How To Write a Resignation Letter for Going Back to School
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated July 8, 2022 | Published October 27, 2020
Updated July 8, 2022
Published October 27, 2020
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Related: How To Quit a Job: Leaving on Good Terms
We share strategies for providing verbal resignation notice to your employer, composing a resignation letter and preparing coworkers for your departure.
If you decide to pursue further education after spending some time in the workforce, you may need to resign from your current position. Writing an honest and respectful resignation letter is an important step in professionally leaving a job to continue your education. A good letter will help you communicate with your employer about your decision and start planning for your transition out of work and into school.
In this article, we explain the basics of writing a resignation letter for when you plan to go back to school.
What is a "going back to school" resignation letter?
A "going back to school" resignation letter is a document that people use to inform their employer that they are no longer able to continue working due to their education. It explains the reason for your departure and your plans for transitioning out of the workplace. You can send a "going back to school" resignation letter at the end of a standard break in your regular coursework, such as the end of summer break. You can also send this type of resignation letter if you decide to go back to school to change careers or earn more qualifications partway through your career.
Importance of a "going back to school" resignation letter
Sending a resignation letter before quitting your job to go back to school is a critical step in maintaining your professional reputation and relationships in the future. It explains your decision to your employer and allows them to start looking for a replacement before you leaving. Generally, the resignation letter is how you give your two weeks' notice to your boss and provide your managers with a considerate update about how much longer they can schedule you as an employee.
Explaining that you are going back to school helps you end your employment on good terms, preserving the possibility of returning to work or getting a good recommendation from your employer. Even if your employer already knew that you planned on leaving work to go to school, such as when working a seasonal summer job during college, submitting an official resignation letter documents that you took the appropriate steps to respectfully resign.
How to write a "going back to school" resignation letter
Follow these steps to write a resignation letter when you plan to return to school:
1. Choose your last day
Open your resignation letter by clearly stating when you will be leaving the company. Find out when you will be starting school and decide how much time you need to take between leaving your job and starting your education. If you are moving to another area to attend a school or have a large amount of prep work, you may need to give yourself additional buffer time.
Regardless of when you plan for your last day, try to give your employer at least two weeks' notice. Because most people see going back to school as a legitimate reason to quit a job, your boss will likely be understanding about your departure, so consider giving additional notice.
2. Explain your decision
Provide a brief explanation as to why you are leaving the company to go back to school. Mention how the school will contribute to your career aspirations or improve your ability to work as a professional in your desired industry. If you have a close relationship with your boss, you can add additional details or simply state that you want to go back to school.
3. Reflect on your past at the company
Note a few things that you appreciated about working in your current position and how you plan to apply them when attending school or growing your career. Talking about the positive experiences you had as an employee can help ensure that you leave the company on good terms, which is especially important if you hope to come back after you get your degree.
4. Mention your future education
If you're comfortable talking about your schooling, mention a few details about your educational goals or the program you will be attending. This personalizes your letter and shows that you put a lot of thought into your choice to go back to school.
5. Print multiple copies
Print at least three copies of your resignation letter: one for your manager, one for human resources and one for your personal records. It is wise to have a copy of your resignation letter on hand if your boss disputes the details of your last day or has any other issues. Having extra copies for human resources makes your boss's job easier when processing the paperwork related to your departure and can help guide you through the exit interview where you explain that you are leaving to go back to school.
6. Meet with your manager in person
If possible, schedule an in-person meeting with your manager to hand them the letter and talk about your decision to leave work and pursue your education. This shows respect and allows your manager to ask any clarifying questions or simply congratulate you and provide support for the next step in your schooling.
Tips for writing a back-to-school resignation letter
Writing a resignation letter to go back to school may make you nervous, especially if you have never quit a job before. You can make the process easier by implementing these tips in the letter-writing process:
Be honest: Being direct and genuine when writing your letter benefits both you and your boss. Going back to school is an exciting choice that you should be proud of, and your boss will likely be happy for you if you are honest about your plans.
Express gratitude: Even if you did not have a positive experience in your current workplace, show that you are thankful for the opportunities you had and did not make the decision to quit lightly.
Use specifics: If you are comfortable discussing specifics, a few details can make your letter feel more genuine and allow your boss to support you in your transition. This is especially relevant if you are pursuing a degree in a related field because they might have advice as a more experienced professional in your industry.
"Going back to school" resignation letter template
You may find it easier to organize your ideas in a resignation letter by using a template or pre-written outline. This ensures that you include all of the information you want and stay focused on the main idea of the resignation letter. Use this template as a guide when writing your back-to-school resignation letter, customizing each section to fit your specific situation:
[City, State, ZIP code]
[cc: additional staff names]
Dear [Name of your direct manager],
This letter is an official notice of my resignation as [position] at [company name]. My last day will be [date you plan to leave]. I have greatly appreciated my time at [company] but have decided to return to school and will be unable to dedicate myself to both [educational program] and my work here. I look forward to applying the skills I learned here to my education and continuing to grow my career in [field] by seeking out professional qualifications.
Thank you for providing me with guidance and opportunities for professional success by [examples of the benefits of working in your position]. I will always be appreciative of the lessons I learned here and the professional relationships I made.
Before I leave, I plan to ease the transition by [steps you will take to wrap up your work]. Please let me know if I can assist by training my replacement or preparing any additional materials. I have the utmost respect for our team and hope to make my departure as easy as possible for everyone involved.
[Your typed name]
"Going back to school" resignation letter example
Here is an example of a good resignation letter for someone going back to school that you can use to direct your own writing:
Oct. 7, 2020
Bright Minds Learning Center
555 Bluebonnet Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74008
cc: Priyanka James, School Programs Director; Jamie Sweeney, Human Resources
Please consider this letter to be my official notice of resignation as a curriculum writer at Bright Minds Learning Center. My last day will be Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020. My time at Bright Minds has made a significant impact on my professional aspirations and I have decided to continue my education by attending graduate school to study early childhood education. I highly value the time I have spent here and will miss working here, but unfortunately, I will not be able to balance a schedule as a graduate student and also fully dedicate myself to this position. Although I will miss working with our team creating engaging lessons for students, I am excited to apply the institutional knowledge and best practices I learned here to my education as I pursue additional qualifications as an educator.
Thank you for being such a devoted mentor to me during my time at Bright Minds. I appreciate you allowing me to write creative lessons that address all learning modalities, enabling me to become a well-rounded educator. Your personal dedication to meeting with me, providing me with feedback and recognizing my success helped me realize that I want to make being an educator my lifelong career. I cherish the connections I have made here and hope that I can stay in touch with you and my other colleagues.
Before I leave, I plan to finish the lessons I am currently working on and create an itemized list of the parts of our curriculum that will need updates soon after I leave. I would be happy to train my replacement or create a central document explaining my duties to make it easier to hire a new curriculum writer. Please let me know if there is anything else I can do to make my absence easier on our team. I have the utmost respect for the amazing culture at Bright Minds and hope to be an active part in growing our team's impact even as I depart the company. Thank you again for the opportunity to work and grow as an educator.
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