These students are freaking out because Nicki Minaj just paid their tuition
‘When I found out, I passed out twice and cried’
Ashley Allie, an 18-year-old freshman from Queens, received $500 in her bank account this week from Nicki Minaj
Last week rapper Nicki Minaj posted a tweet offering to fly fans out to meet her, and when a student asked to have their tuition paid instead, she responded, “Show me straight A’s that I can verify with your school and I’ll pay it.”
The requests came pouring in.
“I chose community because it is cheaper and my family struggles financially, so we do what we can to get by,” Ashley told us. “It was almost too good to be true.” We reached out to more students to see how this money had changed their lives, too.
With her Twitter, a sanctuary for students seeking financial aid, she spent an evening responding to fans who’d messaged for help with loans, tuition payments, supplies for school and summer session.
According to her Instagram, she’s already given out nearly $20,000
Here’s what the lucky students had to say
“My heart dropped,” said Ashley. “It felt extremely surreal. I had to refresh the school page a few times to see if this was even reality!”
Nicki Minaj paid Ashley $500 for tuition at her community college – she then plans to move onto a four-year college.
A super-fan of Nicki for years, she can’t still believe what happened. “Can you imagine your own idol helping you pay for your tuition? I can’t either,” she said.
“My whole family is from Queens and we speak highly of her over here, that is, after all where the Queen herself came from. All I can say is I’m so thankful for her and even if she didn’t help me with my tuition I’d still be supporting her like I’ve always have for all these years.”
Pedro Velázquez, a student at Wilbur Wright College, says Nicki was “a huge help” in continuing his studies. “When she sent the money I was crying,” he said. “I could not believe my biggest idol was helping me pay my fall college semester. It was a huge help because I don’t get financial aid because I’m an immigrant from Mexico so I pay from my own pocket. It was exciting too, I feel very motivated to go to school again next semester.”
“To me this meant a lot,” he added, ” because it’s not random people who she helped out, she helped her hardcore fans, who show her support every step of her music career. It’s huge because usually stars never do any deed like this. Plus she’s going to do it again.”
Daniel Marshall, 20, recently graduated from The University of Missouri in Kansas City and says he got to speak with Nicki on the phone. “We called my school together and made the payment. It was a really smooth transition, and the money went directly to the loans I owed back.”
student loans is what is holding me back from going back to school ?can you help me? @NICKIMINAJ
— onika ?? (@danielupnext_) May 7, 2017
“Me and my parents are gonna try our best to pay the rest back,” he said. “I felt overwhelmed because there was no way I’d be able to afford to pay it back anytime soon. She’s helping me do something great in my life. I’m so thankful for her. She is truly a great person.”
Ciara, a student at SAC in San Antonio, says she’s going back to school for drama with the money.
“I actually just went back and I did some paperwork,” she gushed to us. “I’ll be taking up drama in the fall and my school in San Antonio. When I found out I actually passed out twice and cried. I was so nervous on the phone, I gave the lady my nickname instead of my real one.”
— VIRTUAL NICKI MINAJ (@OnikaPose) May 15, 2017
“It’s important to me because I want to chase my dreams. But it’s school first then career after.”
Cesar Leiton, a 19-year-old student at Rider University told is he still cannot believe this happened to him.
“When I got a call that the money went through, I was so grateful and thankful. I love her so much.”
A fan of Nicki and a Psychology major, Cesar explained: “It means the world to me that she would use her own money to pay off for these courses. She has such a big heart and she’s so motivating to her fans.”
Last month Beyoncé announced she’ll fund four scholarships for women unafraid to think outside the box, and Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to Chicago’s public schools in March.
In the current political climate, it’s inspiring to see these artists using their, well-deserved, but astronomically high, incomes for good – especially when those students are less privileged than so many of us.