Students get leg up on heels of graduate tuition hike

10 students receive graduate-studies funding for academic prowess

TORONTO, Sept. 30, 2011 /CNW/ - Ten Canadian university students will receive a welcome reprieve from the expenses of graduate school after being selected to receive $7,500 each to put toward their rising tuition fees by their RESP provider.

The 10 students — from across the country — received their awards just as a recent report from Statistics Canada was released showing fees for graduate studies had outpaced inflation. Graduate tuition fees rose 3.7 per cent in 2011, one per cent higher than the inflation rate.

The award recipients are part of an ongoing program by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation, a non-profit organization specializing in RESPs, which has invested more than $1 million into awards for graduate students since they launched them in 1984.

"As the competitive nature of today's educationally driven society grows, a graduate degree is more important than ever," said Kathryn Manning, who will be using her award money to study medical physics at the University of Western Ontario. "These studies not only offer graduates academic and research opportunities globally, they open the door for innovative research that can often lead to important medical and scientific findings."

The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation Graduate Awards are given annually to students who demonstrate not only academic excellence, but also an active involvement in student organizations, extra-curricular activities, volunteer work and civic engagement.

"We take great pride in offering these awards to students," said Sherry MacDonald, President and CEO of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation. "They deserve recognition for the exceptional time and energy they've put into their studies and to helping those around them. We know they will go on to make a valuable contribution to the communities in which they work and live."

Many of the students took time out of their already busy course loads to provide support to others. Vancouver native Serena Wong hosted a weekly radio show to raise awareness about mental illness, suicide and coping skills while she studied psychology at Queen's University. Vishal Varshney, whose studies in biology will serve him well in medical school at the University of Calgary, raised awareness of global public health initiatives while also serving as a mentor at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary.

"These are truly exceptional and well-rounded individuals and we wish them success as they pursue their studies and careers," said MacDonald.

For more information about the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation and/or its awards program, visit:

Full list of 2011 Graduate Award Winners:

Nicole Von Alkier, Prince George British Columbia
Kathryn Yvonne Manning, St. John's Newfoundland
Spencer Wheatley, Waterloo Ontario
Liam Gillis, Sydney Nova Scotia
Serena Wong, Vancouver British Columbia
Vishal Varshney, Calgary Alberta
Charmain Hamilton, Saskatoon Saskatchewan
Laura Dale, Calgary Alberta
Catherine Brenna Baggs, Kingston Ontario
Keri Lynn Williams, Calgary Alberta

About CST

The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been helping families save for post-secondary education for over fifty years. As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Foundation, C.S.T. Consultants Inc. (CST) is the distributor and manager of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plans. Focused exclusively on growing and protecting its planholders' savings, CST currently manages over $3.3 billion in assets for over 250,000 Canadian families.  The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation offers its own awards for academic achievement and community engagement to those students in their Group Plans who are pursuing graduate studies. CST boasts a sales force of 640 located across the country.

SOURCE Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation

For further information:

Sonia Prashar
APEX Public Relations
(416) 924-4442 ext. 223

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Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation

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