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How the Pandemic Is Imperiling a Working-Class College

Rachel Foor’s grandparents are in their 70s, so when the pandemic hit, its stresses gave her such stomach pains that she could not eat or sleep. She worried she would infect them if she brought the coronavirus home from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she is a senior, or from Walmart, where she stocks milk and eggs to help pay tuition.

“I went to see Dr. Papakie,” Ms. Foor, 24, said. Michele Papakie, chair of the journalism and public relations department at I.U.P., regularly counsels students who get pregnant unexpectedly, feel suicidal or are just overwhelmed. She keeps a box of tissues at a table that faces her office desk.