Application deadline: March 23, 2020, Midnight

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit 501-c3 corporation that provides scholarships for outstanding high school seniors and college students 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: Zable Foundation 4-H, FFA, Employee, and Exhibitor/ Participant. Six 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 Spanjian Family Scholarship is bestowed upon one of the most exceptional of all 2020 recipients. A $5,000 Caroline Gay White Scholarship renewable for three additional years of college will be awarded to an outstanding candidate.

  Before You Start


If you have any questions or problems while filling out your application, please email dondiego@sdfair.com or call (858) 792-4210.

Required Documents

You’ll need these supporting documents to complete your application.

Transcript Information

You must include a certified high school transcript of grades and have the following document completed by the appropriate school official.

Transcript Form

Letters of Recommendation

You will need to submit two letters of recommendation on character, ability and competency.

Letters of Recommendations Form

How Do I Get These Documents to You?

You can submit required documents via online application, email, or mail.

Online Application

Upload your documents when you fill out your online application. You can upload any type of file, including PDF, Microsoft Word, JPG, PNG. You can even upload pictures of these documents taken from your phone if they are clear and legible.


If you’ve already completed your application, you can send these documents via email to: dondiego@sdfair.com

Documents must be sent by March 23, 2020 at midnight.

U.S. Postal Mail

Mail documents to:

Don Diego Scholarship Foundation
Del Mar Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92014

Documents must be postmarked by March 23, 2020.

  FFA Scholarship

The FFA category requires that the student be a member in good standing of FFA until the calendar year following graduation from high school and student must have participated (but not necessarily during applying year) in a competitive exhibit department [for example: Junior Livestock, Student Showcase, Student Landscape, Creative Youth, etc.] at the San Diego County Fair.

Four scholarships will be awarded in this category:

  • $5,000 Scholarship

  • $2,500 Scholarship

  • $1,500 Scholarship

  • $1,000 Scholarship

  Junior Livestock Auction Scholarship

Students who are eligible to apply for a FFA Scholarship may also apply for one of the six Junior Livestock Auction scholarships if they participate in the Junior Livestock Auction at the San Diego County Fair in the current year or while in high school. You do not have to complete a separate application.

  Scholarship Criteria

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, 2020 or who is a high school graduate.
  • Student must submit a certified copy of his or her high school transcript with application.
  • Student must comply with FFA membership requirements. If applying for a Junior Livestock Auction Scholarship, student must exhibit a market animal at the San Diego County Fair in the current year or while in high school.
  • 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 FFA Leaders, Ag community members and/or Del Mar Fairgrounds staff members, and semi-finalists will be selected. The semifinalists will be interviewed by a committee of Don Diego Board Members, who will select the scholarship recipients.

  Evaluation Guidelines

Criteria and points below are provided as a tool to help Screening Committees and Directors review each scholarship application. This will provide consistency in selection criteria priorities as a Board, while maintaining an objective process as each Screener and Director evaluates individual applicants.

College & Career Plans 10 Points
Academic Performance 25 Points
Extracurricular Activities 10 Points
Community Service 15 Points
Participation at Fair 10 Points
Written Expression 5 Points
Letters of Recommendations 5 Points
Financial Need 15 Points
Bonus 5 Points
Total 100 Points

Don Diego Scholarship Foundation
Online Application

Sorry, the application period is closed.