Thursday, May 30, 2024

EXCLUSIVE Jay Z Scholarship Fund: Celebs Get $40K Gold Rolexes, Beyonce Gets Billion Dollar Purse, Few Students Get Very Little


Jay Z and Beyonce really whooped it up this past weekend at a benefit for his Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund. Meek Mill and other stars received VIP Invites that included $40,000 gold watches and bottles of expensive booze. Beyonce, it was reported, sported a “billion dollar” purse.

But what is the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund? It’s just another bloated celebrity charity that’s not doing much good except serving as a phony calling card for its namesake.

Charity Navigator gives the Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund just two out of four stars. It has a very dismal 77 score out of 100 overall for financial maintenance, accountability and transparency.

It’s the kind of foundation that pays over $200,000 in salaries but only has $700,000 in assets. Among other things, they offer a $15,000 scholarship to the very posh Riverdale Country Day School in Fieldston, the Bronx. Tuition at the school is $54,000 a year. But it sounds good, doesn’t it?

In 2017,The  Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund reported  $750,677 in revenue, and just about the same amount in expenses. That’s an improvement on 2016, when revenue less expenses came to MINUS $448,597. And still, with that increased revenue in 2017, grants (scholarships) went down, from $556,117 to $465,290. (And only about half that amount– $200,000– is delineated in their annual Form 990 for the IRS.

Salaries were equal to half that amount: $233,125.

Net assets at the end of 2017 were just $142,022.

But Jay Z is considered “the first billionaire of rap.” He could be underwriting whole classes of college students, particularly at all black colleges. Instead, the Shawn Carter Fund gave just 14 scholarships away in 2017, not one more than $32,000, and most averaged $5,000. Howard University received a paltry $11,500.

So back to the watches: according to the NY Post, both Meek Mill and Swizz Beatz advertised about getting their gold Rolexes, priced at $40,000. I’m a little surprised by Swizz Beatz, who knows that money could be going to student scholarships. He and Alicia Keys could afford a hundred of those watches. He wrote on Instagram: “Hov is on another level with the invite game…it came with a Daytona Rolex and a bottle of Ace…”

Meek Mill wrote: “Hov sent these as vip passes smh this rich s—t getting out of control lol,” adding, “I’m not joking lol.”

But still the two day party went on at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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