Sallie Mar Sallie Mar

Property of Sallie Mae

Her name strikes a chord of regret in the hearts of millions of folks who were, once upon a time, college students. Some finished, some didn’t. But many of us must pay the great white beast known simply as Sallie Mae. I hate that heifer. If I catch her out on the streets, I’m blacking both her eyes and chipping two of her teeth.

Since I’m the first person in my family to have the privilege of going to college, there was no background knowledge on the mystifying world of post-secondary financial aid. Fortunately, a one-two punch of excellent grades and fairly decent SAT scores earned me a full ride to, among others, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, the first HBCU in the country and an institution that had turned out some pretty impressive luminaries (excuse me for a moment: LU!!! Lincoln pride!!! Okay, carry on.) For my first two years of school, I didn’t have to worry about paying for too much of anything, save a super expensive English book that put me over the amount that my voucher was worth. Then mysteriously, the scholarship was no longer being offered and I was forced to throw together my own financial aid package, a conglomerate of grants, smaller scholarships and those dreaded, damned, "what-did-I-even-learn-that-was-worth-this-much-money?" student loans.

I don’t even want to tell you how much I owe. Actually, I couldn’t even if I really wanted to because I literally avert my eyes from the grand totals whenever I’m on the website. (It’s the visual equivalent of covering my ears and going “lalalalala” when someone’s saying something I don’t want to hear.) Childish? Maybe. Irresponsible? Perhaps. But I tell you as sure as I’m sitting here on this sofa at 7 AM with unbrushed teeth and a silk scarf on my head that if I knew the depth and extent of my debt to that corporate extortionist (and the federal government, because I owe them a few bucks, too), they’d have to cart me away and spoon-feed me Jell-O in a padded white room.

I shouldn’t single Sallie Mae out, though they have been accused of redlining and overcharging Black and Latino borrowers. I hate all student loans from all originators and lending institutions for all people everywhere trying to make a decent living without the ghost of academic past knocking at their door. I hate the concept that you go to school because society and your family and the working world is forever emphasizing the importance of being educated but when you get that golden sheet of paper and all the knowledge that goes along with it, you have to spend the next 10, 15, heck, maybe even 30 or 40 years of your life paying for it. It doesn’t matter if you never do anything with the major you specialized in or the degree you worked so hard to earn. They ain’t splittin’ hairs if you make $17,000 a year as a parking attendant or $160,000 a year as a litigator. They’re going to come for you. And even if you die, your family is still on the hook for the education you took with you to the grave.

There’s been ongoing and widespread outrage about predatory lending from mortgage companies but based on the horror stories I hear from friends and friends of friends and other folks I run into in my random travels, student loans are just about the worst form of predatory lending anytime, anywhere, anyplace. (The credit cards they send you and your jobless college student tail during your first 90 days on campus are THE worst, but that rant is fodder for another article.) What’s ironic is most of the time, you don’t even have any credit but you’re permitted to dig yourself into debt for the sake of your education. You’re what, 18, 20 years old? You’re living away from home for the first time, and the parents and adult family members you’re so hell bent on asserting your independence from are umpteen miles away. You go to register for classes and—gasp—the financial aid office almost gleefully reports that you have a balance and that in order to stay on campus and attend class, you need X amount of dollars to clear up your bill. Panic sets in like the side effects of a bad Mexican dish. Even if you call home and, through a series of heaving, almost incoherent sobs, relay the bad news to your folks, you know they don’t have anything close to the $3,000 or so dollars that you need to stay in school (because it’s never like an easy, breezy 300 bucks.)

Now, the financial aid folks do offer you an alternative. You could just sign this application here and all your worries will be alleviated and your obligations satisfied—for the time being. They shove a few forms with text as dense and intricate as a Shakespearean sonnet under your desperate little nose and explain, in abbreviated albeit cryptic terms, the conditions of your loan with one glowing, neon sign-bright bottom line that sells you: you won’t have to pay until after you graduate. Phew! What a relief. That’s at least a few years away. You unknowingly sign your deal with the devil and traipse off to the cafeteria to get a piece of fried chicken and tell your girls the good news.

Then you graduate. Congratulations flow. You party. You celebrate. You thankfully move into the “I’m an adult for real for real” phase of your life. You might get your first apartment. You hit the pavement to put those book smarts and that internship experience to work in the real world. Oh—and you get a call from your student loan servicer welcoming you to the repayment phase. Yeah, it’s time to pay up, baby girl. You and two-thirds of other college graduates who leave school with debt, most of it at least $20,000. Graduate and professional students have it even worse. Those loans average anywhere between $27,000 to $114,000, depending of course on the field, school and specialty. And in this market, none of those MAs, BSes, PhDs or MSWes are adding up to j-o-b-s. In fact, defaults are at their highest rate in 11 years. And even if, in the dire straits of drowning in good debt gone bad, you file bankruptcy, guess what? Everything, even your gambling obligations, can be discharged—except your student loans. Those you still have to pay.

I’m not even going to pretend to have the solution to remedy the high cost of education in this country. I’m just a freelance writer and editor with a Bachelor of Arts in English and an almost-finished Master of Arts in African-American Studies that together will cost me, by the time all is said and done, way more than they’re probably worth when interest is compounded by them and reluctantly paid by me. I just know firsthand how terrible it is to second-guess your pursuit of education because the only way you can finance your desire to learn is through borrowing money. It’s messed up. There is $85 billion in student loan debt burdening everybody from anesthesiologists to architects. It’s funny—I paid all that money to learn but one of the greatest lessons I got out of school was to read the freakin’ fine print.

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Beyonce Knowles-Carter attends the European Premiere of Disney's "The Lion King" at Odeon Luxe Leicester Square on July 14, 2019 in London, England.
Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for Disney

Beyoncè Shells Out Ivy Park Goodies To Janelle Monae, Yara Shahidi, Kelly Rowland And More

We're less than 24 hours away from the full release of Beyoncè's Ivy Park collaboration with Adidas and fans are beyond ready, thanks to her brilliant orange box preview.

The entertainer and businesswoman gifted her family and celebrity pals with treasure trunks of goodies. From Solange to Yara Shahidi, celebs shared pieces from the collection on social media this week. Adidas announced its multi-year partnership with the mogul last April, making history in the process. The singer is the first black woman to be the sole owner of an athleisure brand. Bey took the steps to own the brand entirely after her initial collab with Topshop in 2016 by purchasing the shares of Phillip Green after sexual harassment claims were filed against him.

“It’s a dream come true to re-launch IVY PARK as the sole owner,” Beyonce said in a statement. It’s her first collaboration with adidas but not her first time building buzz for a product. The legend cleverly shared the mysterious orange boxes in all shapes in sized to her friends, thus creating quite the conversation on social media.

Ivy Park is also creating bigger conversations in the corporate world. According to a November research note by Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Ivy Park's sales can slowly surpass Kanye West's Yeezy line.

“In-line with adidas approach on other franchises, we would expect there to be a low volume, high priced launch ... to create brand heat and in the following years the brand will likely become more democratized,” the note says.“Initially, Ivy Park will be smaller than Yeezy, but Ivy Park has the potential to be larger, if managed properly,” says Matt Powell, a senior footwear analyst at NPD Group.

We love to see it.

See the celebs bask in their Ivy Park glory below.

Tina Lawson

 

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I love this couture beautiful Orange IVY PARK Adidas dress thanks @beyonce. @ivyparkadidas @ivypark. @beyonce. @dougspearman

A post shared by Tina Knowles (@mstinalawson) on Jan 12, 2020 at 1:27pm PST

Reese Witherspoon

 

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Thank you, @Beyonce for the #IvyPark swag!

A post shared by Reese Witherspoon (@reesewitherspoon) on Jan 15, 2020 at 2:28pm PST

Janelle Monae

 

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Thank you Bey for these @weareivypark pieces ! And a special thank you for my new hide out where I’ll bey escaping my duties . S O proud of you ! Luhhhhh uuuuu @beyonce swiiiipe ☄️

A post shared by Janelle Monáe (@janellemonae) on Jan 15, 2020 at 10:35pm PST

Hailey Bieber

[email protected] unboxing her #adidasxIVYPARK package. pic.twitter.com/Y3rcxIDhCe

— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) January 15, 2020

Kelly Rowland

[email protected] unboxing her #adidasxIVYPARK package. pic.twitter.com/vGqwwnZrnl

— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) January 16, 2020

Yara Shahidi

 

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ADDIDASXIVYPARK PEEK

A post shared by Yara (يارا‎) Shahidi (@yarashahidi) on Jan 10, 2020 at 11:41pm PST

Scottie Beam

 

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Check my instastories to see what Beyonce SELECTED for me. Lmfao! Thank you so so much @weareivypark @beyonce ✨ THE INFEED PHOTO IS COMING!

A post shared by scottiebeam (@scottiebeam) on Jan 17, 2020 at 6:48am PST

Ellen DeGeneres

Thank you, @Beyonce. I love my big orange box. Your new clothes are really cool too. #adidasxIVYPARK @adidas pic.twitter.com/ecTxZ5o0CG

— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) January 15, 2020

Missy Elliott

Thank you so much @Beyonce I am soooooooo humbly grateful you are a GEM! Lol the box was so big I was scared to open I thought a whole human was gonna jump out but this FYE sis #IVYPARK I LOVE IT! pic.twitter.com/hJbrfDWvXL

— Missy Elliott (@MissyElliott) January 16, 2020

Diplo

[email protected] unboxing his #adidasxIVYPARK package. pic.twitter.com/D2BKKVzLBw

— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@BeyLegion) January 14, 2020

Zendaya

Zendaya has gotten her Ivy Park box....#IvyParkXAdidas #IvyPark #adidasxIVYPARK #adidas pic.twitter.com/fLYdYAVyWn

— Yoncé Headlines (@YonceHeadlines) January 15, 2020

Kim Kimble

 

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Thank you @beyonce @weareivypark @adidas for this drip and I’m going to buy some as well

A post shared by Kim Kimble (@kimblehaircare) on Jan 15, 2020 at 4:07pm PST

Rita Ora

Rita Ora out and about in her Ivy Park x Adidas wear. pic.twitter.com/hFt4OQjE4v

— Beyoncé, Period! (@ourhermitage) January 16, 2020

Quincy

Diddy’s son, Quincy, also got a box of the upcoming Ivy Park/Adidas collection, officially dropping on the 18th of January, 2020 pic.twitter.com/rUJOWgy2l4

— Beyoncé, Period! (@ourhermitage) January 12, 2020

Cardi B

 

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That new @weareivypark bomb

A post shared by Cardib (@iamcardib) on Jan 13, 2020 at 10:15pm PST

Laverne Cox

https://twitter.com/BeyLegion/status/1216405687862988806

 

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#mood4eva in my Adidas X IVY Park ... #mood #TransIsBeautiful @adidas @weareivypark @beyonce #DisclosureDoc

A post shared by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on Jan 16, 2020 at 12:00pm PST

Michelle Williams

 

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Looks coming soooooooooon!!! “I GOT IT” by @rickydillard is appropriate! @beyonce @weareivypark @adidas!! Ok bye for now!!

A post shared by Michelle Williams (@michellewilliams) on Jan 16, 2020 at 2:03pm PST

Solange

Solange getting the Ivy Park x Adidas from her sis pic.twitter.com/G2bRO2lTYc

— | IVY PARK X ADIDAS ON JAN 18th (@beysarayonce) January 15, 2020

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner got a Ivy Park box...#IvyParkXAdidas #IvyPark #adidasxIVYPARK #adidas pic.twitter.com/79LGysUZBp

— Yoncé Headlines (@YonceHeadlines) January 17, 2020

Keke Palmer

 

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why do i feel like the whole planet earth is going to wear ivy park? — #beyonce #beyoncé #queen #queenb #yoncé #rumiandsir #rumiandsircarter #rumicarter #sircarter #blueivy #blueivycarter #jayz #jayonce #beyonceandjayz #thecarters #sashafierce #beyhives #beyhive #beckywiththegoodhair #ivypark #ivyparkbeyonce #weareivypark #ivypark2020 #2020 #beyonce2020 #beyoncephotoshoot #beyonceoutfit #flawless

A post shared by (@bivyslife) on Jan 17, 2020 at 4:36am PST

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Versace

Jennifer Lopez's Iconic Versace Dress To Be Transformed Into Swanky Watch

The iconic Versace dress worn by Jennifer Lopez that sparked the creation of Google Images is now a luxurious watch.

To mark the brand's Spring-Summer 2020 collection, the brand has decided to reprise the Medusa Frame jungle print by way of a sleek timepiece. In addition to the new collection, this also marks the 20th anniversary of Donatella Versace's legendary jungle print. Roman numbers are found in the dial along with an interchangeable black leather strap for additional styling. The piece will cause Versace and J.Lo fans a pretty penny at $1,495.00 when it hits retailers in May.

Since her jaw-dropping fashion moment, the actress-singer has rocked the print a few times. A jumpsuit version was worn in the visuals for "I Luv Ya Papi" back in 2014 with a revamped version of the gown making its way to Milan Fashion Week in 2019.

But the jungle print wristwatch isn't the only second coming of the print. The brand will also release shirts, heart-shaped necklaces, Squalo sneakers and beaded as a three-dimensional décor on Virtus handbags.

Originally worn to the Grammys in 2000, Lopez's take on the dress was both a music and fashion moment. Although the dress was worn by Spice Girls member Geri Halliwell, aka Ginger Spice, Donatella Versace and Sandra Bullock (in another color), Lopez's daring look cemented her spot in pop culture.

“I really didn’t think about it. I didn’t think it was all that risqué, to be honest,” Lopez told Vogue in 2019. “I was more excited it was the Grammys. I wasn’t even thinking about the dress all that much. I was just glad I had something to wear.”

Check out the watch below.

 

 

 

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Supporters of singer R. Kelly, Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage, leave after the singer's arraignment at the Dirksen Federal Building on July 16, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Azriel Clary Contemplates Working With Feds In R. Kelly Case After Fight With Joycelyn Savage

The case against R. Kelly has continued to grow new legs as Azriel Clary has contemplated working with authorities following her fight with former girlfriend Joycelyn Savage.

This week, the 22-year-old returned home after getting into a physical altercation with the 24-year-old at Kelly's residence at the Trump Towers in Chicago. The fight (or screams) were heard on Clary's Instagram Live Wednesday (Jan. 8). After returning home and pressing charges against Savage, Clary is now interested in working with the federal agents in the assault case against R. Kelly. Sources tell TMZ "she now wants to help law enforcement with its investigation into Kelly, but she has a huge hang-up—she's terrified because she's lied to federal agents several times in the past." Clary also signed an NDA during her relationship with Kelly.

During her fight with Savage on Instagram Live, the aspiring singer says multiple times the two engaged in sexual activity when she was a minor, an allegation she denied in their joint interview with Gayle King and with the feds. Elsewhere in her Live, she admitted Kelly convinced her and Savage to lie to King during their interview. He also prohibited them from watching the Lifetime documentary, Surviving R. Kelly. She reportedly saw the documentary after leaving Kelly's residence.

Despite the rumors, federal agents are not involved in the situation between Savage and Clary. Savage was formally charged with misdemeanor battery and made bond. She is expected to return to court in a few weeks. Savage was also briefly reunited with her family this week.

Clary's mother Alice Clary spoke with PEOPLE about the welfare of her daughter and urged the public to see her as a victim, not a willing participant in Kelly's alleged behavior. “Everybody has something to say, she was 17 when she left. Now she’s 22, but guess what? She’s had problems for the last few years,” she said. “She may have done things as far as being grown physically as a young woman, but mentally no. She still has the mental capacity of a 17-year-old because he kept her stagnated for years and didn’t let her be with her family.”

“The battle is won because she’s still here, she’s still alive, she’s still breathing and though she lost a few years of her life, she’s still here to tell her story,” she added. “Because I chose not to keep her secluded in her life, she’s here now and we’re able to say the victory is won because she finally came to her senses and she’s back home with her family.” Now that her daughter is home, Alice Clary is focused on helping her daughter move on from her ordeal with Kelly.

As the families continue to help their children, the public has weaved their own theories into why Clary decided to leave Kelly's grip. Bloggers like Tasha K, who have reported on Kelly's predatory behavior, reported Wednesday (Jan. 8) a possible reason for Clary and Savage's fight. Clary allegedly arrived at the condo with a man, a rule-breaker in the condo. When Savage approached her about breaking the rules, the two got into a scuffle as Kelly's helper named Kimberly watched.

Lifetime followed up their acclaimed documentary with Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning earlier this month with follow up interviews with his victims and notably, Dominque Gardner who was rescued by her mother in the first doc.

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