New Orleans high schooler earns record $9M in scholarship offers

  • High school senior Dennis Barnes received $9M in scholarship offers
  • Barnes applied to 200 colleges with decision letters still pending
  • He plans to study computer science and criminal justice

(NewsNation) — A high school senior from New Orleans has set a new record by receiving a staggering $9 million in scholarship offers from more than 140 colleges across the United States.

Dennis Barnes, a senior at International High School of New Orleans, has been accepted to more than 175 colleges and universities, with some decision letters still pending.

Barnes’ scholarship offers are believed to have surpassed the previous Guinness World Records holder, a high schooler from Lafayette, Louisiana, who collected $8.7 million in college scholarships in 2019.

“I feel very excited,” Barnes said. “It is something that everybody’s saying that they’ve never seen before. I’m just happy to be the one to be able to do it.”

The 16-year-old’s school is working with Guinness to confirm his remarkable achievement.

“Congrats to our superstar senior,” the International High School of New Orleans posted on Facebook.

Barnes, who has a GPA of 4.98, holds leadership positions in the National Honor Society chapter at his high school, is fluent in Spanish, and has been earning college credits at Southern University of New Orleans while completing his high school diploma for the past two years.

“It took a lot of time and took a lot of effort, not only from me, but from the people around me,” Barnes said. “My parents, my counselor Ms. Denise James. … And with God I’ve been able to get where I am today.”

The ambitious New Orleans native is not yet satisfied with his latest achievement, setting a goal to reach $10 million in scholarships by the end of the month as he awaits responses from more schools.

Barnes’ mother expressed her belief in her son’s big ambitions and goals, stating that she has no doubt he will achieve everything he sets out to do.

Barnes plans get a bachelor’s degree in computer science and then go to law school. He is hoping to find a school that can provide both financial security and comfort. He is set to graduate high school on May 24 and plans to announce his college choice at the beginning of May.

Barnes’ advice for seniors is to set goals and stick to them.

“Make it a priority and stick to it,” Barnes said. “Finish what you start and when you do something, do it right.”


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