JayZ and Beyonce
JayZ and Beyonce
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Clara Lionel Fo

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live debt free?  I mean, truly debt free.  For a lot of people, attempting to make a better life for themselves is difficult.  I don’t just mean the difficult decisions that you have to make, but those exist too.  As a young person, we are often faced with the idea that we need to go to college to improve our lives.  College degrees do open a lot of doors, but in the meantime, they become a financial burden.  Think about – depending on where you end up going, you’re going to pay anywhere from $10,000 a year, to over $35,000.  That’s for one year of tuition. When you get out of college you’re saddled with crippling debt, and if you’re lucky, an entry-level position.

No, I’m not trying to make everyone feel bad about their choice to go to college.  I do, however, want to demonstrate that this kind of financial responsibility can be overwhelming for someone who is only 18.  What if there was another way?  Yes, there are scholarships if you do well.  But now you might be able to get some funding from celebrities.

Jay-Z and Beyonce are well known for their philanthropy, especially as it pertains to contributing towards the higher education costs of young students heading off to college.  They are now continuing that legacy this year, with a new scholarship program.  Parkwood Entertainment announced that the Carters would be awarding $100,000 each to 11 lucky high school students for the 2018-2019 school year.  As mentioned above, $100,000 may not cover the entirety of your school education, but it would allow some to walk away almost or completely debt free.

The drawback is that you have to live in one of the following areas:  Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, Arlington, New Orleans, Houston, Phoenix, Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Clara, and Seattle.  The students will be chosen by the Boys and Girls Club of America and will be selected on the basis of academic merit and financial need.  Once chosen, the $100,000 would be a dedicated university fund that would be used for the student’s expenses throughout their enrollment in college.

This is insane, isn’t it?  I mean, I know what it was like after I graduated college.  In fact, I’m still paying off that debt.  Yes, I had some breaks throughout my college career, but that didn’t mean that everything was paid for.  While I wouldn’t give back that experience for anything, I do think that college is overpriced.  I’m not saying that you can put a price on a good education, but that’s what we do.  And what it does to young people is it forces them to make decisions at a young age about what they’re going to do with their futures.

I think that this kind of donation is incredible from Jay-Z and Beyonce, and I certainly hope that other celebrities have the ability to do this kind of thing.  Yes, celebrities make a lot of money in some case, but some give back to people who need it, and that’s truly amazing.