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Academic Policies and Procedures

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Military Service

Class Registration for Active Duty Students 

James Madison University supports active duty students in the armed forces by providing assistance with class registration when necessary and by request. Active duty students needing assistance should provide a copy of their active duty orders to the Office of the Registrar prior to the first day of class to qualify for assistance under this policy.  The Office of the Registrar will serve as an additional resource for the student and the academic unit(s) to assist with the creation of an appropriate class schedule to ensure the service member remains on track to degree completion in a timely manner.   

Short Term Military Leave

For Mobilizations and Activations of One Day to Three Weeks

Faculty members are expected to make reasonable academic accommodations or opportunities for students to complete course assignments and/or exams without penalty to the course grade for class absence(s) or missed deadlines due to mandatory military training or obligations. Students will provide faculty members with official military documentation (paper, electronic orders or a Unit’s memorandum) with as much advance notification as possible for absences that will result from temporal responsibilities of their military obligations. For time-sensitive state or federal emergencies/activations where written documentation may not be available until the end of the obligation, the student is responsible for securing those orders to provide to faculty members upon return to the university. For active duty deployments that exceed three weeks, students should refer to the university policy for “Students Called to Active Duty” on the registrar’s website.

Support for Armed Services Active Duty

James Madison University supports students called to active duty in the armed services by providing for tuition relief and refunds, and for reinstatement of students whose documented service in the uniformed services has required their sudden withdrawal or prolonged absence from their enrollment in the institution. Included is service in the uniformed services whether voluntary or involuntary on active duty in the Armed Forces, including such service by a member of the National Guard or Reserve. When a JMU student is under call or ordered to active duty for a period of more than 30 days, the following provisions will apply.

Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Academic Credit

If an enrolled student is deployed to active duty military service during the semester, the student will have three options concerning grades assigned for the semester in which the call to active duty occurs.

  • If the student leaves at any time during the semester and elects to receive a full tuition refund, no notation of courses or grades will be recorded on the student’s transcript.
  • If the student elects to receive an “I” (Incomplete), the regulation regarding conversion of an “I” to “F” grade will be suspended until the student returns to campus. Should the student not return to JMU, the “I” will revert to a “W” (Withdrawal).
  • If the student leaves at a point in the semester after which a significant amount of work has been completed, the student may request the assignment of a grade for work completed. This option requires joint agreement of the student and faculty member(s).

Deposits

For new students, an enrollment deposit is required to confirm their acceptance of the offer of admission. If a student is deployed to active duty military service before beginning the planned semester of enrollment, the deposit will be refunded.

For returning students, deposits made with the intent of securing facilities or services in a future session will be refunded in full.

Documentation

Students should complete Withdrawal or Leave of Absence forms and include a copy of the applicable military orders to qualify for the considerations detailed in this policy.

The Withdrawal Process is appropriate for students who are enrolled in a semester, are deployed to active duty military service and must begin that duty before the current semester has ended. Withdrawal forms are available through the Office of the Dean of Students located in Madison Union, Room 300.

A Leave of Absence is appropriate for students who are deployed to active duty military service, but do not need to begin duty during a current semester; for example, if duty will begin during a future semester before classes begin. The Leave of Absence Form is available online at http://www.jmu.edu/registrar/wm_library/non_returning_loa_notice.pdf.

Room and Board

If an enrolled student is deployed to active duty military service during the semester, the student’s dining and residence hall contract will be adjusted as follows:

  • Board fees will be prorated from the dining hall opening date.
  • A per diem refund of the room rent will be issued based on the student’s official check-out date.

Textbooks

When a student is called to active duty, a full refund for textbooks purchased for the semester in progress is available through the university bookstore by presenting the textbooks and a copy of the applicable military orders.

Tuition Charges and Student Account Balances

If an enrolled student is deployed to active duty military service during the semester, the student can:

  • Drop all classes and all tuition charges will be waived with:
    • Personal payments refunded
    • Financial aid adjusted as required
    • Financial aid refunds repaid by student if appropriate
    • Maintain all or part of enrollment with:
      • Tuition adjusted accordingly
      • Financial aid adjusted as required
      • Financial aid refunds repaid by student if appropriate

If there are unpaid student account balances at time of deployment, the university will work with individual students on payment arrangements. No collection actions will occur during deployment; however, student must resolve any unpaid balances prior to subsequent enrollment.

Graduate Students

Deferral of Enrollment

If a graduate student has been admitted to James Madison University and is called to active military duty before enrolling, the student may request a deferral of admission using the process below.

  1. The student must submit a request (i.e., letter or email) to the Graduate Program Director requesting a deferment. In the communication, the student should provide the reason for the request (call to active duty) and indicate the term he/she wishes to re-enroll (the term can be changed if needed).
  2. The Graduate Program Director approves the deferment and informs the Director of Graduate Admissions that the deferment has been approved.
  3. The Director of Graduate Admissions notifies the student that the request has been approved and informs the student to notify The Graduate School and their Graduate Program Director at least 30 days prior to the first class day of the return semester.
  4. If the student’s discharge from the service is delayed, the student contacts the Director of Graduate Admissions and requests an extension of his/her deferment. The Director of Graduate Admissions will approve the delay and inform the Graduate Program Director.

Leave of Absence

A military leave of absence is granted to graduate students deployed for active military service. The graduate program director of the program in which the student is enrolled must request a military leave of absence for a student in a graduate program. The request must be approved by the dean of The Graduate School. Continuous enrollment is granted for a specified time period that may not exceed four semesters total, excluding summer session. Any extension of the approved continuous enrollment period must be requested by the student 30 days prior to the deadline and approved by the dean of The Graduate School.

When a student on leave plans to resume graduate study, he/she must inform the graduate program director and The Graduate School at least 30 days prior to the first class day of the return semester. All registration holds must be cleared before the student will be eligible to register.

In the case of a military leave of absence, the time clock related to the time limit for the completion of the degree (i.e., master’s and educational specialist students must complete all degree requirements within six years; doctoral students must complete all degree requirements within eight years) will be stopped at the semester in which the leave begins. The time clock will resume upon the student’s return to the program. While all academic credit, including transfer credits taken before enrollment in the graduate program, will remain on the graduate transcript, courses originally approved to be counted toward the degree program which now fall outside of the original time limit must be reviewed and approved by the program director in terms of content relevancy. In some cases, additional course work may be warranted due to outdated information.