Parents of Applicants

How You Can Help Your Student Prepare

As a parent or guardian, you have already completed the most important work in helping your student become a strong candidate for the Flinn Scholarship by:

  • fostering confidence, humility, and intellectual curiosity;
  • encouraging them to become a leader; and
  • supporting the hard work that yields academic excellence.

There are many specific ways throughout your student’s high-school years to help to ensure a strong application and candidacy. But perhaps most important, remind your student that neither this scholarship application, nor any other application for a scholarship or college, is the most important thing in the world. Extraordinary opportunities await, whether or not your student is selected for the Flinn Scholarship.

Below are suggestions to help your high-school student prepare for the Flinn Scholarship application.

Need to know more? Browse a selection of FAQs for parents.


Tips for Parents

  • Freshman, Sophomore, and Junior Year

    If your student is still a freshman, sophomore, or junior in high school, you can help your student become a stronger candidate for the Flinn Scholarship. With the caveat that there is no blueprint for a Flinn Scholar, here are a few considerations: We look for students who have taken risks, stretched their limits, and maximized the resources available to them. For example, we hope students will enroll in the most challenging, advanced courses that are available to them, even if doing so yields an imperfect GPA.

    The strongest candidates for the Flinn Scholarship tend to have deep, sustained involvement and leadership in several activities, rather than superficial involvement in a greater number of activities.

    Students should take the PSAT (the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test) in October of their junior year. This is the score that determines a student’s eligibility for National Merit Scholarship funding, the largest pool of merit scholarship money for undergraduate study.

    Students may take standardized tests like the ACT and SAT more than once. The selection committee for the Flinn Scholarship will consider the highest scores students earn and disregard the lower scores.

    Although not mandatory, you and your student are encouraged to attend information sessions about the Flinn Scholarship to learn more about the program and meet current and former Scholars as well as Flinn Foundation staff. Information sessions are held around the state each spring.

  • Senior Year

    The Flinn Scholarship application process begins early in students’ senior year and ends in mid-September. When the application opens in mid-August, carefully read the application with your student and discuss any uncertainties each of you may have. Review the FAQs on this site, and if you have any lingering questions, be sure to email flinnscholars@flinn.org.

    Beginning even before the application opens, you can make a list of deadlines and tasks to accomplish, such as taking the SAT, requesting recommendations from teachers and counselors, and submitting the application itself. We encourage parents and guardians to assist their students in tracking those deadlines and tasks, but students must independently complete their application without the assistance of their parents.