Leave of Absence, Withdrawal

Leave of Absence

A student in good academic standing may apply to the Dean of Students Office for a leave of absence. An approved leave provides the student with the right to return to St. Olaf without re-applying to the Office of Admissions. For students who are granted a leave of absence for medical reasons, the Dean of Students Office may require documentation from a healthcare provider indicating the student is prepared to return to St. Olaf.

The leave of absence provides the student with the opportunity to register for future St. Olaf courses at the normal time of registration in a given semester. In addition, a student planning to return after a leave of absence may participate in room draw at its regular time either through a proxy or in person.

The leave of absence agreement requires that returning students make the minimum tuition deposit at least four weeks prior to registration or room draw and to notify the Registrar's Office (in cases of registration) and the Dean of Students Office (in the case of room draw) of their intention to return to St. Olaf.

The college reserves the right to deny re-admission when intervening circumstances warrant such denial.

Withdrawal from St. Olaf

A student's request to withdraw from St. Olaf must be processed through the Dean of Students Office. 

  • If the withdrawal occurs prior to the last day to drop a course for the term, all courses are removed from the student's SIS record and official transcript;
  • If the withdrawal occurs after the last day to add a course, consistent with current practice for drops, all courses are removed from the student's SIS records and official transcript and the following notation is added to the transcript: Registered mm/dd/yyyy Withdrew mm/dd/yyyy
  • If the withdrawal occurs following the last day to drop a course for the term, the student receives a grade of W (Withdrew) for all courses.

Administrative Withdrawal

Students are expected to be properly registered for courses and to abide by drop/add and late registration changes according to all existing procedures in the St. Olaf Academic Catalog and all officially posted deadlines and to attend all courses in which they are enrolled.

In certain circumstances, a student may be administratively withdrawn from their courses. While the college reserves the right in each instance to determine when administrative withdrawal appears appropriate, normally this process can be initiated after the following conditions have occurred:

  • The student is not attending courses for which they are registered, or attendance and work for the courses are erratic;
  • The student does not respond appropriately or at all to reasonable requests from faculty, Dean of Students, and/or other college personnel for explanation of non-attendance.

The process of administrative withdrawal normally proceeds as follows:

  • Based on the above considerations, the Dean of Students Office, in consultation with faculty and other relevant college personnel, identifies the student for consideration for administrative withdrawal.
  • The Dean of Students Office attempts to make written contact with the student, giving the student a one-week warning of impending administrative withdrawal, including its reasons and consequences.
  • If the student is classified as a dependent student on the tax returns for their parent(s) or if the student has otherwise authorized disclosure of educational records to their parent(s)/guardian(s) under FERPA, the college notifies the student's parent(s)/guardian(s).
  • If the student responds on or before the end of the week's warning, the Dean of Students Office meets with the student to determine whether the student desires to withdraw from enrollment with the college, and if not, any conditions for the student's continued enrollment with the college.
  • If the student does not respond on or before the end of the week's warning, the provost, the registrar, and the dean of students, or their designee, will meet to determine the conditions of withdrawal and the actions the student must take in order to be readmitted to the college. These conditions are spelled out in a letter sent to the student. If deemed authorized under FERPA, the letter will also be provided to the student's parent(s)/guardian(s).

If a student is administratively withdrawn from courses, the normal rules apply to the transcription of the term in question.

The letter detailing the student's administrative withdrawal is placed in the student's academic file in the Registrar's Office and in the Dean of Students Office.

Returning to St. Olaf after an Absence

Many students decide to return to St. Olaf after an absence or leave. Contact the Dean of Students Office, (507) 786-3615 or readmission@stolaf.edu, for permission to return and re-entry information.