Flinn Foundation selects 19 excelling Arizona students as 2021 Flinn Scholars

April 21, 2021

By Chris Farrington

PHOENIX—Nineteen of Arizona’s highest-achieving high-school seniors have been awarded the prestigious Flinn Scholarship and will receive a full ride at one of the state’s public universities.

Now in its 36th year, the Flinn Scholars Program is supported by the Phoenix-based Flinn Foundation in partnership with Arizona’s three state universities. The merit-based scholarship covers the full cost of tuition, mandatory fees, housing, meals, study abroad, and many other exclusive opportunities—a package valued at more than $120,000.

The 19 Flinn Scholars representing the Class of 2021, many of whom turned down offers from elite out-of-state universities, will attend Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, and the University of Arizona beginning this fall.

“There are so many great stories within this new class of Flinn Scholars,” said Anne Lassen, Flinn Scholars Program director. “As is always the case, these are astonishingly intelligent and high-achieving students. But academic success is only the beginning. They’re characterized by perseverance, engagement with their schools, peers, and families, and a dedication to improving the world around them.”

The 2021 Flinn Scholars

Highlights from the Class of 2021 include:

  • Three schools are celebrating their first-ever Flinn Scholar: BASIS Ahwatukee in Phoenix, Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley, and Navajo Preparatory School in Farmington, New Mexico. The Flinn Scholar attending Navajo Preparatory School is a resident of Chinle, Arizona.
  • Five high schools from outside the Phoenix or Tucson metro areas have produced Flinn Scholars in 2021: Bradshaw Mountain High School, Navajo Preparatory School, Nogales High School, Page High School, and Vista Grande High School in Casa Grande.
  • BASIS Ahwatukee and Gilbert Classical Academy each have two 2021 Flinn Scholars.
  • For three high schools, 2021 marks their second Flinn Scholar: Liberty High School in Peoria, Vista Grande High School, and Westview High School in Avondale.
  • The Scholars represent public district schools as well as charter and private schools. 

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, 951 Arizona high-school seniors applied for the Flinn Scholarship. Only 2% of these applicants were selected as Flinn Scholars.

Flinn Scholars are selected based on academic rigor and performance, as well as leadership and service, communication skills, and personal characteristics.

The 2021 Flinn Scholars plan to study a wide range of fields at their respective university honors colleges, including biochemistry, computer-systems engineering, finance, nursing, English, hotel-and-restaurant management, applied physics, computer science, law and policy, economics, and physiology and medical sciences.

“The Flinn Foundation is proud to partner with Arizona’s three public universities to offer this special program that attracts a diverse group of Arizona’s brightest students, intent on discovering new ways to improve the lives of all Arizonans and people around the world,” Flinn Foundation President and CEO Tammy McLeod said.

Flinn Scholarship Benefits

The Flinn Scholarship, in addition to enabling recipients to graduate without debt, offers:

  • An extraordinary community of more than 670 current and alumni Flinn Scholars, including about 80 Scholars studying at the three universities at any given time;
  • Membership in a university honors college, with amenities including small classes, access to top researchers, and guest lectures;
  • Personal mentoring from top faculty, and exposure to Arizona and global leaders in business, government, science, and the arts;
  • Intellectual, cultural, and social activities developed exclusively for Flinn Scholars by both the Flinn Foundation and the universities; and
  • Funding for a three-week summer seminar after the Scholar’s freshman year and for at least one additional study-abroad experience.

The Flinn Scholars Program, established in 1986, is operated by the Flinn Foundation Scholarship Program LLC and supported by the Flinn Foundation, a Phoenix-based private, nonprofit, grantmaking organization that aims to improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations. The foundation also supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, arts and culture, and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership.

Meet the 2021 Flinn Scholars