Frequently Asked Questions
- How are Flinn Scholars chosen?
- What does the Flinn Scholarship provide?
- Why should my student apply for a Flinn Scholarship?
- How strong are Arizona’s universities?
- What can I do to help my student become a Flinn Scholar?
- What does the Flinn Scholars Program expect of Flinn Scholars and their parents?
- Is any kind of guidance available if my student is having difficulty?
- Can home-schooled students apply for the Flinn Scholarship?
- What if my student doesn't have access to the Internet to submit an application online? Can my student mail or fax an application back to the Foundation?
- What feedback on the application or interview can my student expect?
Competition is much more rigorous for the Flinn Scholarship than for admission to even the most-selective colleges and universities; each autumn we receive approximately 550 applications and each spring we award 20 scholarships.
Flinn Scholars come from every corner of Arizona, and upon arrival at the university, they choose concentrations in virtually every discipline. There is no blueprint for a Flinn Scholar.
Merit, demonstrated by academic and personal achievement, is the only factor in selection; financial need is not a consideration.
Our reviewers, a large panel of experienced educators and Flinn Scholar alumni, examine applicants’ academic achievement, leadership and involvement, service to the community, ability to communicate, and personal qualities.
Each of these factors is an important part of the holistic picture that an applicant presents to us. A list of baseline criteria is posted on our What it Takes page.
From all applicants, reviewers select a group of semifinalists for a preliminary interview in January at the offices of the Flinn Foundation. Following this interview, 40-50 applicants are named finalists and invited back to the Foundation offices in the last week of February or first week of March for a personal interview with the Selection Committee, comprised of state leaders in various fields. The Selection Committee recommends recipients to the Foundation’s board of directors.
Total value of the Flinn Scholarship—including the cash value of tuition offered by each university—exceeds $100,000. But the award’s monetary value is only the beginning. Please see The Deal, as well as this list of Benefits.
Flinn Scholars have a competitive edge. Over the course of four years, they routinely compile extraordinary records of graduate-level coursework and published research. By graduation day, they have become globally-traveled leaders wielding influence in the state, nation, and world and who convey a serious sense of purpose and goals.
Every year, Scholars win prestigious fellowships such as the Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, Gates, Goldwater, Truman, and Udall, and alumni regularly attend the nation’s top graduate schools, often with full scholarships.
Our alumni discover that the very same universities that courted them as high-school students value them even more highly with the set of relationships and international experiences they have developed as Flinn Scholars.
Many Scholars say the most important aspect of the program is joining a community of similarly motivated students of diverse interests. They form long-lasting friendships within an unparalleled network of talented future leaders in every field you can imagine.
Arizona’s universities are among the best public universities in the country, offering undergraduates in their honors programs and colleges an Ivy League educational experience at a public-school price.
Flinn Scholars and their honors peers enjoy unparalleled access to distinguished faculty (including Nobel laureates and Guggenheim, Fulbright, and MacArthur prize winners), with whom they are often matched for personal mentorship.
One of the important strengths of Arizona’s universities is their size: they offer thousands of courses in hundreds of degree-granting programs, world-class facilities for research and creative activity, and an array of extracurricular opportunities to satisfy the most curious student.
As members of the universities’ honors programs and colleges, Flinn Scholars receive all the benefits of the large university in an intimate and intellectually rich setting.
By every measurable dimension—undergraduate achievement, graduate-school acceptance, future employment competitiveness, and professional honors—graduates of Arizona universities realize high levels of success and distinction.
Please see our Strategies for Success for parents.
Scholars submit an annual narrative about their coursework, on- and off-campus activities, career plans, and overall college experience. They must maintain a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average and participate in at least two Foundation-sponsored events each academic year.
Parents provide the encouragement and motivation a student needs to continue to excel. We view Scholars as mature, responsible adults, and direct all communications regarding financial aid, travel programs, upcoming events, and all other correspondence to Scholars.
Yes. We care greatly about the success and happiness of our Scholars and will initiate contact with the university immediately if a student is having difficulty. In addition to the conventional support services found on every university campus, Flinn Scholars often rely on their faculty mentors, honors staff, and each other for academic support.
And Flinn Scholars Program staff maintain consistent, individual contact with Scholars, providing guidance and serving as a sounding board.
Yes. All applicants must meet our criteria for citizenship, Arizona residency, and SAT or ACT scores. The counselor recommendation and transcript are typically provided by the parent who took primary responsibility for the student’s education. That letter must provide information about the curriculum and home-schooling approach.
The other two letters of recommendation must be from persons who taught the student in an academic course at an accredited institution: high school, community college, or university. It is essential that we receive this independent assessment of the student’s academic and social performance in a group context like those he/she will encounter at university.
What if my student doesn't have access to the Internet to submit an application online? Can my student mail or fax an application back to the Foundation?
Your student’s guidance counselor or teachers may be able to help him or her locate internet facilities for completing the application. Typically, high schools, public libraries and community centers provide complementary internet access for their students or patrons. Only under extraordinary circumstances will we make alternative arrangements.
We do not provide information regarding an individual’s performance to applicants, their families, or their teachers/counselors, during or after our selection process. All materials applicants submit, and all material generated during the review process (i.e., readers' and interviewers' notes) remain confidential, as do students' teacher and counselor recommendations.
Throughout the year, and throughout the state, we conduct information sessions for educators, students, and families. We confer with counselors to suggest how students can maximize their educational opportunities during their high school careers and thereby become viable candidates for a wide range of competitive programs and awards. And we offer in-service conferences for teachers and counselors to help them better support their students through our process.