Synovus Bank/Calvin Smyre Endowed Scholarship

The Synovus Bank/Calvin Smyre Endowed Scholarship Fund honors Calvin Smyre, a Columbus, GA native who represents Columbus-Muscogee County in the Georgia House of Representatives. Mr. Smyre was elected in 1974 and is the longest-serving member of the Georgia General Assembly. Mr. Smyre joined Synovus Bank in 1976 as a management trainee and retired in 2014 as Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs.

Developed in partnership with UNCF, the Synovus Bank/Calvin Smyre Endowed Scholarship will provide need-based scholarships to service-minded African American college sophomores studying in any field applicable to banking and financial services. One annual award will be designated for a student enrolled at Fort Valley State University, where Mr. Smyre serves as Chair of the FVSU Foundation.

This scholarship will be awarded in the 2022-2023 academic year and is renewable for up to two (2) years for recipients who continue to meet eligibility requirements. An Award recipient's contact information may be shared with the scholarship Grantor regarding internship, professional development, networking, and employment opportunities.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Be African American/Black, and a US citizen or permanent resident.
  2. Have a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
  3. Reside in, or be a permanent resident of, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, or Tennessee.
  4. Be enrolled full-time as a college sophomore for the 2022-2023 academic year at any accredited 4-year institution in AL, FL, GA, SC, or TN, with priority consideration given to applicants attending an HBCU. This scholarship is not open to current college freshmen. 
  5. Be majoring in, or intending to major in, any field applicable to banking and financial services.
  6. Have completed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and have a demonstrated unmet financial need, as verified by the applicant’s institution.

Application Requirements

  1. An official or unofficial current academic transcript.
  2. Two (2) 250-word statements (see application for prompts).
  3. List and describe up to 5 examples of community service or volunteerism the applicant has participated in during the last 3 years.
  4. One (1) letter of recommendation submitted by a non-relative.

Letter of Recommendation Instructions

Applicants must log in to their UNCF student account, navigate to the Application Status page, and select Invite Reference to invite a Reference to submit a recommendation. Applicants must check the Application Status page for recommendation completion status. Applicants should invite an alternate Reference if the first is unresponsive.

Because "Invite Reference" emails sent via UNCF’s applicant system may be blocked by a Reference’s firewall, applicants must email the How to Submit a Letter of Recommendation document to their Reference to give them step-by-step instructions (download link is on the right of this page under “Supporting Documents”).

Additional Scholarship Information

  1. UNCF will contact selected finalists’ institutions to verify their eligibility. Applicants who do not meet all listed eligibility and application requirements should not apply.
  2. Application materials, including letters of recommendation, will not be accepted via email at any time.
  3. Unless specified above, scholarship funds will be disbursed directly to the recipient’s institution.
  4. For login, password, or other account issues, please contact 202-810-0258 or scholarships@uncf.org from 9am-5pm ET.
  5. Scholarship decisions will be emailed to applicants within 12 weeks of the application deadline.
  6. Questions about this scholarship that have not been answered above may be submitted to the program manager, Brandi Williams, at brandi.williams@uncf.org.

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