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JPMorgan Chase Commits $30 Million to Support Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Students

By: JP Morgan

JPMorgan Chase announced an expanded five-year, $30 million commitment to the financial and career success of students at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This commitment expands on the firm’s Advancing Black Pathways (ABP) initiative which launched in 2019 to chart clearer pathways toward economic success and empowerment within the Black community.    

“Deepening our relationships with HBCUs is an important step to breaking down barriers and creating more access to economic opportunity for Black students,” said Byna Elliott, Global Head of Advancing Black Pathways. “This commitment offers HBCUs the flexibility they need to meet the unique needs of their students and provide the next generation with access to tools and resources to get ahead.”

Deepening Partnerships

Over the past two years, the firm has grown from an initial three HBCU partnerships to 19. Each of the partner schools is located in or near where JPMorgan Chase does business, which will allow the firm to leverage its business expertise, partnerships, and philanthropic efforts to best support the long-term sector development and sustainability of HBCUs and their students.

Career Pathways Initiative

As part of the larger initiative, the firm committed $5 million to help HBCUs expand their career pathways programming and connect more students with career mobility opportunities following graduation. The commitment includes $3 million in philanthropic capital provided to five HBCUs and $2 million in philanthropic capital provided to UNCF (United Negro College Fund) and its Institute for Capacity Building to help these institutions increase student completion of high-quality career pathways and scale their operational models to improve overall student success.

UNCF’s Institute for Capacity Building is focused on increasing student and workforce outcomes for low-income, first-generation Black students and other students of color. The program helps institutions prepare 21st century, career-ready graduates with integrated career pathway development.

“HBCUs have been producing top talent for decades and are uniquely positioned to accelerate economic mobility for students of color,” said Monique Baptiste, Head of Jobs and Skills, Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “Helping these institutions build capacity to support more students as they successfully transition from college to in-demand jobs is critically important to building a more inclusive and equitable future. Together, we can help empower a new generation of leaders and create more opportunities for all.”

Through this collaborative effort between UNCF and HBCU institutions, the firm is focused on supporting young people to successfully navigate transitions from post-secondary education to in-demand jobs of the future.

Even before the pandemic, rapid changes in technology, automation and artificial intelligence continued to shape the economy and exacerbate the disconnect between skills and jobs, particularly for young people. Colleges and universities are adjusting to better prepare their students for an ever-evolving labor market, including elevating the importance of connecting credentials and work experiences to in-demand jobs of the future. HBCUs play a critical role in creating pathways to economic opportunity.

“Recognizing the transformational impact that a college education can provide, JPMorgan Chase is a generous and thoughtful partner and embraces UNCF’s mission to prepare students for career and entrepreneurial opportunities in the 21st century,” said Edward Smith-Lewis, vice president, strategic partnerships and institutional programs, UNCF. “We are deeply grateful to JPMorgan Chase for their generosity and look forward to continuing our partnership for many years to come.”

Student Financial Hardship Fund

The five-year commitment includes plans to continue the Student Financial Hardship Fund launched by the firm in February 2020, in partnership with the UNCF and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, to help students attending any of the HBCU member schools to cover the cost of personal finance emergencies that might otherwise prohibit them from continuing their education. Since its launch, the Fund has assisted more than 1,200 students to offset costs for crisis-related expenses, including transportation home and personal technology needs at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.  The Fund will now also be allocated towards degree completion expenses to address demand for student support as they prepare for graduation. 

Additional Resources for HBCU Students

In October 2020, JPMorgan Chase announced a $30 billion, five-year commitment to address the key drivers of the racial wealth divide that included a commitment to creating partnerships with HBCUs through curriculum development, scholarships and mentorship programs to increase the pipeline of HBCU students entering the wealth management industry.

As part of the $30 billion commitment, J.P. Morgan Wealth Management created The J.P. Morgan Wealth Management Scholarship Program in partnership with UNCF to strengthen career pathways for HBCU students into the wealth management industry. Established in 2021, the program provides scholarships and mentorships to students studying any major at select HBCUs and will help them develop the skills needed to grow a career as a financial advisor. J.P. Morgan Wealth Management will award a total of 375 scholarships through 2025.

The firm also supports innovation in student support and education delivery through direct equity investments in companies transforming higher education and career readiness. In March 2021, the firm co-led a $5 million funding round for Upswing, an online student engagement organization that supports 11 HBCUs and two predominantly Black institutions, and provides tutoring, student support and other services to 49,000 HBCU students.  

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