First Trust Strategic High Income Fund (the "Fund") (NYSE: FHI) has declared the Fund’s regularly scheduled monthly common share distribution payable on September 15, 2011 to shareholders of record as of September 6, 2011. The ex-dividend date is expected to be September 1, 2011. The monthly distribution information for the Fund appears below. First Trust Strategic High Income Fund (FHI): Distribution per share: $0.03 Distribution Rate based on the August 17, 2011 NAV of $4.06: 8.87% Distribution Rate based on the August 17, 2011 closing market price of $3.69: 9.76% On August 9, 2011, the Fund announced shareholder approval of a reorganization of the Fund and First Trust Strategic High Income Fund III (NYSE: FHO) into First Trust Strategic High Income Fund II (NYSE: FHY) and the issuance of additional common shares of FHY in connection with the reorganizations (collectively, the “Reorganization”). In light of the Reorganization, this distribution will be paid entirely in cash, with no option for dividend reinvestment. It is also anticipated that there will be one additional distribution of the Fund’s remaining undistributed net investment income, which will also be paid entirely in cash with no option for dividend reinvestment, prior to the Reorganization. The Reorganization is tentatively scheduled to occur on or around September 30, 2011. Various factors affect the Fund's level of distributable income, including the asset mix and average maturity of its portfolio holdings and its use of leverage and hedging. Principal write-downs by issuers of the Fund’s residential mortgage and other structured securities have significantly contributed to the Fund’s historical return of capital distributions. The tax character of the Fund’s fiscal year to date distributions, including this distribution, will depend on the Fund’s investment experience up to the date of the merger, including any additional principal write-downs by the issuers of the Fund’s securities. While it is uncertain what will transpire over this period, it is likely that the Fund’s current year distributions will include a return of capital component. The final determination of the source and tax status of all 2011 distributions will be made after the end of 2011.