Students walking on a sidewalk in the fall.
Returning to School After a Leave
Returning to OHIO after a leave of absence, like any transition, can be fraught with emotions — excitement, joy, worry and anxiety. Most often, students describe having all of these feelings.

Returning to School After a Leave

It’s important to reflect on how you feel, as your feelings about your readiness are central to your next steps in how and when you re-engage in coursework. This web page will help you examine and track your readiness to return to school, as well as explore resources to facilitate your transition and map out the logistics for your successful return.

View or Download Return Guide [PDF]

View or Download Resource List [PDF]

Assess Your Readiness to Return 

Often your path to resuming classes is paved with many conversations and careful consideration. Consider taking the time to evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of either returning to or not returning to college at this time.

As you evaluate, consider the option that would most benefit your overall well-being.

Track Readiness to Return

Deciding to return to college can be driven by family, social, financial, or institutional pressures or expectations. We recommend tracking your readiness to return as objectively as possible to build your confidence and drive away worries or negative thoughts about returning.

Decide Part- vs. Full-Time

In considering a return from leave, it’s important to know you may have options for returning as a full-time or part-time student. Through the Office of Student Accessibility Services or your coordinator, you may be eligible to receive an accommodation(s) with appropriate medical documentation.

You might even be able to complete your degree while attending classes part-time. Your student accessibility coordinator, your academic advisor, financial aid advisors and members of your support team can help you understand your options.

Guide For Deciding Part-Time vs. Full-Time

Financial Aid Office/Family
  • The cost difference per semester/quarter (or class) for part- versus full-time
  • Eligibility for the same amount of financial aid for part-time versus full-time
  • Ability to pay for full-time college
  • Ability to earn money if attending part-time
  • Ability to maintain a work-study job as a part-time student
  • Consider your preference for earning a degree within a certain timeframe
  • Feeling successful and proud enrolling part- versus full-time
  • Willingness to finish degree at a pace that works for you as an individual, even if that means enrolling in school for longer
Athletic/Organizational Coach/Leader
  • Eligibility to play/participate in activities/competitions if part-time
  • The impact of scholarship money if enrolled part-time
  • Ability to hold leadership positions and/or qualify for awards if part-time
Housing and Residence Life/Family
  • Availability of on-campus housing as a part-time student
  • Need to pay for off-campus housing, if on-campus housing isn’t available
  • Availability to live at home
Student Health Insurance
  • The impact on accessing student health insurance as a part-time student
  • Access to university support as a part- versus full-time student

Planning Your Return 

You've prepared well for returning to college. You've connected with supporters, developed and maintained academic skills and now it's time to plan logistics.

Planning Checklist

Re-entry Documentation and Meetings


  • Consider housing priorities (e.g., single, sober living):
  • I will be living in/at:
  • I will be living with:
  • If I’m moving, the move-in date is:
  • It’s important for me to share with my roommates:

Finances and Environment

  • Throughout the term, it’s my responsibility to pay for:
  • My monthly budget is:
  • My weekly budget is:
  • My meal plan is:
  • If I want to grocery shop, I can go to:

Care and Support

  • My therapist/counselor is available to meet (day/time):
  • When I need a medication refilled, or medicine, I can go to:
  • I will communicate with my parents/family/support system (day/time):

Academics and Course Enrollment

  • My approved courses are:
  • Purchase textbooks/materials (e.g., computer, printer, notebooks)
  • Know class schedule
  • Learn how to open OHIO email account
  • Learn to access necessary OHIO platforms (e.g., Blackboard, Canvas)

Support and Resources