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Celebrities and their Scholarships are Helping Students Stay in School

Getting an opportunity to meet your favorite actor, sports hero, or singer, is great but a celebrity paying off your entire student loan debt is cool? This May, hip-hop star Nicki Minaj paid off student loans and tuition bills for fans with straight-A’s and announced a charity to help borrowers manage student debts. But Minaj isn’t the only star tackling student debt issues. Many celebs have scholarships available, some without minimum grade requirements. Here are some awesome options with information on how to apply.

UNCF Michael Jackson Scholarship Program

UNCF Michael Jackson Scholarship Program declared an award disbursed providing $5,000 to students studying communication arts or social sciences at any of the 37 UNCF schools. Apply latest by October 21. Available to current and incoming undergraduate and graduate students at a UNCF college only. The minimum GPA is 2.5 on a 4.0 scale for any subject in the communication arts and social sciences fields. Applications are due in October, and winners are announced in November.

Jay Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship

Beyonce announced her bit for society by starting Formation Scholars Program, but her husband Jay Z has been dishing out scholarships for years. The rapper set up the Shawn Carter Foundation Scholarship in 2003, with an award amount ($1,500 to $2,500) to help students facing personal and socio-economic hardships. Students below 25 years with a minimum GPA of 2.0 to apply latest by April 30 by writing an essay and answering a series of questions; must pursue higher education and give back to the community despite setbacks.

John Lennon Scholarship

Since 1997, Ono hosts an annual scholarship competition, with the BMI Foundation, for college students who are songwriters and composers. Three annual scholarships totaling $20,000 are awarded for the best original songs submitted to the competition. U.S. college students between 17 and 24 years old can apply and submit an original song without any copyrights by record companies, by February 1.

Mister Rogers Memorial Scholarship

This particular scholarship provides for two $5,000 scholarships to graduate students studying in the field of children’s media. Graduate students can apply by January 31 to build a career in children’s media and provide a detailed plan for using the money and two letters of recommendation from professionals.

David Letterman’s Telecommunications Scholarship

Former late-night talk show host David Letterman just loves Ball State University, as since 1985, he has been awarding scholarships to their students,. The comedian, an average student, focuses on creativity and not grades. Annually, one telecomm. student receives $10,000, with smaller checks ($5,000 and $3,333) for two runners- up. Full-time students of Ball State Univ. in the telecommunications field can apply by 4 April and submit a creative project in less than two pages on the project concept.

These are only a few of the available scholarships. To learn more about claiming awards, visit websites like and Fastweb, where you search for a range of scholarships with diverse categories, specific interests, etc. After preparing a list of viable options, a calendar of application due dates, you must schedule adequate time to complete the application forms and formalities. Never ignore scholarships that are only worth a few hundred or thousand dollars; Julia Isabel Martinez Rivera secured $50,000 combining numerous small awards.

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