Leaves of Absence
Taking a leave of absence from the College will affect your financial aid and will require you to be diligent in following the proper procedures to be sure your aid can continue upon your return.
Leaves of absence types, withdrawals and readmissions
See the Academic Deans site in my.mtholyoke for more information on leaves of absence types and descriptions or withdrawals and readmission procedures.
Academic leave (study abroad or exchange programs)
Will my Mount Holyoke financial aid travel with me?
Financial aid received from Mount Holyoke, including any merit assistance, does not travel to other institutions. This also applies to employment based aid (such as Tuition Exchange).
Can I use federal aid for my academic leave?
If you are approved for an academic leave of absence, you may use any federal, state or outside aid for which you are eligible to help fund the cost of an academic leave semester. Federal Direct Student Loans and Pell Grants generally travel with you to a new institution; contact SFS staff for details. If you expect to use federal or other outside aid toward your program, you need to submit a Disbursement Form and have your host program submit a Consortium Agreement to Student Financial Services.
See the McCulloch Center’s study abroad resources for further information.
Can I be enrolled in the student health insurance plan while I am on leave?
Yes. You are eligible to be enrolled in the student health insurance plan while on academic leave. If you would like to purchase coverage, please contact Student Financial Services.
What steps should I take before I go on Academic leave?
- Submit a Consortium Agreement for program costs for each program attended.
- Complete loan applications (if applicable), and notify outside award organizations to send funds to MHC.
- Submit a disbursement form to SFS. (Funds cannot be disbursed without the completed form.)
- Meet with a member of the SFS staff to make sure everything is in place for your leave.
Nonacademic leave (personal, medical or mandatory)
Will I have to start paying my student loans while I am on nonacademic leave?
Students who are on nonacademic leave are reported to the Department of Education as not enrolled at Mount Holyoke College. If you are on nonacademic leave and have borrowed federal loans, you have a grace period before you are expected to begin repayment. Federal Direct Student Loans will enter repayment status after 180 days (generally after one semester of non-enrollment, not after a standard summer or January term). For students who may have received a Federal Perkins Loan in the past, the grace period is nine months. You may request forbearance of repayment by contacting the appropriate servicer: Department of Education for Federal Direct loans, or ECSI for Federal Perkins or Mount Holyoke College Loans. For alternative loan servicers, please contact your private lender.
It should be noted that there is only one grace period allowed for each loan. Once the grace period has expired you will go into repayment immediately after graduation or withdrawal from the College. However, you may request in-school deferrals for any student loans if enrolling in a graduate program. Subsidized loans will not accrue interest during in-school deferments; unsubsidized and alternative loans will accrue interest and interest will be compounded if not paid quarterly.
You must be in good standing on institutional or federal loans in order to be approved to return from a nonacademic leave of absence.
How does my nonacademic leave affect my health insurance?
Please see the Student Financial Services Health Insurance page for details on how a non-academic leave will affect your health insurance.
Should I fill out a Financial Aid Application if I am on nonacademic leave?
Yes. While you are on leave you should still apply for financial aid for the academic year you intend to return and meet the deadline to complete the application.
What if I have an outstanding balance due on my account?
If you take a nonacademic leave and have a past due balance, you must pay the past due balance prior to the midpoint of the semester immediately following the semester in which the leave was taken, or you will be withdrawn for financial reasons.
- If you take a leave in the spring semester, you must pay any past due balance in full or have an approved payment plan in place prior to November registration, regardless of your intent to return the following spring.
- If you take a leave in the fall semester, you must pay any past due balance in full or have an approved payment plan in place prior to April registration.
Payment plans must be approved by the student accounts manager in Student Financial Services. If you are withdrawn for financial reasons, you can be reinstated by first resolving any financial issues (paying past due balances for student accounts and loans) and requesting readmittance to the College through the Office of the Dean of the College. The $75 readmittance fee may be waived with documented extenuating circumstances. (Note: Past due balances will be referred to collection after six months.)
Please review our refund policy for more information.