Officials at the University of Houston booked the Dallas Buyers Club star as the ceremony's guest of honour in January (15), but they have only now released details about his payment after repeated requests from reporters at the Houston Chronicle.

It was also revealed that school bosses agreed to cover MCConaughey's travel expenses and hand over a 15 per cent commission fee to Celebrity Talent International agency executives for setting up the deal.

The actor will be donating the money to his Just Keep Living Foundation, which implements after-school fitness and wellness programs in inner city high schools.

Guest speakers typically accept honorary degrees in exchange for delivering commencement speeches, although it is not unusual for some to instead take a form of payment.