Fall is upon us again, and university students have been back in the classroom for a few weeks now. With the new academic year also come exciting changes to the CAS Trust Scholarship that will not only increase the awards available for college students, but also help position the CAS as the premier actuarial society for P&C insurance.
The CAS Trust Scholarship committee is very impressed each year as we look at dozens of applicants that demonstrate innovative thinking, noteworthy actuarial experiences, and impressive recommendations with respect to the P&C actuarial industry. In addition, many students demonstrate great actuarial potential and would be valuable additions to our professional community, even if their “resumes” don’t necessarily reflect some of the common attributes we often see: a summer P&C internship; a supportive college actuarial science student program; or devoted actuarial coursework intended on helping students pass exams. These types of students might be in the midst of changing their major, attending a university not typically associated with actuarial science, or have some other type of life experience that is consistent with the type of thought diversity that would improve the CAS. Nevertheless, they demonstrate the type of hard work, innovative accomplishments, and thought creativity consistent with the standards with which our committee evaluates.
In the past, awarding only up to 3 scholarships usually meant we were not able to recognize and encourage some of these types of students with the benefits of being a scholarship recipient.
Therefore – as noted in a recent press announcement – the CAS will now be awarding up to 8 scholarships (4 at $5,000 and 4 at $2,500), which reflects a significant increase in not only total dollars awarded but also number of individual winners each year. We on the committee feel that this new award structure will facilitate a greater reach of support on behalf of the CAS, and recognize a broader pool of actuarial talent which we are confident will eventually contribute to the ever-innovating professional society that is the CAS.
On top of the financial award, one aspect of the scholarship of particular value for students is the opportunity for the four $5,000 recipients to attend an expenses-paid trip to the CAS annual meeting. This trip is a great opportunity for both the students to network and gain insights through a deeper view of the CAS, but also for experienced members of the CAS to meet and encourage these up-and-coming rock-star actuaries.
The benefits of the Trust Scholarship are clear – and I speak from experience. As a 2008 scholarship recipient myself, I appreciate not only the financial value the scholarship brings, but even more so the encouragement and morale-boosting this recognition affords to hard-working students focused on their education, exams, and future actuarial career. It is truly a blessing to be able to sit on the other side of the table and pass this type of honor onto the next generation.
The scholarship application is now posted online and I encourage all university students to apply and demonstrate their understanding of – and future contributions to – the P&C actuarial industry. Good luck to all applicants and I look forward to helping broaden the CAS’s reach to a fantastic talent pool!
About Author: Brett Jaros, FCAS, RPLU, CPCU is Chair of the CAS Trust Scholarship Committee and a 2008 scholarship recipient. He works as Actuarial Director of specialty pricing in the Financial Lines department at CNA Insurance in Chicago.