John Singleton’s Son Launches Go Fund Me To Pay For College…Are Parents Obligated To Pay Their Child’s Tuition?

January 21, 2016  |  

John Singleton's Son Launches Go Fund Me To Pay For College

I had a good friend who, after our freshmen year of college, learned that her parents would no longer be paying for her education. She was on her own. They hadn’t lost their jobs. In fact they were doing quite well financially. And, as far as I knew, she hadn’t done anything to displease them. She’d done well her first year. But for one reason or another, her parents felt it was time she stand on her own two feet and pay for school. So she had to take out some additional loans and work a part time job in addition to her coursework.

And while she made it, graduating a semester earlier than the rest of us, I know it wasn’t easy.

Apparently, my friend is not the only one facing this type of challenge.

Director John Singleton’s son, Maasai, has created a Go Fund Me page to help finance his last semester of college.

“So I’m using Go Fund Me to get tuition for the final semester because I was fortunate enough to be helped by my father up to this point but I need to make it this last semester on my own. And the timing of this information is such that I’m not eligible for a lot of financial aid options.” 

In an update for the page, Maasai writes that he was denied for a Sallie Mae student loan because he doesn’t have an established credit history of his own. So this means he applied without a cosigner.

I don’t want to be all up in the Singleton family business, but since Maasai is appealing for money, I do wonder why.

Is this some type of test to prove that Maasai can make it on his own in the real world? Is John trying to teach his song about the ways in which less privileged children live? I don’t get it. Perhaps this was Maasai’s idea. Maybe the two had a falling out and now the elder Singleton is forcing his son to come up with nearly $30,000.

It’s all strange to me.

I get parents not being able to pay for a child’s education. I even understand the merits and character paying for your own schooling will allow some people. What I don’t understand is leading your children to believe you’re going to be taking care of the bill only to spring a surprise on them later.

But that’s just me. I only know how my parents and I financed my education. They paid and I took out loans to make it happen.

Perhaps some of you have a different experience.

Did your parents stop paying for school at some point, before you graduated? Did they give a reason? Were you able to make ends meet and pay tuition or did you have to drop out?

In the case of John Singleton and his son, should people give to him, knowing his father has the means to pay for at least some of his schooling?

What do you think?

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • FromMyMind

    In my opinion he seems like a good guy. I looked on his twitter and he did say he does have a job. Probably something on campus, but we all know it’s not going to pay 30,000 in a month. Regardless, I think people are focusing on the wrong thing. This is just me but if his father was willing paying for his education I’m pretty sure he never thought to able for financial aid. Maybe he didn’t want to take what he did need, but now that he does some individuals are up in arms. Other cultures band together, however many times I see us as a people fail due to the “crab in a barrel” syndrome. I wish him the best, and hope gets the support he needs.

    • FromMyMind

      #Rant: Also for individuals saying he should just transfer… why? He can see the finish line. He’s earned the USC degree. Why go through the rigor of that school for 3 1/2 years then “waste” all of that time and get something from a lower film school? You all know good well you wouldn’t do that or encourage the people you care about to do such a thing.

  • WKYA_Radio

    “I get parents not being able to pay for a child’s education. I even
    understand the merits and character paying for your own schooling will
    allow some people. What I don’t understand is leading your children to
    believe you’re going to be taking care of the bill only to spring a
    surprise on them later.”

    Semantics, to say the least. This is not some game with rules, this is life, and its more complex.

    My parents didnt add a DIME to my college education. Put myself through school, and now sallie mae is screwing me. 6 years of loans, no go fund me page 🙁

    He had three years. He will find a way. School isnt going anywhere, he can always go back or take one class at a time.

    Not ideal by any means, but in perspective, he has done okay, and he could be much worse off.

    • But Why

      It doesn’t matter how many years he had. If someone is saying to you that will (and are) paying for your education it wouldn’t cross your mind that you will have to pay for it. Let alone your last semester.

  • Ifuaskme2

    PS. Everyone is assuming Singleton has money. Many so called celebrities are broke themselves

  • Ifuaskme2

    I have a feeling the son’s mismanaged his tuition money. As a mother of a 20 y.o. its likely that the entire cost was given to him by his father with the warning that if he blows it the responsibility would be on him. From what Ive read, he still doesn’t get it since instead of getting a job like most students he wants a handout. Dad got it right.

    • FromMyMind

      He said on his twitter that he does have a job, but we all know good in well that there isn’t a legal job that will pay 30,000 in one month.

  • Angelo Martinez

    Part of why there is a lack of wealth within the Black population is the lack of financial heritage. We don’t leave our children homes, businesses and trust funds but our counterparts do. We usually don’t have access to enough funds to put our children through school and rely on financial aid. Do it is especially offensive when one among our ranks is making w conscious choice not to provide the advantage their child needs. Your child actually wants to go to college and you have the means to make that happen but choose not to? That’s evil!

  • mimranyameen

    Go Fund me? its state responsibility to help us all.

  • JAI

    I realize everyone doesn’t parent the same, but this is dumb to me. It’s hard out here, especially for young black people and he’s out here trying to prove a point? A college degree is the equivalent of a high school degree these days. Let him pay for grad school if he decides to go.
    Both my parents and myself took out loans to pay for my college education because they wanted me to do better than they did and they realized the importance of education and that one day I’d be able to take care of them!
    One of the previous comments about child envy is spot on. A lot of parents are lowkey jealous of their kids having the opportunities they didn’t have or didn’t take advantage of when they were young.

  • The Question

    On the surface this looks odd, but then again I’ve seen women start a go fund me all the time for the stupidest things or will start a go fund me to help get them out of some messed situation that they have created. At least this go fund me would be going to a good cause.

  • CDJ

    The bigger issue is since his father is not financing his education he wants random people to. Um, that’s still not being responsible. A lot of people work their way through college, why cant he? Maybe its just me, but I never knew anyone who was actually in the financial place to pay for their children to go to college. My friends and I were the first of our families to go and complete college. We worked, we took out loans. We did what we had to do. I would never let my mother take out a loan for me to go to school. She had it hard enough raising all three of us, then I’m going to stick her with some monthly payments forever? I don’t feel its the parents responsibility. College is voluntary. No matter how good they got it. You want to go to school, then get your ish together..He’s grown, no one was supposed to be tracking dates and attempting to forecast the financial future but him. Young people today are so irresponsible.

  • CC

    I think to just cut them off is wrong. It looks like he cut his son off at a time that did not allow him to beable to make arrangements. I think a parent should help their kids with school (if they can financially afford it like Mr. Singleton) with stipulations. If you are very very well off pay for their schooling but make a agreement. Keep those grades up and get a part time job. Something like that. But just to cut them off is crazy. His son seems very gracious he even thanked his father with the support up til now. But to cut him off on his LAST semester seems cruel.

  • LogicalLeopard

    *LOLOLOLOLOL* NOOOOO OFFENSE to Maasai, but uhm….that first paragraph, tho….

    My name is Maasai Mohandas Singleton. I’m a second semester senior at USC in the Writing for the Screen and Television program. I write things like Dorkly style skits about Pokémon as a food source, Teen Titans Go episodes where Starfire “Supermodels” Lex Luther’s newest line of war suits, and adventure screenplays about international rap tournaments in Japan. But, in order to move foreword with this work, I need help.
    But, in order to move foreword with this work, I need help
    *LOLOL* I’m sorry, to each his own, and I don’t want to downplay his efforts, buuuuuutttt….that’s a tough sell, man.
    Can you imagine coming to your father, “Furious” Singleton, with that pitch, as he rotated those little meditation balls around in his hand? *LOL*

    • caligirl

      you’re confusing john singleton (director of rosewood and boyz n the hood) with lawrence fishburne (actor). lol

      • LogicalLeopard

        No, I’m not confusing the two. *L* I was implying that John Singleton took some hints from the character in the movie he directed. Or that Singleton told Fishburne to act it out the way he does his own kids at home *L*

  • LogicalLeopard

    I’ve got to say this…..I don’t know what is going on, but lets kind of look at this…..what are the odds that John Singleton is just a bad parent vs the odds that his son has done something worthy of him being hesitant with his funds? I mean, he got helped by his father up to this point, right? So why nothing in the last year? Is the son a knucklehead who wasted his time at college and Singleton didn’t want him to waste another year? I mean, did Maasai attach a copy of his last grade card to the Go Fund Me?A falling out between the two of them, with particular ungratefulness? What happened?
    Not enough information to make a judgement, here. But parents are not under any obligation to pay for their child’s education, even if they can. That may be the best option in most cases if you want to help your child’s success, but there are other factors you have to consider too.

  • rochell

    I don’t like what John is doing to his son. It’s already hard for a black male and to cut him off when he is so close. Well one way to teach John how it feels is to boycott all of his future projects. Yeah, you see just like you can teach your son a lesson, we as supporters can teach you one. I will not support anymore of his movies. The more we take a stand on this, then the more he will understand how his son feels. To you Maasai, I know you will fight like hell to stay in school and finish. Obtaining a college degree is not easy so coming this far I know you will make it. Best of luck to you and your future. Please don’t hold a grudge on you father because no one should have that type of heart.

  • dana

    First all no parent is obligated to pay for college, its a privilege not a right. I have 3 kids all went to college and i didn’t pay a dime nor co sign a loan, i was not burdening myself with that debt at my age. Told my kids they want to go that’s great, go to community college to start, get that A.S. and if you want to continue go ahead not only will you have 2 degrees but way less debt since community is so much cheaper. Now this kid is asking for money to finish cause daddy said no more he needs to do it on his own, BUT its not on your own if you are asking for money number one. Hey you may need to take a semester off, work and save the money, how about that. Also, i don’t believe John stopped giving him the money for no good reason, there’s something else going on hes not telling.

  • i could be wrong but i feel like their is more to this story. i find it hard to believe that out of nowhere he just said “kick rocks during your last semester son”. my gut tells me that he probably gave the son warning and that meant get a job and save your money and he didn’t do so now he’s on gofundme.

  • sunni_daze

    This is no surprise. His ex was talking about howhe wouldn’t pay for their daughter’s schooling.

  • Brice Taylor

    His father should pay it and be glad his son wants an education.

  • LOOL…the is the wrong hill, John.

  • One mans Opinion

    Kids want to be “Grown” until the bills come. Parents are not “Obligated” but they should support their children to give them kick start in life. I paid my own way. He admits that he had help, but need to finish up on his own……Man up.

  • Michelle

    With some parents who does similar things, I believe that it is rooted in a strange sense of envy and bitterness about unresolved issues from their youth. I know it doesn’t make any sense, but it is the best way that I can describe this. I know some parents who kicked their kids out of their homes, once they turned eighteen and became adults. Why? Because they were “adults” despite the fact that the parents have never given their children the tools to be adults (i.e. allowed to have a part-time job to build up career experience, a bank account, etc.). I know some parents who’ve decided to stop paying the wee bit of college tuition for their kids (the portion that financial aid did not pay for), because they were ‘adults’.

    • caligirl

      you definitely are making sense. parent envy is more common than we think (and it is sad and pathetic). it’s almost a taboo topic!

  • Nicole

    I’m so over ppl setting up Go Fund Me accounts to pay for “wants”… as far as John Singleton, if I were in a financial situation that afforded me the opportunity to pay for my kid’s college education, I would. I’m sure there’s more to the story though. If my kid was a slacker, was lazy, or was disrespectful, then hell no to paying for anything. I took out loans and graduated. Now I’m repaying those loans (after two degrees) so his son needs to step up. He can get a government backed loan with bad credit so there’s no excuse for begging ppl to pay for his education. Get a freaking job

  • Tre

    Is it possible that his dad paid for the standard 4 years of college? Did he goof off and now the elder Singleton is saying that’s it! I personally told my daughter I am paying for 4 years of college and ONLY 4!! She doesn’t have to work! I’ll take care of EVERYTHING for 4 years! So you don’t have chick nor child, and NO bills!!! How can you not complete a bachelors degree in 4 years if you have nothing but time!!! Maybe his father has had enough!

    • Lala

      No this is his 4th year.

  • bray_tusk91

    Yes, you should pay for your children’s education. When my girls were brought into this world I promised them on the spot that I “owed” them an education. I may not drive the car I would like to drive or live in as large of a house as I would like. I may can’t afford a few of the things I would like to have.

    But, it doesn’t compare at all with the thrill and enjoyment of being able to send my children to the college of there choice. Just with the caveat, that that college of there choice had to be an HBCU of course 😉

    The key is to plan right from the very start to set aside money to be able to afford college for them.

  • Herm Cain

    Definitely not obligated just because the parents are well off kids in these scenarios often times have a sense of entitlement it could be a lesson he may be disobedient or just spoiled either way no problem with tough love or having to work for your needs like regular people

  • Sian Rose

    20 credits needed in his final semester?
    Sounds like Massai screwed around and got his purse strings chopped. A full time student typically takes about 12 credits or 3 – 4 classes. I can’t speak for the Singleton family but I can speak from experience. My daughter graduated HS with a 3.7 gpa and 12 scholarships and an acceptance to Carnegie Mellon. She then spent t he next 4 years changing majors 2x and failing multiple classes. When I snipped the financial supports she finally buckled down and eked out an AS degree and a teaching certificate, 5 years after HS. Sometimes tough love is the only way to make your child wake up and grow up.

    • unbelievable

      It depends on the school, the number of credits required for the program, and the amount of credits per class. Twelve credits for 7 semesters straight would mean he would need to complete 40 credits his last semester to graduate from my alma mater. Yes, 12 credits is considered full time, but 16+ is usually the load that many full-time students take to graduate on time (8 semesters).

  • I would have started a college fund the moment I found out I was having a kid, especially if I was a celebrity. Any money scholarships and grants don’t cover, that’s when the trust fund kicks in. I know what its like to struggle to pay for school (going through that now actually) and I WOULD NOT wish that on my kids or the future generations. If I can help, I will….They don’t even need to know about the trust fund.

  • rainydaze80

    I truly don’t understand parents that refuse to pay for their kids’ college tuition when they have the means. The kid has the rest of his life to learn the value of hard work after graduation. Besides what job is he going to get that will fund his $30,000 tuition and go to school full-time? I just think that parents who do this when they have the means are just plain selfish and have a chip on their shoulder.

    • Michelle

      I have a friend, who had gone through a similar situation: Her parents told her that if she wanted to go to college/vocational training, then she was fully financially responsible. They called it a case of “being an adult”. Never mind the fact that she didn’t have any work experience, so she couldn’t just obtain any job that she applied for.

  • yellowleo

    Yes, the parents should pay, if they are in a position to and if the child is still defined as a dependent. I wonder, if his Dad still files him as one of his dependents on his taxes? If so, then technically(Gov’t policy), the parent should pay. Financial aid is decided based upon an applicants'(independent) income or the applicants’ parent(s) income(dependent).

  • noiritall

    We were proud to pay for both of our daughters’ college and graduate school at state-related universities in PA. They are 2 years apart. We prepaid most of their undergraduate school. Both had a small scholarship that helped to pay for initial school supplies. Both worked during the summer and during some school years. We could not imagine their starting their working lives with that debt.

    I cannot imagine being able to pay yet expect children to pay for tuition that has increases annually at a rate greater than inflation.

  • OneMiss

    Work! Take a semester off if you have to, & go back when you have the money or are eligible for loans. It really doesn’t matter that his father is not paying, but it shows what kind of entitled young man he is to start a gofundme to 1. Shame his dad and 2. Get free money from ppl who have so much less than him and his family. F o h.

  • shea2shy

    Being that his father is a director and has enough money to sponsor his son and some other less fortunate kid’s college tuition; I doubt anyone will help his poor son

  • IDK

    I read an article about parents paying for college . One of the parents said that they struck a deal with their child . If the child received A’s the parents would pay for the class , if the child received B’s in the class the parents will split it 50/50 with the child , C and below the child had to pay for it on their own. Now as a person who is currently attending college and paying out of pocket, along with my other financial obligations. I have a totally different outlook on college now than I did before when I had financial assistance. I completely understand parents wanting to teach their children responsibility, however I feel that Singletons method was a little Johnny come lately. Maybe had he told his son in his sophomore or junior year that your last semester is your responsibility. Maybe his son would have been better equipped to handle this.

    • Hokiegirl87

      Yeah, that was the thing that is striking me weird…why wait until the last semester when you have been paying all along? Maybe the son is not doing so well academically…or got in trouble another way…

  • starapple

    Begging others for money is not doing it “on your own.” Doing it on your own is going out and getting a job to finance your education. I hate when people abuse GoFundMe.

    • SameOle’Melu

      Exactly!!!!! His father’s decision to not pay for his college education should not lead to begging. The average person with this type of circumstance would have to get a job so I suggest that he start applying and get to work.

  • Trisha_B

    I think dad told him long ago that he wasnt going to be paying, but like most kids he didn’t take dad seriously until dad really showed how serious he was lol….

    So you don’t have a savings account? What about his mother? Most schools have payment plans, get a job & pay your way thru. Talk to financial counselors at your school & they’ll help. My parents helped me thru out school, but sometimes it wasn’t enough. But I sat my butt in financial aid all day talking to everybody for some extra money. At 1st they always say they don’t have anymore money, but after nagging them, they always “find” an extra couple thousand to help. I’m so over go fund mes

    • Hokiegirl87

      I agree. What happened to work study, btw??? Do schools not do that anymore???

      • Trisha_B

        They still do lol. He’s just being spoiled. He doesn’t want to work for anything

      • hollyw

        You do know you need to apply for Work Study just like all the other financial aid, which has a deadline that he clearly missed, messing around with his dad…

  • Raze

    They don’t have to, but it would be nice if they did. But in the case of this boy, I think that his dad did him dirty by suddenly stopping the payments and not even bother to help him either establish credit or being a co-signer.
    Still, young Mr. Singleton should find other ways to pay for his tuition, because I doubt that most people would give a rich kid money if there is no underlying reason why his daddy can’t fork over the cash. Get a private loan, a part time job, work at school, sell any valuables he doesn’t need.

  • caligirl

    YES. if you have the means, YOU OWE your children your full support with college (including room, board, groceries, tuition) ! anything less is just selfish beyond belief.

    • too_real

      No you don’t. You owe your children food, shelter, rearing, and primary education. Higher education is a luxury, not a necessity

  • StraightShooter

    My parents weren’t able to help me pay for school. My mother would’ve if she had been able to. I had to work and take out loans. Now that I’m in graduate school I’m still doing the same. When I have children I want to be able to pay for their college education. I feel that without an education it is harder to get a good job. Therefore, it is harder for a person to take care of herself. I feel that often times people really don’t want to take full responsibility for their children and if that’s the case don’t have them. No person has asked to be here.

    • Tonididitonem


    • Hokiegirl87

      I am in the same position. I went to a state school though for undergraduate, so it was covered with scholarships and a few loans BUT I worked for my spending money. I don’t know…for my friends who had their parents pay for everything…they really have no sense of reality…even to this day…they would always give me strange looks during school when I say I did not have enough money to do something and don’t understand why now when they live at home with their parents I can’t go on shopping sprees and trips all the time…well, I got bills to pay! I think maybe paying for tuition is ok, but anything else, the child needs to pick up the tab. They will never learn responsibility and to stand on their own two feet if you pay for everything.

      • StraightShooter

        This is something I can agree with. I wish I could’ve started my adult life debt free.

    • WKYA_Radio


  • Annette Williams

    Obviously, something had to happen between the two of them for him not to pay his son’s tuition for his final semester. But, whatever transpired between them, shouldn’t cause him to be this petty. This is his education. He could’ve very well told him, “I’ll pay for school and nothing else.” but, to not pay his tuition at at all is a little heartless. Especially, it being his last semester. What lesson is he suppose to be teaching him by doing this?

    • MonicaT

      I agree I could see if the lesson was done when he first started college to teach him a lesson, but to wait until his last semester makes no since. In that case I would say now you have your college degree you can take care of yourself. which Is what most parents do! Who knows why he did it but as a parent I wouldn’t jeopardize his college degree. The lesson begans when he graduates college!!!!

  • Dr.Rue

    Is his mother the woman from the color purple?? I forgot her name but I know Singleton was married to her. The younger sister.

    And my parents had money and I still had to take out student loans…still taking out loans. My father did buy me a car though soooo *shrugs*.

    • caligirl

      i think you mean akosua busia? she has a daughter with him, not a son. apparently singleton used to beat her when they were married. he seems to be a real ‘piece of work’ as they say. i cannot imagine a parent being this petty with their child. poor son!

      • Dr.Rue

        Wow really? beat her?? Not John…she was such a pretty woman – i’m sure she still is.

      • WKYA_Radio

        You shouldn’t talk about things you have no facts on.

        OOPs, the internet.

        For example, I heard you used to give rimjobs in the back of the chinese food restaurant. Daaamn, thats wrong.

        see what i mean? 🙂

        Good day.

    • Lavell

      Akosua Busia had a daughter for him, not a son

  • David

    No, parents don’t owe kids tuition. They owe thier kids love, food, shelter, clothing and the skills needed to function on their own as adults. It would be nice of those with the means to do it choose to do so, but they aren’t beholden to it.

    • Lavell

      Akosua Busia? No she had a daughter for him.

    • hollyw

      That’s a generalized statement.

      The above scenario, however, sounded like a set-up.

    • xxdiscoxxheaven

      You kind of are the way student aid I’d set up. You can’t live at home with your parents and file for aid on your own. Even if you are emancipated, all you qualify for are large loans at a high interest rate

  • simiyalalalal

    That is wrong, Singleton could’t have at least co-signed his son’s loan? It is only his last semester. That is real silly. I am all for paying own college tuition. Parents shouldn’t have to sacrifice their retirement for funding college education. Go to a reasonably priced school.

  • hollyw

    Smh so stupid. So many things… I’m sorry, some parents do the stupidest things, trying to “teach a lesson” while deep down knowing they’re just as clueless about this ish as kids are. Sooo you won’t pay, but waited til your kid was ineligible for all other aid and now has to beg, so that, what, he can know what it feels like to be a welfare recipient lol? Just dumb.

    • kierah

      I agree this is just silly.
      In this case, Singleton has plenty of money. He is not sacrificing his retirement nest egg for his son. To just stop mid-stream isn’t cool at all. Did he give his son any notice? He can’t even go the Financial Aid office at his school. They will laugh him out of there because of his dad’s money.
      John, lend Masaai the money and have him pay you back with a low interest rate.