As used in this section, "active duty" means full-time duty in the active military service of the United States, including full-time training duty, annual training duty, and active state duty for members of the national guard.
(A) Each institution of higher education that holds a certificate of authorization issued under this chapter shall grant a student a military leave of absence from the institution while the student is serving on active duty, and for one year after the conclusion of that service, if the student is a member of the United States national guard or other reserve component of the armed forces of the United States, or a member of those armed forces in a retired status, and is called to active duty. The student shall not suffer an academic penalty as a result of the leave of absence.
(B) If requested by a student granted a military leave of absence pursuant to division (A) of this section not later than one year after the student's release from active duty, the institution in which the student is enrolled shall do either of the following, as elected by the student:
(1) Credit tuition and fee charges toward a subsequent academic term in an amount that is one hundred per cent of what the student paid the institution for the academic term in which the student withdraws;
(2) Refund tuition and fees paid for the academic term, provided the student withdraws before the withdraw date established by the institution. The refund shall equal one hundred per cent of the tuition and fee charges the student paid the institution for the academic term. If the student withdraws after the withdraw date established by the institution, the student is ineligible for a refund of tuition and fee charges. For the purposes of this section, the "withdraw date" shall be the same as the date set by the institution for its general student population to withdraw from the institution or a course or class without academic penalty.
(C) If requested by a student granted a military leave of absence pursuant to division (A) of this section not later than one year after the student's release from active duty, the institution shall restore the student to the educational status the student had attained prior to being called to active duty without loss of academic credits earned, scholarships or grants awarded, or tuition and other fees paid prior to the commencement of active duty, except as provided in division (B) of this section.
(D) If an institution fails to comply with this section, the student may bring an action against the institution to enforce its provisions in the court of common pleas of the county in which the student resides. If the student resides outside of this state, the action shall be brought in the court of common pleas of the county in which the campus of the institution previously attended by the student is located. The court may award reasonable attorney's fees and expenses if the student prevails in the action.
Effective Date: 05-18-2005