Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund gave out $407,250 in grants last year to 255 students with awards ranging from $1,000 — barely enough to cover books — to $2,500 each.
The money is paid directly to the colleges of scholarship recipients with the biggest chunk — $32,000 — going to Virginia State University to benefit an undisclosed number of students. Tuition and total costs at the school this year came to $20,284.
The organization, which is overseen by Jay-Z’s mother Gloria Carter, took in $742,118 in donations in 2017 with most of the money coming from the “Empire State of Mind” singer, according to Dania Diaz, the group’s executive director.
Diaz insisted that the scholarship money made a difference to students, who can get grants for six years if they reapply.
“The foundation’s goal is to reach as many students as possible. It’s really about breadth in reaching a lot of students,” she said.
In addition to the scholarships, the organization runs a bus tour to historically black colleges and universities, which cost it $44,581 last year.
But it charges students $200 to participate and only 32 did in 2017.
It also holds an annual toy giveaway at the Marcy Houses in Brooklyn where the rapper grew up, spending $8,452 on the event last year.
Forbes estimated Jay-Z’s 2018 earnings at $76.5 million with much of the revenue coming from the tour for his 2017 album 4:44. He was ranked first on the magazine’s Hip-Hop Cash Kings list for June 2017 to June 2018.
Jay-Z and wife Beyonce did up their giving game earlier this year, doling out 10 scholarships of $100,000 each during their On The Road II tour. The money will be paid in 2019.
The initiative, which was not done through the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund, was a “one-off,” Diaz said.