Leave of Absence: What You Need to Know

Financial Aid for Students on a Leave of Absence is prohibited.
No federal or college-funded financial aid, in any form, is available to students during a Leave of Absence.


Students entering a Leave of Absence should be prepared for the possible impact the Leave of Absence will have on their educational loans.

What is the impact on my loans if my Leave of Absence is six months (180 days) or less?

Stafford Loans

  • Your loans will be in grace throughout your Leave of Absence.
  • During the grace period, repayment is not required.
  • The subsidized loan will continue to be interest free; unsubsidized loan will continue to accrue interest.

Perkins Loans

  • Your loans will be in grace throughout your Leave of Absence.
  • During the grace period, repayment is not required. 
  • Your loan will continue to be interest free.

Private Loans

  • Your loans will be in grace throughout your Leave of Absence.
  • During the grace period, repayment is not required.  
  • Interest will continue to accrue on your loan.

What is the impact on my loans if my leave of absence is longer than six months?

Stafford Loans

  • After six month grace period, apply for an unemployment deferment if you are not working (or apply for an economic hardship deferment if you are working).
  • During grace and deferment repayment of your loan is not required.
  • Your subsidized loan will continue to be interest free.
  • Your unsubsidized loan will continue to accrue interest.
  • If you do not qualify for a deferment and are unable to enter repayment at the end of your grace period, you can request forbearance. During forbearance interest will accrue on both the subsidized and unsubsidized loans.
  • Contact your loan holder/servicer for details.  

Perkins Loans

  • After nine month grace period, apply for an unemployment deferment (or request an economic hardship deferment if you are working).
  • During grace and deferment your loan continues to be interest free and repayment is not required.
  • If you do not qualify for a deferment and are unable to enter repayment at the end of your grace period, you can request forbearance.
  • Interest continues to accrue monthly. Although you are not required to pay interest during forbearance any unpaid accrued interest must be paid at the end of the forbearance period.
  • Contact your loan holder/servicer for details.

Private Loans

  • After six to nine month grace period, if you are unable to enter repayment you may request forbearance. Please note that forbearance is not guaranteed.
  • Interest continues to accrue monthly. Although you are not required to pay interest during forbearance any unpaid accrued interest must be paid at the end of the forbearance period.
  • Contact your loan holder/servicer for details.