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 www.pdc.csusb.edu or call (760) 341‑2883.