Temporary Scholarship Deferment for 2020-21 Academic Year

We recognize life can sometimes get in the way of Scholars completing the program exactly as intended. Therefore, we carefully consider Leave of Absence (LOA) requests through a petition process.

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on colleges and universities, Opportunity Scholars who are currently enrolled have the option to defer their scholarship for up to one year during the 2020-21 academic year by submitting a LOA request in the Scholar Portal. All LOA requests will be processed as deferment beginning fall 2020. While on deferment, the scholarship dollars you don’t use during your LOA will still be available when you return. The deferment differs from the traditional LOA where Scholars forfeit their funding for the term they request. Scholars approved for deferment are automatically reinstated after taking a LOA and are expected to return and enroll at an eligible college.

It is important to highlight that the deferment will not count towards the one term of temporary withdrawal LOA that Scholars are granted during the lifetime of their scholarship.

Community College Nursing BSN/RN Deferment

Scholars studying nursing at a two-year college should see Community College Nursing BSN/RN Deferment as this is separate from the Temporary Scholarship Deferment.

Reinstatement Request

If you were withdrawn from the Opportunity Scholarship within the past academic year and now meet the requirements, you may submit a Reinstatement Request in the Scholar Portal.

Submitting LOA and Reinstatement Requests

Scholars can complete both Leave of Absence and Reinstatement Requests in the Scholar Portal. While completing the LOA or Reinstatement Request forms, students should be prepared to provide:

  • For which term(s) they are requesting as a temporary withdrawal from WSOS
  • A statement, 500 words or fewer, detailing the reason for their request
  • A copy of an unofficial, current college or university transcript
  • Optional: any other documents that may help WSOS understand the nature of the request

Processing LOA & Reinstatement Requests

When a request is received, WSOS staff will review the information provided within two weeks. During the lifetime of their scholarship, any Scholar, at any time, for any reason can automatically qualify for one term of temporary withdrawal from WSOS. However, for this to take effect, the student must request it either in advance (by submitting a leave of absence request) or retroactively (by submitting a reinstatement request). Therefore, first time requests for one term off will be approved, provided the Scholar can meet eligibility requirements by the conclusion of the LOA or at time of reinstatement.

If a Scholar has already taken a term off from WSOS or is requesting more than one term, the request will be reviewed by the petition committee. Only requests that outline reasonable, extenuating circumstances will be approved. The committee will approve or deny the request in accordance with previous precedent and internal policy. The decisions of the petition committee are final; there is no appeals process.

If Scholars are withdrawn and not approved for reinstatement, they may re-apply if they meet the scholarship criteria during the next application window.