Military Withdrawal & Leaves of Absence

What to do when you’re called to duty

We understand that if you serve in the U.S. armed forces, you may be required to fulfill military obligations with little notice. If you’re called to active duty, specialized training, or disaster relief efforts while you’re enrolled at Indiana University Bloomington, the Center for Veteran and Military Students can help you withdraw from your courses or make other arrangements to complete them. We also can help you resume your education at IU after you’ve completed your military obligations.

Read IU’s official military withdrawal policy

Options for students called to military duty

If you are called to active duty, specialized training, or disaster relief efforts anytime during an academic term (including during final exams), you have several options for handling your courses in progress. If you need help evaluating the options and deciding which is best for you, contact the Center for Veteran and Military Students.

Your options include:

Initiating the withdrawal process

If you choose to withdraw from all your courses, you (or another responsible party) must initiate the withdrawal process within one week of receiving your official orders. Bring a copy of your orders to the Center for Veteran and Military Students with a signed note stating that you intend to withdraw. If you don’t have a copy of your orders yet, bring your military ID to begin the process, then provide your orders when they’re available.

Financial aid and VA education benefits

When you withdraw, you’ll receive a 100 percent refund of your tuition and fees, no matter how late in the term your withdrawal happens. If you’ve received financial aid for the term, you may be subject to refund policies.

If you’re using VA education benefits to pay for school, we’ll notify the Department of Veterans Affairs that you are withdrawing due to military duty. The VA’s policy is to stop payment of your benefits effective the date of your withdrawal, but typically they do not require repayment of benefits you’ve already received for that term. The VA usually restores any benefits used for the term that you are unable to complete due to military duty.

It may be possible for you to remain enrolled in one or more courses while you are serving. If you want to remain enrolled in a course, your first step is to talk to your instructor to determine if you can fulfill the course requirements during your absence. Then contact the Center for Veteran and Military Students for assistance with the administrative details.

With your instructor’s permission, you may receive a grade of Incomplete. You’ll have one calendar year from the date the grade is recorded to complete the required coursework.

With your instructor’s permission, you may choose to be graded on the coursework you completed before your departure.

Military leave of absence

If you decide to withdraw from IU while you fulfill your military obligations, or if you won’t return in time to enroll the following semester, you can be placed on a military leave of absence. Your leave will last until you return from service. Your IU computer and email accounts will remain accessible while you’re gone.