Application deadline: March 28, 2022, 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: Zable Foundation 4-H, FFA, Employee, and Exhibitor/ Participant. Seven 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 2022 recipients.

  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. Your completed application, including supporting documents, MUST be submitted by Midnight on March 28, 2022.

Transcript Information

You must submit a transcript of your high school grades.

Letters of Recommendation

You must submit two letters of recommendation on character, ability and competency.

Biographical Essay

You must submit a brief biographical essay that includes your personal goals for the future. Do not exceed one typed, double-spaced page.

How Do I Submit Documents?

You will 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 upload pictures of these documents taken from your phone if they are clear and legible.

  Vocational Educational Scholarship

The Vocational Education category requires that the student must have participated (prior to the applying year) in an event at the Del Mar Fairgrounds or Horsepark, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club or as an employee of the Fairgrounds, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club or contractor at the Fairgrounds.

  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, 2022 or who is a high school graduate.
  • Student must submit his or her high school transcript with application.
  • Scholarship must be used at a vocational education curriculum at a community college or accredited trade school with the goal of obtaining an AA or AS degree or certificate. Upon receiving student’s verification of enrollment, a check for the scholarship amount will be sent to the Financial Aid Office of the designated school.
  • 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 community leaders and Del Mar Fairgrounds staff members, who will select semi-finalists. Semi-finalists 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.

Academic Performance 25 Points
Community Service 15 Points
Financial Need 15 Points
College & Career Plans 10 Points
Extracurricular Activities 10 Points
Participation at Fair 10 Points
Interview Communication 5 Points
Letters of Recommendations 5 Points
Written Expression 5 Points
Bonus 5 Points
Total 105 Points

Don Diego Scholarship Foundation
Online Application

Deadline: Midnight on March 28, 2022

The application process is now closed. Good luck to all!