Forty percent of the students enrolled at the California State University (CSU) are Hispanic and Latino, and the CSU leads the country in awarding degrees to Hispanic and Latino students.

"We care about our students' success," says Marisela Cervantes, director of community partnerships at the Chancellor's Office of the CSU, in Long Beach. "That's why we partner with organizations that support their growth through scholarships, internships and fellowships."

One important partner is the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), which is now offering 19 scholarships for 2017-2018 to students attending HACU-member institutions. The CSU is an institutional member of HACU and many CSU campuses also belong.

Applications for the scholarships are being accepted now with deadlines in April and May.

HACU is just one source of financial aid among many, Cervantes says. The best way to begin to tap into these resources is by visiting the financial aid office on your campus

Cervantes also urges students to be active in seeking out other opportunities.

"There isn't a clearinghouse for information about these sources, so students need to be proactive," she says. "Different departments on each CSU campus—social work, education, and science, for example—will belong to different professional and academic organizations that may offer opportunities to earn scholarships or to attend conferences."

She stresses, too, that students shouldn't underestimate their chances of receiving a scholarship: "Apply and reapply for everything that interests you." To find out whether your CSU campus is a HACU member, click here.