Several members of the 2018 Class at Watson Chapel High School have accepted college scholarships totaling more than $2.6 million. The announcement was made during the school’s recent senior day program, according to a news release.


Arielle Shelby accepted the highest scholarship amount with a four-year value of $231,496 to attend Hendrix College at Conway.


Alexis Larkins, Madalyn Blevins, Christion Hopkins, Destini Hill, Nikki Mullikin, Cristalyn Allmond, Abigail Herrin, Kayla Grimes, Robbye Payne, Estacheana Davis, Christian Arreola, Austin Smith, Taylor Higgins, Madison Clark, Ceanna Blunt, Omar Allen, Heather Hart, Ariana Lovett, Brent Sargent, Jr. and Tye’sha Fields were among the top graduates who accepted high scholarship dollar amounts.


“We only announce scholarships that our students have accepted to colleges because they can only enroll into one college after high school,” Kristy Sanders, WCHS principal, said. “If we added the scholarship amounts other schools have offered our students, the $2.6 million figure would more than double.”


Larkins and Allmond accepted scholarships to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff for $69,120 and $63,120, respectively, over a four-year period. In addition to academic scholarships, Larkins and Allmond accepted marching band scholarships.


Allen also accepted an academic and football scholarship totaling $63,120 over four years.


Blunt, valedictorian of the class, and Herrin amassed $55,520 in university and spirit team scholarships to UAPB over a four-year period. Ariana Lovett accepted a university scholarship to UAPB that amounts to $47,520 over a four-year span.


Payne accepted an academic tuition and marching band scholarship from UAPB in the amount of $43,000, covering a four-year period. Hopkins also accepted a UAPB marching band scholarship valued at $28,000 over a four-year period.


Six other students – Sargent, Fields, Hill, Davis, De’Shabrion Williams, Kenneth Reed and Jalyn R. Williams – accepted UAPB academic tuition scholarships valued at $21,600 each over four years.


Hart accepted a leadership scholarship from Arkansas State University that has a four-year value of $34,880. Mullikin and Smith accepted academic scholarships to Arkansas Tech University in the amount of $32,000 and $24,000, respectively, over a four-year span.


Christian Arreola, the class salutatorian, accepted academic scholarships to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, totaling $36,000 over four years. Madalyn Blevins accepted an academic scholarship to Coastal Carolina University in the amount of $23,872 over a four-year period.


Kaleb Hill, who signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Mississippi, has a scholarship that surpasses $100,000 over a four-year period. Jerica Bell accepted a scholarship to play women’s basketball at Southern Arkansas University, totaling $60,000 over a four-year span.


With 25 students accepting scholarships, UAPB awarded the highest dollar amount in scholarships, totaling $683,320 over a four-year period.


Other college scholarships accepted were from the University of Arkansas at Monticello, Southeast Arkansas College, the University of Central Arkansas, the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Jackson State University, the Art Institute in Nashville, TN, Southern Arkansas University-Tech, Connors State College in Oklahoma, Crowder College in Missouri and Three Rivers College in Missouri.


— Carl Whimper is a college and career coach at Watson Chapel High School.