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Policy on Student Withdrawals and Leaves of Absence

Policy Category: Academic

Effective Date: 02/14/2024

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Bursar, Dean of Students, Financial Aid

History: Changes to Enrollment Status; Involuntary Leave of Absence 

Responsible Office: Registrar, Bursar, Dean of Students, Financial Aid

Location: Link


This policy guides Wentworth University (henceforth known as “the university” or “Wentworth”) students, faculty, and staff on how a student can withdraw from the university, either temporarily (leave of absence, medical leave of absence, military deployment), permanently, or involuntarily.


All students at the university, except those enrolled in non-degree/non-academic credit-bearing programs.




A student might need to request temporary leave from their studies at Wentworth for many reasons. Some common reasons include military deployment, taking time to address health concerns, or managing challenges at home or with family. Regardless of the reason for a potential leave, students should consult with their Success Advisor, Financial Aid Office and the Student Accounts Office as early as possible about their plans for taking a leave. The university encourages students to make the best decision for them and seeks to support them to return to the best possible state to succeed in their remaining semesters. 

Students may also withdraw from the university voluntarily; while withdrawals are typically permanent, students may choose to request reinstatement after time away.  Students who have been away from Wentworth for four or more years need to reapply for admission. 

Additionally, there may be circumstances where the university determines that it is in a student's best interest or the university community to initiate an administrative withdrawal of a student. In these rare situations, the student can participate in the process as outlined in section VI: Procedures.  


  • Add/Drop period: The period at the beginning of a term when students can sign up for new courses and drop courses for which they were previously registered
  • Business Day: Any day, Monday through Friday, during normal business operations. 
  • CARE Team: The persons of the concern and threat assessment team comprised of university officials who receive and evaluate student and employee concerns regarding student behavior that may be disruptive, self-injurious, or potentially pose a risk of harm to the health, safety, or property of any person or of the university, or otherwise be dangerous.  
  • Hold: Hold on a student record indicates that administrative action has not been completed or there has been a change to the student's status.  
  • Leave of Absence: A temporary break from academics initiated by the student; students on a leave of absence intend to return to the university. 
  • Course Withdrawal: A student-initiated action to withdraw from a credit course after the Add/Drop period but within the Withdrawal Period. 
  • University Withdrawal: For the purposes of this policy, it refers to voluntary or involuntary separation from the university. 
  • University-initiated Withdrawal: A student separation from the university due to academic procedures including academic dismissals and/or student conduct proceedings (administrative separations and dismissals). This includes Administrative and Unofficial Withdrawals.  
  • Withdrawal Period: The period during which students can withdraw from a credit course. This period occurs after the Add/Drop period and concludes on a specific date as published in the Academic Calendar. 
  • Involuntary Leave of Absence: The rare circumstances in which a student's behavior poses a health or safety risk to a member of the campus community or where the student's behavior unduly disrupts and/or interferes with the university's learning environment or other activities, the university may initiate a process to temporarily remove the student. 
  • Academically Related Activity: Such activities include but are not limited to turning in an assignment, taking an exam, participating in an online discussion about the course, or initiating contact with a faculty member regarding the course material. Academically related activities do not include living in the residence halls, participation in a meal plan, or general academic counseling/advising. 
  • Student: For the purposes of this policy, this includes those enrolled in a degree seeking programs. It does not include those enrolled in Workforce and Professional Education Programs.  


Voluntary Withdrawal

  • Students are responsible for submitting the appropriate withdrawal paperwork to the Registrar's Office when seeking to withdraw. 
  • It is the student's responsibility to complete this process; failure to do so may result in receiving grades of F in all courses. 

Leave of Absences

  • These include general leave of absence, military leave of absence, and medical leave of absence. 
  • Students may be required to submit documentation verifying the need to take a leave of absence which must be approved before the requested leave is processed. 

Involuntary Leave of Absence

  • In cases where the university deems that a student's behavior poses a potential threat to the campus community or is significantly disruptive to the university living and learning environment, steps can be taken to place a student on an involuntary leave of absence.  
  • The Dean of Students is responsible for determining whether the student has engaged in behaviors which may trigger the application of the Policy on Involuntary Leave of Absence

Administrative Withdrawals

  • Separate from student-initiated withdrawals, leaves of absences, or an involuntary leave of absence, the university reserves the right to administratively withdraw students for reasons including failing to enroll or are reported to have not been attending class (as outlined in 5.b).  
  • Students not registered for a subsequent semester within 30 days of the last day of final exams per the academic calendar will be administratively withdrawn from Wentworth by the Registrar. Students who were administratively withdrawn by the Registrar and are in Good Academic Standing must submit a Request for Academic Reinstatement form to the Dean of the Program at least 15 business days prior to the start of the returning semester. 

Unofficial Withdrawals

  • Students who receive federal financial aid and fail to earn a passing grade in every course for a semester and did not fully complete the course, or students who receive federal financial aid and withdraw from all courses in a semester without providing the university official notification, will be unofficially withdrawn. 
  • For Unofficial Withdrawals, the 50% point of the semester is used as the final date of attendance if the student started attending the course, but no determination can be made as of the date of the last known academically related activity or attendance. In cases where attendance or an academic related activity is documented with a date, that date will be used as the date of determination for the withdrawal. 

Special Considerations

Initiation or Requests from 3rd parties 

  • University officials may initiate a request to the Registrar’s Office for a withdrawal and/or a leave of absence on behalf of the student if the student is unable to initiate this request.  
  • Faculty members should contact the Registrar’s Office to indicate that a student has not attended during the semester in which the student is enrolled. If it is confirmed that the student has not attended during that semester, the student will be withdrawn from the university. 
  • If the Registrar’s Office is not notified of a student’s non-attendance, the student’s status will remain active. 
  • A student who was incapable of withdrawing from a course due to extenuating and unforeseen circumstances during the withdrawal period and has received a grade of “F” or “U” cannot request a retroactive withdrawal or removal of registration.  

Residential Students  

  • Students residing in the residence halls must complete a housing cancellation form and typically vacate their room within 24 hours of submitting their voluntary withdrawal petition or leave of absence petition, unless otherwise agreed to with the university. Involuntary withdrawals are required to immediately vacate the residence halls.  

International Students 

  • International Students who are considering a temporary or permanent departure from the university are encouraged to consult with International Student Services & Engagement to learn how their VISA status may be impacted.  

Currently Serving Military Members 

  • Students who are members of the United States Armed Forces who are called to active duty should review the Withdrawal for Military Connected Services policy. 
  • A refund of tuition, fees, and applicable payments will be made according to Public Law 117-328 Veterans Affairs Update and any required returns to agencies such as Veterans Affairs will be made according to federal regulations.   
  • Financial aid awards are subject to the same laws and regulations for all students, regardless of active military service, section 6.f. 

Student Health Insurance  

  • If a student is enrolled in the Student Health Insurance Plan, the plan will remain in place following the coverage dates. 

Financial Aid Implications 

Proration Policy  

  • Students should refer to the university proration policy to understand the financial impact of temporary or permanent leaves of absence and/or withdrawals.  
  • Students enrolled in Workforce Development, please refer to the policy here:  

Tuition Insurance Implications 

Reinstatement to the University

Please refer to the Reinstatement Policy.

Additional Information & Related Documents

Interpretation & Revision

Any questions of interpretation regarding this policy shall be referred to the offices of the Registrar, Bursar, Dean of Students, Financial Aid. They will be the final authority regarding the interpretation of this Policy. 

This policy shall be reviewed every 3 years, however minor changes and updates can be made at any time.  

Wentworth will typically apply the policy in place at the time it receives a report concerning the respected policy. 

Additionally, in instances where two or more policies are implicated, a case-by-case determination will be made to determine what policy will be used. 

Review and Revision History

This Policy was developed by representatives from the offices of the Registrar, Bursar, Dean of Students, and Financial Aid. It was reviewed by the Cabinet and approved by the President on February 14, 2024. 

This policy replaces existing policies and procedures related to student withdrawals and leaves. It also supplements the information articulated in the Changes to Enrollment Status