PALM DESERT – The Auen Foundation has awarded the California State University, San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus with emergency gap funding for qualified students. The $50,000 grant was presented to the Palm Desert Campus to create a needs-based, financial support system for current students enrolled at the university.

“We are so grateful to the Auen Foundation for this generous gift, which will help our students immensely,” Jake Zhu, dean of CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, said in a news release.

“Many of our students face hardships and short-term financial difficulties during the year, which can affect whether or not they stay in school. The emergency funds donated by the Auen Foundation will make a huge difference by allowing them to stay in school and complete their degree.”

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 is allocated on a case-by-case basis, but possible uses may include books and class material expenses, short-term transportation needs, support for household basics in extraordinary circumstances, or temporary childcare resources.

“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,” Catharine Reed, Senior Program Officer of the Auen Foundation, said in a news release. “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.”

As students apply for this emergency funding, 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, who 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 the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus.


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