Leave of Absense

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

Beginning in 2021 all Opportunity Scholars can request a maximum of one academic year of LOA in a lifetime of the scholarship. Approved LOA requests will be processed as a deferment, which means that scholarship funds will be deferred until students are enrolled back in school. Once Scholars have reached the maximum timeframe, they cannot be approved for LOA. Scholars are withdrawn if they cannot meet scholarship requirements and have up to one year to be reinstated from the withdrawal deadline if they meet scholarship requirements.

When Scholars who are currently enrolled know they will not meet a requirement of the scholarship in the future but think they will be able to meet requirements within one academic year, they can request a leave of absence (LOA). If they were  withdrawn within the past academic year, but now meet requirements, they can request a reinstatement. Both of these requests are made via the Scholar Portal. Scholars studying nursing at a community college should see Community College Nursing BSN/RN Deferment as this is separate from the usual WSOS temporary withdrawal process.

Although Scholars can request reinstatement following time away from WSOS, those who are currently enrolled and know they will need future time off are encouraged to submit a Leave of Absence Request prior to their temporary withdrawal whenever possible. This ensures prompt reinstatement of their funding when they return.

We encourage Scholars to only utilize LOAs in extenuating circumstances. While on LOA, students’ award level progression will pause until the end of their LOA request.

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If you were withdrawn from the Opportunity Scholarship within the past academic year and now meet the requirements, you may submit a Reinstatement Request in the Scholar Portal.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