Student Veterans and Dependents Club

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Military Leave of Absence

Military Leave of Absence Eligibility

The approved leave form must be submitted by the first day of the term the leave begins. Assistance is available through the Center for Military-Connected Students. 

  • Students must be eligible to enroll in the term the leave begins.
  • We highly encourage students considering a Leave of Absence to discuss their particular situation with Financial Aid prior to their leave.
  • Update Degree Planner before your leave begins by adding a message for the terms you will be on leave and selecting the terms and choosing the “add message” option.
  • Students cannot be in Disqualification Status Student cannot be enrolled in the term the leave begins

 

Student loan recipients may face repayment responsibility with their lender. Please check with Student Accounts for any financial obligation details.

Financial Aid recipients must inform the Financial Aid Office.

It is the student’s responsibility to obtain all signatures and submit the completed request to Office of the Registrar.

  • Submit the form through email here with a copy of your military orders.
  • Orders may be submitted after the leave is processed if a student is immediately deployed by the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • An individual designated by the student may act in the student’s behalf to submit the leave form.
  • Retroactive submission of orders is permitted without penalty.
  • Student will be placed on a two-year military leave of absence for military duty beginning with the term following the last term of enrollment.
  • An additional two-year extension for military duty may be authorized with a copy of your United States Military Orders.
  • A student called to active U.S. Military Service shall not lose academic credits or degree status. Absence due to approved U.S. Military Leaves is not considered an interruption in attendance, and students granted Military Leaves retain their original catalog rights.
  • Refunds may be given at any time prior to the awarding of course credit, to include the full amount of registration fees, tuition, non-state fees, and any miscellaneous charges.
  • Also refundable are on-campus housing fees, with the 30-day prior notice requirement to be waived.
  • Financial Aid recipients must inform the Financial Aid Office.

Military Leave Policy

Policy

Federal law requires that campuses establish and maintain a policy to accommodate students called to serve on active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States. This policy outlines California State University (CSU) campus responsibilities and student rights established by state and federal law.

CSU campuses shall maintain a policy that ensures that students who are members of the Armed Forces are:

  • accommodated if they are temporarily unavailable to attend classes due to military service, or
  • are promptly readmitted to the institution if they must suspend their enrollment due to military service.

Definitions

Armed Forces of the United States – the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Navy, Space Force, and the reserve components of each of those forces, the California Army and Air National Guard, the California State Guard (formerly the California State Military Reserve), and the California Naval Militia.

Long Term Military Leave – Leave granted to students called to active duty service for a period of more than 30 days.

Servicemember – A current member of the United States Armed Forces (as defined above)

Short Term Military Leave – Leave granted to students called to active duty service for a period of less than 30 days.

Veteran – a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service, and who was discharged or released therefrom under conditions other than dishonorable.

Procedures

Each CSU campus shall designate an office or offices for students to notify of their absence for and return from service in the Armed Forces of the United States. [34 CFR § 668.18 (c)(2)(i)]

Long Term Leave for Military Service and Re-enrollment of Servicemembers to a CSU Campus[1]

A student informing the CSU campus of absence for more than 30 days of military service may choose from the following options:

  • Withdraw from the CSU campus, retroactively to the beginning of the academic term, with a full refund of tuition and fees. (California Education Code § 99130 and Section 824 of the Military and Veterans Code)
     
  • If at least 75 percent of the academic term has been completed, the student may request that the faculty member assign a grade for the course based on the work the student has completed. The faculty member shall make the final decision as to whether to grant the student’s request. (California Education Code § 99130)
    • If the faculty member assigns a grade of Incomplete for the student’s coursework, the student shall have a minimum of four weeks after returning to the CSU campus to complete the course requirements. Additional time may be granted if alternative arrangements are made with the faculty member, and provided that the alternative arrangements are consistent with the requirements of and Section 824 of the Military and Veterans Code. (California Education Code § 99130)

As provided for in the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008[2], students who were previously admitted to the CSU campus but who did not attend, or who attended then left the CSU campus to serve in the Armed Forces of the United States for a period of 30 days or more will be allowed to return to the same program with the same standing they had when they left. Students returning from military leave shall not be required to submit a new application for admission.  

Military servicemembers and veterans who were absent from their CSU campus for service in the Armed Forces are eligible to return to campus based on the following provisions:

  • Absence is due to active duty service in the Armed Forces, including the National Guard or Reserves, for more than 30 days.
     
  • The servicemember or veteran provides the designated office with,
    • verbal or written advance notice of the need for a leave of absence due to military service.

AND/OR

    • documentation that the absence was due to service in the Armed Forces of the United States, which the student may provide at the time of return.
      • Examples of such documentation include a DD214, a copy of military orders, etc.
         
  • The servicemember or veteran notifies the designated office of the intent to re-enroll within three years of completion of military service. A student who is injured during or becomes ill because of military service must submit his/her intent to re-enroll not later than two years after the end of the period that is necessary for recovery from such illness or injury.
     
  • The cumulative length of all absences for service in the Armed Forces shall not exceed five years. This period includes only the time spent performing service, not the period before reporting for duty or the time between completing service and returning to the CSU campus.
     
  • After providing notice of their intent to return, students shall be allowed to re-enroll into the next class or classes in their original program with the same academic standing they were in at the time their absence began.
     
  • For the first academic year after re-enrollment, students who are re-enrolled under these provisions shall be charged the same tuition and fees that would have been assessed for the academic year during which the student left the institution. This is not required if the student's veterans' education benefits, such as the G.I. Bill®, will cover the full amount of current tuition and fees.
     
  • If the CSU campus determines that the student is not prepared to resume the program with the same academic status, the CSU campus must make reasonable efforts at no extra cost to the student to help the student become prepared to complete the program.
     
  • Eligibility under the terms of the HEOA terminates upon any of the following events:
    • Being separated from the Armed Forces with a dishonorable discharge.
    • Being dismissed as permitted under 10 U.S. Code § 1161(a).
    • Being dropped from the rolls pursuant to 10 U.S. Code § 1161(b).

A servicemember or veteran who does not meet these criteria is subject to current CSU campus admissions requirements and may apply for readmission by submitting the Cal State Apply application and application fee during the CSU admissions period.

Short Term Leave for Military Service

Students currently serving in the US Armed Forces (particularly those in the Reserve or National Guard) may be called to active duty or be required to fulfill reserve military obligations for periods shorter than 30 days. In recognition of the fact that such service is mandated by state or federal government authorities, absences for these duties shall be considered “excused absences” and shall be accommodated by the CSU campus. This means that the student shall not be penalized for the absence.

The instructor will provide the servicemember with reasonable alternative arrangements and due dates to complete coursework missed due to mandatory military service. Examples of alternative arrangements may include:

  • Rescheduling exams and quizzes
  • Creating alternative assignments
  • Offering online opportunities to participate in class
  • Establishing alternative dates, times, or modalities for presentations
  • Offering independent study options to complete course requirements

Coursework submitted by the revised deadline shall not incur a reduced grade penalty.

A student whose service meets the requirements for short term military leave may also choose from the following options for absence for periods of less than 30 days of service:

If the faculty member assigns a grade of Incomplete for the student’s coursework, the student shall have a minimum of four weeks after returning to the institution to complete the course requirements. Additional time may be granted if alternative arrangements are made with the faculty member, and provided that the alternative arrangements are consistent with the requirements of and Section 824 of the Military and Veterans Code. (California Education Code § 99130).

Statement of Authority

This policy is issued pursuant to Section II of the Standing Orders of the Board of Trustees of the California State University, and as further delegated by the Standing Delegations of Administrative Authority.

Footnotes

[1] The U.S. Department of Education provides a valuable FAQ page to assist schools in meeting their obligations under this federal law – including obligations not listed in this guide. https://www2.ed.gov/policy/highered/guid/readmission.html

[2] 20 U.S. Code § 1091c

GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at https://www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

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