The Firkin Group of Pubs

The Firkin Group of Pubs

June 16, 2009 08:00 ET

Firkin University Helps Students and Graduates Dig Their Way Out of Mounting Student Debt

Giving away a total of $25,000 in debt-relieving cash to five lucky winners

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 16, 2009) -

Editors Note: A photo and a video are included with this Press Release.

Being a student or a graduate is tough when you're bogged down by student debt. To help address this, the Firkin Group of Pubs announced today it is bringing back Firkin University (F.U.) and its "Say FU2 student debt" campaign, which aims to ease the hangover caused by student loans and give students and graduates a jump start following graduation.

Student debt is a growing concern in Canada. Canada Student Loan debt surpassed $13 billion in January 2009 - the highest it's ever been in this country (Stats Can, 2009). And two years following graduation, the average student still owes around $20,000 with one-third admitting to having difficulty paying off those debts (Stats Can, 2009).

"There are so many successful scholarship and tuition programs available for students but what about following graduation?" asks Larry Isaacs, Firkin Group of Pubs. "Students work hard to earn their degree but there is not enough support for them when they finish school. Firkin is proud to be able to help worthy students and graduates kick start their careers by relieving some of the pressure to pay back their loans."

In 60 seconds or less, participants are encouraged to share their stories of greatness in a Firkin worthy video and then upload it to www.firkinuniversity.com for everyone to see. All eligible videos will be on the table for the voting period in October where the public will be responsible for narrowing down the choices. The 25 videos with the most votes will make it to the final round to be judged by the "tougher than Simon Cowell" Firkin University faculty panel. Five winners will be selected and will each receive a $5,000 award that will go directly towards paying down their student debt. An amount that last year's winners are still extremely appreciative of.

"Thanks to the F.U. to Student Debt campaign, I have been able to spend more time volunteering and less time stressing about how I am going to afford everything," says Rachel Gautreau, a 2008 Firkin award recipient.

"I know when I am done school my loan is $5,000 less. That is a huge help and a big stress reliever," says Nikki Woolley, another 2008 Firkin award recipient. "I am so thankful for the help I received from the Firkin Pubs and for the opportunities they give to students in debt!"

Nikki Woolley is set to graduate from the University of Guelph in 2010 and Rachel Gautreau is graduating with honours this year from George Brown College. To learn more about Rachel and Nikki and other past winners, check out their stories on facebook.

To be eligible to enter the campaign, participants must be a resident of Ontario and have a minimum of $5,000 in student debt. Submissions will be accepted throughout the summer online at www.firkinuniversity.com.

The Firkin Group of Pubs has a long history of giving back to their local communities. In addition to the "Say FU2 student dept" initiative, Firkin is a strong supporter of the Ontario Food Bank and also hosts an annual Firkin Golf Classic which in just 10 years has raised close to $2 million for various charities, including almost $1 million for Sick Kids Hospital's Cardiac Kids.

Established in 2001, Firkin University was created as a higher learning institute for Firkin franchisees across Canada and south of the border. Today, the initiative continues to educate those seeking Firkin enlightenment while also reaching out to the student community through initiatives like the "Say FU2 student debt" initiative. Follow Firkin University on Twitter at @FirkinU.

Quickie facts on student debt:

- Canada Student Loan debt owed surpassed $13 billion in January 2009 for the first time in Canada (Canadian Federation of Students, 2009)

- The average student in Canada owes around $20,000 two years after graduation (StatsCan, 2007)

- According to the Canadian Federation of Students, in the 2009 school year, over 360,000 students required loans from the Federal government

- A $28,000 loan paid back over ten years will cost a student $42,563 in total payments (Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance, 2003)

- One-in-three post-secondary graduates reported having difficulty paying off their student debt two years after graduation (StatsCan, 2009)

For more facts on student debt and for tips on how to minimize student debt while in school, visit www.firkinuniversity.com, join us on facebook and follow us on Twitter at @FirkinU.

About the Firkin Group of Pubs

Founded by Stanley Adelson and Ian Fisher, the Firkin Group of Pubs is North America's largest growing chain of neighbourhood pubs - a welcoming place to meet friends for a pint, some fine food and a good time. Today there are 29 Firkin pubs in Canada and 17 in the U.S. with more than 20 pubs in development across North America.

To view the video associated with this press release, please visit the following link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=kK4qEPEMuTA

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20090615-firkin800.jpg

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