SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO ( — A San Juan Capistrano student with learning challenges got a series of surprises when he applied to several colleges.

Josh Barri, who once thought he couldn’t survive high school, received acceptance letters from 15 colleges and universities. Some of those schools include DePaul, Catholic University of America, University of Portland, Seton Hall that have price tags of $80,000 and above for a four-year degree.

What’s just as impressive is the $1 million total in financial aid from the 15 schools he’s been offered. Good news for his middle class parents who make too much to qualify for substantial aid but too little to cover the soaring costs of tuition.

At a ceremony at J Serra Catholic High School, Barri told fellow students and teachers he has decided to attend Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Barri shared his struggles in college essay applications

“Ever since I was very young, I was diagnosed with ADHD and Dysgraphia making it very difficult to pay attention and write,” Barri says.

“Teachers can’t read my writing,” Barri told a local newspaper. “Sometimes I can’t read my own writing.”

Josh’s mom says her son has worked hard to manage his learning difficulties instead of making excuses for them.

“I think that’s kind of what came through in his applications,” his mother Kristin said. “It came through that he had these learning challenges but he overcame them.”

Barri aspires to be a lawyer.


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