(CNN)Students saddled with college expenses are in for a real treat now that Nicki Minaj has stepped up her efforts to help college kids with their tuition.
Over the weekend, the rapper shared an Instagram post that lists the names with payments doled out since shes called on students last week in a tweet to show her their straight A report cards in exchange for tuition money. Minaj also announced that she will be starting a charity to further help students financially “very soon.”
Devonte Portis, a sophomore majoring in Public Relations at Ohio University is one of those who made the list, along with his best friend Christina Holland.
“So coincidental! A blessing,” Portis told CNN. “She has since then paid our debts off. It took less than a week to get it all taken care of and I’m registered to go back this summer.”
Portis added that he’s “thankful” to be a fan of an artist that “genuinely” and “authentically” cares about her supporters.
“Nicki has always pushed us to further our education and to be assertive and go after what we want,” Portis said. “I look forward to continuing my education at OU and will forever be grateful for her making it possible.”
Minaj joins the ranks of generous musicians who have made headlines recently for making education a priority in their charity efforts. Beyonc last month announced that she will fund four scholarships for “young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident.” Chance the Rapper donated $1 million to Chicago’s public schools in March and created an arts fund to help schools hard hit by budget cuts.
Minaj took to Twitter on May 7 to pick a winner for a contest in promotion of her latest music video, “Regret In Your Tears.” But things took a generous turn when a follower tweeted at Minaj to ask if she would instead help pay his college tuition.
That’s when Minaj offered to not only help this student but opened it up to others who needed help with college tuition or had educational loan debt.
“Show me straight A’s that I can verify w/ur school and I’ll pay it. Who wants to join THAT contest?!?! Dead serious. Shld I set it up?” she tweeted.
Minaj’s Instagram post on Saturday shows that she’s has paid more than $18,000 to at least eight students who needed help with loans repayments, tuition and books.
A post shared by Nicki Minaj (@nickiminaj) on May 12, 2017 at 10:34am PDT
“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 wrote on Saturday.
Reps for Minaj would not comment on the details of the students she financially helped.
The rapper said she would pay international airfare for contest winners, so a US student asked for help with tuition. Six minutes later, Minaj tweeted her offer
Nicki Minaj was getting all the credit, with Twitter humming around the world in praise of her decision to spend thousands of dollars of her own money helping out impoverished American college students. But none of that would have happened without the chutzpah of CJ.
It was 19 minutes after midnight on Sunday morning when CJ, a 21-year-old student working two jobs to pay her college fees, dropped her tweet. She had just seen a message from Minaj to her international fans the rapper said she would pay their airfare from any country should they win a contest to spend time with her at the upcoming Billboard music awards in Las Vegas.
It was all very well for Minaj to help out fans from around the world with plane tickets, CJ thought, but what about those struggling in the US, who couldnt even afford to go to school? Well you wanna pay for my tuition, she tweeted back at the star.
Six minutes later, Minaj replied. Sure, she said as long as your grades are good enough:
Over the next few hours, a flood of other hard-pressed students joined CJ in putting out distress messages to Minaj. And the star duly replied, offering support to more than 30 of them in the form of tuition or help in paying off college loans.
The beneficiaries included Liyah, who asked for $1,548 to enroll in college for next year plus $250 for books; a fan named Onika who needed $700 to pay off back loans before she could return to school; and Ashley who, like Minaj, comes from Queens, New York. She asked for $500, to pay off her tuition.
Got u, Minaj replied.
In each case the rapper asked her fans to send her proof of their grades which had to be straight As and of their financial need, by Twitter direct message. Lest anyone thought it might have been a publicity stunt, the website TMZ confirmed with at least one fan that they had already received $500 from the celebrity.
Shortly after 1am, Minaj felt she had forked out enough promises of thousands of dollars and decided to call it a night.
It was not bad for an hours work. Minaj had cost herself $30,000-plus in pledges, but she had gained vastly more than that in global adoration, which made a change from the usual stories about her latest catfight.
And CJ? She felt the love too and enjoyed some help towards her college fees.
The rapper offered to pay fans college fees via Twitter but shes not the first celebrity to provide financial assistance for school studies
Forget the bank of mum and dad. In the age of broken promises and soaring tuition fees, could it be that the best way to get an education is via the bank of Beyonc and Baldwin? Nicki Minaj is the latest celebrity to offer to pay fans college fees, inviting her 20 million Twitter followers to Show me straight As that I can verify w/ur school and Ill pay it. Who wants to join THAT contest?!?! Judging by the 25,000 retweets and her promise to do some more in a month or 2, an extended world tour may be impending.
Thankfully, in a world where the annual cost of getting an education regularly runs into five figures, there are many more celebrity scholarships out there
To mark the one year anniversary of the release of Lemonade, Beyonc announced four scholarships awarded to four US colleges to encourage and support young women who are unafraid to think outside the box and are bold, creative, conscious and confident. The scholarship is open to female students pursuing studies in creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies.
Last weekend, hip-hop living legendNicki Minaj made waves when she decided seemingly spontaneously to start making tuition and student payments for straight-A students who reached out to her via Twitter.
On Friday, Minaj followed up over Instagram, describing some of the payments shed made for the students at least one of whom started crying, she said. She also said she would go on another impromptu payment spree sometime in the next couple months.
Most notably, Minaj announced that she was in the process of launching an official charity for Student Loans/Tuition Payments, meaning kids who are having trouble paying their way through school could soon get some much-needed help.
Youll be able to officially sign up! Ill keep you posted! she wrote.
— US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has no regrets for his remarks expressing amazement that a judge “sitting on an island in the Pacific” could stop President Donald Trump’s travel ban. The comment didn’t go over well in Hawaii, the judge’s home state.