Big Tex Scholarship Program

Awarding Scholarships Since 1992

The Big Tex Scholarship Program has awarded college scholarships to more than 3,000 students for a total of more than $17.4 million. Eligible recipients include graduating high school seniors around the state of Texas who have participated in competitive youth livestock events held at the State Fair, graduating seniors from six Dallas Independent School District high schools in the Fair Park area, and seasonal employees of the State Fair of Texas or their dependents. Scroll down for more information on our various scholarships, in addition to frequently asked questions.

The 2024 application is now open! The application will close on February 1, 2024

Have Questions? Check out our FAQ section.Apply to be a 2024 Big Tex Scholar

Celebrating Texas Through Education

There’s a reason why promoting education is an important part of our mission statement here at the State Fair of Texas. We believe that part of celebrating Texas means supporting the future of our great state: students. In order to fulfill this mission effectively, the Fair has developed three distinct scholarship categories:

Juanita Craft Scholarship
Youth Livestock Scholarship
Seasonal Employee Scholarship

Scroll down to learn more about the each of these scholarship opportunities.

Scholarship Opportunities

Juanita Craft Scholarship

Honoring the legacy of South Dallas resident and civil rights activist, Juanita Craft, the State Fair of Texas awards multiple $6,000 scholarships to selected applicants from the following Fair Park-area high schools: Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School, James Madison, Lincoln, North Dallas, and Woodrow Wilson High Schools.

Youth Livestock Scholarship

The State Fair of Texas awards $6,000 scholarships to selected applicants who have competed in specific competitive youth livestock events held at the State Fair. Scholarships are given to applicants who are graduating from a Texas high school and enrolling in a Texas college, university, or trade school. While preference is given to those enrolling in an agricultural-related or agricultural-benefiting natural science curriculum/major, it is not required.

Eligible applicants must have competed in one or more of the following events:

  • Donkey & Mule Show, Youth Class
  • Horse Show: AHA, Youth Class
  • Horse Show: 5D Barrel Race, Youth Class
  • Horse Show: Youth RSNC Ranch Sorting
  • Horse Show: 4-H 4X4 Chute
  • Youth Rodeo
  • Junior Llama Show
  • Junior TLBT Longhorn Cattle Show
  • Junior TLBT Longhorn Showmanship
  • National Youth Food Challenge Contest
  • Youth Food Challenge Contest
  • Youth Agricultural Job Interview Contest
  • Youth Agricultural Public Speaking Contest
  • Youth Agricultural Science Fair
  • Youth Agriculture Mechanics Premier Exhibitor Sweepstakes
  • Youth Agriculture Mechanics Project Show and Tractor Restoration Contest
  • Youth AgRobotics Contest
  • Youth Archery Contest
  • Youth Agriculture Product Identification Contest
  • Youth Range and Pasture Plant Identification Contest
  • Youth Wildlife Contest
  • Youth Dairy Judging Contest
  • Youth Livestock Judging Contest
  • Youth Beef Skillathon Contest
  • Youth Sheep Skillathon Contest
  • Youth Swine Skillathon Contest
  • Youth Breeding Beef Heifer Show
  • Youth Breeding Beef Heifer Showmanship
  • Youth Breeding Gilt Show
  • Youth Breeding Gilt Showmanship
  • Youth Breeding Goat Show
  • Youth Breeding Goat Showmanship
  • Youth Breeding Sheep Show
  • Youth Breeding Sheep Showmanship
  • Youth Breeding Rabbit Show
  • Youth Dairy Cattle Show
  • Youth Dairy Cattle Showmanship
  • Youth Dairy Goat Show
  • Youth Dairy Goat Showmanship
  • Youth Market Barrow Show
  • Youth Market Broiler Show
  • Youth Market Goat Show
  • Youth Market Lamb Show
  • Youth Market Steer Show
  • Youth Prospect Steer Show
  • Youth Poultry Showmanship

Seasonal Employee Scholarship

First awarded in 2018, the Seasonal Employee Scholarship awards scholarships each year to seasonal staff members directly employed by the State Fair of Texas or to a dependent child, step-child, grandchild, step-grandchild, foster, or adopted child of the qualified seasonal employee. This scholarship is available for applicants who plan to attend an accredited two-year or four-year Texas college, university, or vocational-technical school. Eligible seasonal staff are those who have completed at least three years of seasonal employment as of January 1st of the year in which the scholarship is to be awarded, and have worked an average of 20 hours a week during the prior Fair. Recipients receive a $6,000 grant, renewable in pre-determined increments (paid by semester or term) if the student maintains a 3.0 GPA while working towards the completion of an eligible degree.


additional scholarship opportunities

On behalf of its significant past leaders and longtime supporters, the Fair also awards additional scholarships to exemplary program recipients whose behavior honors the namesake of each opportunity. With opportunities available for both newly awarded applicants and current sophomores, selected recipients receive an additional $6,000 to be disbursed throughout the duration of their college career.

Benny Clark Memorial Scholarship
A strong leader in the Texas agricultural community, Benny Clark served as the former Vice President of Agriculture & Livestock at the State Fair of Texas. This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding Youth Livestock Scholarship new recipient and honors Benny’s years of commitment to the State Fair.

Peggy Sloan Memorial Scholarship
A strong female leader, Peggy Sloan served as the former Vice President of Exhibits at the State Fair of Texas. This scholarship is awarded to an outstanding Pete Schenkel Scholarship recipient from the Irma L. Rangel Young Women’s Leadership School and honors Peggy’s years of commitment to the State Fair.

Terry Griffin Memorial Scholarship
Serving on both the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the State Fair of Texas, Terry Griffin was instrumental in developing the Fair’s Youth Scholarship Program. This scholarship is awarded to two outstanding students – one sophomore Pete Schenkel Scholarship recipient and one sophomore Youth Livestock Scholarship recipient.

2024 Terry Griffin Memorial Scholarship Application

Clarice Tinsley Journalism Scholarship
While millions of viewers in the Dallas/Fort Worth area know Clarice Tinsley for her work as a FOX4 News Anchor, the State Fair of Texas recognizes her as a longtime friend and supporter of its Scholarship Program. This scholarship is awarded to one outstanding student – a sophomore Big Tex Scholarship recipient who is pursuing a degree in journalism.

2024 Clarice Tinsley Journalism Scholarship Application

Youth Livestock Contest Scholarships
The Fair also awards scholarships to Texas 4-H, FFA, and FCCLA students who have won or placed in specific youth livestock contests held during the State Fair of Texas. Scholarship awards vary by contest and placement won, with funds ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.


Renewing Your Scholarship

Already a #BigTexScholar and need to renew your scholarship? Click the button below.

Time period to submit renewals for SPRING: December 1 – January 1

Time period to submit renewals for SUMMER: May 1 – June 1 (Optional)

If applying for summer and fall renewals, you must complete two renewal cards clarifying you’d like a summer payment.

Time period to submit renewals for FALL: June 1 – July 1

To renew by the deadline, click on one of the following links that is based on the year in which you were awarded the Big Tex Scholarship.


Scholarship Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to submit ACT or SAT scores to apply for a Big Tex Scholarship?

No, due to COVID-19, we are implementing a test-optional policy for the 2020-2021 application year. When applying for a Big Tex Scholarship, ACT and SAT scores are entirely optional, meaning students can choose whether or not to add them to their application. In other words, students get to decide how they want to present themselves in the application process. For 2021, test scores will not be considered in the formal scoring process. If  test scores are submitted, the committee will only use to better understand the student’s overall academic performance.

What are the requirements for scholarship renewal?

You must attend an accredited college or university within the state of Texas. You must enroll in, and pass, a minimum of 12 hours each semester. You must achieve a minimum 2.5 GPA your first semester and a 3.0 cumulative GPA for every semester thereafter. To clarify, if you make below a 3.0 one semester but your cumulative GPA is still at least a 3.0, you meet the required GPA. You must also submit your renewal on the portal before the deadline. Email submissions will not be accepted.

Fall renewals are due July 1.

Spring renewals are due January 1.

Summer renewals are due June 1.

What happens if I don’t meet the GPA requirement?

Please contact Taylor Austin at if you are concerned about your GPA. The GPA policy is as follows: if you fail to meet the GPA requirement for 1 semester, you can receive 1 “free pass” and are still eligible for renewal. As the student, it is your responsibility to request the use of your one-time “free pass.” If you fail to meet the GPA requirement for 2 semesters, you will be put on “probation” and you will not receive your funds the following semester, but will be eligible for renewal in the future if you meet the GPA requirement the following semester. If you fail to meet the GPA requirement for 3 semesters, your scholarship will be canceled and you will no longer be eligible to receive funds.

What happens if I have to drop a class and don’t meet the 12 hour minimum?

Please contact Taylor at if you are going to drop a class that will put you below the 12 hour minimum. The policy for credit hours is the same as the GPA policy (see previous question).

If I need less than 12 hours to graduate, will I be penalized for not meeting the requirement?

No, you will not be penalized for taking less than 12 hours if you require less than 12 hours to graduate. Please let Taylor know if you will be taking less than 12 hours by emailing

What happens to the remainder of my scholarship funds if I graduate early?

The Fair can “double up” on payments for students graduating early, meaning you can receive double the normal amount for one semester. You may request this in your renewal on the portal. If you have questions, please contact Taylor at

If I’m graduating early and am taking summer classes, can I use my scholarship funds during the summer?

Yes, students graduating early can use their funds for summer classes. Please contact Taylor at before the end of your spring semester and no later than June 1 so she can process your request and send the check to your college in time for your summer classes. Students can receive one semester’s worth of payments (for most students this is $750) to use for summer classes since summer school is the equivalent of 1 regular semester. You will be required to complete one renewal application on the Scholar Portal in order to receive funding.

If I'm not going to use all of my scholarship for my undergraduate degree, can I use it for graduate school?

Yes, you may use your remaining funds to pursue a graduate degree. Please contact Taylor at so that she can make sure you receive a notification to renew your scholarship.

What do I have to submit on the Scholar Portal in order to qualify for scholarship renewal?

You must submit a file that includes a copy of your final grades from the previous semester, your GPA from the previous semester, your cumulative GPA, and your credit hours from the previous semester. Most transcripts and grade reports provided by your college include all 3 of these items, however if you do not have a report that includes all 3 items you should be able to upload multiple documents when you submit the file upload. Please verify your name or student ID are visible, if we cannot confirm your identity in addition to your GPAs and credit hours your renewal will be declined and you will not receive funding for the semester.

Do I have to submit an official transcript on the Scholar Portal?

No, you do not need to submit your official transcript, however you must upload either an unofficial copy of your transcript or a scanned copy/screen shot of your final semester grades. Usually the best format for uploading your file is to save it as a PDF.

Am I still required to submit a progress letter at the end of each semester?

You are no longer required to submit a progress letter at the end of each semester. However, if you have dropped below the required minimum of 12 hours or have failed to meet the required minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (2.5 GPA for first-semester freshman), you may provide a brief explanation as to why this has occurred on your renewal in the comment box at the end of the application.

When is the deadline for submitting my grades to the Scholar Portal?

Following the spring semester, grades are due by June 1. (Summer Renewal)

Following the spring semester, grades are due by July 1. (Fall Renewal)

Following the fall semester, grades are due by January 1. (Spring Renewal)

You have to submit your grades to the Scholar Portal by these dates. Late grades or grades sent via email will not be accepted. Please do not wait until the last minute to upload your grades – if you are having issues uploading your grades to the Scholar Portal, email Taylor at as soon as possible so she can assist you.

If I already emailed/mailed my grades to Taylor, do I still need to upload them to the Scholar Portal?

Yes, you still need to upload your grades to the Scholar Portal even if you already emailed or mailed them to Taylor.

I’m having trouble logging in to my Scholar Portal account for the first time. What should I do?

When you click on the link sent in the original email, it should take you to the main sign-in page. If clicking the link doesn’t work, try copying and pasting the link into a new browser page. Click “Trouble Signing In,” then enter your email address (the same address where the original email was sent), then click “Resend Confirmation.” You should receive an email with instructions on how to confirm your account.

I am trying to access my Scholar Portal account for the first time but haven’t received a confirmation email. What should I do?

First, make sure you are using the same email address that was originally tied to your account, which is the address the Scholar Portal email was sent to. Second, check your spam folder to make sure the email didn’t get sent there. If the email is not in your spam folder, email Taylor at and let her know you’ve checked your spam and still haven’t received a confirmation email.

I’m having trouble logging in to my Scholar Portal account and now it says I’m locked out. What do I do?

If you try to log in several times unsuccessfully, the system will lock you out for 1 hour. After 1 hour you should be able to try again. If you are having trouble remembering your password, see the following question.

I can’t remember my password, how do I reset it?

If you can’t remember your password, click “trouble signing in” on the main log-in page, type in the email address tied to your account, then click “recover password.” This should send you an automated email with a link instructing you how to reset your password. The link to reset your password expires after 6 hours for security reasons, so make sure you use the link within that time frame. Make sure to check the spam/junk folder of your inbox for this email – sometimes automated emails are recognized as junk mail and won’t show up in your regular inbox.

I am trying to access my Scholar Portal account through the link sent in one of the automated emails, but the link is telling me there is an error. What do I do?

This link is only valid for one-time use, so after you’ve clicked it once and logged in to your account, the link will expire. Instead of using this link, open a new browser window, go to the Scholar Portal and log in through the main page.

I’ve created my Scholar Portal account and was able to log in; now where do I go to submit my grades?

Once you’ve logged in, you should see seven renewal cards. Please complete only one renewal card per semester. For example, if you have already completed renewal card one and two, then you will fill out renewal card three this semester. If you have any questions, please reach out to Taylor at before filling anything out.

I’ve logged in successfully but am now having issues uploading my grades. What do I do?

Check the internet browser you are using. Some students have reported having issues using Internet Explorer and many were able to solve their problems just by switching to Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.

I want to use a different email address for my Scholar Portal account, how do I change the email address that is tied to my account?

You aren’t able to do this yourself, this is something that the administrator (Taylor) has to do on the back end. Email Taylor at and include the new email address you would like to use. Please do not set up a second account with a different email address – this will cause confusion in the system.

Texan Leaders in the Making

Recipients of our scholarships are shining examples that Texans are dedicated to education and forging paths for the Lone Star State.

Check Out Our 2023 Scholars