New Flinn Scholars Program policy to allow two-year academic leave

August 7, 2018

By brianpowell


Future Flinn Scholars, beginning with the Class of 2019, will be permitted to take a leave of absence from their university for up to four semesters, or two academic years. This is a change from the longstanding policy that allowed for a leave of up to two semesters.

A student must still complete one academic year in the Flinn Scholars Program at an Arizona public university, immediately following high-school graduation, before he or she is eligible for leave.

The four semesters may, but need not, be taken consecutively.

The Flinn Scholars Program made this policy change in response to conversations with prospective Scholars and their families. The changing nature of undergraduate education, in which fewer students complete their studies over eight consecutive semesters because of professional development or other reasons, also factored into the decision. In addition, program staff recognize that communication and technological changes now make it easier for Flinn Scholars on leave to stay connected with the Scholars community.

The development of the Flinn Scholars community is a critical and vital element of the program. About 20 Arizona high-school seniors are selected for the program each year, and about 80 Scholars are attending Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, or the University of Arizona at any given time.

The Flinn Scholarship is a highly competitive merit-based award that provides the cost of tuition, housing and meals, as well as funding for at least two study-abroad experiences, an off-campus internship, and other benefits. The Scholarship is valued at more than $120,000.

The application for the 2019 Flinn Scholarship opens during the week of Aug. 13 with a deadline of Oct. 5.


To be awarded the Flinn Scholarship, an applicant must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder);
  • Be an Arizona resident for two full years immediately preceding entry to the university.

As a general rule, Flinn Scholarship applicants should:

  • Participate and demonstrate leadership in a variety of extracurricular activities;
  • Attain at least a 3.5 grade-point average (unweighted);
  • Rank in the top 5 percent of their graduating class (if the school reports class rank);
  • Score a minimum 29 on the ACT (composite score), or 1340 on the SAT I (ERW+M). We do not consider the writing section of the ACT or the optional essay section of the SAT.

Additional information about the Flinn Scholarship, including details of the application process, can be found at

Individuals with questions about the new policy or the application process may email or call (602) 744-6802.

Read More: 10 tips for a successful Flinn Scholarship application