Application deadline: March 15, 2023, Midnight
The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that provides scholarships for outstanding high school seniors and graduates who participate in activities and events at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, including the San Diego County Fair. Scholarship winners demonstrate talent for organization, leadership and innovation and make a valuable contribution to the community through participation in events at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, their school and extra- curricular activities.
Four scholarships are offered in each of four categories: 4-H, FFA, Employee, and Exhibitor/ Participant. Eleven Junior Livestock Auction (JLA) Scholarships are offered to students who qualify for the 4-H or FFA Scholarship and who wish to apply also for a JLA Scholarship. Two Vocational Education Scholarships are offered to support students pursuing an AA/AS degree or certificate at a community college or accredited trade school. The $5,000 Spanjian Family Scholarship is bestowed upon one of the most exceptional of all recipients.
Winners have four years to use their awarded scholarship.
Before You Start
If you have any questions or problems while filling out your application, please email email@example.com or call (858) 792-4210.
You’ll need these supporting documents to complete your application. Your completed application, including supporting documents, MUST be submitted by Midnight on March 15, 2023.
You must submit a transcript of your high school grades. You can upload any type of file, including: PDF, Microsoft Word, JPG, PNG. You can upload pictures of these documents taken from your phone if they are clear and legible.
Letters of Recommendation
You must provide the email addresses of two references that have agreed to write letters of recommendation on character, ability and competency. We will reach out and ask them to submit letters of recommendation to us. Recommenders will have until March 25th to submit their letters.
You must submit a brief biographical essay that includes your personal goals for the future. This essay should not exceed 500 words or 3,000 characters.
The Employee category is open to San Diego area high school graduates. It requires that qualifying applicants show verification of employment (prior to the applying year) by the San Diego County Fair, Del Mar Fairgrounds, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Premier Food Services, or a commercial/carnival contractor.
Four scholarships will be awarded in this category:
Applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria:
Student must be a San Diego area resident who is graduating from high school no later than July 31, 2023 or who is a high school graduate.
Student must submit his or her high school transcript with application.
Scholarship must be used toward recipient’s education at a four-year institution, or a two-year college where a vocational major or course work is completed in anticipation of transferring to a four-year college or university. Upon receiving student’s verification of enrollment, a check for the scholarship amount will be sent to the Financial Aid Office of the designated college.
Scholarship must be used by the recipient within four years. If the full amount of the scholarship is not used in that time, the recipient must apply for an extension, or the scholarship funds will be returned to the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation.
Previous winners of a scholarship from the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation are not eligible to apply again.
Applications will be screened by Fairgrounds employers and Del Mar Fairgrounds staff members, who will select semi-finalists. The semi-finalists will be interviewed buy a committee of Don Diego Board Members, who will select the scholarship recipients.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I apply for a Don Diego Scholarship as well as a Jr. Livestock Auction Scholarship?
If you are a 4-H or FFA member and are exhibiting an animal, you are eligible to apply for both scholarships.
Can I apply for two scholarships?
You cannot apply for two Don Diego Scholarships unless it is for a 4-H/FFA Scholarship and a Jr. Livestock Auction Scholarship.
If I start the application, can I finish it later?
Yes, you can save your application and an active link will be sent to your email that is valid for 30 days.
What if I don’t have all the required materials?
Students who have not filled out all of the required elements will not be considered for a Don Diego Scholarship.