New Orleans Teen Accepted To 185 Colleges Makes His Choice

Maliq Barnes received over $10 million in scholarship offers.

A New Orleans teenager accepted to more than 185 colleges and universities has made his choice.  

Drumroll, please.  

Dennis “Maliq” Barnes, 16, announced Friday that he’ll be attending Cornell University in the fall.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be accepted to the Ivy League college Cornell University's college of engineering,” Barnes said, surrounded by members of his family and school faculty.  

Dennis “Maliq” Barnes

Image1 Photography 

He then donned a bright red Cornell University sweatshirt.  

In addition to collecting college acceptance letters, Barnes has also been collecting scholarship money to the tune of $10.1 million. He says he didn’t set out to apply to so many schools, it just sort of happened. 

“I knew that I wanted to go to college, so I just kept applying,” Barnes said. “There was no goal or intent to apply to a certain number of schools or to get ‘x’ amount of scholarship money.” 

But when the offers and money started rolling in, he kept going. 

In weighing the decision of where to go, Barnes said he wanted a school that made him feel comfortable, would set him up best for his future and one that would take care of him financially.  

He plans to major in computer science and wants to be a software developer.  

Having finished his sophomore and junior years in just two semesters, Barnes will graduate from International High School of New Orleans on May 24th at the age of 16.  When he enters Cornell this fall he’ll begin with 27 college credits, after taking college courses at Southern University of New Orleans while earning his high school diploma.  

He says he owes all of his success to God and his parents and sister, who are very proud of him but haven’t tried to sway his decision.

“They’re very encouraging and supportive,” Barnes said of his family, “I know they’re going to miss me but they’ve given me the leniency to decide where to go.”  

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