The Academic Leave of Absence policy for term-based programs is applicable to all officially admitted and enrolled students in term-based degree programs at Northcentral University. If a student is not actively enrolled in a program, the student is not eligible to apply for a leave of absence (LOA). Students provisionally admitted are not eligible for an LOA until the University receives official transcripts and the basis for admission is met. Students in term-based programs may be approved for a maximum of two consecutive semesters on an LOA in a 12-month period. Each LOA must be independently submitted each semester by the student and approved by the University.
Matriculated students are expected to maintain regular (continuous) enrollment in their program. Students who are unable to enroll for one or more terms must complete a Leave of Absence request to avoid falling out of compliance with continuous enrollment requirements. Failure to remain in continuous enrollment may result in administrative withdrawal from the university.
A leave of absence for term-based programs may be granted for up to two consecutive semesters within a 12-month period, including any term in which a student enrolled but withdrew from all courses.
Students must provide the following information in their Leave of Absence request:
- The student provides evidence of an extenuating circumstance
- The student is in good standing within their current course
- The University has a reasonable expectation the student will return to school
When unforeseen circumstances prevent a student from submitting an LOA request for a subsequent LOA, the University may grant a requested LOA if the reason and decision has been documented by the University. The University must receive the official LOA request from the student before the end of the LOA, and the request must be approved by the University. Unforeseen circumstances may include but are not limited to, medical and family emergencies, military, jury duty, business travel, inclement weather, and natural disasters. Any LOA granted by the University without a student request must be approved by an associate director or above.
During an LOA, term-based students are considered withdrawn for Title IV purposes and a Return to Title IV (R2T4) calculation is required for financial aid recipients. During an approved LOA there will be limited access to the NCUOne Learning Management System.
When a student requests an LOA start date in the future and is officially or administratively withdrawn from the University prior to the start date of the LOA, the LOA is null and void and the student will be considered withdrawn effective their last date of attendance.
NOTE: Time spent on an LOA counts toward program length and is included when determining if a student can complete their degree program within the maximum time limits.
An LOA is a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study and may be approved if the University determines there is a reasonable expectation the student will return. The University will not grant a student an LOA merely to delay the return of unearned Title IV funds or to avoid failing grades. Students must request the LOA, by proactively providing the academic and finance advisor (on or before the start of the LOA) a request, including the reason for the LOA.
When unforeseen circumstances prevent a student from proactively providing a request on or before the start of the LOA, the University may grant the LOA if it has documented the reason and decision. Unforeseen circumstances may include but are not limited to, medical and family emergencies, military, jury duty, business travel, University course unavailability, inclement weather, and natural disasters.
Access to University Resources During Leave
Students on leave do not maintain access to faculty, the online courseroom, or the Academic Success Center coaching service. Access to other university resources such as the NCU Library may also be limited while a student is on leave.
When doctoral candidates are not actively enrolled in a course, they have limited communication with NCU support staff and may not engage in certain activities related to their research. Specifically, doctoral candidates must be actively enrolled in a course to have contact with their dissertation chair. Doctoral candidates must also be actively enrolled in a dissertation course with NCU in order to recruit, obtain informed consent, have any contact with participants, or perform data collection if their Institutional Review Board (IRB) application has been approved.
Return from Leave
Students returning from an LOA remain in the degree program and catalog version in which they were enrolled at the time the LOA was approved.
If a student does not return to the University by the end of an approved LOA, the student will be administratively withdrawn from their program. To avoid being administratively withdrawn, the student must attend and vest in a term upon their LOA return date. The return term will be scheduled at the time of the LOA request and approval. It is the responsibility of the student to work with their Academic and Finance Advisor to begin a term on or before the date specified as the date of return from leave. The student’s withdrawal date is retroactive to the student’s last day of attendance (LDA).
Military students exceeding 180 days will be Administratively Withdrawn from the University. Students can submit their military orders to qualify for compassionate re-entry see General Re-entry Guidelines for additional information on returning to NCU.