New class of 20 Flinn Scholars chooses Arizona universities

April 30, 2014

By hammersmith

PHOENIX—The 2014 Flinn Scholarship has been awarded to 20 of Arizona’s highest-achieving high-school seniors, who will receive a comprehensive educational package to attend an Arizona public university.

Now in its 29th year, the competitive, merit-based scholarship package is valued at more than $100,000.  The scholarship includes the cost of tuition to one of the state’s three public universities, room and board, funding for international study-related travel and professional development, university faculty mentorship, and other benefits. Each award is provided through a partnership between the Flinn Foundation and the universities.

“Once again, this incoming class of Flinn Scholars is filled with high-achieving students who have already demonstrated through academics, leadership, and community service how valuable they are to the state of Arizona,” said Jack Jewett, Flinn Foundation President and CEO. “These 20 Scholars will have a lasting impact on our universities and the state.”

Last fall, 624 Arizona high-school seniors applied for the 2014 Scholarship, the second straight year that the number of applications exceeded 600.  The selected Scholars represent 3.2 percent of the applicants.

The 20 Scholars represent 18 high schools. Hamilton High School in Chandler, with three Scholars, is the only school with multiple Scholars. This is the second straight year Hamilton has three Scholars.

The geographic diversity of the Class of 2014 is significant. Five of the Scholars are from outside the Phoenix and Tucson metropolitan areas, from as far apart as Fort Mohave—just south of Bullhead City on the California-Arizona line—and Rio Rico, just north of Arizona’s southern border with Mexico. Other hometowns include Casa Grande, Chandler, Flagstaff, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, Prescott, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson.

Three high schools have their first-ever Flinn Scholar—River Valley High School in Mohave Valley along with Chandler Preparatory Academy and Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff.

The projected majors of the Scholars cover a wide range, including broadcasting, biomedical engineering, business, physics, neuroscience, and music.

“Each year seems to raise the bar in terms of the accomplishments of our applicants,” said Matt Ellsworth, Flinn Scholars Program director and a 1993 Flinn Scholar. “What distinguishes these 20 Flinn Scholars is the potential they hold to apply their exceptional talents toward the common good.”

Applications are submitted each fall to the Flinn Foundation. A review committee narrows the field and about 75 students are invited for a semifinalist interview. In March, 42 finalists took part in a second round of interviews with the Selection Committee, which is comprised of respected Arizona leaders. The offers to the 20 Scholars were accepted in April. They will begin their undergraduate education in August.

The Flinn Scholar Class of 2014, along with 17 Scholars who will be graduating from Arizona’s universities this year, will be honored at the annual Recognition Dinner May 3 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix before nearly 200 family members, university officials, teachers, and community leaders. Each new Flinn Scholar will recognize an educator who has influenced them in a substantial way.

The benefits of the scholarship, in addition to covering eight semesters of study at an Arizona public university, include:

  • a three-week summer seminar program, currently in China, following the freshman year;
  • at least one additional study or professional-development experience abroad or within the United States;
  • university faculty mentorship in the Scholar’s field of study;
  • the introduction of Scholars to Arizona’s business, academic, research, and civic leaders through invitations to cultural events and activities; and
  • membership in an active and supportive community of current Scholars and about 450 alumni.

Scholars must maintain a cumulative 3.2 grade-point average in college and be involved in campus or community activities to retain the Scholarship.

The qualifications for typical candidates who apply for the Scholarship include:

  • at least a 3.5 grade-point average;
  • a ranking in the top 5 percent of their graduating class;
  • a score of at least 1300 on the SAT test or 29 on the ACT; and
  • participation and demonstrated leadership abilities in extracurricular activities.

The Flinn Scholars Program, which started in 1986, is operated by the Flinn Foundation Scholarship Program LLC and supported by the Flinn Foundation, a Phoenix-based private, nonprofit, grantmaking organization. The Foundation was established in 1965 by the late Dr. and Mrs. Robert S. Flinn with the mission of improving the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. In addition to the Scholars program, the Foundation supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.

For more information:

2014 Flinn Scholars