Returning to Stanford

All students wishing to enroll in any given quarter(s) must have an active student status with the University. Depending on your situation, students returning to Stanford usually need to take specific steps for reinstatement. The following information is intended to offer clarification of university academic policies related to leaves of absence and reinstatement, for a comprehensive review of leave and reinstatement policies refer to the Stanford Bulletin: Undergraduate Degrees and Programs.

OCS Holds -  If you only have an OCS (Office of Community Standards) hold, work directly with that office on your return.

First Steps & Deadlines

The Request to Return and Register in Undergraduate Study has a detailed list of steps needed.

To facilitate your return, completed forms should be filed 8-12 weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter of intended enrollment. We highly recommend filing 3 months prior, if applying for housing and financial aid. Students wishing to return should print out the Request to Return and Register in Undergraduate Study  and follow instructions. Key tasks:

Make an appointment with a UAR Advisor (Academic Advising Director, Academic Advisor in Sweet Hall, or AARC Advisor (student athlete advisors located in Atheletic Academic Resource Center)  

Clear any and all obligations to the University (financial, housing, etc.)


Housing Deadlines

Students with housing guarantee years remaining must apply for housing by specific dates in order to preserve their guarantee:

Financial Aid Office Deadlines

  • The priority filing date for financial aid is April 30 prior to the year you intend to return.
  • See the Financial Aid Office web site for application requirements.
  • If you are unable to meet the priority filing date, we highly recommend that you complete your application at least 8 weeks prior to the beginning of the quarter of intended enrollment.
  • Review the special instructions for late applicants.

Health Insurance

Returning students will be auto-enrolled in Cardinal Care; the cost of health insurance will post to student's account unless Cardinal Care is waived in a timely manner.

Cardinal Care Waiver Deadlines

Returning Scenarios

Returning during quarter listed on LOA (Leave of Absence) form

Wish to return earlier than listed on LOA form

Wish to extend return date of current Leave of Absence to a later quarter

  • Form Required: Leave of Absence (PDF)
  • Steps to Take:
  • Considerations/Resources:
    • Leaves will not be granted for more than one year at a time.
    • A leave from your program may not exceed a cumulative total of two years.

Discontinued due to an unfiled LOA or an expired LOA

Returning from a completed academic suspension

Returning Students Group

In 2002, a returning student suggested Stanford have a support group to help with returning students' feelings of being "out-of-place." This was the seed from which the current Returning Students Group grew.

At the beginning of each quarter, new Returning Students are invited to a welcome back dinner where stories and lessons-learned are shared. One student, after 25 years away, said, "we have life experience and we can support each other in completing our Stanford degrees." This summarizes the main purpose of the group: support.

  • Members Include... 
    Stanford students who have taken time away from Stanford for many reasons including, but not limited to, health, job opportunities, family concerns, and academics. Ages range from 19-69 (but most members are between 20-39 years old). Most members have taken at least 1 year off and many have spent more than 1 year away from Stanford. Non-traditional transfer students (age 25+) are also invited.
  • We are here to...
    Provide support to returning students by creating a space where you can meet with other returning students to help ease the transition
  • The group meets...
    At the welcome back dinner at the beginning of the quarter. This is followed by monthly lunches which include time to check in with one another and include guest speakers/facilitators.
  • Meeting topics have included...
    Connecting with the faculty, career planning and resume development, academic skills, resilience, and various talks on promoting health and well-being.


For more information, contact Sally Mentzer, Academic Advisor

Class Email Lists

Undergraduate class email lists are used primarily by the class presidents to communicate with members of the class and to share information about class events and programs. They may also be used by university offices and programs to share important announcements and information.

If your Stanford email was deactivated while you were away from Stanford, or if your anticipated graduation year has changed, you may want to rejoin or change your membership on a class email list.

Once you have returned to an "Active" student status and registered a Study List for the current quarter, please send a subscription request to the appropriate class list by clicking one of the links below. Your request will be reviewed and approved by the list owners.