Louis poses against a wall.

Louis Adamsel

“Receiving financial aid at CSU San Marcos helped me focus on my studies and stay on a timeline.”

Louis Adamsel didn't hesitate to immerse himself in activities while at California State University San Marcos. In addition to his coursework, volunteering for numerous charities and his time as Associated Students, Inc. president, the first-generation college student even helped to launch a historically black fraternity at the campus.

All of this was possible because of the financial aid Adamsel received. One of the priorities of the CSU's Graduation Initiative 2025​ is striving to ensure that economic status does not impede​ a student's success. The assistance Adamsel received allowed him to focus on academics during his time at CSUSM, and also opened up free time so he could fully engage in college life.

“I didn't have to worry about working so much," he explains. “If I was working full-time and going to school, it would have taken me longer to pay everything off. It allowed me to stay on a timeline with my schooling and be able to only work part-time."

Life didn't start out easy for Adamsel. After his mother passed away when he was only five years old, he and three of his six older siblings went to live with his aunt. Just out of high school, he joined the Army National Guard in hopes of gaining more life experience before applying to CSUSM.

In 2018, Adamsel graduated with his bachelor's in communications and now works as a business continuity coordinator at his alma mater. Walking onto campus every morning, he looks back fondly at his time as a student.

“I was able to find mentors in so many different people and use that as I navigated my way through college," he recalls. “Now I feel like the sky's the limit."


Learn more about Louis's story and about the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025, which strives to increase graduation rates for all students while eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps.



Click one of the links below to see how the CSU assists students with financial aid. 

STORY: MICHELLE MCCARTHY

PHOTOGRAPHY: Patrick Record, courtesy of Louis Adamsel, courtesy of CSU San Marcos

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