Oprah Claps Back When Social Media User Suggests She Pay Off Student Loans Like Robert F. Smith

Written by Dana Sanchez
Oprah Winfrey arrives at the world premiere of “A Wrinkle in Time” at the El Capitan Theatre on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Oprah Winfrey has a long history of giving back to those in need, dipping deep into the $2.6 billion net worth she built as one of the world’s wealthiest female media moguls, movie stars and producers.

When Oprah made the Sunday commencement address for the graduating class at Colorado College, she shared a photo saying she “shook hands with all 571 members of @coloradocollege’s Class of 2019 and gave them a copy of The Path Made Clear,” her most recent book.

An Instagram follower described as a troll by People magazine responded, suggesting Oprah “Should have paid off their student debt.” Colorado College is a private liberal arts college 70 miles south of Denver.

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The response has since been deleted, but first it was captured by Instagram page Comments By Celebs.

Oprah clapped back, “already paid 13m in scholarships. Have put over 400 men thru @morehouse1867”

On Saturday, billionaire Robert F. Smith — real-time net worth, $5 billion — promised to pay off student loan debt for the class of 2019 at Morehouse College, the top HBCU for men. Smith made the announcement during his graduation commencement address. The gift is valued at an estimated $40 million.

Oprah began awarding scholarships to Morehouse students in 1989. She has given $12 million toward that effort, according to Atlanta Journal Constitution. She also founded the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

The bulk of Oprah’s grantmaking has gone to educational causes, according to Inside Philanthropy. She has endowed her charitable foundation with nearly $240 million in assets over the last several years. Most of the money so far has gone to support the school in South Africa.