'Decision letters were an overflow in my mailbox and hundreds of scholarship offers,' said Barnes.
Last August, when Dennis Barnes was preparing his college applications, he had no idea that he would make a Guinness World Book record. He just kept applying to the colleges that he found interesting. Now, almost a year later, he has more than $9m in scholarship offers, an amount that makes him a close contender for a US record, reported The Guardian.
Barnes is a senior at the International High School of New Orleans (IHSNO) and he has received scholarship offers from 125 colleges, breaking the record of the previous Guinness Book of World Records holder Normadie Cormier. Cormier is a senior at Lafayette high school and made a record after he received $8.7 million in scholarships from more than 130 colleges in 2019, as reported by PEOPLE.
New Orleans high school student Dennis Barnes sets world record with $9M in scholarships from 125 schools pic.twitter.com/pewg7siVTU— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) April 26, 2023
"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 told WWL-TV about this accomplishment. Barnes has applied to more than 200 schools and decision letters are still awaited from a few colleges. He aims to reach $10 million in offered scholarships by the end of the month.
Congratulations to Dennis Barnes! What an unbelievable accomplishment - I'm so proud to see a New Orleans student reach such heights. Even more impressive is his commitment to his education - his work and dedication is a true inspiration. #DreamBig #Scholarships— The Jupyter Times (@JupyterTimes) April 26, 2023
He has a cumulative grade point average of 4.98 and has an important position in the National Honor Society. According to his high school, Barnes is also fluent in Spanish and earned the Jose Luis Baños Award for Excellence in the Spanish Language by the Honorary Consul of Spain in New Orleans. He has also taken classes and earned extra credits at the Southern University of New Orleans over the past two years, reports WWL-TV.
Dennis Barnes, a senior at International High School of New Orleans, said he applied to 200 schools across the nation. He got into 170. https://t.co/2bkuIxwr7I— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 26, 2023
Barnes was also recently interviewed by Yahoo News on his special achievement. Here, he revealed how his many college applications started as an attempt to "venture out" as much as possible. He wanted to explore different options for his college degree. After some time, he started getting acceptance letters and it encouraged him to apply to more colleges. When he realized that he was about to make a record, he applied to a few more colleges.
After May 24, that is, his graduation ceremony, he plans to get a dual degree in computer science and criminal justice. He also had a message for his juniors and especially those who are from the black community, that if they had the ability to achieve something, they should take advantage of it. Also, he added, "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."
Dennis Barnes' goal is to reach $10 million in offered scholarships by the end of the month. https://t.co/WqXkaxXG0e— 13News Now (@13NewsNow) April 25, 2023
Cormier also had a message for her juniors, “I hope [Barnes’s] story, along with mine, inspire students to exceed expectations, reach beyond the stars, and explore all opportunities for a debt-free education." Truly, Barnes's story is inspirational for many who will be applying for colleges in the coming years.