New York (CNN):A high school senior in Louisiana has received more than 170 college acceptance letters and more than $9 million in scholarship offers.
Dennis Maliq Barnes, a 16-year-old senior at International High School of New Orleans, told CNN he wasn’t initially looking to set any records.
“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 when he was told he was close to the record, he “just went for it.”
Barnes said he began applying to schools in August 2022 and took pride in watching the acceptances and scholarships roll in. “It was never really a surprise for me once I reached that number,” Barnes said.
School officials say Barnes’ accomplishment sets a new world record and have reached out to the Guinness Book of World Records to make it official, according to Clark Castle, a spokesman for the school and Barnes.
CNN reached out to The Guinness Book of World Records for comment.
Barnes has a 4.98 GPA and is graduating two years early and hasn’t decided which school he will attend in the fall.
“I don’t know where I want to go,” Barnes said, but added, “I intend to pursue computer science,” and then go to law school.
Barnes credits his family and friends and faith in God for his accomplishments.
“I am a God-fearing young man; I keep God first,” he said.
Barnes has applied to 200 schools and plans to announce his final decision in early May before graduation on May 24th.
And for those coming behind him, Barnes had some advice, “If you keep your school, your education a priority and keep God in the mix, then you are definitely going to be successful no matter what you do.”