We know that the decision to take a leave can be challenging and we try to make the process following the decision simple. Our goal is for students to feel that prioritizing one's health and wellbeing is an important and valued choice. Students meet with a dean in Student Support Services to discuss the medical leave process. We seek to gain an understanding of the factors leading to the leavetaking decision, and make sure to answer any questions which arise. Students taking a leave indicate whether their reason for leavetaking is related to mental health, physical health, substance use, or any combination of these factors.

Depending on their circumstance, we connect students to appropriate resources on campus (such as University Health Services or Counseling and Psychological Services) to consult on any immediate treatment needs, and to offer support and referral if needed for the student's time away from Brown. For some students with established care, these consultations are unnecessary or very brief. For other students who may not be sure how best to proceed, these resources can be extremely helpful in thinking about next steps in self-care. 

Students are encouraged to discuss with their support network (which may include family, medical care providers, advisors, etc.) before making a decision. When they have decided the medical leave option is best for them, the dean working with you will help you complete a simple one page form. Staff in Student Support Services process the form and notify offices on campus who need to be aware (e.g. Residential Life, the Registrar's Office, etc.). Students will receive an official letter noting their medical leave status and reviewing the clearance to return guidelines. A student's parent/guardian will also receive a simple notification informing them that the student will be on a medical leave. Your dean can also support you in planning for departing campus if you need support in this way.

As noted elsewhere, medical leaves are intended to give students time to focus on their health and wellbeing so that they can return to campus and be successful in their academic and co-curricular pursuits. In addition to this primary goal, medical leaves also help to protect a student's transcript. For instance, when a student takes a leave for medical reasons during a semester, the courses from that semester will be removed from the transcript. The external transcript will only show that the student took a "Leave of Absence." In addition, students returning from a medical leave have their academic standing reset. A medical leave also preserves financial aid eligibility for aided students, allowing them to be eligible for aid for a ninth semester if needed as a result of the leavetaking. 

At the time of leavetaking, students may also wish to consider the following:

Financial and Logistical Details

Tuition: Tuition is refunded according to the Tuition Refund Policy available on the Bursar's website. The Bursar's Office may also be reached by calling (401) 863-2484.

Meal Plan: A student may request a pro-rata credit on Dining Services charges by presenting a copy of the leave form to the Dining Services Office on the lower level of the Sharpe Refectory (Thayer Street, 401-863-3343). If the student taking the leave has left campus, the Registrar’s Office will notify Dining Services.

Residential Life: A student should contact the Housing Office at (401) 863-3500 or visit their website for a refund schedule.

Loans: A student who has received loans as part of their financial aid must contact the University Loan Office at (401) 863-3296 or by email at [email protected] regarding loan repayment requirements, contact lenders about the change in enrollment, and review benefits that may be available to assist them during the leave.

Financial Aid: A student receiving financial aid should contact a financial aid counselor by calling (401) 863-2721, emailing [email protected], or visiting the Financial Aid website. Refunds from scholarships or grants are credited through the Financial Aid Office. The balance is available to the student and/or payer.

Health Insurance: Students and their parents are advised to check the terms of the health insurance covering the student. Some carriers will not cover a dependent child over eighteen years of age unless they are a full time student. Some carriers will maintain coverage if Brown attests to the student’s status as matriculated, on medical leave of absence. A student may request such attestation from Student Support Services. If elected at the beginning of the academic year or semester in question, the Brown student health insurance may stay in effect through the policy year in which the leave is taken (usually until August 15). A student enrolled in the Brown insurance program may renew the policy for up to one year, and one year only, while on leave. A student or parent should contact the Insurance Office at (401) 863-1703 or visit the Student Insurance website for information on Brown insurance renewal.

Health Services and Student Activity Fees: The Health Services fee is not refunded if a student leaves the University at any time after the start of the semester. The Student Activity fee is not refunded after the tenth day of classes for the semester.