Darrin Francois knows a thing or two about the college application process. If the name of the teenage New Orleanian sounds familiar, that’s because he made national news earlier this year when he was accepted into 91 different colleges.
“I’m embracing it but it still feels very surreal that it happened to me,” he explained of the sudden rush of acceptance letters and the news stories that came with.
That’s not to say Francois isn’t used to being busy. On top of building up the academic track record that warrants acceptance to nearly 100 schools, Francois took part in many auxiliary clubs, played sports in a league outside the school and dabbles with photography and acting, having done extra work on NCIS: New Orleans and Queen Sugar.
That would be a full slate for an average 18-year-old. Most rising college students would feel content to rest for a minute after landing all those acceptances letters and a mountain of money to pay for it, Francois is looking to uplift other students using his particular skills. You see, the soon-to-be Freshman netted millions of dollars in scholarship money. And he wants to help others do the same.
With the help of Tulane professor and doctor of mathematics Iris Mack, Francois put together a book to help other kids use the admissions system to their advantage. Francois was working on the book as he prepared to head off to Tuskegee University and says he’s sent off the manuscript for College Cash Magnet to a publisher.
“Everbody’s looking for money,” Francois explained. “There’s nobody who is looking to pay for school.”
Francois shared one of his tips that lead to covering your schooling and more via scholarships: apply for every scholarship you think you might qualify for, no matter how small.
“Money is money,” he said. “Even if a scholarship is like 500 dollars, it all adds up.”
When asked why he feels the need to share the secrets that made him so successful, Francois points to the support system around him. From his family to the faculty of his high school to the mentors he had in various clubs, Francois is more than willing to see the help he was given. And he wants to pay it forward.
“It feels good, actually,” Francois said. “So many people helped me out. So, I just felt a need to help others.”