Umpqua Community College grapples with student loan defaults

Friends and family are reunited with students at the local fairgrounds after a deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College, in Roseburg, Ore., Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015. (AP Photo/Ryan Kang)
(Ryan Kang / AP)
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Umpqua Community College is grappling with a shooting massacre the same week a federal report dinged the campus for posting some of the highest student loan default rates in the country.

Umpqua, in Roseburg, Ore., caters to students who generally don’t attend more elite four-year universities. The grief on the campus in light of Thursday’s violence puts added pressure on a college where resources are slim and the kind of counseling available to students in wealthier schools is harder to come by.

For example, according to a report from the Century Foundation this May, direct public funding at community colleges is less than half of what research universities get.


“There is a realization that things are not as good for this generation as they were for their parents’ generation,” Umpqua President Joe Olson told the Oregonian on Thursday regarding the Education Department report.

“The opportunity for jobs is not what it used to be. The opportunity to pay off college loans quickly and easily is not what it used to be. That’s frustrating and depressing. It makes people think twice about what their options may be.”

-H/t Lauren Camera

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