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Medical Leave of Absence

Students sometimes find it necessary or desirable to interrupt their enrollment at Pace University due to their own serious medical condition. A leave of absence pursuant to this Medical Leave of Absence Policy may commence during a semester or prior to the beginning of a semester and ordinarily is limited to two consecutive semesters, excluding summer semesters. A student, who is unable to complete the semester and applies for a leave of absence, must also withdraw from the courses in which he or she currently is enrolled and will receive a “W” for each course from which the student withdrew. Although the “W” grades will appear on the student’s transcript, they will not affect the student’s cumulative quality grade point average. In addition, the student will be subject to the Tuition Cancelation Policy and certain financial aid rules and procedures. (Further information about the impact of a medical leave of absence on a student’s financial aid may be found below under Financial Aid.)

Procedure - Students contemplating a medical leave of absence due to their own serious medical condition should contact the Office of Student Assistance to discuss the procedure and obtain the necessary forms. Students are encouraged to speak with their academic advisor prior to submitting a Medical Leave of Absence Application. Academic advisors can provide information about the effect of a medical leave of absence on such issues as course sequencing and graduation date.

In order to apply for a medical leave of absence, a student must complete a Medical Leave of Absence Application, a Consent for Communication Regarding Request for a Medical Leave of Absence and/or Resumption of Studies after a Medical Leave of Absence, and an Authorization for Information Release. The completed Application, Consent and Authorization must be submitted to the University Registrar, Office of Student Assistance, One Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038. Upon receipt of these documents, the University Registrar will send a copy of the Authorization and a Treating Healthcare Provider’s form to the student’s treating healthcare provider in order to obtain information about the condition necessitating a medical leave of absence.

The completed Treating Healthcare Provider’s form is to be returned by the treating healthcare provider to the Counseling Center or University Health Care, as the case may be, for review. If the Counseling Center or University Health Care approves the application for a medical leave of absence, the University Registrar will assist in obtaining the other necessary approvals.

Students are required to provide whatever additional information and/or documentation the University may require concerning the student’s request for a medical leave of absence.

Upon returning from a medical leave of absence, the student must complete a Resumption of Study after a Medical Leave of Absence Application. Information about resuming studies may be found in the letter granting approval of the medical leave of absence and the Resumption of Study Policy, and from the University Registrar.

On occasion, a student who has a Pace-funded merit award may be incapable of complying with the Leave of Absence Policy in order to obtain an approved leave of absence at the time he or she leaves the University due to medical reasons and, consequently, is ineligible for the reinstatement of the Pace-funded merit award when the student resumes his or her studies. Under such circumstances, and provided the student has been approved to resume his or her studies in accordance with the Resumption of Studies Policy, if the student is denied reinstatement of his or her Pace-funded merit award because of the student’s failure to timely comply with the Leave of Absence Policy, the student may appeal the denial to the Reinstatement of Pace-funded Merit Award Committee (the “Committee”).

Only if the student demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Committee and the Provost that he or she satisfied each of the following three criteria will the appeal be granted:

  • The student was absent for no more than four consecutive semesters (excluding summer semesters), beginning with the first fall or spring semester in which the student did not enroll at the University for medical reasons; and
  • Once the student was capable of notifying the University of the reason for failing to comply with the Leave of Absence Policy, he or she followed the requisite procedure of the Leave of Absence Policy and was granted a retroactive leave of absence; and
  • An extraordinary medical condition of the student or his or her spouse, domestic partner, sibling, parent, child or step-child reasonably prevented the student from complying with the Leave of Absence Policy in order to obtain an approved leave of absence at the time the student temporarily left the University.

Only upon receipt of sufficient evidence that the student satisfied each of the three criteria above, shall the Committee recommend to the Provost that the appeal be granted and the student’s Pace-funded merit award be reinstated on the same terms and conditions as were in effect when the student stopped attending classes. The Provost shall accept the recommendation of the Committee provided he or she determines there is sufficient evidence that the student satisfied each of the three criteria above.

Length of a Leave of Absence - Ordinarily, a leave of absence pursuant to this Medical Leave of Absence Policy is limited to two consecutive semesters excluding the summer semesters and may be commenced at any time. For purposes of counting the two consecutive semesters, a leave of absence shall commence at the beginning of the first Fall or Spring semester after the student applies for and approval is granted for a leave of absence.

Under certain circumstances, however, a leave of absence due to a student’s serious medical condition may be extended for a total of four consecutive semesters (excluding Summer semesters). For example, a student may have experienced post-operative complications that resulted in a recovery period longer than was anticipated at the time the student applied for a medical leave of absence. Under such circumstances, and following the same procedure set forth above, the student may request an extension of the medical leave of absence. In order to be eligible for an extension, the student must provide whatever documentation the University may require concerning the reason for the extension. A leave of absence due to a student’s serious medical condition will not be approved for more than a total of four consecutive semesters (excluding Summer semesters).

Degree Requirements and Graduation Date - Ordinarily, the degree requirements applicable to the student’s declared major will not change due to the student’s medical leave of absence. Nevertheless, there are circumstances when the degree requirements or program offerings will change while the student is on a medical leave of absence, e.g., requirements of the New York State Education Department, accrediting agencies or applicable law.

The time within which a student is required to complete the degree requirements ordinarily will not change because of a medical leave of absence, although the graduation date may change. For example, a student who is required to complete the degree requirements within eight semesters is scheduled to graduate in May 2016 takes a medical leave of absence in the Spring 2015 semester. Because of the one-semester absence, the student’s graduation date may be postponed one semester until December 2016 at which time he or she will have been enrolled for eight semesters. However, a student’s graduation date may be postponed in excess of the number of semesters he or she was on a medical leave of absence if the student is enrolled in a program with required course sequences and the prerequisite courses are not offered every semester.

Students should check with their academic advisor before applying for a Medical Leave of Absence and again when resuming their studies about the consequences, if any, of their leave of absence on degree requirements and graduation date.

Transfer Credits Earned During Medical Leave of Absence - Students contemplating taking courses at another college or university during their medical leave of absence and transferring those course credits to Pace University upon their resumption of studies should consult with their academic advisor before enrolling in courses elsewhere. Transfer credits for such courses must be approved in advance by Pace University; otherwise, they may not be accepted by the University.

Financial Aid - Students on a leave of absence pursuant to this Medical Leave of Absence Policy are considered to be withdrawn from the University for purposes of financial aid. Consequently, loan repayment obligations may be triggered. Students should speak to a representative of the Financial Aid Office for more detailed information about the status of their financial aid during a leave of absence prior to submitting a Medical Leave of Absence Application.

Ordinarily, Pace-funded merit awards will be restored upon a student’s resumption of studies after a leave of absence in accordance with this Medical Leave of Absence Policy provided (i) all other requirements for such merit aid are satisfied, and (ii) the student resumes his or her studies by the date identified and approved in the Medical Leave of Absence Application. If a student does not resume his or her studies on or before the date identified and approved in the Medical Leave of Absence Application or obtain an extension of the leave of absence if the student is eligible for one, Pace-funded merit awards may be excluded from future financial aid awards. (Related information about the reinstatement of Pace-funded merit awards may be found in Reinstatement of Pace-funded Merit Award Following a Medical Leave of Absence Policy.)

International Students - The University is legally obligated to report a leave of absence for any reason by a student with an F-1 or J-1 visa to the Department of Homeland Security. Students with an F-1 or J-1 visa who take a leave of absence may not remain in the United States during the leave unless the reason for the leave is an illness that prevents the student from returning to his or her home country and appropriate documentation from a hospital in the United States has been provided.

Students with an F-1 or J-1 visa who are contemplating a leave of absence must first consult with an advisor in the International Students and Scholars Office, and again when they resume their studies after a leave of absence.