Chandler Chang celebrating with his AP classmates when he learned the news. Submitted photo


By Bernadette Russoniello

Fewer than 1 percent of all graduating seniors will receive a “full-ride” scholarship to university. These opportunities are few and far between for most students.

Maricopa High School senior Chandler Chang received notification of his offer of the 2019-20 Flinn Scholarship.

The Flinn Scholarship offers amazing financial and programmatic benefits, including a network of mentoring and professional support that lasts far beyond graduating from university. Working with the Arizona universities and their respective honors colleges, the Flinn scholarship provides enriched educational offerings that expand a scholar’s life and career options while creating the stimulating, intellectually challenging environment students might find at the nation’s most selective colleges.

The value of the scholarship, including the tuition provided by the universities, exceeds $120,000. The Flinn Scholarship benefits include:

  • The full cost of tuition and mandatory fees, plus housing and meals;
  • Funding for a three-week summer seminar after the scholar’s freshman year in China and for at least one additional study-abroad experience;
  • Mentorship from top faculty and exposure to Arizona and global leaders in business, government, science and the arts.

Chandler is ranked No. 1 in his class of 417 students at MHS. He is a “commended scholar” from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, placing in the top 2 percent of PSAT/NMSQT test-takers in the state. He is an AP Scholar with the College Board and takes the most challenging courses at MHS while working part-time at McDonald’s, serving as drum major and class leader in the MHS Marching Band, tutoring with National Honor Society and helping classmates in their academics.

Submitted photo

In January, he received notice of his selection as a semi-finalist. He prepared for an intense, panel interview by speaking with current Flinn scholars and participating in a mock-interview with administration and community members at MHS.

In February, he was selected as a finalist. He toured the state universities and honors colleges, networked with current Flinn Scholars and prospective applicants, and faced a second interview in March. The week before spring break he received the incredible news: the Flinn Foundation extended an offer for him to accept the scholarship.

Chandler also applied to Stanford University. When asked if he would take the Flinn Scholarship over the Ivy League opportunity, Chandler replies “in a heartbeat – I can always attend Stanford for graduate school.”

Chandler plans to attend Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University this fall.

The Flinn Scholarship is a competitive, merit-based scholarship that is open to Arizona high school seniors. This year more than 800 applicants vied for the approximately 20 scholarships—an acceptance rate of less than 3 percent.

As a rule, Flinn Scholarship applicants should have an unweighted grade point average of at least 3.5 and score a minimum 29 on the ACT or 1,340 on the SAT.

This column appears in the April issue of InMaricopa.



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