Voluntary Separation – Leaving UConn and Academic Leave of Absence

Graduate students may need to step away from their academic studies or GA employment at some point during their graduate career. The information provided below can help guide students toward the best option for their circumstances. Please feel free to reach out to The Graduate School with any questions.

 

Voluntary Separation Notification Form

 

Click here to view a list of department/program heads and department admins/grad payroll processors. The name of your major advisor can be found in your Student Center in Student Admin.

Completing the Voluntary Separation Notification Form

The process of separating from the university involves multiple phases. (View a flowchart of this process here.)

  1. In the first phase, the student provides information about their current enrollment and the type of separation they are considering. The student should be prepared to provide the name of their advisor, department/program head, and department admin/grad payroll processor on the form. A list of department/program heads and department admins/grad payroll processors can be found here. Students can view the name of their advisor in their Student Center in Student Admin. The form is then sent to The Graduate School.
  2. A representative from The Graduate School will contact the student to provide consumer counseling, which includes the financial and academic implications of withdrawing from the semester and the process to return to the program. The form is then returned to the student via email so the student can make an informed decision about whether or not to cancel enrollment or withdraw from the semester.
  3. The student must make a decision on the form to either stay enrolled or move forward with separation. This is the date of notification of the intent to withdraw, which will be used to calculate eligibility for the university refund schedule. If a response if not received from the student within 10 business days, the separation will not be finalized and the student will remain active in the program. If a response is not received within 10 business days, the request for a voluntary separation will be canceled. Should the student then decide to voluntarily separate, the student will need to start a new request which will then determine eligibility for the university refund schedule.
  4. After the student has a made a decision to either separate or remain enrolled, the form is either returned directly to The Graduate School for final processing or, in the case of academic leave of absence requests, routed to the major advisor and department head for approval, before being sent to The Graduate School for final processing.
  5. To return to their program from an academic Leave of Absence, students will need to follow the reinstatement procedures outlined in The Graduate Catalog to request reinstatement prior to the semester in which they wish to resume study.
  • Continuous registration courses maintain a student’s active student status. Students therefore maintain access to things like their UConn e-mail and the library. It does not keep any student loans from going into repayment.
  • Continuous registration courses can help students comply with UConn’s continuous enrollment requirement for graduate programs. The continuous enrollment requirement also applies to students in graduate certificate programs.
  • Enrollment in continuous registration courses count toward a student’s time to degree.
  • This course charges a flat fee (no tuition or other fees).
    • For students with Storrs as their home campus, the fee is $400.
    • For students with a regional campus as their home campus, the fee is $100.
  • Enrollment in continuous registration must be completed before the first day of the semester. Students cannot change from credit-bearing courses to continuous registration after the semester has begun.
  • International students require approval from ISSS via the Reduced Course Load form and are generally only permitted to enroll in continuous registration in their final semester. See the ISSS Part Time Study page for additional information.
  • Students self-enroll in continuous registration courses via Student Admin.
  • A description of the continuous registration courses offered can be found in The Graduate Catalog (link).
  • This is an academic leave, which means a student is temporarily separated from UConn and does not have active student status.
    • Employment as a graduate assistant is contingent on active student status, which means that a student who takes an academic leave will be terminated from their assistantship.
    • The Graduate School coordinates this process to ensure that the academic leave start date and the GA payroll separation dates are aligned so that the GA’s tuition waiver remains intact.
  • Students on an academic leave do not have access to UConn services such as e-mail or the library.
  • Academic leave should be requested in advance, or at the earliest date possible in extenuating circumstances.
  • Academic leave requires approval from both the major advisor and the department head.
    • This requirement exists because an approved academic leave guarantees a student’s ability to return to their program at the end of their leave.
    • Academic leave should not be used in place of recommending a student for academic dismissal because academic leave guarantees the student the right to resume their program at the end of their approved leave.
    • If an advisor or department does not support a student’s request for academic leave, they are not obligated to approve it. The Graduate School will reach out to the student to discuss other options for their enrollment.
  • An academic leave request can be for a maximum of two semesters. If withdrawing mid-semester to go on leave, the current semester counts as the first semester. Academic leave can be extended for up to an additional two semesters. Extension of academic leave requires the approval of the major advisor and department head.
  • A student’s time on academic leave does not count toward their time to degree.
  • Withdrawing from the semester to take academic leave may impact students’ financial aid obligations. Students who have received financial aid may have all or part of their funds returned to the source, which can result in a balance due to the university. In addition, students who have borrowed federal loans are required to complete Exit Counseling before separating from the university. Most federal and private loans have grace periods of 6 months after separation so loan repayment must be considered. It is important to note that the return of financial aid is calculated in a different manner than University Refund Policy. The student is responsible for the complete payment of all charges on their student account. Please reference the Office of the Bursar’s website for additional information. The Graduate School will review the financial implications in detail with the student before they make a final decision.
  • The full policy on academic leaves can be found here in The Graduate Catalog.
  • Per Article 15 in the GEU contract, graduate assistants may request a personal leave of absence from their GA appointment for reasoning including, but not limited to:
    • Maternity (paid)
    • Care for a newborn or adopted child (non-birth parent) (paid for up to 21 calendar days)
    • Personal Illness/Injury
    • Family Illness/Injury (spouse, registered domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law)
    • Bereavement (spouse, registered domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law)
    • Military Leave
    • Immigration Hearings
    • Jury Duty
  • Graduate assistantship leave is a leave solely from the GA’s employment, not their academic studies. The GA must be continuing in their capacity as a graduate student (i.e., still enrolled and engaged in their classes) in order to be eligible to request a GA leave under the GEU contract provisions. A GA who wishes to take an academic leave must contact The Graduate School.
  • GA leaves are administered by the Human Resources Leave & Accommodations Team. More information and GA leave request forms can be found on HR’s website: https://hr.uconn.edu/ga-leave-administration/
  • A student who is considering discontinuing their program(s) and exiting the university must complete a Voluntary Separation Notification International students must also contact their ISSS advisor.
  • Withdrawing from the semester and exiting the university may impact the students’ financial aid obligations. Students who have received financial aid may have all or part of their funds returned to the source, which can result in a balance due to the university. In addition, students who have borrowed federal loans are required to complete Exit Counseling before separating from the university. Most federal and private loans have grace periods of 6 months after separation so loan repayment must be considered. It is important to note that the return of financial aid is calculated in a different manner than University Refund Policy. The student is responsible for the complete payment of all charges on their student account. Please reference the Office of the Bursar’s website for additional information. The Graduate School will review the financial implications in detail with the student before they make a final decision.
  • The student must submit the Voluntary Separation Notification themselves. Notification from the department is not sufficient.
  • A student who is considering discontinuing their program(s) and exiting the university must complete a Voluntary Separation Notification . International students must also contact their ISSS advisor.
  • Withdrawing from the semester and exiting the university may impact the students’ financial aid obligations. Students who have received financial aid may have all or part of their funds returned to the source, which can result in a balance due to the university. In addition, students who have borrowed federal loans are required to complete Exit Counseling before separating from the university. Most federal and private loans have grace periods of 6 months after separation so loan repayment must be considered. It is important to note that the return of financial aid is calculated in a different manner than University Refund Policy. The student is responsible for the complete payment of all charges on their student account. Please reference the Office of the Bursar’s website for additional information. The Graduate School will review the financial implications in detail with the student before they make a final decision.
  • The student must submit the Voluntary Separation Notification themselves. Notification from the department is not sufficient.
  • Non-degree students in graduate courses who wish to cancel or withdraw from all registered courses must complete the Voluntary Separation Notification form.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to be aware of the published deadlines regarding registration and refunds.