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Returning to Stanford

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All students wishing to enroll in any given quarter(s) must have an active student status with the University. Depending on your situation, students returning to Stanford may need to take specific steps for reinstatement.

The following information offers clarification of university academic policies related to leaves of absence and reinstatement.  For a comprehensive review of leave and reinstatement policies, please refer to the Stanford Bulletin: Undergraduate Degrees and Programs.

NOTE: Students who have received a suspension from the Office of Community Standards (OCS) should work directly with that office rather than with Academic Advising.

Returning as scheduled from an active Leave of Absence (LOA)

If you are returning on schedule from an active Leave of Absence (i.e. on the date indicated on your original Leave of Absence form), there are no special steps you need to take for reinstatement.  Your student record will be reactivated for the quarter of return that you indicated on your LOA form.  Make sure to check if you have any enrollment holds on your account, and to contact the appropriate office about resolving these holds. 

We strongly recommend meeting with an Academic Advisor to plan for your scheduled return.  We also urge you to check in with your academic department about major requirements and any changes to the program while you were away.

Finally, be sure to apply for housing and financial aid (if applicable), as these are separate processes with their own deadlines. 

First steps and timeline for all other return scenarios

For all other return scenarios, you will need to take specific steps for reinstatement.  If you need to file a Request to Return and Register in Undergraduate Study, please note the detailed list of steps on the form and read through it carefully.  To facilitate your return, any necessary forms should be filed 8-12 weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter of intended enrollment. We highly recommend filing 3 months prior if you will be applying for housing and financial aid. 

In general, returning students must meet with an Academic Advisor, clear any obligations to the University (financial, housing, etc) and submit any necessary forms.  You may find more details about particular return scenarios below. 

Return Scenarios

Returning early from an active Leave of Absence (LOA)

  • Fill out the required eForm on Axess
    • To find the eForm, log in to Axess, click on the Student tab, and choose “Student eForms” from the Quick Links menu. Click on “Available Forms” and search for the "Early Return from Leave of Absence" eForm. 
  • Make an appointment with an Academic Advisor to discuss your situation and get their endorsement on your eForm
  • Clear any and all obligations to the University: financial, departmental, housing, community service, holds, etc.

Extending the return date of an active LOA to a later quarter

  • Fill out the required eForm on Axess  
    • To find the eForm, log in to Axess, click on the Student tab, and choose “Student eForms” from the Quick Links menu. Click on “Available Forms” and search for "Leave of Absence for Undergraduates."
  • Make an appointment with an Academic Advisor to discuss your situation and get their endorsement on your eForm
  • Contact your Residence Dean to get their endorsement on your eForm
  • Clear any and all obligations to the University: financial, departmental, housing, community service, holds, etc.
  • Students who do not request an extension of their LOA by the Final Study List deadline of their indicated return quarter will become discontinued (see "Returning from discontinuation" scenario below).
  • Note that Leaves of Absence will not be granted for more than one year at a time.  A leave from your program may not exceed a cumulative total of two years.

Requesting an LOA after being discontinued due to an expired LOA, or not filing an LOA

  • You may only use this eForm if you were discontinued this quarter due to nonenrollment.  Students who were discontinued in a previous quarter must instead submit a Request to Return and Register (see "Returning from discontinuation" scenario below).
  • If eligible, fill out the required eForm on Axess.  
    • To find the eForm, visit https://eforms.stanford.edu.  Click on “Browse Available Forms” and search for "Leave of Absence for Discontinued Students."
  • Make an appointment with an Academic Advisor to discuss your situation and get their endorsement on your eForm
  • Contact your Residence Dean to get their endorsement on your eForm
  • Deadline: Last day of class for the effective quarter (either the return quarter originally indicated on your LOA form, or your first quarter of nonenrollment if you did not file an LOA).
  • Clear any and all obligations to the University: financial, departmental, housing, community service, holds, etc.
  • Note that Leaves of Absence will not be granted for more than one year at a time.  A leave from your program may not exceed a cumulative total of two years.

Returning from discontinuation due to an expired LOA, or not filing an LOA

  • Required Form: Request to Return and Register in Undergraduate Study [Fillable PDF]
  • Make an appointment with an Academic Advisor 
  • Clear any and all obligations to the University: financial, departmental, housing, community service, holds, etc.
  • Submit the required form, personal statement, and any relevant supporting documentation to your Academic Advisor
  • If you have been away more than 5 years, please allow at least 12 weeks to process your return

Returning from a completed academic suspension

  • Required Form: Request to Return and Register in Undergraduate Study [Fillable PDF]
  • Make an appointment with an Academic Advisor 
  • Clear any and all obligations to the University: financial, departmental, housing, community service, holds, etc.
  • Submit the required form, personal statement, and any relevant supporting documentation to your Academic Advisor
  • If you have been away more than 5 years, please allow at least 12 weeks to process your return

Considerations and Resources

Additional Information

Housing

Students returning Winter or Spring quarters still use a full year of guaranteed housing.  Please see the Residential and Dining Enterprises Student Housing web page for application requirements and deadlines information.

Financial Aid

The priority filing date for financial aid is April 30 prior to the year you intend to return.  See the Financial Aid Office web site for application requirements.

If you are unable to meet the priority filing date, we highly recommend that you complete your application at least 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter of intended enrollment.  Review the special instructions for late applicants here.

Health Insurance

Returning students will be auto-enrolled in Cardinal Care.  Note that the cost of health insurance will post to a student's account unless Cardinal Care is waived in a timely manner.  For information on waiving Cardinal care, please visit Vaden's website here for domestic students, and here for international students.

See Also