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The World Record for the Most College Scholarships has been Broken!

This record was previously held by Normadie Cormier from Lafayette High School in Louisiana. In 2019, she received $8.7 million worth of scholarships from more than 130 universities.

Taking the crown is Dennis Barnes, a 12th grader from New Orleans International High School. So far, he has received a total of $9 million worth of scholarships from 125 universities and is still working towards his goal of reaching $10 million. Having applied to around 200 universities and awaiting more responses, this goal is not too far ahead!

Barnes and a box of college acceptance letters Source: nypost

This young man aims to pursue a double major in Computer Science and Criminal Justice in college, a lofty goal for some but one that he is preparing for throughout the years.

Barnes has been a straight-A student since elementary school. His high school GPA is 4.98, which he was able to maintain while pursuing various extracurricular activities, including a leadership position in the National Honors Society. He is also fluent in Spanish and was awarded a diploma by the Cervantes Institute and the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports. He also received the Jose Luis Baños Award for Excellence in Spanish from the Honorary Consul of Spain in New Orleans.

In order to get ahead and prepare for his collegiate journey, he has been taking classes at the Southern University in New Orleans and has accumulated a considerable amount of college credit for the past 2 years. Since he can transfer these college credits to the university of his choice, this will save him a huge chunk of tuition and allow him to graduate early!

What he has accomplished is no easy feat. Imagine the level of discipline and resilience needed to submit 200 college applications in a matter of months! Not to mention the level of time management skills needed to balance extracurricular activities and maintain a high GPA, all the while pursuing college-level courses. This is something that many people cannot do or even imagine.

However, it is not totally impossible. A good first step is to formulate a strategic plan early on.

When asked his advice for completing college applications, Barnes stated, "The path to a successful future is planning ahead and making connections with colleges. If you can see your vision, then you can achieve your goals."

Every high school senior planning to go to college should heed his advice. One should start by coming up with clearly defined application goals. This may entail identifying which universities provide scholarships, as Barnes did. Then through in-depth university research, match schools according to whether they meet your learning needs instead of choosing blindly. From there, you can formulate a reasonable application strategy to improve your chances of admission.

As model minorities, Asian applicants in the United States are usually admitted to elite universities, and their admission standards have always been much higher than other ethnic groups. However, in recent years, it has become increasingly difficult for Asians in popular majors such as Computer Science, Engineering, Data Science, Business, and Biology to enroll.

Even with a perfect GPA, an almost perfect SAT, coupled with various "hot" scientific research projects on the market and several well-known college summer programs, the chances of getting into a CS program at a top 20 US university are infinitesimal. This is true even with historically Asian-friendly universities like the UC school system. Students with similar pedigrees will likely still get rejected. So, how should future Asian-American and Chinese native applicants set themselves apart?

One needs an expert in the college application process and trends in the US to guide them through choosing which academic and extracurricular activities to highlight their personality and skills. At Enlighteens, we have a vast roster of experienced consultants to advise you on what you need to do to achieve your goals! Who knows? Maybe you can snag the world record from Barnes!

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