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Which students are eligible to participate? 

  • The student must be currently enrolled in a university or college during the full case study competition timeframe (November – May)
  • The students course work must be majority undergraduate courses
  • The student must be able to provide proof of college or university registration

What are the student team requirements?

  • Student teams must consist of between three to five students
  • Teams must be advised by at least one school professor
  • All members of the student team must be enrolled at the same university/college 
  • All research must be conducted during the Community Bank Case Study work period – November 2023 to May 2024

What is the responsibility of the student team faculty advisor?

  • Professors sponsoring a student team are considered the team’s faculty advisor or faculty sponsor
  • The team faculty advisor must be a current professor at the same college/university as the sponsored team (s)
  • Team faculty advisors are responsible for submitting the competition application
  • Faculty advisors are responsible for helping to facilitate the partnership between the sponsored student team and a prospective local community bank
  • Faculty advisors should serve as a guide and manage the student team throughout the competition process
  • Faculty advisors may sponsor more than one student team. While there is no limit to how many student teams a faculty advisor may sponsor, professors are advised to consider the time commitment that will be necessary to manage several teams.

What are the responsibilities of the student team?

  • Your team will be expected to submit a case study research paper no more than 25 pages in length and a video that is no more than 5 minutes.
  • Your team should look to your faculty advisor to help establish a relationship with a local community bank for your project. If your team needs assistance with this, please contact Katie Hoyle ([email protected]).  
  • Your team is responsible for engaging the community bank, gathering data, and producing an original research paper and video.
  • Your team is permitted to delineate responsibilities among team members as you see fit.

What does it mean to “help facilitate the partnership between the sponsored student team and a prospective local community bank?”
This means that if the faculty advisor has a relationship with a local bank and feels comfortable reaching out to the bank, the advisor is encouraged to do so. If the faculty advisor does not have a relationship with a bank but still wishes to facilitate a bank partnership for the student team, the professor is again encouraged to do so. CSBS staff, and in some cases, state banking Commissioners, are available to make the initial outreach to a potential bank upon the faculty advisor’s request. Faculty advisors should state this request in the competition application and reach out to Case Study Manager Katie Hoyle ([email protected]) for more information. 

How should I select student team members? 
In some cases, professors may already have students in mind that they think would make great team members for the competition. For professors who do not, things to take into consideration may include: knowledge of banking industry/topics, commitment to long-term projects, ability to see projects through, video production experience, and strong writing skills. Students not majoring in a bank-related field may participate – all disciplines are welcome!

How do I register my team, and what is the deadline for locking in a full team and community bank partner?
Once you have a verbal commitment from the students, direct them to register themselves on the Case Study site once registration is opened on February 5, 2024. Once you have locked in your full team and your community bank partner (the deadline for securing both is March 4, 2024), you will be sent a legal disclaimer form that the bank must complete and return before your team starts the case study work.  

Does the partner community bank have to be in the same state as the college/university?
The community bank partner does not have to be in the same community or state as the college/university.

Can I apply to enter the competition although I don’t have a student team identified?
Yes. Professors have from November 6, 2023 to February 5, 2024 to submit their Statement of Interest. On February 5, 2024, student registration will open, and team members can register themselves on the CSBS Community Bank Case Study website. Student team members have until March 4, 2024 to register using the online registration system.  Teams that do not have at least three student team members identified in the application system by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 4, 2024 will be disqualified from the competition. 

Can I submit a Statement of Interest to enter the competition although I don’t have a community bank identified?
Yes. Professors have from November 6, 2023 to February 5, 2024 to submit a Statement of Interest. The faculty sponsor then has until March 4, 2024 to submit the name and address of the community bank partner. All applications with student teams that do not have a community bank partner secured and identified by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on March 4, 2024 will be disqualified from the competition. 

What if I commit to multiple student teams by the February 5, 2024 deadline, but then decide I only want to move forward with one team?
In this case, please notify Katie Hoyle ([email protected] or 202-808-3556) by email or phone that you wish to drop a team and CSBS will remove that team from being listed as a participant in our records. 

What happens if the winning team includes only members who graduate in spring 2024? Do the students still get the scholarship?

What happens if members of the winning team, or members of the winning team are not able to attend the CSBS-Federal Reserve- FDIC Community Banking Research Conference in 2024?
Attending the conference in person is optional, not a requirement. 

What is your definition of a community bank?
The determination of whether the partner community bank is indeed a community bank will be left to the discretion of the faculty advisors. As a guide, faculty advisors are encouraged to refer to the FDIC’s 2012 research definition that is available here.  

Can the students receive school/course credit for participating in the competition?
School or course credit for students participating in the competition is solely at the discretion of the professor, department, or school. The Community Bank Case Study Competition is an annual competition and CSBS is open to future collaborative efforts with schools to deliver school or course credit.    

Does the 25-page limit include work cited page?
The 25-page limit for the case study paper does not include the work cited page(s) or the cover page. However, it does include the executive summary and the body of work.   

Do the charts and graphs have to be at the end of the paper like an appendix or can they be displayed throughout the paper?
No. The charts and graphs are not required to be at the end of the paper. Charts and graphs can be displayed throughout the paper, however the maximum limit of 10 pages dedicated to charts and graphs remains.

With whom/where will content be shared and does the bank have an opportunity for final review before presentation?
The bank may review the student team’s paper before it is submitted and is left to the discretion of the faculty advisor. The bank may also review the student team’s video if agreed upon by the team and professor. All competition papers and videos will eventually be released publicly on the competition website after the judging process is complete and the top three teams are announced.

The bank(s) I’ve spoken with sees this as a sensitive issue and is unsure about participating and/or how much information to share out of fear of regulatory action.  How can I address this question with the bank?  
The case study competition project is for educational purposes only and not intended to serve a regulatory role. 

How can a bank partner with a university student team?  
If your bank is interested in partnering with a student team, you may directly reach out to a university/college to share your interest in partnering with a potential team. You may also reach out to the Case Study Manager, Katie Hoyle ([email protected]), who can assist with an introduction to community institutions within your state.

What is the competition process? 
Once the student team and community bank have agreed to partner, all parties must sign a legal disclaimer before commencing case study interviews and sharing bank information. After all parties have signed the necessary document(s), the bank and student team (under the direction of the faculty advisor) may begin scheduling meetings and interviews to conduct case study work. An initial meeting between the faculty advisor and bank management may be necessary before meeting with the student team. Typically, the chief loan officer, bank president or vice president, and communications or marketing representative meet with the students as they conduct their case work. Student teams may need to meet with bank representatives three to five times throughout the competition period to complete case work. An additional day or two may be necessary for shooting the case study video.  

How much information should or should not be shared? 
Banks have full control over what and how much information is shared with the student teams. Banks are not expected to share confidential information. Keep in mind student teams have access to publicly available information, such as Uniform Bank Performance Reports and Call Report data. 

What if the bank disagrees with the students’ analysis of gathered information?
It is the responsibility of the student team, faculty advisor, and bank representatives to ensure all data included in the case study is factual and clear. While student analysis should be based solely on the facts gathered publicly and provided by the bank, the case study analysis is at the full discretion of the students. Student teams may share case study work with the partner bank before submitting the final work for judging. 

Who will see the case study papers and videos?
All case study papers and videos may be made public and available on the CSBS website after July 15, 2024. Case studies will be available to the media, colleges and universities, and the general public.   

What is the competition timeline?
Competition deadlines and timeline is below. 

  • November 6, 2023 - Applications become available for academics to submit Statements of Interest at 
  • November 2023 – February 2024 – Email notifications of acceptance sent to faculty.
  • February 5, 2024 - Competition closes for submission of Statements of Interest and student/bank registration opens. 
  • November 2023 – February 2024 – Faculty sponsors should begin forming student teams and seeking community bank partnerships.
  • March 4, 2024 – Student team members and community bank partnerships must be finalized to continue in the competition.
  • November 2023 – May 2024 – The case study work period.
  • May 13, 2024 - Student teams must submit final papers and videos by Monday, May 13, 2024 at 12 noon ET.
  • May 20 – June 10, 2024 ¬¬– Judges will meet to evaluate and score case studies. 
  • July 15, 2024 – 1st, 2nd & 3rd place teams will be announced.   
  • October 2024 (TBD) – Winning team attends 2024 CSBS – Federal Reserve- FDIC Community Banking Research Conference