Two local students are among 40 Boettcher Foundation scholarship winners who were chosen from a pool of 1,300 applicants, the foundation announced Monday.

The area scholars are Benjamin Cloud of St. Mary's High School and Beatriz Zimmermann from Palmer High School. Both will attend University of Colorado at Boulder.

The merit-based Boettcher Scholarship pays for full tuition, fees and books and includes an annual stipend for living expenses for either eight semesters or 12 quarters at an in-state public or private school.

The goal of the program is to keep the top high school seniors in Colorado by connecting them to in-state institutions, explained Tim Schultz, president and executive director.

The foundation has awarded more than 2,300 scholarships and pays more than $3 million a year, making it one of the largest merit-based awards in the country, officials stated.

Recipients must maintain at least a 3.0grade point average each year in college to keep their scholarships.