2017-03-19 / Insight

‘It’s my time to go to school’

Financial aid allowed woman to attend MCC in Lapeer
BY PHIL FOLEY
810-452-2616 • pfoley@mihomepaper.com


With help from a Pell grant and work study, Christine Ogg is attending Mott Community College in Lapeer. 
Photo by Phil Foley With help from a Pell grant and work study, Christine Ogg is attending Mott Community College in Lapeer. Photo by Phil Foley LAPEER —When Christine Ogg, 44, graduated from high school in McBain High School, just outside of Cadillac, she rapidly found that $500 from a beauty school scholarship didn’t go very far.

She enrolled in a speech and geography class at a local community college and then tried a semester at a for-profit school.

Then life happened — including stints as a waiter, sous chef, horse trainer in Virginia, barrel racing in the Dakotas, marriage and a couple of kids.

For the past 15 years Ogg was a permanent part-time employee for the U.S. Dept. of Commerce working on the U.S. Census conducting surveys and interviews.

But, when then U.S. Census Bureau decided to quit doing crime victim studies in Tuscola County and offered her a similar job in Flint, the Fostoria woman decided she needed a change.

She’s now studying at Mott Community College in Lapeer, “teetering between social work and early education” with the help of a Pell Grant and work study.

Ogg said with a 21-year-old daughter in college and a 16-yearold son headed into his senior year in high school, if not for the financial aid, “I’d be working a bunch of parttime jobs to get my kids through school.”

Ogg and her daughter are kind of classmates. While she’s taking classes in Lapeer, her daughter is studying to be an esthetician in the cosmetology program at Mott’s main campus in Flint.

Since Tuscola County doesn’t have a community college of its own, Ogg said her choices were Saginaw Valley State University or MCC.

With an out-of-district cost of $183 a credit hour, a full-time 12-credit load cost close to $2,200.

When she first came to the Lapeer campus to look into enrolling, Julie Simmons, a secretary there, urged Ogg to look into financial aid.

At first, she said, she didn’t think she’d qualify for any help. But she did.

Ogg said the Pell Grant and work study covers all but about 10 percent of her cost of going to college. She said she’s taken out some small loans to cover the balance.

“It’s my time to go to school,” she said.

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