Dennis “Maliq” Barnes, the International High School of New Orleans senior who received more than $10 million in scholarships, has chosen Cornell University as his college destination for the upcoming fall semester.
“I have committed to attend Cornell University and intend to pursue computer science and to later move on to practice software development,” said Barnes on May 5, wearing a Cornell University sweatshirt during the announcement. “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.”
Thanks to diligence, persistence, and excellent grades, New Orleans high school student Dennis Barnes has been accepted to 170 colleges while earning $9 million in scholarship money along the way. pic.twitter.com/RvPhsRZPlm
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) April 29, 2023
At the Ivy League school, Barnes plans on majoring in computer science and then law school. Previously, he said he wanted to pursue a dual degree in computer science and criminal justice.
In August 2022, the student began his school applications and mentioned that he did not have any plans to set records at first.
“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.”
Cornell University, located in Ithaca, New York, is the “best Ivy League for engineering,” the student said, saying the college will “set me up for success, that would give me a quality education.”
“I would like to get away from New Orleans. I love my city, but I do want to venture out and experience new things and see the new things that I haven’t seen before,” Barnes said.
Cornell University is highly regarded in the field of computer and information sciences, ranking in the top 10 percent of the country. It was specifically ranked No. 27 out of 512 schools by College Factual and No. 4 in the state of New York. In the 2018-2019 academic year, Cornell awarded 529 bachelor’s degrees in computer and information sciences.
When asked about his expectations for college, Barnes expressed his desire to make new connections and meet interesting people, saying, he want to “get an understanding and different perspective of the world, have my eyes opened and my perceptions changed by the people around me for the better.”
He previously said he plans to pursue a dual degree in computer science and criminal justice.
“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 told CNN in a statement. “We are excited to welcome this incredible group of future leaders to our campus community in just a few months.”
Barnes has earned 27 college credits through dual enrollment at Southern University of New Orleans, as well as completing internships and receiving academic recognition from the Mayor of New Orleans. To earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), he would need to complete 120 credits, which would take a minimum of eight full-time semesters.
The student attributed his achievement to the support of his family and expressed his admiration for former President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey, both of whom he would love to seek advice from, being history makers, CNN reported.
“Keep God first, not everybody is religious but one thing that I would definitely encourage is to keep God in the midst. I know that’s something that has always worked for me,” the student said.