Twenty of Arizona’s premier high-school seniors have chosen to pursue their college education at an Arizona public university on a Flinn Foundation Scholarship. The award provides four years of study, academic-focused travel abroad, personal mentorship by faculty members, and other benefits. The package is valued at approximately $50,000—on top of tuition and fee waivers from their chosen universities.
The 23rd class of Flinn Scholars was announced and honored among 220 family members, educators, university officials, and fellow Flinn Scholars at the program’s annual Recognition Dinner on Saturday at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix. In addition, each new Flinn Scholar recognized on stage an influential educator from high school or earlier.
The class included students from 16 high schools in eight Arizona cities: Flagstaff, Gilbert, Mesa, Payson, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tempe, and Tucson. Three students were selected from Desert Vista High School in Phoenix, and two students were selected from both Gilbert High School and Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe. Ironwood Ridge High School in Tucson is celebrating its first-ever Flinn Scholar.
“These remarkable students could have chosen to attend virtually any college or university in the nation, many with attractive scholarship offers,” said John W. Murphy, Flinn Foundation president and CEO. “Their commitment to study in Arizona illustrates the strength and reputation of our state universities.
“The academic credentials of our new Scholars are impeccable,” Murphy continued, “and they are equally impressive outside the classroom in leadership roles within their schools and communities, and in their talents in the arts and athletics.”
As a group, the class averaged scores of 1458 of a possible 1600 on the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), and 32 of a possible 36 on the American College Test (ACT). Six 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 more than 500 of Arizona’s high-achieving students. In addition to outstanding academic performance, selection criteria included achievement and demonstrated leadership in extracurricular activities and community or school service. Applicants submitted three essays and had two personal interviews.
The Flinn Scholars Program is among a 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, and a minimum score of 1280 on the SAT test or 29 on the ACT, and demonstrated leadership abilities. 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, begun in 1986, is operated by the Flinn Foundation Scholarship Program LLC and supported by the Flinn Foundation, a private, nonprofit, grantmaking charity 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’s primary emphasis is to advance the medical sciences in Arizona.
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