To be recognized as a Texas Scholar, a student has to complete one of the five endorsements and take Algebra II. For the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) endorsement, Algebra II is included in the curriculum. For the other four endorsements, Algebra II must be selected as an elective. In other words, a student must qualify for the Distinguished Level of Achievement to satisfy the Texas Scholar requirements.
If the student completes the requirements for a Texas Scholar and a 4th year of math that has Algebra II as a prerequisite, they qualify for recognition as a Texas Scholar with Merit.
Note that straight As or a specific GPA is not a requirement to be a Texas Scholar or Texas Scholar with Merit. Studies repeatedly show that the best predictor of preparedness for education beyond high school is not the grades earned but the rigor of the curriculum, because the greatest skill learned in high school is how to learn.