AUSTIN, Texas — With the March 28 deadline approaching, more than 150 Texas high school seniors have applied for the Don’t Mess with Texas scholarship.

With less than two weeks left to compete for a win, students are encouraged to apply.

The 8th annual scholarship is sponsored by the Dow Chemical Company in partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. The first-place winner will receive $3,000. The second- and third-place winners will receive $1,000 each.

“It is important that everyone — particularly our youth — take action to make our communities and our planet healthier and more sustainable,” said Laura Ambrose, Responsible Care Leader for Dow Texas Operations and Keep Texas Beautiful Board Member. “We are proud to sponsor a program that encourages high school seniors to come up with great ideas for litter prevention while enabling the winners to get support in furthering their educations.”

Don’t Mess with Texas, now in its 25th year, is the litter prevention campaign of the Texas Department of Transportation. The scholarship helps engage students about the importance of litter prevention.

“Similar to previous years, we anticipate that most entries will come closer to the March 28 deadline, and we hope to get our most applications yet — about 600,” said TxDOT Travel Information Division Director Doris Howdeshell. “To rally schools, we also reached out to principals, counselors, and student council leaders to encourage student submissions.”

Students in East Texas are edging out others, with 44 applications from that region, 39 applications from South Texas, 37 from North Texas, 34 from Central Texas, and four applications from West Texas.

How to Apply

Any Texas high school senior who will attend a two- or four-year Texas college or university can apply. For the essay prompt, application, rules, and background information, visit Winners will be notified in April.