Twenty of Arizona’s premier high school seniors, heavily recruited by colleges and universities nationwide, have chosen to study in Arizona as Flinn Scholars. They will attend an Arizona public university in the fall on a scholarship that provides four years of study, academic-focused travel opportunities abroad, faculty mentorship, and other benefits. The package is valued at more than $40,000.
The students were honored last weekend at the Flinn Scholars awards banquet at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix.
The 19th-annual class includes students from 16 public high schools and one charter school, covering the state from Winslow to Prescott to Nogales. Nearly a third of the these schools are celebrating their first-ever Flinn Scholar: Arizona School for the Arts (Phoenix), Cactus Shadows High School (Cave Creek), Nogales High School, Skyline High School (Mesa) and Winslow High School.
Three high schools had two Scholars chosen—Chandler, Desert Vista (Phoenix), and Salpointe Catholic (Tucson). Overall, six students come from schools in Phoenix, three from Mesa and Tucson, two from Chandler, and one from Cave Creek, Flagstaff, Nogales, Prescott, Tempe, and Winslow.
“It’s an honor for Arizona to enroll these nationally competitive students—but it’s also a testament to the strength and recognition of our public universities,” said John W. Murphy, Flinn Foundation executive director. “Their academic credentials are impeccable—they could have chosen to attend virtually any college or university in the nation, many with attractive offers. They are equally impressive outside the classroom, excelling in leadership roles within the school and community, and in artistic and athletic endeavors.”
As a group, the class averaged scores of 1430 of a possible 1600 on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and 33 of a possible 36 on the American College Test (ACT). Eight students are National Merit Scholars, a benchmark honor for the top echelon of students nationally.
The Flinn Scholars were chosen from an applicant pool of about 400 of Arizona’s highest-achieving students. In addition to outstanding academic performance, selection criteria included achievement and demonstrated leadership in extracurricular activities and community or school service efforts. Applicants submitted three essays and had two personal interviews.
The Flinn Scholars Program is among a small handful of statewide or regional merit-based undergraduate scholarship programs run by a private philanthropies. In addition to eight semesters of study at an Arizona university, the scholarship award includes a three-week intensive seminar in Eastern Europe; at least one additional study/travel experience abroad or in the United States; mentorship by a university faculty member in the Scholar’s field of study; invitations to cultural events and activities designed to introduce the Scholars to leaders in various fields; and opportunities to participate with university faculty in research programs and professional meetings.
Applicants were required to have a minimum 3.5 grade-point average, a ranking in the top 5 percent of their graduating class, a minimum score of 1280 on the SAT test or 29 on the ACT, and demonstrated leadership abilities in school and community activities. To retain the scholarship, the students must maintain a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average and participate in campus activities.
The Flinn Scholars Program is operated by the Flinn Foundation Scholarship Program LLC and supported by the Flinn Foundation, a private, nonprofit, philanthropic trust based in Phoenix. The Foundation was established in 1965 by the late Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn with the broad mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona. In addition to the Scholars program, the Foundation supports programs in biosciences and the arts in Arizona.