A $5 million anonymous donation made to CSUN this summer is being used to create an administrative endowment meant to support the university’s Northridge Scholarship Program. The gift arrived by cashier’s check on June 16 from a bank in Scottsdale, Ariz. and was accompanied by a brief note explaining the donor’s wish that the money be used for scholarships and student assistance. In an attempt to honor the donor’s wishes and put the money to good use, university officials established the Scottsdale Endowment. The Vice President of University Advancement, Vance Peterson explained that by investing the money in a segregated fund, the university would be able to draw from the interest accrued by the endowment. Using a modest amount of those earnings for student advancement, the remainder of the account is left to mature, creating funds for future use. ‘It is more prudent to invest the money because it is important to have funds that grow and help meet the needs of students both today and in the future,’ said Peterson. Approximately $200,000 a year will be withdrawn from the Scottsdale Endowment to provide need-based scholarships to high-achieving freshmen, as a part of the Honors at Entrance Program. Also known as the University Honors Program in General Education, it offers uniquely formatted GE courses to registered first-time freshmen that eventually qualify them for exclusive recognition upon graduation. In the past year, financial aid applications received from admitted and continuing students rose 161 percent. As of July, 29,784 students have applied for assistance, increasing from 11,394 applicants last year.’ ‘ ‘ In an effort to meet this demand, CSUN has attempted to round out its scholarship programs. Due to a previous $7.3 million gift given by Mary and Jack Bayramian, the university has been able to fund the University Scholars and Presidential Scholars Programs. Similar in function to the Scottsdale Endowment scholarship, these funds provide support to undergraduates in their sophomore through senior years of college. Together, the University Scholars, Presidential Scholars, and the scholarship program offered by the Scottsdale Endowment award eligible students between $3,000 and $5,000 per semester. However, there are those that believe even generous gifts and donations are not enough. Lili Vidal, the director of the Financial Aid Office Administration feels that unfortunately, $5 million is ‘just a drop in the bucket.’ Vidal, who connects rising economic pressures throughout the country to the rising numbers of dependent students applying for financial aid, hopes that the university might eventually focus on creating a need-determined grant fund. In addition to the university’s Northridge Scholarship Program, there are a number of departmental and off-campus scholarships available to students. Despite the great variety and availability of these alternative scholarships, university administrators say that many of these opportunities go to waste. ‘You would be surprised at how few students apply for scholarships,’ said Terry Piper, the vice president of Student Affairs.