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RBC Black History Month Student Essay Competition gives more to students in its seventh year

TORONTO, October 19, 2015 -  In celebration of the upcoming Black History Month, the Royal Bank of Canada is giving more to students by increasing the number of scholarships available through its Black History Month Student Essay Competition. Students can now earn one of 25 scholarships, including grand prizes of up to $5,000 that will help give their Someday a head start. The competition gives students an opportunity to learn about the contribution black people have made to Canadian history.

The RBC Black History Month Student Essay Competition asks students entering a Canadian university or college in the 2016/17 academic year to learn about and share their thoughts on how black Canadians have helped to define Canada’s diverse heritage and identity through their achievements and contributions to the broader society.

“Recognizing the contributions of black Canadians is important to our diverse national heritage.” says Kim Mason, RBC Regional President for Greater Toronto. “This essay competition gives young Canadians not only an opportunity to honour those who have helped shape Canada, but also the chance to earn a scholarship and help take the next step toward reaching their Someday as tuition costs continue to rise.”

According to Statistics Canada, full-time undergraduate students paid $6,191 in tuition fees in 2015/2016, up more than three per cent from a year earlier, and continuing to grow each year. Scholarships greatly help offset some of the financial strain facing students as they pursue their scholastic endeavors. There are millions of dollars in unclaimed scholarships each year in Canada, often because students don’t know where to find them or aren’t aware that they exist.

“I’ve had the privilege of being a judge for this competition for a number of years, and every year I am even more impressed with the caliber of applicants and their work,” said Harvard-graduate Dr. Catherine Chandler-Crichlow. “It is very important that the youth of today understand the mutual role that all Canadians played in building this country, including black Canadians, and helping students offset the costs of education in the process is something I am thrilled to help accomplish.”

Essays should be 750 words or less, and must be submitted by December 4, 2015.  Full competition details can be found at

Winners will be celebrated during Black History Month 2016, when all Canadians are invited to participate in festivities and events that honour the legacy of black Canadians, past and present.

About RBC Student Scholarships
RBC has provided over $6 million in annual scholarships (this includes the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarships, RBC Aboriginal Student Awards Program and Scholarship Program for the Children of RBC Employees). RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships.

For media inquiries:

Ciaran Dickson, RBC Communications, 416-313-7947