Leaves of Absence
Leaves of absence for up to 2 years are available for students who need time away from CMC. Students interested in taking time away from CMC should first consult with the Registrar and the Dean of Students to determine which type of leave best suits their needs. Students attending CMC on a visa must also consult with the International Student Advisor prior to requesting a leave and prior to returning from it so that they understand the effect a leave has on their visa status.
Students may request either a general leave or a medical leave:
- General leaves of absence are appropriate when students need time away from CMC to pursue personal or family matters, military* or religious obligations, full-time employment, or enrichment opportunities.
- Medical leaves of absence are appropriate when a student needs time away from CMC to pursue treatment for a physical or psychological condition.
- CMC may place students on a mandatory leave of absence as described in this policy.
The primary reason for a leave may not be to attend another college or university full time, either within the US or abroad, for transfer credit purposes. However, CMC will allow students on leave to transfer up to 2 units of pre-approved coursework back to CMC for each regular semester away.
General Leaves of Absence & Return
The Registrar approves requests for general leaves of absence (GLOA). Regularly enrolled students in good academic and disciplinary standing may request a GLOA for any legitimate reason, other than physical or psychological conditions, by submitting a completed GLOA request form to the Registrar. GLOAs may be requested any time prior to the voluntary withdrawal deadline within a semester. In exceptional situations, such as the death or illness of a close family member, students may request a GLOA after the voluntary withdrawal date by petitioning the Academic Standards Committee (ASC). Students with such extenuating circumstances may request late withdrawal or incomplete grades, as appropriate. The timing of a leave may have financial consequences, thus students requesting leaves are advised to make their plans known as far in advance as possible. Students are advised to confer directly with Student Accounts and Financial Aid to understand the financial consequences of their choices.
Students who need to prolong a GLOA must inform the Registrar of their change in plans in writing by the same deadlines noted above. The request to prolong a GLOA must include the reason for the extension and the new semester the student intends to return. Students who do not return from approved leaves of absence as scheduled and do not request extensions are considered permanently withdrawn from the College.
Students seeking to re-enroll at CMC after a GLOA must notify the Registrar of their intention to return in writing by March 15th for fall semester returns and by October 15th for spring semester returns. This allows eligible students to participate in pre-registration and to request on-campus housing. Please note that CMC may not be able to accommodate requests for re-enrollment in the student’s preferred semester due to space limitations, and on-campus housing is not always available to re-enrolling students. Re-enrolling students must also confer with Student Accounts and Financial Aid as early as possible, so that they will be fully aware of deadlines and financial obligations.
*CMC allows enrolled members of U.S. armed forces, including reserve components and National Guard, to re-enroll if they must temporarily suspend enrollment due to military service obligations, such as being called up for active duty. CMC will accommodate short absences for such service wherever possible.
Medical Leaves of Absence & Return
The Dean of Students approves requests for Medical Leaves of Absence (MLOA) in consultation with the Registrar and other appropriate offices and individuals at CMC. Students may request a MLOA when physical or psychological conditions (or symptoms thereof) significantly impair their academic progress and/or ability to comply with CMC’s community standards. Students considering a MLOA should meet with staff in the Dean of Students Office to discuss their situation and complete a MLOA request form. Verification of the condition, along with a recommendation for the leave, must be provided by an appropriate medical or mental health professional (who is not related to the student), who recommends a leave of absence for specific reasons. A MLOA may be in effect for up to 2 years. While there is no minimum length for an approved MLOA, it is not intended to allow a long period of absence during a single semester.
MLOAs may be granted at any time during the semester up to the last day of classes. In exceptional situations, such as a medical emergency that occurs after the last day of classes, students may request a MLOA during the exam week. If the MLOA occurs prior to the last day to drop courses without record, no courses in progress will appear on the student’s official transcript. If the MLOA occurs after the last day to drop, the student’s transcript will show grades of “W” for each course in progress at the time. If appropriate, the student may instead request incomplete grades in one or more courses from the Academic Standards Committee (ASC). While a student is on a MLOA, he or she may not be physically present on campus unless the Dean of Students has authorized specific campus visits in advance.
Students seeking to re-enroll at CMC after a MLOA must present written documentation from their treatment provider(s) prior to re-enrolling. The required documentation must verify the following:
- That the student has completed an appropriate course of treatment for his/her condition,
- That the condition is resolved or sufficiently managed, and
- That the student is ready to return to CMC as a full-time student.
To facilitate the transition back to campus, students returning from a MLOA must participate in a re-entry meeting with Dean of Students staff, and with members of the Student Health Services or Counseling Center staff, as appropriate. The Dean of Students determines both whether to approve the student’s return and whether the student must adhere to any ongoing terms or conditions throughout the semester. The student will receive written notification of those conditions.
Even if more time is needed for students to obtain the required documentation for return, students who anticipate returning to CMC from a MLOA must notify the Registrar and the Dean of Students of their intent by March 15th for the fall semester and by October 15th for the spring semester. This allows students to participate in pre-registration and to request on-campus housing. Requests to return received after these dates will be made on a case-by-case basis. Please note that on-campus housing is not always available to returning students. Re-enrolling students must also confer with Student Accounts and Financial Aid as early as possible, so that they will be fully aware of deadlines and financial obligations.
Withdrawal from the College
A student who plans to depart Claremont McKenna College permanently and voluntarily should withdraw from the College by completing the general withdrawal request form. General withdrawals typically become effective on the first business day after a semester concludes. The Registrar approves requests for general withdrawals when requests are filed prior to the voluntary withdrawal deadline within a given semester.
Students who voluntarily withdraw from CMC after the voluntary withdrawal deadline will remain subject to grades in courses, and any related academic consequences, unless the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) has approved requests for late withdrawals in each course on the student’s schedule. The timing of a voluntary withdrawal has financial consequences, thus students seeking to withdraw should make their plans known as far in advance as possible. Withdrawn students are not permitted to use any College facilities or services, including housing, the gym or fitness center, student health services, counseling services, the libraries, career services, or financial aid.
Students who decide to leave the College permanently due to a physical or psychological condition (or symptoms of such a condition) may request a medical withdrawal by completing the medical withdrawal form. The Dean of Students approves requests for medical withdrawals, in consultation with other appropriate offices and individuals at CMC. Requests must be filed with appropriate supporting documentation from the student’s treatment provider(s) prior to the last day of classes during a regular semester.
No courses in progress will appear on the official transcript for students approved for medical withdrawals prior to the deadline to drop courses without record. If the medical withdrawal occurs after the last day to drop courses, the student’s transcript will show grades of “W” for each course in progress at the time. If appropriate, the student may instead request incomplete grades in one or more courses from the Academic Standards Committee.
Withdrawals for Non-Attendance
Claremont McKenna College reserves the right to withdraw students from the College for non-attendance. Students are responsible for confirming their enrollment at CMC or one of its approved off-campus study programs each semester by attending all registered courses, activating student ID cards (or equivalent), and communicating with College officials. Students who fail to satisfy any of these responsibilities may be withdrawn from the College for non-attendance as of the tenth day of the semester.
Re-Enrollment after Withdrawal
Students who have withdrawn from CMC or who have been away for more than 2 years must apply to re-enroll at the College. Applications for re-enrollment should be submitted to the Registrar prior to March 15th for the fall semester and prior to October 15th for the spring semester. Students seeking to return after a Medical Withdrawal must present documentation to the Dean of Students as described in the Medical Leave of Absence section of this policy.
The Registrar processes re-enrollment requests from withdrawn students on a space-available basis in consultation with the Office of Admission, after determining whether any conditions for the student’s re-enrollment have been satisfied. Normally, students must wait at least one full semester after withdrawing from the College before they may request re-enrollment. CMC may not be able to accommodate requests for re-enrollment in the student’s preferred semester due to space limitations, even if the student seeking re-enrollment left in good academic, financial, and disciplinary standing and/or has otherwise satisfied requirements or conditions for re-enrollment.
Deposits, Refunds, and Repayments
Students seeking to re-enroll after spending time away (for any reason) from CMC must submit a $500 tuition commitment deposit when their request is approved. This deposit is non-refundable, but is applied to the individual student’s account for the subsequent semester. Students for whom this sum is a hardship may specifically request a reduced deposit at the time they file their request to return or re-enroll.
Students who withdraw or take a leave after a semester begins are responsible for payment of all College expenses and repayment of any financial aid or loans, as indicated in CMC’s annual publications. Refunds and repayment obligations are based on the effective date of the withdrawal or leave. Tuition, student activities fees, board charges, scholarships, and grants will be prorated based on the number of days a student is registered at CMC, up to the sixty percent point of the semester. After that point, a student is no longer eligible for refunds. Room charges will generally not be prorated unless a new student occupant is immediately available. Students suspended or dismissed from the College for disciplinary reasons during the semester are not eligible to receive refunds.
The official date the student moves out of the residence halls and returns keys or access cards determines the refund percentage specifically for room expenses within a semester. Resident students must vacate on-campus housing within 48 hours of the withdrawal or leave approval. Students who withdraw or who are approved for a leave prior to the start of a semester are not responsible for College expenses for that semester.
Academic Standing and Disciplinary Matters
Students who are not in good academic or disciplinary standing with the College at the time they leave the College may be subject to specific requirements or conditions to return to CMC in the future. Students will be notified of these conditions in writing as part of the departure process.
Students who withdraw or request a leave of absence while academic, disciplinary, or conduct matters are pending remain subject to those disciplinary processes, as though they were still enrolled. Any such matters will proceed to disposition at the sole discretion of the College, and any sanctions imposed will be effective on the schedule determined by the College.