Applying to college is an important occasion for most teens. And while the average student will look at a handful of universities, one teenager in Louisiana named Dennis Maliq Barnes applied to 200 schools across the country and received acceptances to 180 of them. On top of that, he is being offered over $9 million in scholarships, breaking the Guinness World Record previously held by a Lafayette high school senior.
Barnes is also graduating two years early from the International High School of New Orleans at the age of 16 with a 4.98 GPA. He began applying to schools in August 2022 with no intention of trying to set a record. “As I applied to more schools, as my numbers went up, with the financial aid and acceptances into universities, I became intrigued,” he said. After a certain point, he made it a goal to see how many acceptances he could receive.
Barnes has an undeniably impressive high school résumé. He held leadership positions in the National Honor Society, received an official qualification of his Spanish fluency from the Institute Cervantes, and was even enrolled at the Southern University of New Orleans for two years, earning college credits. “One thing about me, I know my dreams, I know my aspirations and I know where I want to be long-term,” Barnes said. “I know that the work that I'm putting in now, it's going to make it easier for me down the line. I'm thinking long-term.”
As of right now, Barnes has not made a decision as to where he will be attending college in the fall, but he plans to announce his choice on May 2, 2023. He hopes to major in computer science and later go on to law school.
16-year-old Dennis Maliq Barnes graduated two years early from the International High School of New Orleans and received admission to 180 colleges across the country as well as over $9 million in scholarships.