Please note: This is NOT the most current catalog.

Leave of Absence, Withdrawal


Upon withdrawing from St. Olaf, a student in good academic standing may apply to the Dean of Students Office for a leave of absence. An approved leave provides the student with the right to return to St. Olaf without re-applying to the Office of Admissions. For students who are granted a leave of absence for medical reasons, the Dean of Students Office may require documentation from a health-care provider indicating the student is prepared to return to St. Olaf.

The leave of absence provides the student with the opportunity to register for future St. Olaf courses at the normal time of registration in a given semester either in person or through a proxy. In addition, a student planning to return after a leave of absence may participate in room draw at its regular time either through a proxy or in person.

The leave of absence agreement requires that returning students make the minimum tuition deposit at least four weeks prior to registration or room draw and to notify the Registrar’s Office (in cases of registration) and the Dean of Students Office (in the case of room draw) of their intention to return to St. Olaf.

Students who are on a leave of absence of less than 180 days duration will continue to be considered enrolled full-time, in good standing, for the purposes of Title IV student loan deferment (i.e., Federal Stafford Loan and Federal Perkins Loan.) This allows the borrower to avoid utilizing the grace period attached to those loans. This provision is limited to one leave of absence in a twelve-month period. However, if at the end of the leave of absence, the student fails to return to St. Olaf, the student’s withdrawal date will be back-dated to the last date of attendance. This may cause the borrower to be required to enter immediate repayment on the affected Title IV loans.

The college reserves the right to deny re-admission where intervening circumstances warrant such denial.


Withdrawal from St. Olaf must be processed through the Dean of Students Office. If withdrawal from St. Olaf occurs before the 10th day of classes during a semester or the fifth day during Interim, no entry is made on the transcript (permanent record). If withdrawal from St. Olaf occurs after the last day to add a course, but before the last day to drop a course, an entry indicating the withdrawal is made on the student’s transcript. For example:

Registered September 7, 2010
Withdrew November 1, 2010

If a student withdraws after the last day to drop a course, the following entries are made on the transcript depending on the circumstance:

WP — withdrawal with a passing grade
WF — withdrawal with a failing grade

Administrative Withdrawal

Students are expected to be properly registered for courses and to abide by drop/add and late registration changes according to all existing procedures in the St. Olaf Academic Catalog and all officially posted deadlines; and to attend all courses in which they are enrolled.

In certain circumstances, a student may be administratively withdrawn from his/her courses. While the College reserves the right in each instance to determine when administrative withdrawal appears appropriate, normally this process will be initiated after the following conditions have occurred:

  • The student is not attending courses for which s/he is registered, or attendance and work for the courses are erratic;
  • The student does not respond appropriately or at all to reasonable requests from faculty, Dean of Students, and/or other college personnel for explanation of non-attendance.

The process of administrative withdrawal normally proceeds as follows:

  • Based on the above considerations, the Dean of Students Office, in consultation with faculty and other relevant college personnel, identifies the student for consideration for administrative withdrawal.
  • The Dean of Students attempts to make written contact with the student, giving the student a one-week warning of impending administrative withdrawal, including its reasons and consequences;
  • If the student is classified as a dependent student on the tax returns for his/her parent(s) or if the student has otherwise authorized disclosure of educational records to his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) under FERPA, the student's parent(s)/guardian(s) will be notified;
  • If the student responds on or before the end of the week's warning, the Dean of Students will meet with the student to determine whether the student desires to withdraw from enrollment with the college, and if not, any conditions for the student's continued enrollment with the college; and
  • If the student does not respond on or before the end of the week's warning, the Provost, the Registrar, and the Dean of Students, or their designee, will meet to determine the conditions of withdrawal and the actions the student must take in order to be readmitted to the college. These conditions are spelled out in a letter sent to the student. If deemed authorized under FERPA, the letter will also be provided to the student's parent(s)/guardian(s).

If a student is administratively withdrawn from courses, the normal rules apply to the transcripting of the term in question; that is:

  • If the administrative withdrawal occurs prior to the last day to drop a course for the term, all courses are removed from the student's SIS record and official transcript;
  • If the administrative withdrawal occurs after the last day to add a course, consistent with current practice for drops, the following notation is added to the transcript: Registered xx xx xxxx Withdrew xx xx xxxx;
  • If the administrative withdrawal occurs following the last day to drop a course for the term, the student receives a grade of WF (Withdrew Failing) for all courses.

The letter detailing the student's administrative withdrawal is placed in the student's academic file in the Office of the Registrar and Academic Advising and in the Dean of Student's Office.


Many students decide to return to St. Olaf after an absence or leave. Contact the Dean of Students Office, (507) 786-3615, or, for permission to return and re-entry information.