- 2015 Elsevier B.V. The Great Recession brought large increases in unemployment and college enrollment; we examine how changing state labor market conditions and state-specific variation in Unemployment Insurance (UI) interact to affect enrollment outcomes. We identify a substantial role of the UI program in affecting post-secondary enrollment choices. We provide some of the first evidence that the duration of UI affects a displaced individual's propensity to enroll, and suggestive evidence that these effects are larger in states with more inclusive approved training laws. These findings identify a substantial overlap between UI policy and post-secondary enrollment decisions, indicating the potential importance of UI in not only providing income but also facilitating investments in skills.