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 $45,000.
The students were honored in the company of 200 family members, high school teachers, and college officials at the Flinn Scholars awards banquet at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix this past weekend. There, each Flinn Scholar presented a plaque to an educator who made a significant impact on their education.
The 20th-annual class includes students from 17 high schools, covering the state from Prescott to Tucson. One school is celebrating its first-ever Flinn Scholar: Mountain View High School in Tucson.
Three high schools had two Scholars — Corona del Sol (Tempe), North Canyon (Phoenix), and University (Tucson). Overall, six students came from schools in Phoenix, five from Tucson, three from Mesa, two from Tempe, and one each from Chandler, Glendale, Prescott, and Scottsdale.
“For the past 20 years, it’s been an honor for the Foundation to recognize the achievements of these nationally competitive students, and it’s a testament to our public universities’ strength and recognition,” said John W. Murphy, Flinn Foundation president/CEO. “The academic credentials of our 20th class are impeccable — they could have chosen to attend virtually any college or university in the nation, many with attractive financial-aid offers. These recipients 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 1450 of a possible 1600 on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and 33 of a possible 36 on the American College Test (ACT). Nine 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 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 or community 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.