Leaves and Withdrawals from the College

Students who are taking time away from Earlham College for educational and/or personal goals may take a Leave of Absence or formally Withdraw. The first step in initiating a leave or a withdrawal is to meet with a representative in the Student Development Office who will assist in facilitating either process. At that time, students may obtain all necessary forms and discuss procedures for resuming enrollment at Earlham.

Students who are considering taking time away from Earlham to serve educational and/or personal goals or to formally withdraw from the College, the following options are available:


Leave of Absence (LOA) is used when a student decides for personal, academic or financial reasons to leave the college for a semester. The leave should be requested during the summer or semester preceding the semester to be taken off. Students may request one-semester extensions up to a total of one year.

Students who may be unable to complete a semester but plan to return to the College at the beginning of a subsequent semester may be eligible to request a leave. Applications for leaves within a semester will be considered through the last day to drop a class. Students may request one semester extensions up to a total of one year. The College Refund Policy will apply to the semester in which the leave is taken.

Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA): Students may apply for a MLOA from the College when a leave is necessitated by the student’s physical or psychological health. Ordinarily, a MLOA is taken for one or two semesters. The student must submit a MLOA application and provide documentation from their treating healthcare professional, stating the reason for the MLOA and the expected duration of the MLOA.


Student Initiated: Earlham College is firmly committed to assisting students in exploring all alternatives to formally withdrawing from the College. All withdrawals should be requested during the summer or semester proceeding the semester in which the withdrawal would be effective.

Students seeking to withdraw within a semester must provide official notice of their plans to withdraw from Earlham College. The last day to drop a class is the last day a student may withdraw from a class. A transcript entry of “W” is recorded for each of the courses not yet recorded. Failure to complete withdrawal procedures during a semester or withdrawing after the last day to drop a class may result in failing grade in all courses.

A student who has withdrawn from Earlham College for any reason, including medical, is no longer enrolled. Consequently, as of the date of the withdrawal, such a student cannot continue to attend classes or complete work that was assigned in the term in which the withdrawal occurred, even if the deadline for such assignments was previously extended. A student who withdraws may at sometime in the future decide to return to Earlham. The student will then need to re-apply for admission to Earlham College.

College Initiated: A student who is not making sufficient progress in all courses and will be unable to pass any of their courses, or who is suspended or dismissed for social violations will be withdrawn through the Student Development Office or the Registrar’s Office. The student will be required to vacate campus housing and leave the campus grounds. The student’s parent(s) will also be contacted. If the student intends to continue study at Earlham in the future, they will need to go through the process of readmission.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admissions