A clerical error has left an Ottumwa High School graduate facing a mountain of financial debt. However, she is not giving up and she is asking for the community’s help.
Carollin Mellin is a valedictorian in the Class of 2020 with a 4.0 GPA. Mellin was a star on the track and cross-country teams. Her other extracurricular activities included being a captain of the swim team, GEAR UP Ambassador, show choir, student council, and more.
“Ottumwa has a lot to offer,” Mellin laughed.
With such an impressive resume, there was no shortage of schools that wanted Mellin to continue her learning on their campuses. However, when Mellin learned a friend was going to Colgate University, she checked out the school’s website and “could not stop reading.” Mellin says Colgate possesses many aspects she desires: excellent academics, Division I athletics, and a beautiful campus in upstate New York which would be a completely different experience than the Midwest environment she was born and raised in.
Mellin sent applications to multiple schools but she had her heart set on Colgate.
“I got accepted to other colleges but when I got accepted into Colgate, it was a completely different feeling,” Mellin says. “There was a lot of crying and I was shocked that I was accepted.”
Going to Colgate carries with it a hefty price tag. Tuition and expenses for a year are over $70,000. The good news is given Mellin’s sterling high school record, she was able to qualify for scholarships and financial aid to defray the cost.
The bad news is Mellin says a clerical error was made with a form she filled out and she will not receive a penny of financial aid from Colgate for her first year at the school. She says she doesn’t know how it happened. Ottumwa Radio News’ call to Colgate’s Media Relations Director Daniel DeVries was not returned as of publication.
Facing a substantial financial hurdle, Mellin decided that she still wants to attend Colgate. She’s created a Facebook group (Chef Carollin) where she arranges to cook meals for $30 and safely delivers them to homes. Mellin says her mother taught her to cook and with the COVID-19 pandemic going on, Mellin says that some customers have paid it forward and given the meal to a family in need. Overall, Mellin says the venture has been successful so far. There are over 100 members in the group currently, but Mellin says she would love to see that number grow.
Mellin says she wants to study biology and hopes to attend dental school. She also plans on participating in Colgate’s cross-country and track teams.