Dennis “Maliq” Barnes, 16, has chosen to attend Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, after being offered admission to 188 universities across the country. Barnes also got more than $10 million in scholarship offers from the universities before making up his mind on Friday to attend Cornell. He said he will be studying computer engineering and then software development.
Barnes is finishing International High School in New Orleans two years ahead of time due to his high grades. He was able to be offered admission to numerous tertiary institutions across the United States because he is graduating high school with a GPA of 4.98; and he has 27 college credits, having been dually enrolled at Southern University of New Orleans for the past two years.
Wearing a red and white Cornell sweatshirt on Friday, Barnes told parents and school officials at a press conference at his high school that he is glad to be attending Cornell University in the fall.
“Today, I am pleased to announce my final college decision for the fall of 2023,” he said. “It is an honor and privilege to be accepted to the Ivy League Cornell University’s College of Engineering in Ithaca, New York. I express great gratitude for the support system both in high school, at home, and professors at the collegiate level. I have committed to Cornell University and intend to pursue computer science to later move on to practice software development.”
A few months ago, he stated that he wanted to study engineering and then go to law school to study criminal justice. Cornell University management released a statement welcoming Barnes to study in the fall.
“Cornell Engineering congratulates Dennis and his fellow members of the Class of 2027, along with their families, on all they have accomplished to reach this exciting moment in their educational journeys,” the school said. “We are excited to welcome this incredible group of future leaders to our campus community in just a few months.”
The 16-year-old teen said he began applying to universities last year in August but didn’t expect to break the record of being offered admission to 188 universities and $10 million in scholarships. He said he is simply a goal-getter who puts his trust in God in all he does. He said he only wanted a good college that would set him up for success in life and also enable him to earn while schooling.
“Breaking a record wasn’t necessarily a goal or something I set out to do,” Barnes said. “I am just a college-bound student, seeking somewhere where I’m comfortable, that has a great program in my major and that’s going to compensate me financially.”
Having been credited by New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell for his achievement, Barnes said he looks forward to being counseled by former President Barack Obama and billionaire entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey. The teen who speaks fluent Spanish and plays basketball might likely enter into the Guinness Book of World Records for his scholarship record.