Rohan Murty remembers where he was when he got the call. The conversation, however, was a blur.

“I was sitting in my favorite teacher’s room after school,” said Murty, a senior at Desert Vista High School. “As I walked out the guy told me he was the coordinator (for the scholarship program,) and right then I knew.”

Murty is one of the 20 Arizona winners of the Flinn Foundation Scholarship this year, along with two other Ahwatukee Foothills students, Suhitha Veeravelli of Desert Vista, and Spencer Elliott of Mountain Pointe.

The scholarship package includes a tuition-free ride to any in-state college, room and board, an all-expenses paid trip with the 20 scholars, and an allocated travel fund to be used their freshman year at a university.

Though Murty said he is still awaiting acceptance letters from Berkeley and MIT, the DV senior is leaning toward nearby Arizona State University in the fall.

“To say no to it is crazy,” admitted Murty. “I’m really liking chemistry this year, so my major would be chemical engineering for now.”

This year, nearly 650 students from the state applied in late October. In three rounds of the process, the number of applicants was filtered down to 70, then interviews were conducted with 40 students chosen, and then 20 winners were announced last week.

“The turnaround was so quick, it’s all just really surprising,” said Murty, still in a daze about his win. “We’re all really fortunate to get this opportunity.”

Flinn Scholars are chosen based on scoring a minimum 29 on the ACT or 1300 on the SAT I, attain at least a 3.5 GPA, and ranking in the top 5 percent of their graduating class.

“It’s a nice feeling to know that the last four years of work have paid off,” Murty said.

For more information about the scholarship, visit

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or Follow her on Twitter @dmartinezAFN.

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