Leave of Absence/Withdrawal Information


Making the decision to take a leave of absence or to withdraw from college can be complex. We want you to feel like you have the information and support you need as you consider your decision.

This page is intended as a starting point; we encourage you to talk with one of the people listed in the contacts section at the bottom of the page, an academic advisor, or the enrollment specialist.

Reasons to Complete a Degree

As the U.S. labor market continues to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, one constant remains: Education boosts earnings and reduces unemployment.

Workers age 25 and over who attained less than a high school diploma had the lowest median weekly earnings ($626) and highest unemployment rate (8.3 percent) among those at all education levels. Workers with graduate degrees (master's, professional, and doctoral degrees) had the highest earnings and lowest unemployment rates. (Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).


The Association of American Colleges and Universities 2021 survey of employers found that nearly nine out of ten employers think that getting a college degree is either "definitely" or "probably worth it." The highest ranked outcomes of a college degree were ability to work in teams, critical thinking, ability to analyze and interpret data, application of knowledge in real-world settings, and digital literacy.


Sometimes circumstances dictate the need to pause your education.  We understand that the path to a degree can change along the way, and are here to support you in that journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Don't see your question here? Need more information? Contact one of the staff members listed below.

Do I qualify to take a leave of absence?

Students MUST have earned a minimum GPA of 2.0 on the date the leave becomes effective. Failure to do so may void the leave and result in dismissal and/or administrative withdrawal. Any student who has a cumulative average of at least 2.0, who is not awaiting the completion of a disciplinary investigation and who wishes to leave the college for a period of not more than two semesters beyond the current one, may request a Leave of Absence.  All debts and liabilities must be cleared with college offices, before a student may enroll and return to Geneseo.  

Deadlines are posted on the academic calendar website.

What is the difference between leave and withdrawal?

A leave of absence is a temporary absence from the College, which can be up to two semesters, whereas a withdrawal is a complete separation from the College. You can request to return from a leave earlier than your intended return semester/year; if you instead would like to request an extension, you may submit your request to loa-withdrawal@geneseo.edu, and it will be reviewed by the Deans.

If you want to return from a withdrawal, you would need to complete an application for readmission.

Will taking a leave or withdrawing affect my financial aid?

There are several ways that a leave or withdrawal may impact your financial aid and/or any outstanding debt/loans. It is extremely important that you speak to financial aid (financialaid@geneseo.edu) and student accounts (studentaccounts@geneseo.edu).

Some aid programs, such as Excelsior, may require continuous enrollment. While students may qualify for waivers, it is important to discuss your situation with a financial aid professional because aid program requirements can vary and change from year to year. The  undergraduate aid  page will give more information on aid programs.

If you are a New York State TAP recipient, you will not be eligible for funds in the semester following your withdrawal or leave of absence should you return to the College. You may be eligible to appeal the loss of state aid, if you have extenuating circumstances that can be documented. Unlike state aid which is reviewed each semester, federal aid eligibility will be evaluated every academic year. Failure to meet satisfactory academic progress guidelines may result in the loss of your federal aid.

Visit https://www.geneseo.edu/financial_aid/maintaining-eligibility for information on academic progress and appeals.

For students receiving Federal Direct Student Loans, it is important to note that a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal may impact the grace period for your loan.

Visit loan repayment  for more information on student loan repayment.

How will taking a leave impact degree completion?

Taking a leave may impact delay academic progress and graduation date. In order to to discuss the potential impact of a leave on your academic progress (e.g., course offerings that might only be offered in a specific term, order of coursework requirements, changing majors, adding/dropping a minor, etc.), please contact your advisor or the Dean of Academic, Planning and Advisement office (contact information is in the contacts section of this page).

Can I take classes elsewhere while on a leave?

Yes. However, any coursework in consideration should be discussed with your academic advisor and/or the Dean of Academic, Planning and Advisement office (contact information is in the contacts section of this page) to make sure that the coursework will transfer appropriately and fulfill specific degree requirements.

Will I have access to my Geneseo email and KnightWeb accounts while on leave?

While on leave, students have access to their KnightWeb accounts and Geneseo email. It will be important to continue to check your Geneseo email, which will still be used for official College communication. Additionally, KnightWeb will continue to be your source for a course registration time ticket, housing, and other mandatory forms for your return from a leave.

How do I request to change the semester I intend to return?

Email the request to loa-withdrawal@geneseo.edu.

A request for an extension will be reviewed by the deans.

What if I don't know whether I'll return or not?

Your application cannot be processed without an intended return date.

In most cases, it is best to start with a one-semester leave. If you're not sure what time frame is right for you, please speak with one of the people listed in the contacts section located at the bottom of this page.

Who do I need to inform after I have been approved for a leave or withdrawal?

The applications direct you to contact student accounts and/or financial aid, if applicable.

After an application is processed, notification is sent to academic advisors. It is important for you to consider who you might want to communicate with directly--a coach, a mentor, an employer, a club or volunteer organization you are actively involved in. In the long run, communicating directly with those people who might be directly impacted by your leave will be beneficial to your academic career. Communication will also help you plan your return from a Leave and may help maintain relationships that might be important to you, regardless of whether or not you return.

Is there a deadline for submitting an application?

Your financial liability for tuition, room and board, as well as any impact on your grades, are contingent on when you compete, sign, and submit the application, if you are not completing the current semester.  If you are completing the current semester, the effective date will automatically be the day after the last day of the semester and the application can be submitted during or at the completion of the semester.

For information on financial liability, please refer to the student accounts website or reach out to the student accounts contact listed at the bottom of this page.

Financial deadlines and deadlines for receiving a "w" (withdrew from class) grade are posted on the academic calendar website.  

Does it "look bad" to take a leave of absence?

That is a question of perspective.  It can be a helpful choice in supporting your ability to seek degree completion.  However, it is important to consider what you will do while on leave to help you achieve your goals and to have a plan.

If you're struggling with anxiety about social stigma, how time away may impact you academically or socially, or how to plan out your leave & return, please reach out to one of the people listed in the contacts at the bottom of this page for support.

What if I need to take a leave for a medical reason?

There is a specific process for requesting a medical leave of absence. Please visit the medical leave of absence page for more information. You may also wish to contact the Dean of Students.

Please note that if a medical leave of absence is approved during the course of a semester, the College's financial liability policies will still apply.

If you're having a medical or mental health emergency, please contact University Police at 585-245-5222 or dial 911


What do I need to do if I currently live on campus?

If you are not completing the current semester, it is important to understand the charges/deadlines. You should contact either reslife@geneseo.edu  or loa-withdrawal@geneseo.edu for more information.

If you are taking a leave or withdrawing before the end of the current semester, before departing you are required to formally check-out with your R.A or R.D./A.C.  You are also required to remove all belongings from your room, even if you plan to return the following semester.

If I withdraw, can I return to Geneseo at a later point?

YES!  There are paths available to return to Geneseo. Please take a look at the 
Return to Complete a Degree at Geneseo  application, policies and procedures.  For more information, contact the Enrollment Specialist, Lisa Bishop, at lbishop@geneseo.edu or 585-245-5463.

If I am taking a leave under remaining housing requirements, will I still have to fulfill those requirements when I return?

Yes.  Housing requirements will remain.  If you have questions about this policy or policy a regarding application for exceptions, please contact the Residence Life Office.                               585 245-5726  reslife@geneseo.edu

Returning from a Leave of Absence

We look forward to your return and are here to help you make a positive transition back to Geneseo!

If you are on a standard leave, you do not need to submit any additional forms in order to return.   The Enrollment Specialist will contact you prior to the registration/enrollment time period prior to your return, as well as request to meet with you after the start of the semester of your return.  Of course, you can also reach out for assistance and support at any time!   If you were on a medical leave, you will need to follow up with assigned staff from the Health and Counseling center.    

However, if you need to request a semester extension or request to return earlier than the original date, please submit that request to loa-withdrawal@geneseo.edu or call 585 245-5463.

While students have access to their Geneseo email while on leave, their other accounts will not be reactivated until the date that time tickets to register for classes are issued.  The housing application in Simplicity will be open on the same date.  Please refer to the Academic Calendar and Residence Life Housing Information for dates and deadlines. 

If you need support with these accounts, please email loa-withdrawal@geneseo.edu or call 585 245-5463.

Students who have holds on their record must have these holds cleared before their accounts can be reactivated for registration and housing.  Holds may be placed by the Dean of Students office (medical or conduct), Student Accounts (unpaid balance from prior semester), or Health Services (missing forms/documentation).  Students are responsible for contacting these respective offices directly and following through with requirements.

Students who left under academic warning or probation, will return under the same status. We recommend that these students make an appointment with the Academic Student Support Coordinator, to explore available support services. Please make an appointment with Academic Advisement.


Contacts for Leave of Absence and Withdrawal Questions

Enrollment Specialist: Lisa Bishop, lbishop@geneseo.edu, 245-5463
Dean of Students: Dr. Leonard Sancilio, sancilio@geneseo.edu, 245-5706
Financial Aid: Amy Masters, amasters@geneseo.edu, 245-5000
Registrar's Office: Suzanne Neary, sneary@geneseo.edu, 245-5678
Student Accounts: Alison Sexton, sextona@geneseo.edu, 245-5070
International Student Services: Jessica Cosimano, cosimano@geneseo.edu, 245-5404