POLICIES AND ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES

ABSENCES, WITHDRAWALS AND DEFERRALS

The RUSM curriculum is designed to offer a series of integrated learning experiences that build upon one another. Interruptions to this educational schedule, therefore, create undesirable breaks in the continuous learning process. Interruptions are of concern to medical licensure boards, and they can also affect financial aid eligibility and loan repayment status. Therefore, absences are approved only under extraordinary, well-documented circumstances.

The profession of medicine demands a great deal of time and attention; many components of the medical education program cannot be made up or remediated. Studentswill frequently be required to make tough choices concerning the competing demands of educational and personal interests. Prior to submitting a request for an absence, studentsshould carefully consider theirpriorities in terms of successfully completing theirRUSM MD degree.

Typically, excused absences will only be granted if studentshave a significant, unavoidable conflict and can make up the missed activity or make alternate arrangements for the activity.Students are advised to consult with the Office of Student Affairs, as appropriate, to discuss plans for any interruption of their studies.

Approved Absence (AA): Foundations of Medicine

The instructional weeks of the Foundations of Medicine curriculum are scheduled three times per calendar year with short breaks between semesters. Outside of these scheduled breaks, Emergency Leaves of Absence (ELOA) and Short-Term Personal Leaves (STPL), students must be continuously enrolled.

A student who wishes to temporarily interrupt theirstudies may apply for an AA. During the Foundations of Medicine curriculum, an AA may be taken only:

When applying for an AA, the student must indicate when theyintendto resume studies, which must be at the beginning of a subsequent semester. An AA may not exceed a single semester during the Foundations of Medicine phase or 180 days during the NBME CBSE/ STEP 1 phase under any circumstances, including vacations.

To qualify for an AA, the student must meet the criteria established below:

In certain unusual situations, students may request an AA following a short period of unacceptable academic performance. The student must indicate the reason for the absence on theirapplication. Acceptable reasons for an AA may include, but are not limited to, any of the following: personal or family medical emergency, other personal or family emergency, or legal or financial hardship.

In addition to providing a written explanation at the time of application, the student may be asked to provide additional documentation. TheAssociate Dean of Student Affairs, or authorized designee, will review the student’s application, meet with the student as necessary to understand the situation and discuss ramifications of the absence with the student. During the Foundations of Medicine segment, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs or authorized designee will approve or deny the request for an AA.

The Associate Dean for Student Affairs, or authorized designee, will meet with the student to discuss the reasons for the application, ramifications of the proposed absence and review the student’s academic standing at the time of the application.

An AA must be requested in writing on the standard form (posted on myRoss, the Registrar’s portal page, or at the Student Affairs offices), stating specific reasons and return date, and must be approved by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, or her/his designee.

Students who are approved for an absence for medical reasons must supply satisfactory documentation of fitness from a healthcare professional. The documentation must substantiate to RUSM’s satisfaction that the student is able to comply with RUSM’s Technical Standards and is fit to return to classes.

RUSM reserves the right to re-evaluate the student for fitness to return by a healthcare professional of its choosing, if it is deemed necessary.

Students who are granted an AA during a semester will bereportedas not enrolledto all lenders until returningto courses the following semester. Students are subject to individual lenders’ loan repayment policies. Once a student returns to classes, theymust submit a deferment form/enrollment letter to lender(s) to be placed into in-school deferment status with the lender(s).

Students who are granted an AA during a semester will receive W, WF or WP grades for that semester (seeFoundations of Medicine Examinations) and must repeat the semester upon their return. In such situations the student will not be charged twice for the same semester.

A student who takes an AA prior to completing 60% of the semester, as determined by his or her withdrawal date or date of his or her last academically related event, will receive a partial tuition credit during the interrupted semester and the remainder of the tuition waiver will be applied in the semester in which theyreturn.

A student who takes an AA after completing 60% of the semester will not receive tuition credit for the interrupted semester but will receive a full tuition waiver for the semester in which he or she returns. Students will be responsible for covering any costs associated with an increase in tuition and fees.

A student who is not actively enrolled for financial aid purposes will be withdrawn, effective the last academically related activity or the date the institution determined the change in status. (Note the effect of this on financial aid obligations; see Financial Planning Guide.)

Please note that all gaps of enrollment longer than 31 calendar days in duration (with the exception of scheduled breaks), including AA and TWs, are reported in the MSPE submitted to the NRMP.

All students returning from an AAmust follow the standard registration and check-in procedures prior to the start of the semester, being certain that the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Student Affairs are notified of their presence on campus to resume study and must pursue the curriculum then in effect. Students are subject to all policies that are in force at that time and must pay the current tuition and fees. Similarly, students who defer their enrollment or are readmitted or reinstated to RUSM after any period of absence are also subject to all policies, tuition, and fees then in effect.

Students who were failing one or more courses at the time of withdrawal will also be on financial aid probation, and will not receive funds to continue if they are still on academic probation in the succeeding semester.

Approved Absence (AA): Clinical Sciences

During the clinical clerkship phase, an AA may be taken only:

At the end of a clinical segment or clerkship the student must return to resume clinical clerkships at the time specified or be subject to Administrative Withdraw.  Students must notify the Office of the Registrar prior to the end of the AA if they are not returning to start clerkships. These students will be placed in a TW status.

Students may not have more than one AA within a 12-month period.

Students who are approved for an absence for medical reasons must supply satisfactory documentation of fitness from a healthcare professional. The documentation must substantiate to RUSM’s satisfaction that the student is able to comply with RUSM’s Technical Standards and is fit to return to classes. RUSM reserves the right to re-evaluate the student for fitness to return by a healthcare professional of its choosing, if it is deemed necessary.

Students who are granted an AA during a semester will bereportedas not enrolledto all lenders until returningto courses the following semester. Students are subject to individual lenders’ loan repayment policies. Once a student returns to classes, he or she must submit a deferment form/enrollment letter to their lender to be placed back into in-school deferment status with that lender.

A student who is not actively enrolled for financial aid purposes will be withdrawn, effective the last academically related activity or the date the institution determined the change in status. (Note the effect of this on financial aid obligations; see Tuition Refund Policy for Withdrawals and Approved Absences

 Please note that all gaps of enrollment longer than 31 calendar days in duration (with the exception of scheduled breaks), including AA and TWs, are reported in the MSPE submitted to the NRMP.

Short-Term Personal Leave (STPL): Foundations of Medicine

The Associate Dean of Student Affairs or authorized designee will consider petitions for excused absences via a STPL for reasons that are not addressed by the exceptions listed in the section on attendance.

Petitions for permission to leave during the semester for a short personal leave and/or missing a required exercise (other than exams), on the basis of extraordinary personal circumstances (those that are not included in the three exceptions listed in the attendance policy), are considered by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs or authorized designee. The petitioning process begins by speaking with an advisor from the office of Student Affairs and submitting a STPL request formalong with documentation of the extraordinary personal circumstances that is requiring this leave.The STPL form is available on myRoss, the Registrar’s portal page, or at the Student Affairs offices. The request form must be submitted in advance of the start date of the requested leave.

Students should understand that the profession of medicine is one that demands a great deal of time and attention. There are components of the medical education program that cannot be made up or remediated. Students will frequently be required to make tough choices concerning the competing demands of educational and personal interests. Prior to submitting a request for a STPL, students should give careful consideration to the priorities required for successful completion of the RUSM medical degree. Typically, excused absences will only be granted if the student has a significant and unavoidable conflict. If a Short Term Personal Leave is granted, the following conditions apply:

Emergency Leaves of Absence (ELOA): Foundations of Medicine

On occasion, students may need to interrupt their enrollment during a semester for unavoidable, non-academic reasons. With the approval of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, or her/his designee, a student may be temporarily excused from classes during a semester due to documented emergency circumstances. These include severe illness or major injury to the student, a similar emergency or death in the student’s immediate family, a legal summons, or military obligation. If an emergency leave of absence is granted, the following conditions apply:

 Involuntary Leaves of Absence

In circumstances where students are deemed, in the sole discretion of the University, to be at risk academically, as a result of, but not limited to: course or USMLE failure or the failure to meet technical or professional standards, students may be placed on involuntary leave of absence by the university.

Students may be placed on an involuntary medical leave of absence if it is determined, in the sole discretion of the University, in the event that the health and safety of a student or others within the RUSM community is at risk and/or they are unable to meet the Technical Standards.

In conjunction with any involuntary leave of absence, the University may impose conditions that must be complied with in order to be permitted to return from the leave of absence.  These condition include, but are not limited to, academic remediation, counseling, and/or treatment if involuntary leave of absence was based on physical or mental health groundand rehabilitation. If conditions are not met for return within the specified time established by the University the student may be subject to dismissal.

A student who is not actively enrolled for financial aid purposes will be withdrawn, effective the last academically related activity or the date the institution determined the change in status. (Note the effect of this on financial aid obligations; see Financial Planning Guide.)

Please speak with the Office of Financial Aid regarding the impact on financial aid.

 Temporary Withdrawal (TW)

Students who completed Foundations of Medicine curriculum are subject to TW for absences longer than 31 calendar days in duration (scheduled breaks between semesters do not apply). Students who fail to return after an AA will be subject to AW. Students who have not returned from an AA but have notified the Office of the Registrar will be moved to a TW status effective their withdrawal date or the date of their last academically related event. Notifications must be received prior to the end of the AA.

Enrollment gaps longer than 31 calendar days in duration (with the exception of scheduled breaks), including AAs and TWs, are reported in the MSPE submitted to the ECFMG®.

Students who are retaking the NBME CBSE will be placed in a Temporary Withdraw (TW) status after the end of the vacation period to continue preparation for their remediation

Students in TW status who have not completed all degree requirements within seven (7) years of matriculation will be subject to dismissal. Students in an AA or TW status are reported as not enrolled to student loan lenders.

A student who is not actively enrolled for financial aid purposes will be reported as withdrawn to lenders, effective the last academically related activity or the date the institution determined the change in status. (Note the effect of this on financial aid obligations; see FinancialPlanning Guide.)

Please speak with the Office of Financial Aid regarding the impact on financial aid.

Unauthorized Absences

Studentswho leavewithout RUSM approvalduring a semester or a scheduled clinical clerkship will be administratively withdrawn.

Students wishing to return to RUSM after an unauthorized absence must apply for readmission. Applications for readmission will be reviewed by the Readmission Committee to determine if the student is eligible for readmission, and if so under what conditions (such as academic probation). (See instructions for reapplying in the Policies and Administrative Proceduressection)

Exception for Clinical Clerkship Breaks: Due to scheduling constraints between clinical clerkships (and external institutions’ procedures), brief breaks in study may occur. Such breaks, if less than 31 calendar days (including weekends) in duration beginning afterthe last day of the student’s previous clerkships, will have no impact on the student’s enrollment status. The Financial Planning Guideoffers information about the loan disbursement policy for longer gaps in study.

Student Withdrawals

Students may voluntarily withdraw from enrollment. They must then apply for readmission if they wish to return to RUSM, and will be subject to the tuition policy for withdrawals and the refund federal refund policy (See Tuition and Fees).

 Refund Policy for Withdrawalssection). Readmission is not guaranteed but applications will be reviewed by the Readmission Committee. Readmitted students will typically be subject to all academic policies and tuition and fees in effect at the time of re-enrollment, without any “grandfathering” provisions based on their original admission. See additional readmission information in the Policies and Administrative Procedures section of this Student Handbook. Student withdrawals are governed by the following policies:

 Deferrals

Prior to the start of classes, students admitted to a specific semester may request to defer their admission to a subsequent semester. The following policies apply to deferrals:

Deferrals are not guaranteed, and are granted on a case-by-case basis depending on class size and seat availability. Due to a high volume of applicants, deferrals are generally not permitted into the September semester. Students must provide a valid reason for deferring, such as an employment obligation, academic commitment, personal injury/illness, financial hardship or travel/immigration issues. In some cases, supporting documentation may be required.

Deferred admission may be requested for up to one year from acceptance date and is granted on a one-time basis. If a studentcannot attend the semester to which theyhave deferred into, theywill be required to reapply.

Requests are reviewed as received and may take up to 30 days before a decision is made. The RUSM Admissions Office will notify the studentvia email of thedeferral decision and will also send a letter of confirmation to the student’smailing address.

In order to finalize a deferral, a $1,000 nonrefundable deferral fee must be submitted. Please note that the deferral fee will be applied to thefirst semester’s tuition ifthe student startsclass by the deferral date. Failure to start class by the deferral date will causethe studentto lose theirseat in the class without future reconsiderations or deferrals.

Students planning to matriculate to another institution during the deferral period will be required to submit an official transcript for all coursework completed during that time. A student’sadmission may be subject to re-review pending the receipt of all transcripts and/or test scores.

If the deferralrequest is denied, a student hasthe option to remain in theircurrent term or reapply for a future term.