Oberlin allows for leaves and withdrawals from the college and conservatory that might pertain to academic, personal, and or medical circumstances. We also make provisions for returning to and or being reinstated to the college and conservatory after a period of absence.

In addition to consulting with the Academic Advising Resource Center, you must consult with the appropriate academic department and dean to ensure your request for a leave or withdrawal is handled in an appropriate and efficient manner.

Students who participate in off-campus study options not conducted by Oberlin College itself are classified as being on an academic leave of absence. Student applications for leaves are processed by the Director of International Student Programs and granted by the Off-Campus Study Committee before a student’s departure from Oberlin. The Office of Study Away handles off-campus programs and academic leaves.

Office of Study Away

Students who wish to take a leave from Oberlin for a health-related condition need to apply for a medical leave of absence through the Office of the Dean of Students.

Office of the Dean of Students

Completed applications for leaves for the spring semester are due October 26. Applications received after this deadline will be given consideration but will be subject to a late filing fee of $300.

Please submit your completed and signed form to lwithdra@oberlin.edu and the necessary signatures will be obtained for you.  Once your form is submitted, please schedule an appointment with an AARC assistant dean at the following link:  Self Schedule Link.

Students who wish to pursue primarily non-academic activities away from Oberlin may apply for a personal leave of absence through the Academic Advising Resource Center. Work taken at other institutions during a personal leave may be transferred to Oberlin in accordance with the following guidelines:

Up to two courses/eight credits in one semester (or four credits for each quarter or trimester), for a total number of courses/credits not to exceed the post-matriculation limits in the transfer-of-credit policy.

Download and print
Personal Leave of Absence form



Can I take leave for the summer term now?

If you are certain now that you plan to take leave you can do so now. The form allows you to indicate your desired semester/s of leave.

What happens to my financial aid or scholarships if I take personal leave?

Financial aid packages are awarded for eight semesters, and it is not necessary for these to be eight consecutive semesters. International students do not need to provide updated forms every year, but domestic students who receive need-based aid from either the college and/or federal and state resources need to file the FAFSA and other relevant forms each year (regardless of whether they are on leave). These forms are necessary to renew scholarships and need- based financial aid. Students can expect any merit scholarship to be renewed at the same amount they were receiving prior to the leave, but need based aid will be awarded based on the current information provided on the current FAFSA and other documents for the term they return. 

What is a "grace period" for student loans and how does personal leave affect the grace period?

For most student loans, there is a six-month grace period before you have to begin payments on the loans. The grace period begins on the last date of attendance 

Oberlin students who are not scheduled to be on campus in the fall (juniors) or in the spring (sophomores) will be on a special covid off-semester approved leave. This leave will not affect the grace period.

Personal and medical leaves do not affect the grace period unless a student does not return from that leave. If a student withdraws from Oberlin directly after taking a personal or medical leave, the loan servicer will calculate the grace period and repayment dates from the date the student ceased attending the college. If a student withdraws and immediately enrolls in another college, a loan servicer will still calculate any time out on leave and count it against the grace period. It is also possible to re-enroll at least half time at another institution and qualify for in-school deferment on loans, which would suspend payment. Students should contact their loan servicer for more information about in-school deferment. 


Students who wish to withdraw permanently from Oberlin College must meet with an Assistant Dean for Academic Success in the Academic Advising Resource Center to begin the withdrawal process. Please call 440.775.5183    or stop in during office hours to make an appointment.  Conservatory and double-degree students should first consult their principal advisors and the associate dean of the conservatory. All students who receive financial aid from Oberlin College must consult with the Office of Financial Aid before withdrawing.


In order to return to Oberlin, a student who has been withdrawn, suspended or is on medical leave must submit a reinstatement form to the Academic Advising Resource Center. Students returning from Personal Leave or Academic Leave do not submit a reinstatement form.

A student on medical leave must submit a reinstatement form to the Academic Advising Resource Center in addition to the Student Application to Return from MLOA and the Health Care Provider Assessment and Recommendation form. Please visit the Dean of Students website for information on the return from medical leave process.

Filing deadlines differ for students who have been withdrawn or suspended and students on a medical leave; please refer to the reinstatement form for further information.

View Reinstatement Process