What Provisions are Typical when Students are Called for Active Duty?

Active duty students often wonder what will happen to them if they receive word that they need to leave school. When you are the member of the National Guard or any other branch of the military, you might take a few classes during your downtime to work on your degree. You never know when the government may call your duty up, which will mean you need to withdrawal from your classes and go overseas or to a military base in the United States. The provisions available and benefits given to you depends on where you go to school and the policies of your school.

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Withdrawing from Classes

Withdrawing from your classes is the first thing you need to do. You should contact the administration office on campus as soon as you receive word of your deployment. Depending on the policy at your school, you may receive a full refund of the money you spent on your classes. Other schools may give you a partial refund or give you a slight refund that the school will hold until you return to class later. Some schools may work with you and let you finish your classes off campus too.

Waiving Some Fees

Those on active duty status may find that their schools waive some of their fees as well. Many schools charge a high fee for anyone who decides to drop out of school. This is essentially a form of insurance for the campus that guarantees it will get money from those who take a full course load, use the campus resources available to them and then drop out halfway through the semester. There are several colleges across the country that will waive all fees, give students a full or partial refund and even refund them for their textbooks. 

Deferring Classes

When you receive a call to duty from your branch of the military, contact your school and ask about the possibility of deferring your classes. Deferring your classes is different from withdrawing. When you withdrawal, you will receive a notice on your record that you dropped those classes with no other explanation given. When you defer, the school will give you an incomplete for each of your classes. You can later re-enroll in school and retake those classes for full credit. Whether or not the college will refund any of the money you already spent depends on its policies.

Loan Deferments

You may worry about your loans as well, especially if you took a break from your studies. The federal government gives all borrowers a grace period of six months. You do not need to pay on those loans until six months after you leave school or complete your degree. The government offers an additional grace period for those called to duty. According to Federal Student Aid, if you leave within 30 days before the end of your grace period, the government will suspend your loans and give you an additional six month grace period when your service ends.

As a service man or woman, you never know when the military may call your unit for duty. An unexpected call may require that you temporarily take a break from school. Many schools have provisions for students on active duty status that makes it easy for you to withdrawal and come back to school later.