The Deal: One of the Top Merit Scholarships in the Nation
This year, 20 of Arizona’s highest-achieving students will become Flinn Scholars, receiving an unparalleled package for undergraduate study:
- Free tuition and room and board;
- Funding for study abroad;
- Mentorship from brilliant faculty and exposure to world leaders;
- Fellowship in an extraordinary community of current and alumni Scholars.
The program, in partnership with Arizona’s three state universities, provides enriched educational offerings that expand Scholars’ life and career options and create the kind of stimulating, intellectually challenging environment that students might find at the nation’s most selective colleges.
Total dollar value, including the cash value of tuition provided by the universities, exceeds $100,000. We believe, though, that the non-monetary benefits of becoming a Flinn Scholar are much, much more valuable:
A Flinn Scholar education entails more than lectures and books. They study Egyptian history at the pyramid in Cheops, learn Russian in Moscow, and counsel AIDS patients in Kenya. Their broadened perspective on the world gives them a head start on life in an increasingly global community.
Scholars begin their Flinn travels as a group, with a three-week seminar in Central Europe. Each Scholar also receives a stipend for at least one more international summer adventure--or a semester or even a year at a foreign university. Programs that Scholars choose range from medicine to language to habitat protection. Many augment their stipend with other research and travel grants.
Each Scholar’s university pairs him or her with a senior faculty member who serves as a personal mentor, helping the Scholar navigate the university, develop a personal path, and seize important research and internship opportunities. Scholars meet with their mentors on schedules of varying frequency that both agree on to discuss everything from classes to favorite music, often forming lasting bonds.
Additionally, Scholars receive guidance from the staffs of the Flinn Scholars Program and university honors offices. These individuals’ expertise proves vital when applying for jobs, graduate school, and nationally competitive fellowships.
Imagine a roster of teachers including Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, news anchor Walter Cronkite, writer Anna Quindlen, and violinist Eugene Fodor. For Flinn Scholars, such encounters are another dimension of their college education.
Each year, the Flinn Scholars Program and the universities’ honors programs also sponsor trips to cultural events; some are annual occasions, like a day of sculpting and drawing in the studio of John and Ruth Waddell. And thanks to the Flinn Foundation's long engagement with Arizona leaders, Scholars can participate in a year-long seminar led by the state's most thoughtful shapers of public policy.
Flinn Scholars lead student government, found non-profits, conduct scientific research, edit student publications, have their original artistic works performed professionally, and compete in intercollegiate athletics. Many engage in community service locally and globally, devote time to religious groups, or become active in politics. In part because of the program, Scholars can live rich lives beyond the program.
Together, Scholars win campus-wide intramural championships, start clubs, motivate one another in their studies, and develop lasting friendships across the three universities. More than 350 alumni at various stages of graduate school and career regularly provide counsel and connections.
Flinn Scholars begin each academic year with a three-day retreat in the cool mountains of northern Arizona. The retreat is a mixture of fun and educational workshops, a talent show, reports on travels, and plenty of time to hang out.
At the retreat, new friendships begin, old ones are renewed, and the community of Scholars emerges. Returning travelers compare stories, photographs, and passport stamps, while new Scholars learn which South American cities to visit and which organic-chemistry professors to seek out. Many Scholars describe the retreat as their favorite activity each year.