'Dream come true': Student accepted into 115 colleges, offered nearly $3.8 million in scholarships
NEW ORLEANS, La. - A senior in New Orleans has been accepted into 115 colleges and universities and offered nearly $3.8 million in scholarships.
Antoinette Love, who attends the International High School of New Orleans (IHSNO), was still awaiting responses from 12 more universities.
The 18-year-old has been offered a total of $3,775,230 in scholarship money, which is more than any other college bound senior in the country, according to the school.
"I started applying in September, and just kept applying and applying until my tiny mailbox at home was suddenly overflowing with letter after letter and dozens of scholarship offers," said Love, who added the mail carrier is still busy delivering letters and scholarships to her home.
Love is the oldest of five children. Her parents said she was born six weeks prematurely, only weighing 4.4 pounds when she came into the world.
"I was nervous when her dad and I had her at the young ages of 15 and 17," her mother Yolanda Love said.
At the age of 2, her mother said she survived a "vicious" dog attack.
Love spends most of her time helping to raise her four siblings, who range in age from 9 to 15, her family said. Her 15-year-old brother suffers from cystic fibrosis.
"Antoinette began her freshman year as a shy girl, and she has grown into a hard-working scholar who is eager to help her fellow students with their academics," said Sean Wilson, Head of School for IHSNO.
She was inducted into the National Senior Beta Club, the National Honor Society, the National English Honor Society and Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society in her four years at the school, administrators said.
Love, who plans to major in elementary education, said she will be busy over the next few weeks visiting several colleges that have awarded her scholarships.
Described as a "gifted painter," Love applied to a total of 115 schools nationwide with the help of her counselor Denise James, who is credited with motivating Love and 2018's record recipient Darrin Francois.
Francois, who also attended IHSNO, was accepted into a total of 91 colleges and received more than $2.8 million in scholarships.
The school is a public, college preparatory charter school located in the Central Business District of New Orleans. Open to all Louisiana residents, it is the only high school in New Orleans to participate in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, a globally recognized pre-university program for students aged 16 to 19.
For other seniors applying to colleges and scholarships, Love's advice is to "apply, apply, apply."
"This really is a dream come true," she said. "All my hours of studying, writing and classes have paid off in the best possible way and I can't wait to move forward and start my college education."