ROSEBURG, Ore. (AP) — By next year, students at Umpqua Community College may face losing access to key federal student aid because former students are defaulting at such high rates on their loans.

The Roseburg News-Review ( reports the default rate has been above 30 percent for two years running.

If it stays above that threshold another year, it could jeopardize the college's ability to award Pell Grants and Direct Loans.

The school plans an appeal to the U.S. Department of Education, and it has hired a loan officer to help former students with options such as setting up new payment plans.

Oregon has 17 community colleges, and Umpqua has the highest default rate.

School President Joe Olson says it's a reflection of the region's economy, long dependent on timber.


Information from: The News-Review,