Some undergraduates need to leave MIT at some point for a break, a change of direction or emphasis, or even to take advantage of educational, research, travel or volunteer opportunities. Deciding whether to take a leave or stay – perhaps with a change in academic program – is a difficult decision. In addition to your parents and peers, there are people at MIT willing to discuss the issue with you.
There are several categories of leaves and withdrawals – a leave of absence, a voluntary withdrawal, a medical withdrawal, and a required withdrawal. The guidelines for arranging for a leave of absence or withdrawing during a term are explained in the MIT Course Catalogue. As an undergraduate, you meet with a dean in Student Support Services. If you’re an international student, you must consult the International Students Office. You must also visit Student Financial Services to discuss how your leave or withdrawal impacts your finances, including your student account, any financial aid, and any outstanding student loans.
Once your leave or withdrawal is official, the appropriate Institute offices will review your student account charges and make any necessary adjustments. For example, the Registrar’s Office will review your tuition charges. Continue checking your online student account statement on the 10th of each month until all your financial issues are settled. Otherwise you may incur late fees and/or collection charges. If you need any assistance, contact your Counselor for Customer Service.
Regardless of whether charges on your student account are adjusted or not, we may need to make an adjustment to your financial aid award. If so, you’ll be notified of any adjustments. If you have any questions about need-based financial aid, contact your financial aid counselor. For questions about aid from your academic department, contact them directly.
If you’re receiving financial aid from external sources, let them know that you’re taking a leave or withdrawing so you won’t jeopardize your financial support in future years. Make sure to check with them on what actions you need to take if you return to MIT.
If you have an outstanding student loan, you must have an exit interview before leaving or withdrawing. This counseling session will recap your rights and responsibilities, including when repayments begin. Contact your loan counselor to set up an exit interview.
If you plan to return to MIT following a leave of absence, voluntary withdrawal, medical withdrawal, or a first required withdrawal, you must contact Student Support Services. You must be current on all your student account and student loan obligations and you must file your financial aid renewal application by the deadline (be aware that you may need to file your financial aid application materials before receiving official notice of your readmission).
If you’re graduate student, MIT expects you to complete your degree program without interruption. The Graduate Students Office has general information on withdrawals and information on medical withdrawals.
If you’re granted a medical withdrawal or required to withdraw for a medical reason by the Dean for Graduate Education, you’re no longer registered for classes and no longer eligible to receive funding from or through MIT, including research assistantships or teaching assistantships. Under most circumstances, external fellowship funding is also suspended. You must contact your fellowship administrator for the applicable policy, since some fellowships pay stipends directly to students.
Once we receive notification from the Office of the Dean for Graduate Education that you were granted a medical withdrawal, we make the necessary adjustments to your student account and financial aid. If you have an outstanding student loan, you need to have an exit interview before leaving or withdrawing. This counseling session will recap your rights and responsibilities, including when repayments begin. Contact your loan counselor to set up an exit interview.If you discontinue your graduate study for one or more academic terms, you must notify your department and the Registrar’s Office to be recorded as withdrawn. If you’re an international student, you must notify the International Students Office. If you plan to return to MIT, your application for readmission must be approved by the departmental graduate committee, and in some cases by the Dean for Graduate Education as well.