Teen sets world record with $9m in scholarships from 125 schools

Teen sets world record with $9m in scholarships from 125 schools

A 16-year-old student in the US state of Louisiana has received university scholarship offers totalling more than $9m (£7.2m).

Dennis Barnes, who is in his final year at the International High School of New Orleans, applied last August to 200 colleges across the country.

He has so far been accepted at 125 schools and is hoping for more offers before he decides where to enrol.

The scholarship offers could see Mr Barnes set a new national record soon.

My goal is to reach $10 million,” he told the local WWL-TV media outlet, which first reported the eye-popping amount the student has amassed.

That would see Mr Barnes shatter a US record set three years ago by another Louisianan, Normandie Cormier.

Ms Cormier, who attended the historically-black Xavier University of Louisiana and is now completing a master’s degree at Louisiana State University, was offered total aid of $9.4m from some 140 schools in 2019.

According to The Guardian, she sought recognition from Guinness World Records for her feat and, while the organisation could not find a person with more offers in the US, it was unable to establish if she had broken a world record given the global differences between higher education systems.

Mr Barnes told WWL-TV that his social media “blew up” as word spread of his achievement.

He is a National Honours Society president who is fluent in Spanish, has a near-perfect grade point average (GPA) and is already pursuing college credits at the Southern University at New Orleans.

Applying to so many schools had not been “overwhelming like most people would think,” he added. “I started in the beginning of the school year and over time, over a long period of time, I was applying.”

In a statement released by his school, Mr Barnes said he plans to pursue a dual degree in computer science and criminal justice, and would announce next month which college he plans to attend.

His advice to fellow applicants: “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.”

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Idowu Babalola

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