The Significance of Jay-Z’ “Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation”


Article by Jamar Thrasher (@jamarthrasher)

Jay-Z, who is probably one of the wealthiest high school drop outs ever, still recognizes the importance of an education. The platinum-selling rapper and successful business tycoon has released information on his scholarship foundation, The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation. The foundation promises to award scholarships to all students who qualify. We at JENESIS Magazine believe this is important for a number of reasons.

1. Value of Education

Jay-Z has celebrated the fact that he was able to be a successful businessman without having much of a formal education. In some cases, Jay-Z uses his lack of an education to add to the mythos of his success: “Far from a Harvard student, just had the balls to do it,” Jay-Z raps on “What More Can I Say” on “The Black Album.” However, Hov can not doubt that a formal education is more of a sure bet of a successful life than the dropping out of high school route he took.

2. More Poor Students in College

I have blogged about poor students not graduating college. The main reason: money. Poor students have to work during college to make ends meet, a burden that does not have to be taken by more wealthier students. When students work, they are taking away from precious study time. Receiving a scholarship will hopefully allow more students more time to study.

3. A Rapper Doing Something Noteworthy With His Money

Our friends at Very Smart Brothas recently blogged about the reasons why rich people should freely spend their money as they see fit. Well, along with buying Maybachs and luxurious expeditions to Cuba, Jay-Z has decided to fund student scholarships. This is a noteworthy cause and a continuation of Jay-Z’s philanthropic efforts (which includes helping the United Nations spread awareness of the global water crisis)


The mission of the Shawn Carter Foundation is to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at institutions of higher learning.


The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation was conceived of in 2002 and officially established as a 501(c)3 public charity in 2003 by Shawn & Gloria Carter.With an original vision and mission to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further their education at institutions of higher learning, Shawn and Gloria Carter kicked off the Foundation’s efforts by awarding one student with full college tuition in 2002. In 2003, the Foundation provided 50 scholarships to students in 50 different states. Since 2004 the Foundation has provided scholarships to a growing number of students from across the nation. In 2005, in addition to providing scholarship awards, the Foundation launched the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation College Tours. Since the Foundation’s inception, over 750 students have received awards totaling over $1.3 million dollars. The Foundation is currently on the precipice of growth and is reviewing its current grant-making priorities as it plans for expansion as the Shawn Carter Foundation.

Shawn Carter Scholars are studying at over 100 institutions of higher learning throughout the nation.

Shawn Carter Scholars receive financial support from the Shawn Carter Foundation from college admission to college graduation.

Oftentimes students’ educational progress is derailed by financial burdens unrelated to tuition.  That is why Shawn Carter Scholarships can be used to defray the costs of books and lab fees, food, travel and other self-care expenses.

Written by Thomas Agnew