Leave of Absence
Students must meet with their residential college dean to complete the formal leave of absence process. We encourage students to also review the Time Away website for information and FAQs regarding taking a leave.
When a student on aid takes a leave, the Undergraduate Financial Aid Office is notified after the leave becomes effective. At that time, the student’s financial aid will be adjusted based on the prorated charges on the bill and the number of weeks the student was enrolled. If a student takes a leave effective before the fall semester or between the fall and spring semesters, the aid for the upcoming academic year or semester will be completely removed and the student will not be billed.
Students must submit their completed financial aid application PRIOR to submitting the leave paperwork with their dean to be reviewed for financial aid eligibility for the semester from which they are taking a leave. Aid applications that are received after a leave becomes effective cannot be processed.
- Tuition is prorated based on the number of weeks in the semester. The breakdown is outlined in the Undergraduate Announcement.
- Room and Board are adjusted based on the number of weeks that the student was on campus for the semester.
- Student Health Plan is prorated by University Health Services based on the number of weeks that the student was enrolled.
Financial Aid Adjustments
Financial aid will be prorated by the same percentage that the charges were reduced. If, for example, a student kept 52% of charges for the semester, the student will retain 52% of their aid. The amount of federal loan and/or grant a student retains is based on the federal calculation. Please see the Return of Title IV Funds section for additional information.
Please note, if a student didn’t live on campus and/or didn’t have a meal plan, the room and board components of the Cost of Attendance will be adjusted based on the number of weeks the student was enrolled. We encourage students to speak with their eating club prior to taking a leave to see if/how their dues will be reduced.
If students have borrowed loans at any point while attending Princeton, the loans will enter the grace period while students are on leave. Once the grace period is over, the loans may enter repayment. Please check with your lender regarding payment arrangements or putting the loan in forbearance. Once students are reenrolled, the loans will go back into deferment.
Return of Title IV Funds
Federal regulations dictate that eligibility for Title IV funds (federal student aid) be recalculated when students withdraw from all courses during a semester, either officially or unofficially. If students with federal loans or grants withdraw prior to completing 60% of the semester, a portion of the federal aid eligibility will be reduced and funds may need to be repaid to the government. Students that complete 60% or more of a semester are considered to have earned 100% of their federal financial aid. Princeton will return unearned funds to the Department of Education.
Returning from a Leave
When students are preparing to return to Princeton, they should reapply for aid. Please see the Apply for Aid page for specific instructions. Financial aid awards will be distributed prior to the start of the semester. International students who need visas will receive their awards prior to their appointments.
Taking a voluntary leave of absence has no bearing on a student’s eligibility to qualify for grant aid. Students who are returning from a disciplinary leave and will be repeating a term in progress they began attending should speak to the Financial Aid Office to get an understanding of how their aid will be impacted for the repeated term. Returning from a disciplinary leave and repeating a term in progress could result in a reduction or loss of Princeton grant eligibility for the repeated term.
If you have any questions, please contact our office.