A student who wishes to leave Bennington for one or two terms and wishes to be readmitted must request approval of a Leave of Absence by submitting the required form to the Dean’s Office before the first class day of the anticipated term of leave. Leaves are generally granted for one or two terms only. In addition, departing students are required to have an exit interview with a member of the Dean’s Office staff. Leaves are not granted once a term has begun for that same term. If there is a medical issue preventing a student from completing the term, the student must apply for a Medical Withdrawal. If a medical issue does not exist and a student does not wish to finish the term, the student must withdraw. Students planning to take a Leave of Absence should review the information on housing assignments for reentering students. International students should be aware that a Leave may jeopardize their I-20 status. For external reporting purposes, students on leaves of absence are reported as withdrawn. Students on Leave must have permission, in advance, from the director of campus safety to visit campus.

Going on Leave and Financial Aid

Students receiving financial aid must complete a loan exit interview online and may have to begin repayment of student loans (see the appropriate financial aid handbook). Because the time away from classes is longer than the Federal Student Loan grace period, borrowers will be expected to begin loan repayment or to make alternative arrangements with the lender.

Financial-aid recipients returning to Bennington after a leave of absence or a period of withdrawal must contact the Dean’s Office and reapply for financial aid at least three months prior to reentry.