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Military Services

Policies and Procedures: Military Leave of Absence (MLOA)

Military Leave of Absence (MLOA)

Requesting a Military Leave of Absence

Walden University stands ready to support those students who are spouses of military members or service members of the armed forces. Students whose military obligations make it difficult or impossible for them to be successful in their academic program are urged to request a military leave of absence (MLOA). For purposes of granting an MLOA, military obligation is defined as (a) deployment, (b) mobilization leading to deployment, or (c) attendance at a military school or college.

Students must contact a member of the Student Success Advising Team to request the MLOA and forward a copy of their military orders to Walden’s Military Services Office for authentication. The e-mail address is Students who have yet to receive orders need to provide a memo from their commanding officer supporting the request for the MLOA. If unforeseen circumstances prevent a student from providing a prior written request, Walden University can document its decision to grant a student’s leave of absence request, as long as the written request is received from the student before the end of the withdrawal deadline for the respective term in which the LOA will take effect.

Students approved for MLOA are eligible for a leave from the university of up to 545 calendar days. Students who are currently on MLOA with a limit of 365 calendar days may extend their leave beyond that 365-calendar-day limit up to a total of 545 calendar days provided they present military orders supporting the extension. Students needing time away from their studies to relocate (Permanent Change of Station–PCS) or those who are assigned to temporary duty (Temporary Duty Assignment–TDY; Temporary Assignment of Duty–TAD) need only request a standard leave of absence (see Regular Leave of Absence above).

Students with federal financial aid, federal loan obligations, or military tuition assistance must contact their lenders or the military education office to ascertain their loan repayment status or repayment of tuition assistance during the leave of absence. Students receiving benefits under any of the GI Bills® will have their enrollment certifications terminated for the initial term of the leave of absence and any subsequent terms for which leave has been approved.

Once the MLOA is approved by the Student Success Advising Team, with input from the Walden Military Services Office, the request for MLOA is forwarded to the registrar’s office for processing. The student will receive a confirmation of approval via e-mail with instructions on how to return to the university.

Adjusting Grades During a Military Leave of Absence

Military-affiliated students should make every attempt to work with their instructors to determine (a) if they need to drop their courses, (b) if they need to withdraw from their courses, or (c) if they might receive a grade of I (Incomplete) in the courses following the university policy for incomplete grades.

Military students who are forced to withdraw will receive a grade of W even if they withdraw after the last day to withdraw from classes. These students will then be required to retake those courses upon their return.

For Iowa National Guard or Reserve Forces Only

The following additional considerations are made for a student who is a member or the spouse of a member if the member has a dependent child, of the Iowa National Guard or reserve forces of the United States and who is ordered to National Guard duty or federal active duty:

  • The student may make arrangements with the instructor(s) for course grades, or for incompletes to be completed by the student at a later time, which will keep the student’s registration and all tuition and fees intact.
  • The student may make arrangements with only some instructors for grades, or for incompletes to be completed by the student at a later time, which will keep the student’s registration, tuition and fees intact for only those courses in which the student makes arrangements.
  • Students who are forced to drop or withdraw from their classes due to military obligations will be credited the full cost of those classes for the term.

A “dependent child” is defined as someone who was claimed by a qualified military person on the qualified military person’s internal revenue service tax filing for the previous tax year.

Students may be required to submit additional documentation, as requested by the university, to support the military leave of absence considerations listed above.

Returning to the Academic Program Following a Military Leave of Absence

To return from a military leave of absence, students must contact a member of the Student Success Advising Team, to be reinstated without penalty, and the Military Services Office, if they wish to reinstate benefits. For students on MLOA, their leave time does not count toward the total time allowed to earn their degree. Walden University’s Office of Admissions reserves the right to review course applicability to a student’s degree program, dependent upon the time elapsed between the student’s leave and when the student returns to the original program of study. Also see Gaining Readmission in the Walden University Student Handbook.

For Iowa residents

The same options apply to a student who is the spouse of a service member described above if the service member has a dependent child.

*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at