Rap star Nicki Minaj has stepped up her efforts to help student loan debtors get out of their crushing debt by announcing that she is creating a charity for student loans and tuition payments.
Last week Minaj, who has long been an advocate for staying in school and getting good grades, offered to pay off the student debt of some of her Twitter fans and promised to do more in a month or two. On Friday (May 12) Minaj put her money where her mouth is, listing the names of the fans with straight A’s she helped out. In total, the rap star helped eight college students with their loans amounting to more than $18,000 according to Billboard.
Minaj also revealed that she is starting her own charity tweeting “This makes me so happy. [A few from the other day] I’ll do another impromptu payment spree in a month or 2 but pls know that I’m launching my official charity for Student Loans/Tuition Payments VERY SOON! You’ll be able to officially sign up! I’ll keep you posted!”
Minaj’s student loan charity give-away all started on Saturday, May 6 when she spent the evening retweeting fans positive comments on her new song “Regret In Your Tears” and spreading the word about her Billboard Awards performance later this month. That all changed when a fan asked Minaj to pay for his college tuition.
“Show me straight A’s that I can verify w/ur school and I’ll pay it,” she replied, “Who wants to join THAT contest?!?! Dead serious. Shld I set it up?” Not surprisingly, that tweet prompted multiple fans to take advantage of the opportunity by sending the star screenshots of their GPAs and student loan statements. The requests ran the gambit with some asking for $1,000 to cover three summer classes and others asking for help with their tuition and student loans. The largest expenditure was $5,877.17 to pay off one lucky fan’s student loans.
Minaj is the latest from a growing number of musicians who are trying to tackle the student debt crisis that is impacting scores of fans around the country. In April, Beyoncé announced a new scholarship program geared toward young women “who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.” Teacher turned rap star Dee-1 earlier in the year teamed up with Sallie Mae, the private student loan lender, to pay off the student loans of five winners of the Pays to Repay contest. The contest awarded borrowers who described how paying their student loans had a positive impact on their futures.
These efforts come at a time when the outstanding debt toll is astronomical. At last count, the U.S. collectively owes $1.4 trillion in student debt while the average borrower owes more than $28,000. It’s prevented people from buying a home, starting a family, launching a business, and saving for retirement.
Author: Donna Fuscaldo
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