For the past three years, I've been working & planning to quit my "day job" and go back to school to be an optometrist. My original plans were for me to voluntarily quit my job when the time came to start optometry school. Since I'll be starting my first professional year (P1) in just a short, few weeks, the day I'd be giving my 2-weeks notice to HR is coming quickly... Last week, I learned that our company is reducing their workforce through voluntary separation packages. Since I had not turned in my "official" notice to HR yet, I am eligible to "volunteer." So, instead of one last check + accrued/unused vacation time, it looks like I'll continue to receive my current pay+benefits an additional 8 weeks into my first professional year education! My question is this: after the separation pay "runs out", am I then eligible for unemployment benefits, since I was (in a sense) "laid off"? Or does the fact that I'm receiving Stafford loans to finance my education/living expenses nullify any unemployment I would otherwise be entitled to? Thank you for your help.