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Collecting Unemployment While in School

School, Work, Unemployment . . .?!

This post was submitted by Renees3 in our Ask Savvy group.

I worked for a company for six years. Dec. 21st I found out they decided to downsize my department and a bunch of others to zero. So I've joined the ranks of the unemployed. While I liked my job okay, I've decided I want to go to school. I'm 27 and have never been to college. I want to get my AA in accounting. But I honestly have no idea what to do now. I'm eligible for unemployment, can I get it while I go to school (a local community college)? I have a mortgage and bills to pay, I can't just not have money coming in. I know there are student loans, but I really don't want to get myself into major debt for just a couple years of school. I've thought maybe if I take night courses or online school (like University of Phoenix) I might still be able to collect unemployment. Does anyone know of any other options or ideas? Please help, I'm losing sleep over this.

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kirstnish kirstnish 7 years
Hey! Theres a competition at the moment to win a job!! With simple! They are looking for the new face of simple and you can win £15,000 part time job and holiday and stuff! maybe just what you need to get you back on the road! go to I entered too! im freeflychix! Not many days left though so hurry!! Kirst
chelleche chelleche 7 years
The catch to the online school and unemployment appears to be the "ABLE and AVAILABLE FOR WORK" clause.. To be honest if it is a online school you would think it would be ok since YOU can decide what hours you spend working towards your degree. Also another thing I noticed from researching is that the amount of hours taken through the school seem to play a role. That also needs to be taken into play. Hence a full time student usually needs some time to prep for their classes, tests, discussions etc.... The government knows that you will need to spend some time either researching for the class, preparing your assignments etc... so your best bet appears to be to ask the unemployment office openly and make sure you stipulate whether it is Online or at the Brick and Mortar*Campus*.....
earnold14 earnold14 7 years
**I had to pay BACK what unemployment funds I had been paid.
earnold14 earnold14 7 years
In Virginia, you cannot be a student and collect unemployment. I tried this a few years ago and ended up having to pay what unemployment funds I had been paid. So make sure you check!!! And I also definitely agree about the previous posters who advise against University of Phoenix and other online universities. You'd be much better off taking online or night classes from your Community College.
luna08 luna08 7 years
I agree with Anon. on U of Phoenix and Ashford...known online universities. I’m finishing up my degree online (it was the only way to logistically do it at the time), but at a university NOT known for its online program. I've completed my degree as they've developed their program, and I think got a better education for it! Since the forum was new to my professors, they demanded of me, and provided as many assignments, lecture uploads and materials as they would have if I had been on-campus. It's been tough, but a much more demanding, and true-to-on-campus experience than friends that went to UP & Ashford. Not to mention the cache of a small private university. If you really research, you can find something perfect for you! Good luck!
Renees3 Renees3 7 years
thanks for the info everyone. I'll check out the sites you guys listed. I registered for three classes, two online and one night class so I should be okay I think. There's just so much that goes into it! Stressful!
luna08 luna08 7 years
Go to your county's department of labor, first thing! I have my degree, but I recently went to a seminar they gave on applying for government jobs. I was really impressed at how passionate they were about finding people jobs and helping them leverage all the information, training and grants that were available. With all the stimulus bills put through, both federal and state, it can be hard to find the information. The Dept of Labor office should be able to tell you exactly which benefits you can use. Your state might have retraining funds available for you! Your local community college might be able to help to. A lot of these retraining funds don't get used because people don't know they're there.
insanitypepper insanitypepper 7 years
Check to see if you can get funds for school through the Workforce Investment Act. I think the amount available varies depending on where you live. For info about the WIA and other unemployment questions, contact your local one-stop center aka unemployment office (
museanima museanima 7 years
I'm about to get the axe soon too at work, so I've been looking into it too. In California, I've been on the Employment Development Departments website. They have some training programs that are covered by unemployment benefits. I would love to be going towards an AA degree too, but I'm not sure all the classes required for that are covered. I would also love to be able to take all of my classes online and still be able to transfer all of them to a university later on, but the closest way I have found to do that is to just go to comm. college, but they do not have some of their courses online.
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