One fan's joke sparked some wonderfully unexpected generosity.
"Well you wanna pay for my tuition?" a fan jokingly asked rapper Nicki Minaj on Twitter.
Minaj was promoting a contest on Twitter for a fan to join her at the Billboard Music Awards, and cheekily announcing that she has enough money to fly any fan from any country to the show, when she was hit with the unexpected question.
@NICKIMINAJ Well you wanna pay for my tuition? https://t.co/BhDil75UPj— CJ (Yet Another Stallion ) BYDESIGN (@CJ (Yet Another Stallion ) BYDESIGN)1494130788.0
While the original tweet was about attending the Billboard Music Awards, Minaj's Twitter contest quickly morphed into something entirely different.
Any fan who could show her they were getting straight As, Minaj would pay their tuition, as long as she could verify it with their school. "Who wants to join THAT contest?!?!" she tweeted. "Dead serious."
Show me straight A's that I can verify w/ur school and I'll pay it. Who wants to join THAT contest?!?!🤷🏽♀️ Dead se… https://t.co/yR2b59a1bz— QUEEN (@QUEEN)1494131154.0
Hundreds of requests rolled quickly rolled in, and the 10-time Grammy nominee selected more than a dozen lucky scholars to help.
TMZ was able to confirm reports that at least a few of the payments had already been made. While the request was for students with straight As, it looks like Minaj offered a little leeway there, picking up the tab for some prospective students and others doing their best.
People on Twitter were freaking out over Minaj's outpouring of generosity, and the whole thread was one big gratitude fest.
Ok do u need help w/tuition or do u have a full scholarship? https://t.co/q7ewfdNzCs— QUEEN (@QUEEN)1494131456.0
U want to go to college but can't? How much do u need to get u in school? Is that the only thing stopping u? https://t.co/A3mYQHgPNX— QUEEN (@QUEEN)1494131759.0
That's it? I'll send it tmrw. dm me ur bank info babe. Next! https://t.co/i4TVmsqDoA— QUEEN (@QUEEN)1494132185.0
The plight of student debt in the U.S. is no joke, and that's what makes Minaj's generosity so freakin' goddess-like.
The average student loan debt in the U.S. is more than $30,000 per borrower for 2015 graduates, and 68% of students exit school carrying a loan balance.
Obviously, "find a wealthy celebrity and ask for help" isn't the most reliable way out of debt, but it's awesome to see people in positions of wealth and power using those resources to help others.
Minaj did her student loan giveaway, Chrissy Teigen recently paid off a fan's tuition to beauty school, and Chance the Rapper cut a $1 million check to help floundering Chicago public schools. Celebrities are people too, and some of them really know how to be awesomely generous and empathetic people.
Most of us don't have Nicki Minaj-type money laying around, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't look for ways to help others. You don't need to be a multimillionaire to make a difference in someone's life (though it sure helps). You just need to have a warm heart and an open mind.
Though Minaj's giveaway came to a close early Sunday morning, she hinted that she might be back some time in the next couple of months for an encore.
Ok you're the last one for the night. Dm ur info 💕 https://t.co/89EFndrFZu— QUEEN (@QUEEN)1494133671.0
Ok u guys. It's been fun. Let me make those payments tmrw then see if I have any money left😂. I'll do some more in a month or 2. 😘😘😘💋💋💋💕💕🎀🎀🎀— QUEEN (@QUEEN)1494133638.0
If you're one of the tens of millions of Americans with outstanding student loan debt, you might want to give her a follow. Just saying.