The Auen Foun­da­tion award­ed Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, San Bernardi­no Palm Desert Cam­pus with emer­gency and gap fund­ing for stu­dents who qual­i­fy. The $50,000 grant was pre­sent­ed to CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus to cre­ate a needs-based, finan­cial sup­port sys­tem for cur­rent stu­dents enrolled in the region’s only four-year pub­lic uni­ver­si­ty. “These funds will help stu­dents who are prob­a­bly already mak­ing sac­ri­fices and fac­ing chal­lenges to attend uni­ver­si­ty,” said Dr. Sharon Brown-Wel­ty, Dean of CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus. “An incred­i­ble 60 per­cent of our stu­dents qual­i­fy for max­i­mum fed­er­al and state finan­cial aid, and 36 per­cent of our stu­dents live at or below the pover­ty line. For those stu­dents scrap­ing to assure they are in col­lege, the expens­es of books and even food and trans­porta­tion can be addi­tion­al bar­ri­ers we are work­ing to over­come by estab­lish­ing this pro­gram through the gen­er­ous sup­port of the Auen Foun­da­tion.” Through an appli­ca­tion and inter­view process, stu­dents are pro­vid­ed with grants of up to $1,500 per cal­en­dar year to sup­port imme­di­ate and short-term chal­lenges that hin­der indi­vid­ual suc­cess. Fund­ing will be allo­cat­ed on a case-by-case basis, but pos­si­ble uses may include book and class mate­r­i­al expens­es, short-term trans­porta­tion needs, sup­port for house­hold basics in extra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances, or tem­po­rary child­care resources. As stu­dents apply for these emer­gency grants, CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus admin­is­tra­tors plan to col­lect addi­tion­al data to deter­mine con­sis­tent obsta­cles that impede on col­lege stu­dents’ suc­cess­es. It is already known that the col­lege attain­ment rate in the Coachel­la Val­ley is less than 30 per­cent for all adults, and only 12 per­cent for His­pan­ic adults, which make up 40 per­cent of the com­mu­ni­ty. Under­stand­ing how to attract and sup­port addi­tion­al stu­dents in sec­ondary edu­ca­tion is a com­po­nent of how the Auen Foun­da­tion gift will fur­ther assist CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus. “The Auen Foun­da­tion believes in the impor­tance of high­er edu­ca­tion in our com­mu­ni­ty, and we have been sup­port­ing Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Cam­pus and its stu­dents since we moved here,” said Catharine Reed, Senior Pro­gram Offi­cer of the Auen Foun­da­tion. “Sec­ondary edu­ca­tion is becom­ing increas­ing­ly crit­i­cal for job secu­ri­ty, and we want to sup­port those stu­dents in our area who are mak­ing a com­mit­ment to achieve that goal.” CSUSB Palm Desert Cam­pus is locat­ed at 37500 Cook Street, Palm Desert. For more infor­ma­tion vis­it or call (760) 341‑2883.