has options — lots of options — for where to continue his education after he graduates from International High School of New Orleans late next month.
Last fall, he submitted 200 applications to various schools across the country and then sat back to see what kind of response he would receive. "I submitted college applications in August, with an eye on raising the bar high for college admissions," Barnes explained.
Even he may have been surprised by the results. Thus far, he has received acceptance letters from 125 schools, which have also offered him a total of $9 million in scholarship opportunities.
125 college offers; $9 million in total for 16-year-old New Orleans honor student
That $9 million total may be enough to break the current Guinness world record for most scholarship offers. In 2019, a fellow Louisianan from Lafayette amassed $8.7 million. Now, IHSNO is contacting Guinness to determine whether Barnes has officially surpassed that record.
While $9 million in free college money is impressive,
still wants more, hoping to crest $10 million by the end of the month. He's still waiting on a few applications, and if his acceptance and scholarship offer rates continue, he may just meet his ambitious goal.
Barnes' academic success began back in elementary school, where he earned straight As. That success continued when Barnes began attending IHSNO, where he maintains a staggering 4.98 GPA. He also has dual enrollment with Southern University of New Orleans, earning high school and college credit simultaneously.
Barnes also speaks Spanish fluently and has received several awards from Spanish-related groups, including the Instituto Cervantes and Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. He has also been given the Jose Luis Baños Award for Excellence in Spanish Language,
Barnes plans to select a college by May 2 and said that financial assistance, and perhaps even financial compensation, will factor heavily into his decision. Wherever he decides to go, he intends to study computer science and criminal justice.
Barnes' mother, whose name has not been given, is very proud of all of her son's accomplishments. "He has always been very inquisitive, always on top of everything," she recalled. "I know that he has big ambition, big goals, and I believe with everything in me that he's going to achieve all of it."
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