While some superstars seem to be interested only in showing off only the latest bling or excessive spending, one star shows heart and gives a hand to some struggling fans. Nicki Minaj, a prolific and outspoken Twitter user, recently reached out to some her fans who are facing financial difficulties in obtaining an education. The outcome made some her fans euphoric and proved that she is an outspoken advocate of education. The rapper paid for tuition, rent, books, student loan debt, graphics tablets, and other equipment that adds additional expense over and above tuition.
It doesn’t appear that this will just be a one-time thing, as Ms. Minaj has decided to start her own nonprofit dedicated to paying tuition and student loan debt. Though her estimated net worth is $70 million, it’s not enough to make a dent in the $1.5+ billion in current student loans - which is rapidly approaching the equal of both credit card and auto loan debt in the United States. While it will not make a difference for everybody, it will make a tremendous difference to those whom she helps.
There are rapid changes taking place at the Department of Education.Certain protections for student borrowers seem to be on the chopping block, as well as a less stringent approach to monitoring for-profit schools. The current secretary of education, Betsy De Vos – who has never attended a public school or public college, or had a student loan – has been openly criticized by 21 state attorneys general in a memorandum that accused her of imperiling borrowers and their families. The secretary said that she would address shortcomings in the Obama administration’s approach with “precision, timeliness, and transparency." However, the Secretary has not as yet recommended any alternatives to those that she rescinded.
That would be enough for anyone to become discouraged, but the changes don’t end there. The secretary has recently indicated that funding for work-study programs, public service loan forgiveness, child care for low-income parents attending college, arts education, and other programs are also on the chopping block. While academic enrichment, advanced placement courses, stem courses, mental health services, and anti-bullying initiatives have not officially been put on the block, the recent budget provides no funding for student support or enrichment. It’s a brave new world out there.
Getting Your Student Loan Debt under Control
For those of you who have student loans outstanding, it’s time to take a serious look at your repayment and consider consolidating or some other approach to lower your balance, interest, and payment. If you are having trouble meeting your regular expenses because your payments are out of control, call our office in Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach and set up a free initial consultation. We will offer our best advice on how to proceed with getting your student loans under control, and get your life back. The cost of a degree should not be debt the rest of your life.