Prospective Scholars

Frequently Asked Questions

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What is the Boettcher Scholarship?

The Boettcher Scholarship is the most prestigious merit-based scholarship available to graduating high school seniors in the State of Colorado. Begun in 1952 by Claude Boettcher, the Boettcher Scholarship was initially modeled after the Rhodes Scholarship program. The purpose of the Boettcher Scholarship is to attract Colorado’s best and brightest students to attend college within the state. The Boettcher Scholarship covers the cost of a Scholar’s tuition, fees and books for eight semesters/twelve quarters at approved Colorado four-year universities or colleges. A $2,800 living stipend is also supplied to help defray the cost of room and board. The total amount of the Scholarship depends on a number of factors, including the cost of a Scholar’s institution, and can range from approximately $50,000 to $160,000.

What are the eligibility criteria for the Boettcher Scholarship?

Students are eligible to apply for a Boettcher Scholarship if they meet the following minimum criteria:

    • Colorado High School Senior: Applicants must be graduating high school seniors, to be graduated by August of the current academic year. Deferrals of the Scholarships are only made in rare circumstances.
    • Colorado Resident: Applicants must also be legal residents of the State of Colorado, domiciled in Colorado for their junior and senior year of high school.
    • U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States: Applicants must be citizens of the United States or permanent residents.


All qualified students are encouraged to apply, regardless of gender, creed, ethnic origin, race or sexual orientation. No preference is given based on a student’s choice of college or university, high school, city of residence or financial need. Relatives of Trustees, officers or employees of the Boettcher Foundation are not eligible.

Access to the online application is made available to students who meet these criteria either through a high school counselor or, in rare instances, the Boettcher Foundation.

What are the selection criteria for the Boettcher Scholarship?

The  Boettcher Foundation Selection Committee identifies students to receive each Boettcher Scholarship.

Boettcher Scholarship selection criteria include:

  • Superior Scholastic Ability
  • Evidence of Potential Leadership
  • Service to Community and School
  • Outstanding Character

Selection for the Boettcher Scholarship is based on superior academic achievement, a demonstrated commitment to school and community activities and strength of character. Scholastic eligibility requirements are minimums, not norms. In recent years, Boettcher Scholars averaged in the top 2% in their class by rank and scored 1405 on the SAT and 32 on the ACT. A successful candidate also demonstrates a strong potential for continued leadership and service. While Boettcher Scholars come from all over the state, represent diverse backgrounds and possess an incredible array of talents, they share two overriding characteristics: an intense intellectual curiosity and a passion for involvement.

How do I know if I’m competitive?

In recent years, Boettcher Scholars averaged in the top 2% in their class by rank and scored 1405 on the SAT and 32 on the ACT. A successful candidate also demonstrates a strong potential for continued leadership and service. Past Scholars have founded their own nonprofits, started businesses and been leaders at the state and national level. While Boettcher Scholars come from all over the state, represent diverse backgrounds and possess an incredible array of talents, they are two overriding characteristics: an intense intellectual curiosity and a passion for involvement.

In order for you to be able to make an informed decision as to whether to apply for the Boettcher Scholarship, we have created the following quizzes to help rate your competitiveness, decide whether the Scholarship is a good fit for you and determine whether you would like to invest the time in applying.

Senior Competitiveness Quiz

Sophomore and/or Junior Competitiveness Quiz (For students considering applying in future years)

How can I obtain a Boettcher Scholarship application?

Boettcher Scholarship application information is distributed to Colorado high school counselors every September. If you meet the minimum eligibility requirements, you may contact your counselor for information about how to access the online application. Only in rare instances are Boettcher Scholarship online application invitations distributed directly by the Foundation (typically, in situations where a candidate is home-schooled). Nominations are not used in the Boettcher Scholarship application or selection process.

Both the student and counselor portions of the application should be submitted online. Transcripts will need to be mailed to the Foundation by the November 1st deadline and test scores must be sent to the Foundation electronically by providing the appropriate Foundation code to the corresponding testing center (ACT Code: 0538; SAT Code: 0019). NOTE: It can take several weeks for test scores to reach us from the agencies, so we recommend that students request them right away. The Trustees reserve the right to change or modify this program in any manner.

How many Boettcher Scholarships are awarded each year?

The Boettcher Foundation awards 40 Boettcher Scholarships annually. Approximately 100 Finalists are selected to interview for the Scholarship from an initial pool of applicants, which is typically around 1,600. Finalists must interview in Denver at the Foundation’s offices. Following interviews, 40 Boettcher Scholars are chosen. Letters of award are mailed to winners immediately following the interview process.

Since the beginning of the Scholarship Program in 1952, the Foundation has awarded more than 2,300 Scholarships.

What is the timeline for applying for a Boettcher Scholarship?

Boettcher Scholarship application information is distributed by the high school counselors every September to eligible seniors. Applications must be submitted online by November 1 to be eligible for consideration. (Each school has an Internal Deadline prior to the November 1st Boettcher Scholarship Deadline to allow counselors the time necessary to prepare their portion of your application.  Please contact your counselor well before November 1st to check on your school’s internal deadline.) All applicants are then notified through the online system, and Semifinalists are requested to submit three letters of recommendation by mid- to late-December.  All Semifinalists are notified of their status through the online system and approximately 100 Finalists are interviewed in March. Soon after the Finalist interviews, the 40 winners are notified. The winners then have until mid- to late-April to accept or decline the Boettcher Scholarship.

Where do Boettcher Scholars typically attend school?

Boettcher Scholars may attend any approved four-year undergraduate college or university in Colorado. With the variety of excellent schools available in Colorado, a fairly wide distribution of Scholars exists among Colorado’s institutions for higher learning. There are significant differences between Colorado schools, and, ultimately, the decision about which school to attend must be based upon a Scholar’s personal needs, future goals, intended field of study and individual preference. The Foundation suggests students tour the schools, visit with faculty and students, and research the wide variety of honors, leadership and research programs available at these institutions before making a commitment to any one school.

Enrollment for Current Boettcher Scholars in the 2014-2015 academic year is as follows:

School (abbreviation) # of Scholars Enrolled
University of Colorado Boulder (CU) 64
University of Denver (DU) 39
Colorado State University (CSU) 20
Colorado College (CC) 20
Colorado School of Mines (CSM) 13
University of Northern Colorado 3
University of Colorado Denver (UCD) 3
Fort Lewis College (FLC) 1

What is NOT covered by the Boettcher Scholarship? What additional costs must Boettcher Scholars pay for?

The Boettcher Scholarship does NOT cover all of the expenses incurred while a Scholar earns his/her undergraduate degree. The cost of room and board typically exceeds the $2,800 housing stipend provided by the Foundation by about $5,700 a year. Some colleges/universities, however, pay the difference between the cost of room and board and the Boettcher Foundation living stipend.

Also note that Scholars must budget for personal and miscellaneous expenses, including activities, entertainment and travel. Financial aid departments calculate a “Personal and Miscellaneous Expenses” figure of approximately $3,500 per year.

Obviously, these housing and personal expenses are directly related to the lifestyle Scholars choose to lead. Some fiscally conscious Scholars are able to spend less than $3,000 a year, while others spend more than $4,000. An estimate of $3,500 total expenses beyond what the Boettcher Scholarship covers will allow you to live reasonably and comfortably.

The difference between the total cost of college and our award can be made up through additional scholarships. In fact, the majority of Boettcher Scholars have earned additional scholarships to supplement their Boettcher Scholarship. These scholarships may come from the Scholar’s college or from outside sources. However, the Foundation and the colleges do not want Scholars to accept funds beyond the total expense of college, as figured by the Office of Financial Aid, thereby depriving other deserving students of chances to earn financial support. Consequently, a Scholar’s total scholarships averaged over four years should not exceed the estimated annual expenses paid by the Scholar.

Is a student eligible for the Boettcher Foundation Scholarship if he or she is not a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident?

To be eligible to apply for a Boettcher Scholarship, a student must either be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident, or meet the following criteria:

  • Meet the requirements and applied or started the process of applying for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA); and
  • Meet the requirements for Colorado ASSET.

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