Nicki Minaj attends a benefit for The Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Photo credit:

It started last year as a spontaneous response to a tweet from a fan who asked for help paying her college tuition.

Now, after providing more than $18,400 in assistance in 2017, Nicki Minaj is proving that she’s in it for the long run. This year, the recording star’s “Student of the Game” college fund is helping more than 30 of her fans cover expenses like tuition, fees, books, room and board.

On May 24, Minaj invited her Twitter followers to clue her in to what kind of help they needed for college (including help repaying old student loans):

Last week, the handles of more than 30 #StudentOfTheGame winners were announced:

We’ve rounded up all the winning entries we could find (a few accounts, or their requests to Minaj, have been deleted).

These requests for help show the kinds of issues students from all walks of life are grappling with and how sometimes, even a little bit of help can make a huge difference.

Some are just finishing high school. Others are done with college but not with their loans.

They’re earning degrees in business administration, sociology, and theater arts. They’re hoping to become engineers, dentists, computer scientists, nurse practitioners, math teachers, and lawyers.

They need help with tuition, living expenses, class materials, and computers. Without Minaj’s help, some said they wouldn’t be able to continue school — or even obtain their transcript.

For students who want to better the odds of landing a scholarship or merit-based aid, check out the College Board’s Scholarship Search tool. It tracks more than 2,200 programs offering nearly $6 billion in help paying for college.

Now, without further ado, in their own words, here are the stories of more than 30 students who are getting a helping hand from Nicki Minaj:

A longtime news reporter and editor, Matt Carter is out to help consumers find the information they need to make informed decisions about their personal finances. He's an avid producer and consumer of news and analysis about new business models and tools, market trends, and politics and regulations. Email: