• Oprah Winfrey swiftly fact-checks post suggesting she pay off student loans like Robert F. Smith

    By: Najja Parker, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    Updated:

    Media mogul Oprah Winfrey delivered the commencement speech at Colorado College over the weekend. When one Instagram user suggested she pay off the graduate’s students loans, as Robert F. Smith did for Morehouse College students, she explained she’s already helped hundred of scholars. 

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    During Morehouse’s graduation ceremony on Sunday, Smith vowed to eliminate the student debt of the entire Class of 2019. Meanwhile, Winfrey was inspiring a different group of graduates at Colorado College on the same day.

    After delivering her address, she posted a photo of herself and a Colorado College student on her Instagram. For the caption, she wrote, “I don’t know who this guy is but he sure is happy to graduate! I shook hands with all 571 members of Colorado College's Class of 2019 and gave them a copy of The Path Made Clear.”

    Several people, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Holly Robinson Peete, left positive comments under the picture. However, one user replied, “Should have paid off their student debt.”

    The media mogul noticed the message, and responded with, “already paid 13 m in scholarships. Have put over 400 men thru Morehouse.”

    Some of Winfrey’s followers backed her up, thanking her for generosity and philanthropy throughout the years.

    Other users criticized the commenter who suggested Winfrey pay the students’ debt and explained how Winfrey’s contributions have impacted many. 

    Winfrey began awarding scholarships to Morehouse students in 1989. Her gift total now stands at $12 million. She’s also founded a school in South Africa for girls grades eight through 12.

    Oprah Winfrey attends The Hollywood Reporter's Empowerment in Entertainment event 2019 at Milk Studios on April 30, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Photo: Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

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