Rihanna’s “Bitch Better Have My Money” is a perfect song. It’s a millennial’s anthem, in a lot of ways: it can apply to a number of awkward situations, like when you graciously put everyone’s drinks at the bar on your card and later hit ‘em with a Venmo charge, or to something much more meaningful. This week, “Bitch Better Have My Money” feels specifically written for Howard University students, who just found out about something very fishy is going on in their school’s financial aid office.
Howard University is struggling to address a major scandal this week, after news that employees from the office of financial aid office allegedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars in “financial aid” and other forms of scholarships by enrolling at the university. (Howard allows some employees to enroll for free or reduced tuition.) Although Howard’s annual tuition is $24,122, the assistant director of financial aid, Brian Johnson, reportedly bamboozled his way into getting a $20,800 tuition remission and pocketed $68,000 through the university’s need-based grant funds—despite the fact that, according to the Root’s sleuthing, he might make about that much as a salaried university employee.
Then there’s Tyrone Hankerson Jr., another financial aid office employee, who allegedly received $429,612 over four years. (!!!) He has released a statement to ABC and says “when all is fully-told, the truth will prevail” and he “will be fully vindicated.”
Naturally, students are upset. The university president Wayne Frederick had been accused of financial mismanagement last year; a Washington Post article reports that under Frederick, the school cut costs in order to “offset lower revenue from the hospital and higher expenditures in student financial aid.” (!!!!!!!!)
I am truly shaking as I write this. The Medium post that originally blew the lid off this situation has been deleted, but you can see a cached version of it here. In any case, the only thing that can soothe this hurt—short of meaningful financial reparations—is a song that calls for meaningful financial reparations: “Bitch Before Have My Money” by Rihanna. Students erupted into the song in a school building recently, as captured on the video below.
Please enjoy, I hope this goes on until the school rights its wrongs.