Teen who broke scholarship record decides where he’s going to college, breaks $10 million mark

A teen who had been awarded more than $9 million in scholarships and accepted to 125 colleges and universities has decided which school he’ll attend.

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The Times-Picayune reported that Dennis “Maliq” Barnes announced he would attend Cornell University and will be part of the class of 2027.

“I have committed to attend Cornell University and intend to pursue computer science and to later move on to practice software development,” Barnes said on Friday, according to CNN. “Today is an exciting day for me and my family and I look forward to working with Cornell’s College of Engineering over the course of my undergraduate education.”

Barnes, a senior at International High School of New Orleans, applied to more than 200 schools nationwide last August, WWL reported last month.

He had broken the record by earning more than $9 million in scholarships two weeks ago and then made a goal of earning $10 million, WGNO reported.

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Barnes crossed the finish line, attaining his goal and being accepted by more than 185 colleges. He told CNN that he didn’t start out 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,” Barnes said, adding that he “just went for it” when the record was within his sights.

Barnes has a cumulative GPA of 4.98 and is also earning college credit through Southern University of New Orleans while still enrolled in high school.

Barnes said he has had straight A’s since he was in elementary school. He’s also fluent in Spanish and has earned “Diplomas en Español” from the Instituto Cervantes and Spain’s Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports. He also earned the Jose Luis Baños Award for Excellence in Spanish Language.

Barnes’ success isn’t just limited to the classroom. He’s held leadership positions in the National Honor Society.

Barnes is scheduled to graduate on May 24.