FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2006
$33,000 Donation Helps Launch Book Scholarship Fund
Help is on the way for students who often decry the high cost of college textbooks.
A Woodland Hills law firm donated $33,035.91 to the College of the Canyons Foundation on Wednesday to launch the college's new Book Scholarship Fund, designed to help alleviate the cost of textbooks for students who meet certain academic standards and demonstrate a need.
Ron Hartmann and Penny Manship of the firm Hartmann & Kananen presented the check during an afternoon meeting of the Board of Trustees, which expressed appreciation for a contribution that will help defray a necessary but often expensive purchase for students with limited financial resources.
Indeed, one of the most significant barriers to attending college is the cost of textbooks and supplies, according to a 2005 student survey conducted by the Office of Institutional Development & Technology.
The merit-based scholarships -- amounts will range from $100 to $250 per student per semester -- will be offered through the college's Financial Aid Office beginning in the fall 2006 semester. The office plans to post an online application form on its Web site (www.canyons.edu/offices/FinAid).
Although the Financial Aid Office will administer the program, students do not necessarily have to qualify for financial aid to be considered. Students who apply must have completed at least 24 units with a minimum grade-point average (GPA) of 2.75. They will be required to submit essays explaining their educational and career goals, as well as the circumstances surrounding their need for the scholarships.
The donation comes from unclaimed funds in a $1.75 million legal settlement of a class-action lawsuit on behalf of more than 100 Canyon Country homeowners for a defective product used in the construction of their homes' showers. Most of the homeowners collected their portions of the settlement, but several chose not to participate, leaving $33,035.91 unclaimed.
Unclaimed funds from such class-action settlements typically are donated to charities. In this case, Hartmann & Kananen, with the approval of the class representatives and Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter Lichtman, agreed that College of the Canyons would be an outstanding recipient.
"Because the class action involved homes in the Santa Cllarita Valley, we wanted to choose a local organization that provides benefits to the community and its residents. Many of the homeowners that we represent in the Santa Clarita Valley have children who go to school at COC," Manship said.
"Higher education is so vital for today's youth to be succcessful in the workforce, and we felt that College of the Canyons provides such great opportunities for students in the valley that they might not otherwise have," she added.
Hartmann & Kananen focuses primarily on construction defect litigation, consumer class actions, wage and hour class actions, and insurance bad faith litigation.