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TACS Academic Challenge Scholarship Contest Information



Each year, TACS sponsors the Academic Challenge. The Academic Challenge is open to any high school whose District is an Institutional Member of TACS. Each school can enter up to three teams in the competition, and each team is made up of three members. Students of varying academic ability are on each team. Questions for the competition are based on the TEKS from the high school courses in English, mathematics, science, and social studies. Competitions are held at the regional and state level. The State Contest is held at the Cultural Activities Center (Strasburger Hall), 3011 N. 3rd, Temple, Texas. Winning teams at the regional and state level are awarded scholarship money to all team members.


1.        Any student in grade 9, 10, 11, or 12 who is enrolled in a school which is an institutional member of the Texas Association of Community Schools may compete in the contest in either Division I (1A, 2A, 3A) or Division II (4A, 5A, 6A).  Membership information can be obtained at

Schools may compete in any Area Contest near their school, depending on available space at the contest site.  Area Contests may include BOTH Division I and Division II schools competing in the contest together.  However, at the end of the contest, the schools will be divided by Division and the scholarships awarded by Division.

2.         Each team is made up of three students: 

            Level I (90 - 100 average); Level II (80 - 89 average); Level III (70 - 79 average)

(See procedure below in RULES for calculating GPA.)

3.         Questions will be derived from the TEKS of high school courses in science, English, math and social studies. Questions are restricted to the TACS ACADEMIC CHALLENGE Study Guide for the current year.

4.         Entry fee is $500.00 per team.  Each participating district may enter up to three (3) teams.  The top five scoring teams in the area competitions will qualify for the state competition, along with the five next highest scoring “At-Large Teams” in the state.  (An additional $500.00 entry fee is required for each advancing team to the State Competition). 

5.         The TACS Academic Challenge Scholarship Contest has awarded over $1 Million in cash scholarships since 1993.  Division of scholarship money at the Area Contests:


            (1) In an Area Contest where scholarships total $5,000 or more:

                        1st Place Team – 30%             2nd Place Team – 25%            3rd Place Team – 20%

                        4th Place Team – 15%             5th Place Team – 10%

            (2) In an Area Contest where scholarships total more than $1,000 but less than $5,000:

                        1st Place Team – 50%             2nd Place Team – 30%            3rd Place Team – 20%

            (3) In an Area Contest where scholarships total $1,000 or less:

                        1st Place Team – 100%                      


            The total amount of scholarships per contest will be based on the amount of entry fees plus sponsorships less expenses.                                                                                                                   

6.         The money will be will be held in escrow until the time that the student has enrolled in an accredited college, university, or trade school.  If, within one year of high school graduation, the student decides not to pursue a post-secondary education, the money will be returned to ACADEMIC CHALLENGE account and used for future competitions.


Important Documents:

Study Guide
Contest Procedure and Rules
Sample Area Entry Form
Download Info Packet


November 2019 - January 2020 - View the List of Host Schools and Contest Dates

February 16, 2020 -
Mayborn Convention Center, 3303 N 3rd Street, Temple, TX 76501



Contact Information

Texas Association of Community Schools
1011 San Jacinto Blvd., Ste. 204
Austin, Texas 78701-1924
Phone: (512) 440-8227
Fax: (512) 442-6705

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