A non-academic leave may be granted by the Dean of Students because of medical, financial, personal, family, or other problems that are best treated away from Cornell. A student who takes an approved non-academic leave of absence is considered to have withdrawn from Cornell and Cornell's withdrawal policy applies. A non-academic leave of absence is approved if

  • the student has made a written request to the Dean of Students; and
  • the Dean of Students has determined that there is a reasonable expectation the student will return from the leave, and has granted written approval. Failure to return by the agreed upon return date will result in the student being officially withdrawn from the College.

Cornell College policy restricts leaves of absence to a maximum of 90 days unless an extension is granted by the Dean of Students. The federal government restricts leaves of absence to a maximum of 180 calendar days during any 12-month period (defined as 12 months from the first day of the approved leave of absence). Multiple leaves within the 12-month period are permissible for military reasons or circumstances covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act.

During a leave, the student will be considered temporarily withdrawn from Cornell, thus, ineligible for Title IV (federal) financial assistance during that time.

During a leave of absence, the student surrenders the privileges of regularly enrolled students, and is, therefore, removed from registered courses, not permitted to live in College housing, use College facilities, or to participate in any Cornell-sponsored extracurricular activities in ways that are not also open to the general public.

Conditions for return include the student continuing to fulfill payment arrangements with the College while on a leave of absence. Failure to fulfill this obligation will result in official withdrawal.

The student should consult with his or her insurance carrier regarding potential insurance claims or medical expenses that may be acquired during a planned leave of absence.

The student is advised that failure to return from the leave of absence as scheduled will affect the student's loan repayment terms. Consultation with an official in Cornell's Financial Assistance Office is required before a leave will be approved by the Dean of Students.

For information on requesting an academic leave of absence for the purpose of participation in off-campus study programs not affiliated with Cornell, refer to the International and Off-campus Studies Office.