Taking time off, or withdrawing, from the College often makes good sense for all kinds of reasons: a family crisis; your health; your financial situation; the opportunity for a full-time internship or job; the desirability of learning that there is more to life than being a student.
While parents tend to worry about whether their daughters will return to Barnard and complete the degree, the evidence over the years shows that students who leave almost always return, and they are almost always more highly motivated and better prepared to make the most of their academic experiences. In fact, the College's procedures for withdrawing and returning are not complicated, and you should meet with your Class dean if you are interested in them.
Most important is that your decision be well-considered and that you understand its ramifications. For example, if you are on financial aid, and if you decide to withdraw during the semester, you will, in effect, lose that semester's aid -- which may be problematic since students are eligible for a maximum of eight terms.
In some cases, students are required to withdraw from the College for a period of time, e.g., unsatisfactory or dishonest academic performance or behavior which disrupts normal College activity. Again, students who are required to withdraw almost always return, better able to function successfully here.
A student who has withdrawn from the College may request readmission by submitting a detailed statement explaining her reasons for returning for a specific semester to the Dean of Studies by June 1 for a fall semester readmission and by November 1 for a spring semester readmission, as long as she has fulfilled any stated conditions for re-enrollment. A $100 readmission fee (check, payable to Barnard College) is required with her request. Please see the Request for Readmission form for detailed instructions.
Readmission of students who have withdrawn from, or been withdrawn by, the College for reasons related to health will be considered by the Evaluation Committee composed of representatives from the offices of Residence Life, Disability Services, and the Dean of Studies in consultation with representatives from Counseling Services and Primary Care Health Services. A Counseling or Health Services on-campus evaluation and subsequent recommendation is usually required for Committee consideration.