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Leave of Absence/ Withdrawal

Leave of Absence (LOA) Request

Students may need to take a semester or two off from attending Otis due to medical needs, personal, financial or other reasons. To make it easier to return to the College, students should request a leave of absence before the semester of the intended leave by submitting the Leave of Absence (LOA) Request form. Students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents may take a leave of absence for up to two academic semesters. F-1 international students are not eligible for an LOA, but can apply for readmission when they would like to return. See Withdrawal information here for guidelines as an international student.

If you have questions about leaves of absence, please contact the One Stop at onestop@otis.edu.


Returning to Otis after your Leave of Absence

The One Stop will contact you by email with instructions for confirming your return from LOA.If intended to return for Fall, you will be emailed by March 1. If intended to return for Spring, you will be emailed by October 1. If you would like to return earlier than your intended return semester or need to extend your LOA to two semesters, submit the Request to Update Leave of Absence Duration.

  • Steps for Leave of Absence (LOA) Approval

    Step 1: Meet with Academic Advising
    Schedule an appointment with Academic Advising to discuss your plans. Academic Advising will provide an academic plan and guidance on options while you are away, degree progress, and academic expectations when you return.


    Step 2: Meet with Student Financial Services
    Submitting your LOA request prior to the start of the semester: appointment with Student Financial Services (SFS) optional. Meet with SFS to discuss federal aid and loan repayment options.  

    Submitting your LOA request after the start of the semester: Schedule an appointment with SFS to discuss your federal financial aid, loans, loan repayment options, and any balance that may be due on your account.


    Step 3: Submit LOA Request  
    Submit your LOA Request and indicate your intended return semester. Allow 10 business days for notification and approval notice. All notifications will be sent by email. LOA can be approved for a maximum of one academic year (two academic semesters).


    Step 4: LOA Approval
    Once your LOA has been approved, review reminders below regarding your access and student status during your LOA:

    Dashboard and Otis Email: Your Dashboard and Otis email will remain active while you are on LOA. Your password and login will remain unchanged.
    Exit Counseling for Federal Loan Borrowers: If you have borrowed a federal loan, complete the Exit Counseling. Detailed Instructions will be emailed to you.
    Account Balance/Refund: information regarding your account balance or refund (if applicable) will be emailed to you.

  • Returning to Otis after your Leave of Absence

    Step 1:  Submit the Return from LOA Confirmation

    Step 2:  Submit your FAFSA for your intended return semester. The latest aid year for FAFSA is available through Student Aid. Ensure that you renew your FAFSA annually every aid year. Ensure that your FAFSA application information will be delivered to Otis College: 001251

    Step 3:  Review the Academic Advising Module in the Nest accesible from your Dashboard

                  Optional: Schedule an appointment with Academic Advising to discuss your degree progress or with your department Chair to discuss specific studio courses.

                  You can also attend a training session on DegreeWorks and the advising process on Zoom. The session will be offered at three different times by Academic Advising:

                 Monday March 29 at 6:45pm-7:30 pm PDT
                 Wednesday March 31 at 11:15am -12pm PDT
                 Friday April 2 at 11:15am -12pm PDT

                 Zoom Link: https://otis.zoom.us/my/academicadvising
                 Meeting ID: 334-547-0125
     

    Step 4:  Register for classes during your priority registration times. Fall registration occurs in April and Spring registration occurs in November. See the Registration section of your Dashboard for class schedules, dates and times. Your Otis ID and login credentials to the Dashboard are active and remain the same.

    Step 5: Tuition and fees will be charged to your account after you enroll and register for classes.  Review the Cost of Attendance. Payment deadlines: Fall - June 15, Spring - December 15. 

  • Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Policy

    There are two ways for students to separate from the College before graduation:  through a Leave of Absence or through a Withdrawal.  Students requesting a Leave of Absence or a Withdrawal must file a Leave of Absence/Withdrawal form with the Dean of Student Affairs (or the Dean’s designee). If you are interested in a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal, please complete the Leave of Absence/Withdrawal form.

    Leave of Absences Defined

    A Leave of Absence is an anticipated separation from the College of less than one year.  A Voluntary Leave of Absence is initiated by the student.  An Administrative Leave of Absence is initiated by the Dean of Students (or designee) and is given for medical, personal, or other issues as determined by the Dean of Students.  Students who are granted an Administrative Leave of Absence must meet all specific conditions before being allowed to return to the College.

    Withdrawal Defined

    A Withdrawal is an anticipated separation from the College of more than one year, up to and including a permanent separation.  A Voluntary Withdrawal is initiated by the student.  An Administrative Withdrawal is initiated by the Dean of Students (or designee) and is given for reasons of non-attendance, poor scholarship, disciplinary conduct, or other issues as determined by the Dean of Students or the Committee on Academic Standing.

    Students who are given an Administrative Withdrawal must apply for readmission (if eligible) and must meet all specific conditions before being allowed to return to the College.

    How to Qualify for a Leave of Absence

    To qualify for a Leave of Absence, students must be in good academic standing (cumulative grade point average [GPA] above 2.0 and prior semester grade point average above 2.0).  Students who apply for a Leave of Absence and are not in good academic standing will be Withdrawn from the College.

    Leave of Absence/Withdrawal and Grades

    When a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal is given before the beginning of a semester, students are dropped from their courses, and no grades are recorded for that semester.  When a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal is given once the semester has started, students are withdrawn from all courses and receive a grade of “W” in all courses in which they were enrolled.  A Leave of Absence/Withdrawal form must be submitted online by the published withdrawal deadline date in order to receive a grade of “W.”  Forms received after that date will be subject to the grades in progress at the time the form is submitted but W grades can be given up until the last day of the semester at the discretion of the Dean of Students and the Registrar.

    International Students Taking a Leave of Absence

    International students on an F-1 visa must meet with a Designated School Official (DSO) and be advised on the effect a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal will have on their visa status. International students on an F1 visa who are given a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal are considered out of status and must return home within 15 days.

    Tuition, Fees, and Refunds

    Students who do not attend the first days of classes for the semester will have their tuition and fees reversed on their student account and any payments towards tuition made for the term, will be refunded through the original payment method. Students who have attended the first days of classes for the semester and beyond, tuition and fees will be assessed based on the tuition refund policy. It is highly recommended to plan your LOA in advance and submit your LOA request prior to the start of the semester to ensure that you are not charged tuition and fees for the semester. View the academic calendar for semester start and end dates.

    Otis Scholarship Information

    If you have been awarded an Otis Scholarship, you will be offered the same scholarship when you return as long as you maintained good academic standing at the time time of LOA Request. Undergraduates who started their enrollment at Otis College as a first year foundation student, will be offered their Otis Scholarship for up to 8 semesters. Started as a sophomore student, will be offered their Otis scholarship for up to 6 semesters. Started as a junior student, will be offered their Otis scholarship for up to 4 semesters. Graduate students will be offered their Otis Scholarship for up to 6 semesters.

    Federal Loan Borrowers

    If you have borrowed a federal subsidized or unsubsidized loan, completion of the Exit Counseling will be required. The grace period for loan repayment is 6 months after your last date of enrollment. If you enroll as a student at another institution during your leave of absence, you may request for your loan repayment to be deferred. Contact your loan servicer for loan deferment information.


    Review the student handbook, The Hoot, for further information and college policies.  

    For questions or concerns, please contact the One Stop at onestop@otis.edu.

    Access to Services and Readmission to the College

    Students on Leave of Absence have access to their Otis e-mail account and the Dashboard. Students on Leave will also continue to have access to the job board and career counseling services through Career Services.  On a case by case basis, students who were accessing Student Counseling Services may continue to have access as determined by the Director of Student Counseling Services.  Students on Leave do not have access to College facilities and services or computer, laboratory, equipment, library, or other privileges unless specifically stated above.  Students who have withdrawn from the College do not have access to any College facilities, services, or privileges.  Students on a Leave of Absence may resume their studies at the beginning of a semester within their approved year, but are strongly encouraged to seek academic and financial aid advisement to determine the best time to return to the College.  

    Students on a Leave of Absence must notify the Registration Office at least two months before the beginning of the term in which they plan to return and will be eligible for priority registration based on their class level.  They must make sure all holds have been cleared and financial arrangements have been made by published deadlines for that semester.

    Students on a Leave of Absence who do not return within one calendar year will be Withdrawn from the College.  To resume their studies, such students must apply for readmission and will be readmitted based on the readmission policies in place at that time.

    Students who have Withdrawn from the College and decide they would like to return, must apply for readmission.  All specific conditions (if any) must be met before the student can return and readmission will be subject to the readmission policies in place at that time.