Leave of Absence

We understand that students may need to take a leave of absence from the University for financial reasons, or for personal considerations such as illness within families, medical reasons, or for special educational opportunities not available at Seattle Pacific University.

Term-based, credit-hour institutions such as Seattle Pacific University, as a rule, do not meet the conditions for a federally approved leave of absence. Therefore, if the student is receiving federal financial aid and withdraws or takes a leave of absence from the University, the student may be subject to the federal Return of Title IV and state financial aid return policies and to the terms of their student loan(s).

International students are bound by particular federal laws with regard to leave of absence; therefore this policy does not apply to them.

Notifications and re-applying to SPU

You must notify Student Financial Services about any change in planned period of enrollment, whether due to withdrawal from a class, a leave of absence, or withdrawal from the University.  The specific requirements by which you agreed to abide at the time any financial aid was accepted will remain in effect.

You will be required to re-apply to SPU if you are away from the University for four quarters or more, including summer sessions. You do not need to apply for readmission to SPU if you take a leave of fewer than four quarters. If you are gone for fewer than four quarters, you will be responsible for completion of the same degree requirements as expected upon your first quarter of matriculation at the University.

Notification to the department’s graduate coordinator and completion of a Leave of Absence form is required prior to the start of the quarter for which the leave of absence is being requested.

  • Go to Banner > Student Menu > Academic Records Menu > Non-Study Leave of Absence Request.  


While a student is on leave of absence, the University will report the student’s enrollment status to lenders and loan service entities as “not attending,” and a student loan borrower’s grace period will begin.

Students on an SPU leave of absence who do not attend school elsewhere for two consecutive quarters (including summer), or who attend another institution less than half time for two or more consecutive quarters (including summer) will be expected to begin repayment on some or all of their loans. Students are advised to contact their lender(s) regarding their enrollment plans for repayment information and grace period expiration.

Additional requirements

  • Students are not eligible to reside on campus, attend classes, or participate in regular student campus activities during their absence.
  • Students are responsible for all prior arrangements with applicable student service offices (i.e. Student Financial Services, the Office of the Registrar, University Services, Residence Life, Athletics, etc.)
  • Students must keep the University apprised of their current contact information, including mailing address and phone number while on leave of absence.
  • Students must meet all regular University deadlines for registration, financial aid applications, and similar matters. Financial aid/scholarship awards and University housing reservations do not automatically carry over.