July 12, 2024

The Finnup Scholarship: A Commitment to Students in Southwest Kansas, an Opportunity for Students to Realize $20,000 to Fund their Education

Topeka, Kan.–High school students from southwest Kansas who choose to continue their education at Washburn University have a unique opportunity, the Finnup Scholarship. A Finnup Scholarship is $20,000 ($5,000 per year) for students with a 2.0 or higher GPA, and Washburn University and the Finnup Foundation have added enhancements in 2023.

Washburn University senior Shayden Haynes is a Finnup Scholarship recipient from Elkhart, Kan. Haynes says “I loved the sense of community that is the best part of growing up in a small town. Because I graduated from a smaller school, I was also able to have the opportunity to be an active member of almost all of the student organizations and participate in several different sports simultaneously. This was a great advantage of attending a smaller school as I learned from a young age how to manage a variety of activities and priorities.”

Haynes is an active part of the Washburn University community, currently serving as the Washburn Student Government Association president where she held many other positions before being voted president. She’s a member of the Washburn University Leadership Institute, Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, Delta Gamma and Residential Living, as well as a student ambassador and an intern in the Washburn University president’s office. She’s also achieved many honors, including the President’s and Deans’ lists, as she pursues a double major of international business and marketing, with minors in leadership studies and political science.

“I learned about the Finnup Scholarship through secondary research [when I was preparing for college] and my Washburn recruitment counselor, Indigo,” said Haynes. “She was a wonderful resource to me and taught me so much about the incredible scholarships available to students interested in attending Washburn University.”

2023 Enhancements
Beginning this year, the Finnup Scholarship is now stackable with Washburn University’s new academic scholarship plan (https://www.washburn.edu/admissions/paying-for-college/scholarship.html), meaning a student with a 4.0 high school GPA will have a full tuition award. The university also awards department scholarships, along with other financial aid.

Haynes shares, “I have been fortunate enough to receive several other incredible scholarships from Washburn. One of the most notable is the School of Business Pollak Award, which provides a full-ride scholarship (12 hours in fall, 12 hours in spring) to a senior in the Washburn University School of Business.

“In total, including the Finnup Scholarship, throughout the last four years, I received more than $50,000 in scholarships from Washburn University. That alone shows how incredibly affordable Washburn University is for students. Working hard at Washburn University pays off in a variety of ways – scholarships are only one example, but an important one. Washburn is an affordable university that provides a high-quality education to all who attend.

Beyond the Classroom
The Finnup Foundation’s commitment to Washburn includes the Finnup Scholars Academy, a two-week residential program for new students. Beginning with the Fall 2023 semester, the academy will run during August before classes start. In addition, students have the opportunity to thrive in a residential learning community specifically for recipients of the Finnup Scholarship, who will live in the Living Learning Center, one of Washburn’s two residence halls. Freshmen are required to live in the Finnup Living Community.

The Finnup Foundation also funds the Finnup Study Abroad Program for up to 15 Finnup scholars per year. As a scholarship recipient, students are eligible to study abroad. Finnup scholars will travel together internationally during spring recess in March 2024.

“Applying for the Finnup Scholarship and choosing Washburn University are easily the best decisions I have ever made. I have grown tremendously throughout my four years here,” said Haynes. “Not only have I obtained knowledge in my chosen field of business, but I have also found a community that has allowed me to become the best version of myself. Washburn has given me the opportunity to challenge myself in ways I truly didn’t know were possible. I am more grateful than I can express for the chances I have been given to succeed and make a difference both on campus and in the community. Topeka has also been instrumental in my education here at Washburn. The Topeka community is on the path of excellence, and I cannot wait to see what happens in this community in the next 5, 10, 20 years.

“Just know that there is such a thing as Washburn magic. You arrive on campus and will immediately feel welcome. Like you are a part of something bigger than yourself, you are a part of community of people who care and want you to succeed more than anything else. Washburn was the place for me, and I truly believe that Washburn is the perfect place for someone who wants to enact change, challenge themselves and wants to find a home away from home.”

To receive the Finnup (https://washburn.edu/finnup), a student must have a minimum high school GPA of 2.0. Priority for Finnup Scholarships is given to students residing in Finney County, followed by students residing in Gray, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Lane and Scott counties. If funds remain, scholarships can also be awarded to students who reside in Clark, Comanche, Ford, Grant, Greeley, Meade, Morton, Ness, Seward, Stanton, Stevens and Wichita (county).

To renew the scholarship, the student must remain in good academic standing and successfully complete a minimum of 24 credit hours during the fall and spring semesters.

The Finnup Foundation Trust
Frederick Finnup, the oldest of the Finnup children, did not have a formal education after the fifth grade, but he was shown how to run a business when he became an apprentice with a carpenter. After his service in the Civil War, he became a partner in a furniture factory in Indiana. In 1879, he moved west seeking a place to open a general store and settled in Garden City, Kan. From the time he arrived in Finney County to the time he passed away, he was the largest taxpayer, and he had the goodwill to help community members during the hard times. He passed his love for Finney County, and his entrepreneurial and philanthropic spirit to his son George Finnup.

George took one semester at then Washburn College in the fall of 1883, marking the beginning of a lifelong legacy with Washburn. He served 11 years on the board of trustees for Washburn College. It was said that he was a strong proponent of education and appreciated knowledge. George’s son Frederick, ba 1925, graduated from Washburn after completing two years at Garden City Community College.

Frederick, and his sister Isabel, established the Finnup Foundation Trust in 1977 to continue the family’s tradition of giving back to the community. Today, the Foundation has three main beneficiaries – the Garden City Community Congregational Church, Washburn University and the City of Garden City Park Department.