A few weeks ago the New York Daily News ran a story about ’90s rapper Roxanne Shanté (real name, Lolita Gooden) got Warner Music to pay the $217,000 tuition.
She supposedly got her undergrad at Marymount Manhattan College and her Ph.D. in psychology at Cornell.
We say "supposedly" because Slate magazine got on the case. Their investigation show that none of those colleges have heard of her and Warner never promised to pay for her college tuition for life. Nor is she licensed to practice psychology or any related field in New York.
When the Slate contacted her on Facebook, Roxanne said she never received a Ph.D., but she does have a M.A. from Cornell.
...She insisted that she received an M.A. from Cornell. "I got my master's in psychology. I didn't complete my Ph.D.," she admitted. But according to Cornell records, provided through a service called National Student Clearinghouse to which the university directed me, Cornell "was unable to locate either a degree or enrollment record for the subject of your verification request."
Marymount Manhattan College records, also provided through National Student Clearinghouse, indicate that "Lolita S. Gooden" attended "02/06/1995 to 05/23/1995" but did not earn a degree. "Student withdrew for the semester and never returned," according to a notation from Marymount Manhattan. And in an interview, Marymount Manhattan communications director Manny Romero confirmed: "She was only here for the three months in 1995. She did not graduate from Marymount Manhattan." Romero would not discuss the source of Shanté's tuition money, citing federal privacy laws.
When Slate asked about this, she said she does have a diploma but never went to the commencement because of "her reasons". Plus, she refused to provide a copy of the diploma. When Slate pressed her further she said she was a victim of domestic abuse and went to college using an assumed name and speculated that she "made a mistake on an application and put my old name so maybe that's the reason for the computer error?" But she was unable to substantiate such claims.
And the record company says they never contracted to pay for any artists' college education.
There is also no evidence that Shanté's original record label, a small indie called Pop Art Records, ever promised to finance her education. I spoke with Jonathan Black, an attorney who represented Pop Art 1982-88. He said he negotiated the company's 1984 recording contract with Shanté, signed by both her and her mother, since she was a minor at the time. Black, who no longer has a copy of the contract—he stated in a sworn declaration filed in federal court that the company's copy was destroyed in a flood—is confident that it contained no obligation to pay for Shanté's education. "I'm sure that I didn't negotiate a contract that covered that kind of arrangement. I never did anything like that," he told me.
source daily news story