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Things to consider

Making the decision to withdraw or take a leave of absence is not always easy.

You'll most likely have many questions to sort through as you go through the process. We're here to make sure you have all the information you need to make the best decision for you.

Below are things to consider that will be directly affected by your taking a leave of absence or withdrawal.

How taking a withdrawal or leave of absence will affect my...

1. Grades and Academic Standing

  • Scenario I: If you leave the College during a semester but the last day you attend class is before the last day to Drop and Add (the fifth day of classes), your classes will be dropped and not appear on your official transcript.
  • Scenario II: If the last day you attend class is after the last day to drop but before the last day to Withdraw, your grades will be reported as all W's (withdrawals), and your academic standing will be carried forward from the previous semester.
  • Scenario III: If the last day you attend classes is after the last day to withdraw in that semester, you will receive whatever grades your instructors report for you - most likely 0.0's, if you have not been regularly attending your classes. After the last day to withdraw, a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal will not be processed until after the grades are entered at the end of the semester.
  • Scenario IV: Academically dismissed students are not eligible for either leaves or withdrawals from the College.

2. Financial Aid

  • If you are considering withdrawing from the College and you are an aid recipient, you are STRONGLY encouraged to contact One Stop prior to making the decision to withdraw.
  • Withdrawing from the College can affect not only current but subsequent semester aid which may include loans, TAP, grants such as work study and/or Potsdam scholarships.

One Stop
4th Floor Raymond Hall
(315) 267-2943 or email

3. College Bill and Refund

  • Students taking a Leave of Absence or Withdrawing from the College will have their student accounts relating to tuition, housing and fees reviewed in accordance with the Refund Policy/Pro Rated Refund Policy outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog.
  • Generally, the Office of Student Accounts will:
    • review the student account;
    • make necessary adjustments; &
    • either bill the student for any amount due or refund any amount considered overpayment.
  • The Pro Rated Refund Schedule applies to students receiving any form of Federal Financial Aid awards, grants or loans.
  • Billing and refunds are forwarded to the mailing address as originally provided by the student.

For Financial Liability/Refunds Contact:
One Stop
(315) 267-2137 or email:

4. Meal Plan/Bear Express

  • For students granted a Withdrawal or Leave of Absence from the College, PACES will follow the SUNY Potsdam guidelines for meal plan liability based upon the last day of attendance in a particular academic semester:

    1st week - O% liability

    2nd week- 30% liability

    3rd week- 50% liability

    4th week- 70% liability

    5th week- 100% liability
  • PACES will issue a 100% refund for all unused Bear Express Accounts regardless of Leave/Withdrawal date. All Bear Express/Meal Plan adjustments will be made directly on the College bill.

For Meal Plan/Bear Express Account Refunds Contact:
Kim Bradshaw, PACES Business Office
129 Merritt (315) 267-2658

5. Residence Life/Housing Refunds

If granted a Leave of Absence or Withdrawal for the semester,
  • students are not permitted to continue living in the residence halls
  • students must make immediate plans for removal of their belongings
  • students must return their keys immediately
  • students may arrange through the Residence Life Office to remain in the hall for a few days if necessary to arrange transportation
  • any housing refunds students may be eligible for are processed through the Student Accounts Office

Julie Dold, Residence Life
Draime Hall (315) 267-2350

6. Parking on Campus

Any student who purchased a parking sticker for his/her vehicle must return the parking sticker to the University Police to be considered for a refund.

  • Parking fees will be refunded in accordance with the Pro-Rated Refund Policy as outlined in the Undergraduate Catalog.
  • University Police will review the student account, make necessary adjustments, and forward all refund information to the Student Accounts Office for final review.
  • Students on leave planning to return to SUNY Potsdam within one year should contact University Police for further information before turning in the parking sticker.
  • Resolve all parking tickets/fines.

Contact University Police
181 Van Housen Extension
(315) 267-2222

7. Textbooks and getting a refund

Students granted a Leave or Withdrawal can return books to the College Store during the first four weeks of classes.

  • With proof of Leave/Withdrawal students can often receive a 100% refund. Proof of withdrawal is available from the Student Success Center.
  • Book refunds are not given after the first 4 weeks.

Book Returns- College Store Contact
Janet Robbins, (315)267-2218

8. Mailbox Keys

Mailbox keys must be returned to the Mail Room in Barrington Student Union to prevent a hold on the student's records.