Texas high school seniors can earn cash for college by composing a 350-word essay suggesting additional measures to be used in the state’s fight against litter.

Dow Chemical Company is partnering with Keep Texas Beautiful to sponsor the 2010 Don’t Mess with Texas Scholarship Program.

High school seniors are encouraged to submit essays explaining how they tackled a litter-related problem in their own school or community. The grand-prize winner will receive $3,000 for college tuition, while two second-place winners will receive $1,000 each.

“Here at Dow, we know that ensuring the health and sustainability of our environment takes a commitment from everyone, but particularly our youth,” said Community Relations Manager Trish Ritthaler. “We’re 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.”

The Texas Department of Transportation spends millions of dollars each year to pick up litter along Texas highways, and research shows those most likely to litter are young Texans.

“If you don’t tolerate litter, and if you’ve ever done something about it, you have a great shot at winning,” said Doris Howdeshell, Travel Information Division director for the Texas Department of Transportation, which manages the Don’t Mess with Texas Scholarship Program. 

Eligible high school seniors must plan to pursue a two- or four-year degree at a Texas university or college. Essays must be 350 words or less and are being accepted now. Apply online, download an application, and view complete rules at DontMessWithTexas.org.

Completed applications and essays must be submitted online or postmarked by April 16, 2010. Mailed entries should be sent to the Don’t Mess with Texas Scholarship Program c/o EnviroMedia Social Marketing at 1717 West 6th Street, Suite 400; Austin, TX 78703.