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Skidmore College
Office of Academic Advising

Leaves of Absence

Skidmore understands that there are times in students’ lives when they must pause their academic journey for any number of personal or medical reasons. Students may take a one-semester medical or personal leave of absence. It is possible for students to have more than one leave during their college career. Prior to taking a leave of absence, we encourage students to talk with an academic advisor about their plans. Students are also expected to continue to check their Skidmore email while on leave for all official communications from the college.

The Office of Academic Advising implements the administrative process surrounding Personal/Medical Leaves of Absence on behalf of the Commitee on Academic Standing.

Policies on Leaves of Absence

Duration of Leave

Students may apply for a personal or medical leave of absence for one or two semesters (First-Year students see additional note below). Students who apply for a leave for one semester may make a request in writing to have their leave extended for a second semester. The maximum duration of a leave is two sequential semesters. A student with extenuating circumstances (e.g., typically medical reasons) who takes two sequential semester leaves and wishes to take a third may petition the Committee on Academic Standing. Not all petitions are approved. Students with military service obligations are exempt from the limit of three semesters on leave.

If students do not return to study in the semester they indicate on their application, they are administratively withdrawn from the College and may apply for readmission.

Effective Date

A leave of absence is effective the date the completed, signed application form is received by the Office of Academic Advising from the student. Incomplete forms will not be processed. This effective date is used for calculating billing and refunds, and for assessing financial liability in accordance with the Withdrawals and Leaves of Absence policy and the Refund and Liability Schedule from the Bursar's Office.

Enrollment and Grades

Students who apply for a leave during a fall/spring semester are deregistered from their courses and receive nonpunitive grades of “L” for the term, unless a grade has already been recorded by the Office of the Registrar.

First-Year Students

First-year students may apply to take a leave of absence for one or two semesters. Leaves for one semester are not automatically granted. Applications for a one-semester leave during the student's first term should describe the student's academic progress and challenges during their first semester and provide a detailed academic plan that will maximize their chances for success upon return to the College. The Director of the First-Year Experience (DFYE) reviews and approves these applications on behalf of the Committee on Academic Standing (CAS). To prepare for their return, students taking a one-semester leave in the fall term must meet with the DFYE prior to their spring registration.

Financial Aid

A leave of absence may affect students’ eligibility for financial aid, their repayment schedule of federal loans, and their eligibility for athletic team competition. For questions, contact the Office of Financial Aid.

On-Campus Housing

Once a completed application has been submitted, Residential Life will be notified, and students must vacate their room within 24 hours.

Completing college coursework While On Leave

Students may use the Transfer Credit Approval Form to transfer up to 18 credits per semester while they are on leave, in accordance with the Transfer Credit Policies. Transfer credit is awarded for courses completed with a grade of “C” or better. It is students’ responsibility to send official transcripts to Skidmore’s Office of the Registrar upon completion of the course work.

Students may not use a leave of absence for international Off-Campus Study and Exchanges. This does not apply to international students proposing to study at an accredited university or college in their home country.

Parent / Guardian Notification

Students' parents/guardians will be copied on correspondence about a change in students' status as a result of taking a leave unless students have a "Do Not Release" for their academic record on file with the Office of the Registrar.

Personal Leave of Absence

The last day to apply for a personal leave of absence for the Spring 2024 semester is Thursday, April 11th, 2024. Personal leaves are not granted after the deadline. However, in exceptional circumstances, students may submit a petition to the Committee on Academic Standing.

Medical Leave of Absence

The last day to apply for a medical leave of absence for the Spring 2024 semester is Tuesday, April 30th, 2024, which aligns with the last day of classes. Medical leaves are not granted after the deadline. However, in exceptional circumstances, students may submit a petition to the Committee on Academic Standing.

Medical leaves require supporting documentation. When applying for a medical leave, the College requires a letter of support on office letterhead from a licensed clinician/physician. A letter does not have to include a diagnosis or a description of the symptom(s), but it must be originated, signed, and dated from a licensened mental health or medical provider such as the following:

  • Physician-(MD)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Psychologist (PhD or Psy.D.)
  • Social Worker (LMSW, LCSW)
  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT)
  • Licensed Mental Health Clinician (LMHC)

Students who have paid for a Tuition Refund Plan as part of their semester bill may be eligible to submit an insurance claim for reimbursement that extends beyond the Bursar's Refund and Liability Schedule.

Returning from MEDICAL Leave

When applying to return after a medical leave, documentation is required again from a licensed clinician/physcian to make recommendations about a student’s ability to return to college and be successful. Students must include a letter of support from a provider who has treated them for the symptoms that led to their medical leave.

Students must apply to return from medical leave by the posted deadlines.

To return for Summer 2024, applications must be received by May 1, 2024.

To return for Fall 2024, applications must be received by July 15, 2024.

To return for Spring 2025, applications must be received by December 10, 2024.