College for the Unemployed
Those who are without a job are going through an incredibly difficult time. While they may be trying to get a new job or start a new career, they may not be able to find an employer who is willing to take them on. For many, the only way to get out of the unemployment hole is to reach for further education and training.
For those on unemployment benefits, it can be unclear whether or not those benefits can be applied towards furthering one’s education. There are plenty of different ways that unemployment benefits can be helpful, but can unemployment benefits be used toward a college degree?
What Are Unemployed Benefits
Unemployment benefits are provided by the government, giving individuals with a small amount of money every month. This income can be applied towards basic needs, including utility payments, housing payments, and groceries. The unemployment program is a joint operation between each state and the federal government. It is paid for by federal and state taxes. These benefits do not go on forever; eventually, individuals will be cut off from the program. Many states will end the benefits after 26 consecutive weeks of involvement in the program.
Who Qualifies for Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment benefits are not for the large amount of people who are unemployed. These benefits are only for people who have lost their job through no fault of their own. This means that the program is in place for those who have been laid off, as well as those who are simply unable to work because of issues that are out of their control. Those who do qualify for unemployment stand to receive 36 percent of the average weekly wage from the job that they lost.
Can Unemployment Benefits be Used Toward a College Degree?
Can unemployment benefits be used toward a college degree? Opportunity.gov is run by the United States Department of Education and provides Americans with more education and training with the goal of securing a jobs and higher earnings. The program helps those who are out of work, obtain the skills and access to education. According to Opportunity.gov, “The President announced that unemployed workers receiving unemployment benefits may qualify for a special hand in paying for education and training. And aid can be significant: In particular, the Federal Pell Grant program can provide up to $5,550 for educational costs at community colleges, colleges and universities, and many trade and technical schools. This is only one example of several federal student aid programs available to assist unemployed workers,” (http://federalstudentaid.ed.gov/opportunity/index.html).
Access to Financial Aid for the Unemployed
The United State’s official website, USA.gov, As the U.S. government’s official web portal, USA.gov and provides government information to the public. The site outlines the following steps for the unemployed to potentially obtain financial aid for education-related goals.
The following steps will help you get started:
Decide what type of education or training best meets your needs. You may want to visit the CareerOneStop website, or visit your local community college or local One-Stop Career Center for help in identifying potential opportunities. You can also locate the nearest One-Stop Career Center by calling 1.877.US.2.JOBS (1.877.872.5627).
Apply for financial aid. An application is available on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) website or by calling 1.800.4.FED.AID (1.800.433.3243). Your local One Stop Career Center can also help you.