New Orleans Senior Receives Record-Breaking $9M in Scholarships, 170 College Offers

A Black Louisiana senior has set the bar for the U.S.

Dennis Barnes has received a record-breaking 170 college offers and more than $9 million in scholarships.

The 16-year-old senior attends International High School in New Orleans and has applied to 200 colleges.

Offers and scholarships are still rolling in for Barnes. He plans to announce his decision on May 2 and would like to reach the goal of $10 million in scholarships.

“I submitted college applications in August, with an eye on raising the bar high for college admissions. Decision letters were an overflow in my mailbox and hundreds of scholarships,” Barnes said.

Barnes has excelled in academia, having been promoted to both tenth and eleventh grade, WPDE News reported. He has maintained a cumulative grade point overage of 4.98 while at the high school and holds leadership positions in the National Honor Society.

Barnes is fluent in Spanish and received an official qualification from the Institute Cervantes for Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports. And most recently, he was awarded the Jose Luis Baños Award for Excellence in Spanish Language by Maria Page, Honorary Consul of Spain in New Orleans.

The number of offers Barnes received breaks the previous record documented in the Guinness Book of World Records, held by a Lafayette high school senior who received $8.7 million in scholarships in 2019. The school is contacting Guinness to list Barnes as the new record holder.

Barnes will graduate on May 24 with a “Summa Cum Laude Distinction,” the highest honor. And plans on pursuing a dual undergraduate degree in computer science and criminal justice. He has been earning college credits while in high school from the Southern University of New Orleans, reported.

Dr. Adierah Berger, Head of School for IHSNO, released a statement on Barnes’s achievements and dedication to his education.

“The road to a successful future is to plan ahead, network with the collegiate partners, and know that If you can see your vision, you can achieve your goal,” Barnes said.

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