*Please reference temporary updates to this policy due to COVID here.
Students who determine that it is not possible or in their best interest to complete the coursework in which they are currently enrolled can request to take a leave of absence from the program. This includes students who are expected to be a child's primary caregiver (e.g., paternity leave, family medical leaves) where the leave is not related to the student’s medical conditions.
To initiate a request for a leave of absence, students should first talk with their faculty advisors and fill out a Leave Plan to determine if a leave is the right next step for them. The faculty advisor will then refer students to the campus dean to determine how and when to take the leave of absence. Students are also to help determine if a leave is the right next step for them. Students must discuss the implications of a leave of absence with their school leaders, applicable partner programs (such as Teach For America or New York City Teaching Fellows), and SFS. There may be significant professional, academic, financial, and when appropriate, certification consequences to suspending enrollment in a Relay program. For details, see Financial Obligations upon Changes to Enrollment.
Once students have confirmed a leave of absence is the right decision, they must formally submit a leave of absence application to Relay. Please note, requests can not be accepted by telephone or email. Failure to attend class or pay tuition does not constitute an official leave of absence. The effective date, if approved, will be the date indicated in the formal leave of absence application. Directions for accessing and submitting an application are available in Support Center. Students are still enrolled students at Relay, with corresponding academic, financial, and administrative responsibilities, until the leave of absence is processed and they receive an email verification of the leave of absence.
Relay will notify students via email upon approval of their leaves of absence and inform the students of leave and reenrollment procedures. SFS will follow up with students about how to pay any outstanding Relay tuition and fees, including any deferred tuition balances that must be immediately paid back due to the leave and prior to reenrollment. Please see Billing Due Dates and Refunds for more information. Students who return from a leave of absences may also have to pay for coursework they are required to repeat. See Repeat Coursework for more details.
A leave of absence is valid for one year (12 consecutive months). Relay will consider withdrawing leave of absence students from the program permanently if they do not return within one year. Permanent withdrawal can result in the immediate revocation of a teaching license or certification. Additional details can be provided by the campus Dean’s Office.
Students should note that a leave of absence will be treated as a withdrawal for the purposes of Title IV federal financial aid. This may require students who have taken a leave of absence to return a portion of unearned federal loans or grants. For more information about the return of Title IV funds, please see Return of Title IV.