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Can I Quit My Job and Draw Unemployment If I Go to College?

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There are many different rules regarding when you can collect unemployment. Generally, you are not eligible for unemployment if you quit your job, but there are exceptions to this rule. You can still collect unemployment if you attend college as long as you are willing and able to work while in school.

Quitting for Work Related Problems

Unemployment benefits are very difficult to receive after voluntarily leaving your job. In most states, you have to have a very good reason for quitting if you wish to collect unemployment. You may be able to quit and collect unemployment if you are harassed, asked to do something illegal or work under dangerous conditions.

Quitting for Personal Problems

You can also quit your job if you have certain problems at home that prevent you from being able to work. This would most likely be due to health problems or a family emergency related to your current assignment. One of the requirements for receiving unemployment is that you must be able to continue looking for work and accept any work you come across. If your problem prevents you from being able to work, you will need to look at other options such as Social Security Disability Income.

Attending College While Unemployed

You can still collect unemployment while in college. You will need to show that you are still willing and able to work while you are in school. You will have to continue to look for work and accept any position offered to you. If an employer offers you are a full-time position and you turn it down due to school commitments, then you will lose your unemployment benefits.

Quitting and Then Going to College

It is possible to quit your job and collect unemployment while in college. However, the situation raises some questions. Unemployment agencies are likely to believe that you quit your job solely to go to school. You will have to meet the burden of showing that you had extenuating circumstances for leaving your job and show why you are still able to attend school after that. Unemployment centers may feel that if you can attend school, then your problems are not serious enough to justify quitting your job. Although it's not impossible to meet this burden, it can be difficult.


Kalen Smith has been been writing business and technology articles since 2008. He is a regular contributor to Young Entrepreneur, Blogtrepreneur and the Small Business Idea Generator. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Business Administration from Clark University.

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