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New Orleans Senior Dennis Barnes to Reach $10 Million in Offered Scholarships Setting New Record


Dennis Barnes

High Schooler Dennis Barnes set a new national record this spring by receiving offers from over 125 colleges and universities totaling more than $9 million in scholarships. Barnes plans to reach his goal of $10 million in scholarships before announcing his college decision on May 2.


The 16-year-old International High School of New Orleans senior applied to 200 schools and to date has broken the previous Guinness Book of World Record of $8.7 million in scholarships set in 2019 by a Lafayette high school student.


Barnes, a high-achiever, holds a cumulative grade point average of 4.98 and was promoted early to both the 10th and 11th grades, “I’ve been devoted to trying to get my schoolwork done and get good grades, of course like any other child,” said Barnes.


Noticeably humble, Barnes is anything but your average student, fluent in Spanish and upholds a leadership position in the National Honor Society. Barnes was also awarded the Jose Luis Baños Award for Excellence in Spanish Language by Maria Page, Honorary Consul of Spain in New Orleans not to mention, receiving an official qualification from the Institute Cervantes on behalf of Spain's Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports.


“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 scholarship offers,” Barnes said to 4wwl New Orleans local news.


Those around Barnes attribute his desire to achieve to the vision he has for himself. “I know that he has ambition, big goals and I believe with everything in me that he’s going to achieve all of it,” Barnes’ mother said.


Dennis Barnes college applications

Barnes will pursue a dual undergraduate degree in computer science and criminal justice. For the past two years, he has been dual enrolled at the Southern University of New Orleans, earning college credits while completing his high school diploma. Barnes graduates on May 24.


Motivated by his family and educators, Barnes remained vigilant when applying to colleges and for scholarships, “He’s always been very inquisitive, very on top of things,” his mother remarked. All awards offered are from accredited institutions and are awarded on scholarship and merit, said Barnes to ABC News.


“I know my dreams and I know my aspirations and I know where I want to be long term,” said Barnes. “So I know 10 years from now where I want to be and I know that these are the building blocks that’s going to enable me to see those dreams and aspirations come true.”


Photo Credit: Courtesy of International High School of New Orleans

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