CBA Shares How America’s Leading Banks Support Opportunities for Success for Black Students Through Funding and Mentorship

February 26, 2024

This Black History Month, the Consumer Bankers Association (CBA) is proud to highlight the many ways in which America’s leading retail banks have worked to empower Black entrepreneurs and communities to build successful businesses and brighter futures, not just in February, but all year long. The final installment in CBA’s Black History Month Blog series features the work of banks to support higher education opportunities for Black students. The banks included below – JPMorgan Chase, Truist, and Atlantic Union Bank – support students through independent initiatives as well as partnerships with universities or foundations.

JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase began its Advancing Black Pathways program in 2019, as part of its effort to strengthen the economic foundation of Black communities globally. For five years, Advancing Black Pathways has remained committed to recruiting and retaining diverse talent, developing leaders, supporting Black owned businesses and improving the financial health for Black communities worldwide. As a part of its initiative, JPMorgan Chase committed a further $30 million over five years to empower students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

  • JPMorgan Chase has committed $5 million from their pledged $30 million to its Career Pathways Initiative, which helps HBUCs expand career pathways and connect students with further career mobility opportunities. The Initiative’s collaboration with five HBCUs and the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) is focused on helping young people make the transition from post-secondary school to successful careers. Read more here.  
    • The initiative will also aid Black students in need, through the Student Financial Hardship Fund, in partnership with UNCF and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF). Students at any of the Initiative’s partner HBCUs who need funds to continue their education are eligible to receive funding for crisis-related expenses.  
  • The Advancing Black Pathways Fellowship Program is focused on providing students the skills needed to have a career in the financial service sector. The Program is a 5-week, full-time summer fellowship designed to improve professional skills, provide hands-on mentorship, and a pathway for further employment opportunities. Learn more here


Truist partnered with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund to launch a scholarship program in 2021 to meet the needs of students at HBCUs. Since 2021, the program has provided over 2.3 million in scholarships to over 300 students and supported 26 HBCUs. 

  • Within the program, Truist offered two scholarships. With the Truist Access Scholarship, Truist awards up to $10,000 annual scholarships to students attending HBCUs, and the Truist Gap Scholarship awards $500-$6,350 to students attending HBCUs to fill financial gaps. Truist also works directly with scholarship winners to provide information on future corporate careers, individual trajectories, and more.

In addition to the scholarship program, Truist partners with TCMF to host the Truist Innovation Challenge. The Challenge is an immersive business pitch competition where students from HBCUs across the country come together to tackle pressing issues in the financial services industry. Teams of students compete to present their innovative solutions to a panel of judges, with a chance to win monetary awards and tech prizes.  Truist is also a proud sponsor of the TMCF Leadership Institute and TMCF DevCon.

  • Truist actively recruits students from HBCUs and participates in numerous on campus events and career fairs at HBCUs across the country. 
  • The Truist Leadership Institute has certified 728 HBCU students through our Emerging Leadership program for $364,000 in gift-in-kind from 2021 through 2023.  Of that number, 15 TMCF students were certified in 2023.

Atlantic Union Bank

Atlantic Union Bank partnered with Virginia-based HBCU Virginia State University (VSU) in 2020 to begin a five-year scholarship fund titled the Atlantic Union Bank Scholars program.

  • The fund provides VSU business and finance students with financial support as well as a paid summer internship with Atlantic Union Bank. Learn more about the partnership here.
  • The partnership between Atlantic Union and VSU is part of the bank’s commitment to creating stronger and more inclusive communities in its home state of Virginia. As Atlantic Union’s CEO John Asbury said of the partnership, “we are committed to being part of the solution and working toward this shared goal.”


To learn more about the many ways in which America’s leading retail banks are working to empower Black entrepreneurs and build stronger communities, read our previous blogs HERE and HERE.