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Absence and Verification Notice

What is an Absence and Verification Notice?

This written communication, usually to a faculty member, confirms extenuating circumstances while helping the student to maintain privacy of the particulars.

If you are absent or need special arrangements for coursework, you should notify your faculty. In some cases, a faculty member will request confirmation or verification, such as for a missed assignment, paper, or exam.  Our office will provide a letter verifying the circumstances once you have provided documentation. Final decisions about special arrangements for coursework reside with the faculty member.

What counts as documentation?

Examples of supporting documentation could be a doctor’s note, hospital paperwork, test results, obituaries, mass or prayer cards, police report, etc. Documentation should confirm the dates of your absence(s) or provide details about the condition if you are seeking special arrangements.

I do not have documentation, can I still get a verification notice sent to my professor?

In general, no. If our office is unable to confirm your circumstances we may not be able to provide a verification notice. You are encouraged to work directly with your professors on arrangements.  For extenuating circumstances, you should attend Drop-In Hours or schedule an appointment to discuss. See Requesting Assistance

What types of situations does an Absence and Verification Notice cover?

Absence and Verification Notices are primarily for medical and personal extenuating circumstances that can be documented. They are not for weddings, travel, family holidays or celebrations, or work responsibilities.    

Will faculty know the specific reason they are receiving a verification?

No. Dean of Student – Student Support strives to maintain your confidentiality and will not share specific details. When providing absence and verification notices, we provide general reasons (medical circumstances, confidential situation, family emergency, etc.). You may share additional information with your faculty to provide better context, but that is at your discretion.


What is bias?

Rutgers defines bias as an act-verbal, written, physical, and/or psychological in nature-that threatens, or harms, a person, or group, on the basis of: race, religion, color, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, ancestry, disability, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, atypical heredity or cellular blood trait, military service or veteran status. To learn more about University policies on bias go here: https://studentaffairs.rutgers.edu/policies-related-bias

Will there be a record that I reported an incident of bias in my school records?

For a student filing a report of bias, the report is not part of their school record. If the report is used in a complaint filed against another student, it will become part of the file within the Office of Student Conduct.  If a complaint or report is filed against a staff/faculty member, the report will be retained on file with the Office of Employment Equity.

Faculty Questions

I received an Absence & Verification Notice, what are my responsibilities?

It is the student’s responsibility to follow-up with each of their faculty members regarding absences, missed work, or the need for special assistance.  Based on the circumstances, Dean of Student – Student Support will advocate for consideration of options so that student may be successful in fulfilling course requirements.  Determination of what arrangements are most appropriate and unique to each situation – the student, the time in the semester, and course requirements.

I am concerned about a student in my course, what should I do?

Faculty who are concerned about a student can contact Dean of Student – Student Support directly via email or complete a Community Concern report (Do Something To Help – Share A Concern! – Student Health (rutgers.edu)).  In response, a member of our staff will reach out to the student and connect them to the resources to best support their well-being and academic success.

I have a student who I am providing extra time to, based on their temporary condition. How does proctoring work? 

Students with temporary conditions should work with faculty directly to create a plan on how to take exams with extended time. Some recommendations are having the student take the exam during office hours or with a TA or an administrator of the academic department. Students with temporary conditions do not receive proctoring by the Office of Disability Services. Their office accommodates students with chronic or permanent disabilities.   

General Questions

What is the difference between an Academic Dean and a Dean of Students?

Academic Deans are in each school of registration (Mason Gross, RBS, SAS, SEBS, SOE etc.) and they are the points of contacts for academic policies - major/minor requirements, registration, academic advising, and graduation requirements. A Dean of Students acts as an advocate for students when they experience unexpected life circumstances. When advised to talk to a dean, be sure to clarify whether it is an academic dean or dean of students.

I am concerned about my academic performance, what do I do?

If you are are concerned about your academic performance, take a moment to reflect on what is contributing their struggles. If you find the material challenging, attending faculty office hours or utilizing the Learning Centers are a good first step.  If the difficulties are related to major or future career plans, academic or career advising may be helpful.  If there are external factors (personal, financial, medical) at play, connecting with the Dean of Student – Student Support to discuss resources and strategies can be helpful. 

What type of appointment should I make?

It depends on the circumstances. If you are unsure what type of appointment to make reach out to us via phone, email, Virtual-Drop In Appointments and scheduled appointments. See Requesting Assistance to determine what may be best based on the situation and the time and assistance needed.

Hospitalizations/Case Management

I am a parent/guardian, who should I contact to discuss my student’s situation?

Dean of Students – Student Support will not be able to share information about a student without the student's consent. In the event that the student’s circumstances cause them to be unable to communicate, we can work in a limited capacity with parents/guardians.

While we cannot discuss your student’s personal circumstances, we are always willing to answer your questions in general terms and provide guidance on how to navigate the situation.  With documentation, we can start the process of alerting faculty to absences and assisting the student upon return. Once the student is able, our office will return to working with the student.

I have been (or need to be) in the hospital for a while. What should I do about classes?

You should connect with faculty regarding absences and missed work to strategize how to get back on track. You are also encouraged to reach out to us early, to discuss the transition back to classes. One common step is to request an Absence and Verification Notice to faculty. However, given the unique considerations following time in the hospital (how much work was missed, the academic calendar deadlines, performance to date, financial aid, etc.) a scheduled appointment with a member of our staff is advisable to review everything in detail and determine strategies and next steps.

What is a mandatory interview or discharge plan?

During your hospitalization, treatment providers work hard to provide you with guidance that will allow you to continue your road to recovery upon your discharge from care.  Most hospitals provide student with a summary of treatment/recommendations to continue care (discharge treatment plan). The case management team partners with students to help them return to the Rutgers community safely and to make sure students are meeting both their academic and wellness goals. One way our office does this is by connecting students with our University’s counseling center to confirm or create a support plan that allows students to continue any necessary treatment and balance their academics.

The mandate interview process usually occurs 24-72 hours after a student has been discharged from care.  Our case management team works with the student to make this a seamless process and to ensure students can return to classes as soon as possible.  The average time for a mandate interview appointment is 45 min.  Students are strongly encouraged to bring any medical document from previous treatment to ensure supports efforts are holistic and that supports are not being duplicated.


Who will know I contacted the office?

Our office respects your privacy and does not share identifying information with other departments. However, if your are presenting as a risk to yourself, others, or displays other concerning behavior a dean may notify another department as part of an intervention strategy. Additionally, member of our staff are required under Title IX to report instances of sexual assault or domestic violence. You will be informed of this and our staff will offer support regarding the role of the Office of Title IX.

Will my visit to the office go on my permanent record or transcript?

No. Records and notes of student visits are kept separately and not shared outside our office. Your visit will be recorded in an internal reporting system.

Temporary Conditions

What is a temporary condition?

A temporary condition is an injury or illness that lasts 8 weeks or less and creates temporary barriers to your learning. Examples of a temporary conditions include but are not limited to: broken leg or arm, concussion, mono, recovery time after surgery, temporary loss of sight.

What type of documentation should I provide for a temporary condition?

Documentation can be a letter from your treating medical provider or a detailed summary/ hospital discharge papers that includes:

  • The diagnosis
  • Limitations and recommendations
  • Confirmation of any absences that this condition caused
  • Expected recovery date – we recognize in some cases a recovery date is unknown or may change based on the nature of the condition
  • Note: Final decisions about special arrangement for coursework and accommodations reside with the faculty member


Undocumented Students

I am an undocumented student, can I work on campus?

Students with work authorization issued by USCIS, which is available to those with immigration status or some form of deferred action (asylum, DACA, TPS, U-Visa, VAWA, permanent residence) as well as those with valid work permit (employment authorization document or EAD) or "green card“  are able to work on campus.  Dreamers/Undocumented students that do not have DACA are currently not allowed to work on campus.

I am an undocumented student and am having difficulty paying tuition, room & board. Can I get financial assistance?

The New Jersey Alternative Financial Aid Application allows undocumented students in eligible New Jersey colleges and universities to apply for state financial aid. For additional information click here: https://scarlethub.rutgers.edu/financial-services/eligibility/new-jersey-dreamers/

Can I qualify for in-state tuition?

Yes, undocumented students may be eligible for in state tuition. Undocumented students in New Jersey may qualify if they have attended three years of high school in New Jersey and graduated from high school in New Jersey. To apply, students will need is a copy of their final, official, high school transcript and complete the In-State Tuition Form. Completed forms should be submitted here: Submit In-State Tuition Form

Is Rutgers a supportive community for undocumented students?

President Jonathan Holloway began his tenure at the university with the mission of making Rutgers a beloved community - one which values diversity, equity, access, and inclusion. Our spaces, programs, organizations, and services are designed to welcome all admitted students so they feel part of the community and are able to achieve their goals and aspirations. 

Rutgers protects students’ records and will not share any information that identifies a student as undocumented unless required by a warrant, subpoena, or court order. Rutgers University police do not inquire into nor record the immigration status of students or other persons unless required by an Attorney General’s directive. Additionally, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policy characterizes colleges and universities as “sensitive locations,” which are places where, in the normal course of things, enforcement actions should not occur unless extraordinary circumstances exist.