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Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders

We prepare future leaders.

Regardless of who they are or where they came from, Cal State San Marcos is a university that believes in equal access and opportunity for all students. As a public institution, we know it's our role and our responsibility to reach back and lift up those who are most at risk of never achieving a college degree. By doing so, our students are given the real opportunity to transform dreams into reality and become the leaders our region and world so desperately need.

With your help, we will lessen the financial burden of our students through scholarships, support brave veterans who are transitioning back into civilian life, and show former foster youth that there are people who support and believe in them.

Learn more about:

Tiffany Boyd, President Circle Scholarship


Consider for a moment how CSUSM students and alumni enrich our society every day. They are scientists, nurses, business owners, artists and teachers. They are working in start-up biotech firms, rehabilitating injured patients, composing music, protecting our communities, and working on ground breaking research with the potential to change the world.

Our students are educated in a technology-rich, entrepreneurial academic environment that prepares them to become the leadership for the future. But if there is any one thing that stands in the way of the majority of our current and future students on their journey toward higher education it is this: the financial means to go to college.

By supporting need and merit-based scholarships, you are opening doors of opportunity and safeguarding our commitment to remaining a diverse community of talented scholars.

Give to Scholarships

Karen Lopez

ACE Scholars Services

Like all young people, former foster youth need support, guidance and encouragement...

That's the role of staff and social workers in the Jan and Esther Stearns Center for ACE Scholars Services.

ACE Scholars Services provides assistance with everything from finding a safe and comfortable place to live year-round to providing academic, career and personal counseling-they even help students find on-campus employment through working scholarships and internships. Above all else, ACE attributes its success with this very at-risk population to the personal interactions that staff have with their students every day. With your partnership, we can help our former foster youth excel academically and personally though scholarships, expanded programing and more.

Meet an ACE Scholar

Karen Lopez's radiant smile belies the challenges she has faced in her young life. In and out of the foster care system for much of her childhood, college was a dream that seemed overwhelming to achieve. But through courage and a positive spirit, the first-generation college student and former foster youth is doing just that.

Lacking the support of a traditional family, Karen and students like her rely on ACE Scholars Services for guidance, cheerleading and a listening ear in order to rise above the difficult circumstances of their childhoods to pursue their academic goals.

Karen is finishing a degree in biotechnology with a future in healthcare administration. She doesn't just want to beat the odds for former foster youth, she want to change the statistics. This is the place where she can and she will.

Esther Stearns, CSUSM Foundation Board Member

 Be a Part of Preparing Tomorrow's Leaders

Esther and Jan Stearns first read about the ACE Scholars Services program several years ago in a newspaper feature story. As both foster and adoptive parents, they were intrigued and wanted to learn more. After meeting ACE staff and students, Esther and Jan knew that they wanted to get involved. After giving $1 million to the program, and in recognition of their generosity, CSUSM named the program's newly renovated space the Jan and Esther Sterns Center for ACE Scholars in spring 2015.

With your partnership, we can help our diverse community of scholars excel academically and personally through scholarships, support services and more.

Give to ACE Scholars Services

Erik Galvan, Veteran


Veterans provide a unique perspective and honed leadership skills that greatly enrich our campus community. However, for many veterans embarking on their higher educational journey, the pursuit of a college degree becomes yet another battle to wage as they reintegrate into civilian life. Many have families to support, some are living with physical disabilities or emotional wounds, and a number of veterans need help navigating complicated application and financial aid paperwork.

We welcome veterans not just because of their proven academic aptitude, discipline and maturity in and out of the classroom, but because we believe there is no better way to recognize and reward their service and sacrifice than to help them achieve their dreams.

Meet a CSUSM Veteran

He was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received in service to our country, and now Marine veteran Erik Galvan is pursuing a degree in human development with the goal of helping other veterans like him transition back to civilian life.

With your support we can remain true to our mission to serve non-traditional, underrepresented students and those who have sacrificed for our nation.

Give to Veterans Support Services