IT WAS a day of double joy for top HKCEE students who smiled their way to the Standard Chartered Bank's headquarters in Central recently to receive scholarship cheques and at the same time get to know their counterparts from other schools. Eight students with 10As and 28 with 9As were presented the cheques by Tom Dunton, the bank's head of Corporate and Institutional Building. Each 10As scorer received $5,000 while the 9As scorers got $4,000. The bank has been offering scholarships to top Hong Kong students since 1989. ''Today more than ever, knowledge and continual learning are fundamental to the success of any individual,'' said Mr Dunton. La Salle College's 10As scorer Po Tak-chi, whose family depends on a social welfare stipend, felt that the scholarship would help lighten the financial burden on his family. He has received several scholarships from the public to continue his studies, since a report in the South China Morning Post revealed his financial difficulty. The presentation was special not only for the students but also their parents. Mr Lui King-wing, a primary teacher and father of 9As student Grace Lui Chung-yan of Diocesan Girls' School, was thrilled. The proud father attributed his daughter's success to ''hard work and good luck''. ''I believe that all her good deeds in the past helped her bring the luck she needed for the HKCEE.'' Diana Tsang Sum-yee, another 9As scorer from the school and the winner of the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship, said that the awards for academic achievement would encourage her to do well academically in the future too. ''These awards prove that I can handle pressure.'' Most scholarship recipients said they would use the money to buy textbooks and reference books for further studies.