Leave of Absence

Academic Leave

Mount Holyoke Financial Aid

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.)

Federal Aid

A student approved for an academic leave of absence may use any federal, state or outside aid for which she is eligible, to help fund the cost of an academic leave semester. Federal Direct Student Loans and Pell Grants generally travel with the student to a new institution; consult with SFS staff for details. Students who expect to use federal or other outside aid toward their programs must submit a Disbursement Form and have their host program submit a Consortium Agreement to Student Financial Services. See "Processing Funds for Study Abroad" for further instructions and required forms (procedures are the same for study in the United States as for study abroad).

Health Insurance

All students on academic leave will be billed for student health insurance and are required to file the on line waiver. For information about the waiver process see our website.

Academic leave check list (all steps may not apply in all circumstances):

  • 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.
Non-Academic Leave

Student Loans

Students who are on non-academic leave are reported to the Department of Education as not enrolled at Mount Holyoke College. Students on non-academic leave who have borrowed federal loans have a grace period before they are expected to begin repayment. Federal Direct Student Loans will enter re-payment status after 180 days (generally after one semester of non enrollment; not after a standard summer or January term). The grace period for Federal Perkins loans is nine months. Students may request forbearance of repayment by contacting the appropriate servicer: Department of Education for Federal Direct loans, ECSI for Federal Perkins or Mount Holyoke College loans, private lenders for alternative loans.

It should be noted that there is only one grace period allowed. Once the grace period has expired students will go into repayment immediately after graduation or withdrawal from the College. However, students 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.

Health Insurance 

The student medical health insurance plan will remain in effect for the full plan year for students who have had the plan for more than 31 days prior to going on leave. Students enrolled in the plan who go on leave after the fall semester but prior to the beginning of the spring semester, may waive the insurance coverage for the spring semester and receive a refund on the insurance premium by requesting in writing that the coverage be terminated. (This does not apply to students who received grant funding for the insurance.) The refund request must be made within 30 days of the end of the fall semester. Students who wish to continue their plan coverage may do so. Students who received grant funds for the health insurance premium will have the spring grant removed from their account and they will be responsible for paying for the spring insurance premium. If the leave of absence extends beyond the coverage period of the current plan year the student is ineligible to renew the plan.

Financial Aid Application

While on leave, students should still apply for financial aid for the academic year they intend to return and meet the deadline to complete the application. Late applications are subject to a decrease in grant aid with a corresponding increase in student loan.

Outstanding Balance Due

Students with past due balances cannot order transcripts, participate in room drawing, or register for classes. In addition, late fees are assessed monthly on past due balances. A student who takes a non-academic leave and has a past due balance must pay the past due balance prior to the midpoint of the semester immediately following the semester in which she took the leave or she will be withdrawn for financial reasons. For example, if a student takes a leave in the spring semester, she must pay any past due balance in full or have an approved payment plan in place prior to November registration regardless of her intent to return the following spring. Likewise, a student who takes a leave in the fall semester 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.) Students who are withdrawn for financial reasons can be reinstated by first resolving any financial issues (paying past due balances for student accounts and loans) and requesting re-admittance to the College through the Dean of the College office. The $75 re-admittance fee may be waived with documented extenuating circumstances.  (Note: Past due balances will be referred to collection after six months.)

Student Loans

Students must be in good standing on institutional or federal loans in order to be approved to return from a leave of absence. 

Leaves of Absence Types and Descriptions

For information on Leaves of Absence types and descriptions, visit the Academic Deans website.