure closure in all areas such as their academic advisor, the Registrar, Financial Aid, Bursar’s Office, Campus Life, and other student service offices.
  • For Domestic undergraduates, please contact the Dean of Students Office to declare a Leave of Absence.
    • International undergraduate students must maintain full-time enrollment to remain in the United States and should contact the International Program Office regarding their visa status.
  • Graduate students must seek Master Program academic department approval.
  • In advance of your return to Juniata (at least one month prior is recommended), students are responsible for first reaching out to the Dean of Students Office, and then once returnis approved, students are responsible for contacting all applicable offices and departments including: academic advisor, the Registrar, Financial Aid, Bursar’s Office, and Campus Life. *Note, students taking a health-related leave must complete the Return from Medical Leave of Absence Form.
  • If you are currently on a leave of absence, please contact the Dean of Students Office with your updated return term and any other special circumstances relating to your extension.
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Steps for Leave of Absence

Below are the steps you will need to take to declare a leave of absence.

  • Contact your academic advisor(s)
    Talk to your academic advisor(s) about your plans to declare a leave and discuss the steps for withdrawal.
  • Contact the Dean of Students Office
    Contact the Dean of Students Office to notify them of the intent to take a Leave of Absence.  They will submit official notification to all pertinent campus offices.
  • Withdraw from your courses
    Withdraw from your courses and consult with the Office of the Registrar.
  • Contact Financial Aid & Bursrar’s Office
    These departments are related to your tuition and fees, student account balance, and financial aid, if applicable.
  • Follow-up with Campus Departments
    These departments are related to various services of the university such as Campus Life, Athletics or Public.
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What is a Withdraw?

A withdrawal is a separation from Juniata, which would usually occur for a transfer, and severs the connection with Juniata.

If a student is considering withdrawing from the College, an appointment should be arranged through the Dean of Students Office. A decision to withdraw from the College may have implications including financial aid eligibility and payment schedules. A student should meet with the Dean of Students to discuss withdrawal procedures and to complete the appropriate clearance forms.

If a student withdraws from the College during a semester, the Registrar will enter a grade of “W” for all registered but not completed courses. “W” grades are not calculated in the student's cumulative GPA, but may have other ramifications. Students who withdraw during a semester may still have financial obligations to the College. Students are encouraged to discuss these matters with family, faculty advisors and counselors from Financial Planning and the Dean of Students Office.

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Returning to Juniata:

Extending a Leave of Absence

If you decide to extend your leave of absence, please contact the Dean of Students Office to let them know any special circumstances regarding the extension, as well as your updated return term. They will be able to update campus offices on your behalf.

Returning in the Spring Semester

If your leave of absence occurs during the fall semester and you plan to return in the spring of the same academic year, you should notify the Dean of Students Office as early as possible. If you have already received financial aid for the academic year, the Financial Aid Office will revise your financial aid eligibility, if needed.

Returning in a Future Academic Year

If you will not be returning to Juniata until a future academic year (fall or spring), plan ahead for your return. You must meet all financial aid deadlines for the academic year of your expected return. You must also continue to satisfy all financial aid general eligibility requirements. For example, you must not default on any student loan while you are on your leave of absence. Contact the Financial Aid Office if you have questions about returning.

Contact your academic advisor to discuss course enrollment and registration.

Contact the Bursar’s Office (bursarsoffice@juniata.edu) to review any holds on your account that require action prior to registering for classes.

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Will I retain my prepaid health insurance through Juniata if I withdraw during a semester or take a leave of absence?
Please contact the Bursar’s Office (bursarsoffice@juniata.edu).

How do I notify campus offices of my departure during a semester?
The Dean of Students Office will distribute a change of status to all pertinent college departments.

Am I able to take college courses elsewhere during my Leave of Absence?
Yes, taking local college courses is encouraged.  Before you register, please be sure the credits will transfer to Juniata.  You can do this by visiting https://www.juniata.edu/registrar/transfer-information.php for the policies on transferring credits.

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