Taking and Returning from Leave of Absence
By the time they start college, the typical student has gone through at least 13 years of schooling without significant interruption.
Nevertheless, a significant subset of students at all colleges find it helpful or otherwise need to take a break from their studies. People go through college only once, and if this is not the right time to focus fully on and succeed in your studies (or to be reasonably happy in so doing), then it might be better to do some other constructive thing until you are ready to derive as much benefit from college as possible.
Every year about 5 percent of Haverford students go on leave, and the College seeks to be as supportive as possible of students taking time off. The Deans urge students who go on leave not to give into the very natural urge to return as soon as possible. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to leaves of absence, and students should take the time it requires to derive the benefit of taking time off.
The terms “leave of absence” and “taking time off” are not euphemisms for “dropping out.” Quite the contrary. The Deans and the Faculty assume that students on leave should and will return to Haverford and that it is only a matter of time before leave-takers will do so. With a graduation rate that is among the highest in the country (50% higher than the national average), we feel justified in so assuming. You were admitted to Haverford for a reason: we correctly saw great promise in you and every student at this college. A degree is within your reach even if you are on leave.
We know that taking a leave is a momentous decision and that the business of returning can be complicated. The Office of Academic Affairs has therefore created these web pages to describe the procedures for taking and returning from leave. It also provides information that will help students make their return to the College as smooth and productive as possible.