Black New Orleans Student Sets New Record With 125 College Offers, $9 Million In Scholarships

International High School of New Orleans /

A senior at International High School of New Orleans has set a new national record with offers from 125 colleges and universities, totaling more than $9 million in scholarship money – more than any other high school senior in U.S. history.

“Congrats to our superstar senior Dennis Barnes on his monumental achievement of receiving more than $9 million in scholarship offers,” the school posted to its Facebook page to celebrate the record-breaking news. 

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Barnes reportedly applied to 200 colleges nationwide and plans to announce his decision on where he will attend college on May 2. He received more scholarship offers than the previous record holder in the Guinness Book of World Records, who was also a Louisiana high school student and won $8.7 million in scholarships in 2019. According to local CBS affiliate WWL-TV, the school is now contacting Guinness to make Barnes’ new record official.

“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.

IHSNO told WWL-TV that more decision responses are still coming in from other schools. Barnes’ goal is to reach $10 million in offered scholarships by the end of April. 

A star student, Barnes has a cumulative grade point average of 4.98 at IHSNO and is a member of the National Honor Society. He is fluent in Spanish and earned an official certification from the Institute Cervantes on behalf of the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports; He was also recently presented with the Jose Luis Baos Award for Excellence in the Spanish Language by Maria Page, the Honorary Consul of Spain in New Orleans. 

The high school senior intends to pursue a dual undergraduate degree in computer science and criminal justice. Barnes has been in a dual enrollment program at the Southern University of New Orleans for the past two years, earning college credits while working to attain his high school diploma. Barnes is set to graduate from IHSNO on May 24.

He advises high school seniors to be vigilant when applying to colleges and scholarships.

“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,” he said.

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