Preparing early for the Boettcher scholarship

If you’ve heard of the prestigious Boettcher Scholarship, you probably know what a big accomplishment it is to receive it. Boettcher scholars are at the tops of their classes, actively involved in their communities, and passionate about everything from art to engineering to solving global hunger. The journey to becoming a Boettcher recipient often starts years prior to your application, and CSU’s Boettcher scholars remember well how they set themselves up for success early on. We’ve got the inside scoop on how they prepared early.

“You definitely need to keep your GPA up there in high school, but it’s about more than being in the top of your class. Get involved with the community, do volunteer work. Find a service project you love, and commit to it. Start a club in your school. ” –Eric

“I learned of the Boettcher scholarship when I was a junior in high school. I’d always done well in school, so I made sure to keep my grades up, but I also took challenging courses. AP classes and honors classes in high school will show the Boettcher foundation that you’re not just a good student, but you’re a student who challenges yourself.” –Leah

“In high school, I focused a lot of my extra time at a horse rescue facility and an equine therapy facility, and I loved every second of it. Choose a volunteer job that you’re passionate about; it will show people that you’re not just doing it to check off a box. You’re doing it because you believe in it and you want to use your passion to help make the world better.” –Leah

Use your time in high school to really explore. What interests you? Find out, then pursue it. Go out of your comfort zone to really discover yourself, and then connect your passions to your studies and your extracurriculars.” –Kori

“I loved books and reading as a kid. I knew there were communities nearby that didn’t have access to literature the way I had as a kid, so I started a book drive. I ended up donating over 3,000 books to children in low-income situations. Connect what you love to your service projects, and it won’t feel like work, it’ll just feel right.” –Kori

“Be consistent with the organizations you’re volunteering for. Make sure your extracurriculars and/or service work have a focus and speak to your interests. Don’t just volunteer for anything and everything; show them your heart is in the work you do.” -Janaye

We're here for you every step of the way

CSU Boettcher scholars have advice for every step of the Boettcher award process from pre-application to the final interview. Check out all their tips.


Prairie Smallwood

Prairie Smallwood is a writer and content creator for the Office of Admissions at Colorado State University. She is passionate about education and exploration, and knows that going to college can be both an adventure and an overwhelming experience. She aims to create content that helps students through that journey — the wonderful, the scary, and everything in between.