Approved Leave of Absence for Title IV

A student may leave MTSA by either taking a Leave of Absence (leaving temporarily with the firm and stated intention of returning) or by withdrawing from the school (leaving with no intention of returning).

For students who have federal aid, a Leave of Absence (LOA) must meet certain conditions to be counted as a temporary interruption in a student’s education instead of being counted as a withdrawal requiring a school to perform a Title IV return calculation. If a TLOA does not meet the conditions in 34CFR 668.22(d), the student is considered to have ceased attendance and to have withdrawn from the school, and the school is required to perform a Title IV return calculation.

For a TLOA to qualify as an approved leave for Title IV purposes:

  • The student must follow the school’s policy in requesting the TLOA;
  • There must be a reasonable expectation that the student will return from the TLOA;
  • The school must approve the student’s request for an LOA in accordance with the school’s policy;
  • The school may not assess the student any additional institutional charges, the student’s need may not increase, and therefore, the student is not eligible for any additional federal student aid;
  • The LOA, together with any additional leaves of absence, must not exceed a total of 180 days in any 12-month period;
  • The student must apply in advance for an LOA, unless unforeseen circumstances prevent the student from doing so (i.e. injured in an accident);
  • If the student is a Title IV loan recipient, the school must explain to the student, prior to granting the LOA, the effects that the student’s failure to return from an LOA may have on the student’s loan repayment terms, including the expiration of the student’s grace period.

A school may grant a student an academic TLOA that does not meet the conditions to be an approved LOA for Title IV purposes. A TLOA granted by MTSA, that does not meet all the conditions for an approved LOA for federal aid is considered a withdrawal for Title IV purposes. Title IV loan recipients must complete exit loan counseling and if they are on leave longer than 6 months, monthly payments may begin when the grace period of the loans ends. Students may apply for a hardship forbearance or economic hardship forbearance or military deferment with their student loan lender.

A student approved for a Financial Aid LOA that meets the criteria is not considered to have withdrawn and no return of Title IV funds calculation is required. Students granted an approved LOA remain in an in-school status for Title IV loan repayment purposes. Upon the student’s return from the leave, he or she will continue to earn the federal student aid previously awarded for the period.