Celebs Who Just Might Pay for Your College Tuition

These stars take generosity to another level

01 of 14

Judge Judy Sheindlin

judge judy

The TV judge recently donated $5 million toward a scholarship fund at New York Law School, the same Tribeca-based school that she attended years ago, according to a press release from the school.

The scholarship fund will cover full tuition and book expenses for 10 women enrolled at the school. In addition, "Judge Judy" Sheindlin will also offer a summer fellowship to all 10 women once they've completed their first year of law school.

Sheindlin's contribution comes 57 years after her own graduation from NYLS in 1965. Her daughter, Nicole Sheindlin, also graduated from the institution in 1993, while her granddaughter, Sarah Rose — who now stars beside her on their new series, Judy Justice — is expected to graduate from the law school in the spring.

02 of 14

Taylor Swift

2017 DIRECTV NOW Super Saturday Night Concert In Houston - Taylor Swift Performance

It pays big time to be a Swift fan! Back in 2015, the "Wildest Dreams" crooner helped out Rebekah Bortniker by making a dent in the superfan's bundle of student loans. Swift mailed a package that contained a handwritten letter, Polaroids, assorted gifts and $1,989 check (which pays tribute to Swift's 1989 album) to Bortniker's home.

Four years later, she did it again, sending Toronto-based student Ayesha Khurram $6,386.47 CAD — which converts to about $4,800 USD — to help pay for her tuition. Alongside a series of Instagram Story slides addressing the generous gift, the post on Khurram's Tumblr feed showed the receipt notice from Taylor Nation, LLC, listing the dollar amount as well as a sweet note that read, "Ayesha, get your learn on girl. I love you! Taylor."

03 of 14

Guillermo del Toro

Premiere Of Fox Searchlight Pictures' "The Shape Of Water" - Arrivals
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One week after taking home the statuettes for Best Director and Best Picture for the critically acclaimed film The Shape of Water, del Toro returned to his hometown of Mexico, offering masterclasses and scholarships to aspiring moviemakers in his country.

Every year at the Guadalajara International Film Festival, Jenkins-Del Toro International Grant will offer up to $60,000 to hopeful filmmakers for the opportunity to study abroad at a renowned film school.

04 of 14

21 Savage

The Ellen DeGeneres Show
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The rapper is on a mission to promote financial literacy in students, which is why he launched a campaign with Get Schooled to teach teens how to responsibly manage money. On a March 2018 Ellen DeGeneres Show appearance, he awarded 21 teens $1000 to start their own bank accounts.

"My biggest record to date is called 'Bank Account.' It's ironic because growing up in Atlanta, I knew almost nothing about bank accounts," he told the talk show host. "Now that I do have money in my bank account, I want to help kids with a background similar to mine to get smart about their money."

05 of 14


2017 NBA Awards
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The rapper surprised college students at the University of Miami when he showed up unexpectedly to award one lucky student, Destiny James, a $50,000 scholarship. Drake reportedly made the trip to shoot footage for his "God's Plan" music video.

"She deserves it; she's one of the nicest people I know," James' friend Milind Khurana told The Miami Hurricane. "She works really hard."

In 2021, he congratulated James after she earned her master's degree in public health.

06 of 14

Nicki Minaj

Julien Hekimian/Getty

The "No Frauds" singer surprised her 20 million Twitter followers when she took to the social media platform to field numerous requests for assistance with loans, tuition and material costs. In the end, Minaj promised more than 20 fans financial help after replying to a fan who tweeted, "Well you wanna pay for my tuition?"

"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?" Minaj replied.

07 of 14


"Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology" Costume Institute Gala - Outside Arrivals
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The singer celebrated the one-year anniversary of her groundbreaking visual album, Lemonade, by launching The Formation Scholars — a scholarship program for young women studying creative arts, music, literature or African-American studies at Berklee College of Music, Howard University, Parsons School of Design, and Spelman College.

"I have always felt strongly about equal opportunity for women. Girls have to be taught from early on that they are strong and capable of being anything they want to be," she previously said, Vogue reported. "It's up to us to change the statistics for women around the world. I'm honored to be in the company of women who live fearlessly and set an example for the next generation of young ladies."

08 of 14

Chrissy Teigen

87th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
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Chrissy to the rescue! The supermodel made Mercedes Edney's dream come true when she paid for the aspiring esthetician's tuition to attend beauty school. "I've seen this be your passion for such a long time now," Teigen tweeted, addressing the lucky fan, who had only raised 6 percent of her goal on YouCaring. "So excited to see you fulfill your dream!" The soon-to-be beauty school student took to Instagram to recount her experience. "I have been crying all night and I cried in the office this morning as I paid my downpayment for esthetician school," she wrote. "I haven't been this happy in a very long time."

09 of 14

Tyrese Gibson

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Inspired by radio host Tom Joyner — recipient of the BET Humanitarian Award for supporting Historically Black Colleges and Universities — the Fate of the Furious star made the decision to donate $50,000 toward then-21-year-old Lorenzo Murphy's college education. "It is because of him believing in me and investing in my future, that I am able to receive my education," wrote Murphy on Instagram.

10 of 14


Harvard Foundation Honors Rihanna As Humanitarian Of The Year
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In May 2016, the singer launched a Global Scholarship Program through her Clara Lionel Foundation, which she announced on Instagram. The scholarship aims to offer financial assistance to aspiring college students of Brazil, Rihanna's native Barbados, Cuba, Haiti, Grenada, Guyana, and Jamaica, who plan to study in the U.S. The awards range from $5,000 to $50,000 and can be renewed for up to three years.

11 of 14


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In the wake of the Ferguson protests sparked by the death of Michael Brown, Nelly created a scholarship in honor of the slain college student. The act wasn't the first time the rapper has advocated education — for the past decade, Nelly has sent two students to college each year.

"We have to get the kids to go out of these communities. Graduate. Get the knowledge," he explained in a 2015 interview. "Come back to the community, and then they can run it because they understand the people and understand the severity of the situation."

12 of 14

Eddie Redmayne

Watch What Happens Live - Season 13
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When it comes to surviving drama school, the Oscar winner is well aware of the financial struggle — particularly when making each monthly rent payment as a student in London. He knows the struggle. "I get letters from people trying to go to drama school and needing to pay their rent," he told GQ, noting that he was fortunate enough to live with his parents post-graduation, therefore avoiding the cost of rent. "And so that's something I occasionally do. It's impossibly expensive to live in London."

13 of 14


Kevork S. Djansezian/Getty

Dreamt up by the rapper and his mom, the Shawn Carter Scholarship awards $1,500 to $2,500 to college students with a proven record in leadership and community service.

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Janet Jackson

Vittorio Zunino Celotto/French Select via Getty Images

In collaboration with the UNCF, Jackson's Rhythm Nation Scholarship awards students of select Historically Black Colleges and Universities up to $5,000 in financial assistance.

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