Alan Swink of Sloan-Hendrix High School, was chosen as a winner in the National Merit Scholar Program.  About 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high school across the nation entered the 2012 National Merit Scholarship competition when they took the 2010 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of program entrants, according to information from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
Semifinalists were chosen based on scoring and through a state representational basis, with semifinalists representing less than 1 percent of the nation’s seniors.
To be considered for the award, semifinalists had to fulfill requirements to advance to finalist standing by completing a detailed scholarship application, which included writing an essay and providing information about extracurricular activities, awards and leadership positions. Semifinalists also had to have an outstanding academic record. From that group, 15,000 met the finalist requirements. Scholars were selected from students who advanced to the finalist level in the competition and met criteria of their scholarship sponsors.
All winners of Merit Scholarship® awards (Merit Scholar® designees) are chosen from the Finalist group, based on their abilities, skills, and accomplishments–without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference. A variety of information is available for NMSC selectors to evaluate: the Finalist’s academic record, information about the school’s curricula and grading system, two sets of test scores, the high school official’s written recommendation, information about the student’s activities and leadership, and the Finalist’s own essay.  Beginning in March and continuing to mid-June, NMSC notifies approximately 8,300 Finalists at their home addresses that they have been selected to receive a Merit Scholarship® award.  Alan was awarded a $3,000 college sponsored scholarship from the University of Arkansas.  Alan was also awarded the Arkansas Governor’s Distinguished Scholarship and, the University of Arkansas Chancellor’s Scholarship.   Alan was one of 38 students in the state of Arkansas to win a College Sponsored Scholarship.  Superintendent Mitch Walton stated that Alan was the first Sloan-Hendrix to win this award.
Alan will enter the University of Arkansas in the fall semester of 2012.  Alan is the son of Doug and Peggy Swink of Imboden and the grandson of Julian and Nona Jeffery of Desha and the late Bill and Mazie Swink of Imboden.