Office of the Registrar Withdrawing from Westmont College

On occasion, a student may face unavoidable circumstances that requires time away from the college either during an academic term or between terms. Students facing those circumstances have two options: taking a full Withdrawal or taking a Leave of Absence (LOA).  

The timing of a student’s Withdrawal or LOA can have an impact on the final grades the student receives in their courses.  If a student officially withdraws or takes an LOA from Westmont prior to the last day to add or drop courses (in the second week of the semester) the courses will not show on the student’s official transcript.  If a student officially withdraws or takes an LOA from Westmont after the last day to add or drop courses (in the second week of the semester) a W grade will be recorded for all courses.  If a student withdraws or takes an LOA at the end of the semester, final grades will be recorded as usual. A student who leaves without officially withdrawing or taking an approved LOA will have F grades posted for all classes. The refund schedule for tuition and room/board charges is outlined in the college catalog.

For more specific information regarding the procedures and requirements for Withdrawals and Leaves of Absence, see below.


If a student does not intend to return to Westmont, they must officially notify the Student Records Office ( of their intent via their Westmont email. Please note in the email any reasons for the withdrawal. Student Records Office staff will contact the student to schedule an exit conversation to explain the withdrawal process and the next steps towards officially withdrawing from the college.

Leave of Absence

A student who wishes to withdraw from Westmont but intends to return in a future semester may be eligible for a Leave of Absence (LOA) rather than officially withdrawing from Westmont. 

LOA status allows the student to return to Westmont without reapplying for admission. Students on an LOA also retain their ability to register for courses and sign-up for housing during the same time frames as other enrolled students.  The LOA procedure may only be utilized once by a student during the course of their academic studies, unless special approval is granted.

Requesting a Leave of Absence

Students requesting an LOA must receive approval from the Dean of Students. In order to request an LOA, students should schedule an appointment with the Dean of Students at the Office of Student Life by calling (805) 565-6028 or emailing  

To be granted an LOA, a student must be in good academic standing at the time the LOA is to commence. Students may take an LOA for either one full semester (if requested prior to the start of the term), or a partial semester plus the following full semester (if requested during a term). In some circumstances, an additional semester LOA may be granted at the sole discretion of the Dean of Students. 

International students may be required to leave the U.S. during an LOA if they have not officially transferred to another academic institution or applied for a change of status through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Students should contact the International Student Services Coordinator in the Student Life Office for information on government regulations impacting their LOA.

Note: Westmont College Leaves of Absence do not meet the definition of a Title IV Approved Leave of Absence as defined under 34 CFR 668.22 (d). As such, a student will not be reported to the National Student Loan Data System as attending the college during their LOA.  For financial aid purposes, students taking an LOA as described in this policy, will be considered as withdrawn from the college. As a result, this might cause student loan payments to become due. Students receiving any federal or institutional financial aid should obtain advice and instructions on leaves of absence from the Financial Aid Office and complete student loan exit counseling, which is required by federal regulations. 

During a Leave of Absence

  • The Office of Student Life will periodically touch base with the student during their LOA to ensure the student is on track to return to enrolled status.

  • Students will maintain their current Westmont student email and log-in to the college computing system, and will continue to receive student emails from various college entities.

  • Students taking an LOA may only take courses at another institution with the prior approval from the Student Records Office. 

  • Students must notify Financial Aid about any change in their planned period of enrollment, whether due to withdrawal from a class, an LOA, or withdrawal from the college.

  • Students are not eligible to reside on the Westmont campus, attend Westmont classes, participate in intercollegiate athletics, or participate as a student in regular Westmont campus activities during their leave.

  • Students must keep the Dean of Students apprised of their current contact information, including mailing address and phone number, while on leave.

Returning from a Leave of Absence

Students do not need to reapply for admission to Westmont if they are approved for an LOA. Return from an LOA will be confirmed by the Dean of Students.  Students must meet all regular college deadlines for registration, housing reservations, financial aid applications, and similar matters. Financial aid/scholarship awards and housing reservations do not automatically carry over.  Upon return from an LOA the student must have no outstanding balance due on their Student account. No student will be allowed to register if there is a balance due on his or her Student account.

Following a return from an LOA, students will still complete program requirements as established in the college catalog in effect at the time they were admitted to the institution. 

If a student does not return to campus at the end of their LOA, they will be officially withdrawn, and readmission will be necessary to return. Applications for readmission are administered by the Office of Admissions. Students who are readmitted to the college following withdrawal must complete the program requirements as established in the college catalog in effect at the time they were originally admitted to the institution. 

Medical Leave of Absence

Students under the care of a physical or mental health professional may be recommended to take a medical leave from classes for a short time (within the limits stated above for general leaves of absence). Under these circumstances, a student may be placed on an LOA. Return from a medical leave requires a recommendation from a physical or mental health professional indicating the student is ready to return to activities at Westmont. Registration will not be allowed until such documentation is received.  For more information on Medical Leaves of Absence, see the “Safety Withdrawal Policy.”