Education

Oregon College Gives Free Tuition To School Shooting Survivors

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Blake Neff Reporter
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A college in Oregon has quietly launched a special program that provides full-tuition scholarships to all the survivors of a 2015 school shooting. Notably, the shooting occurred at a different Oregon school.

The Oct. 1, 2015 shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon killed 10 people (including the perpetrator) and wounded several more. It’s the deadliest school shooting in Oregon’s history, and the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) responded by creating a scholarship that applies only to its victims. (RELATED: Army Vet Shot 5 Times Protecting Classmates During Oregon School Shooting)

Beginning in fall 2016, any Umpqua student who was attending one of four classes in Snyder Hall when the shooting happened is eligible for a full-tuition scholarship at OIT. Eighty-five students are believed to be eligible for the so-called “UCC Hero Scholarship,” which was first reported by The Oregonian.

While both OIT and Umpqua are public colleges, they are otherwise unrelated to each other, and OIT’s campus in Klamath Falls is a nearly three-hour drive from Roseburg. Currently, only three of the shooting’s survivors are enrolled at OIT, and a fourth has applied to join them.

OIT President Chris Maples told The Oregonian the scholarship will remain available to new applicants until the start of 2020. Eligible students must still be admitted to OIT through the normal application process. Maples said the scholarship was conceived as a way to help ensure the survivors didn’t have their lives derailed by the shooting.

“Our goal is to help these people,” he said. “It’s just the right thing to do.”

Based on current in-state tuition at OIT, the scholarship is worth about $8,600 per year.

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