Sometimes, a servicemember must completely withdraw from college or a post-graduate program on a voluntary or involuntary basis in connection with their service as a member of the National Guard or Reserve, on active duty, active duty for training, or full-time National Guard duty under Federal authority (but not State authority).
If this happens for a period of more than 30 consecutive days under a call or order to active duty of more than 30 consecutive days, federal law can provide important protection to the servicemember.
The student must be enrolled in an institution of higher education that participates in a Title IV Federal student financial aid program (a list is available here under "federal student aid programs") and meet the following requirements:
- The institution is given notice of the servicemember’s absence for service.
- The cumulative length of absences from the institution by reason of service does not exceed five years.
- The servicemember gives notice of his or her intent to return by the applicable time limit
The federal law requires the servicemember to be re-admitted with the same academic standing as when she or he left, so long as the student meets certain critiera. This website provides FAQs associated with this federal law.