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5 Tips for a Great Campus Visit

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 01/18/2018 - 15:30

Seeing a college or university's campus firsthand can be the best way to find out if that school is a good fit for you. Take a look at the list of schools that you are seriously considering and decide on a few to visit. If it’s not financially feasible to check out some of these schools, visit one near your hometown—even if it’s not on your list. It will at least give you a feel for what to expect and what this whole world of “college” really can be like.

For the schools that are high on your list that you do plan to visit, here are a few tips for maximizing the trip so that it is the most successful that it can be. 

1)      Visit at the right time of the year. Summer may be a convenient time for you to check out schools, but it’s not always the best time to get a good feel for a campus. With few students on campus during the summer months, it’s tough to get that solid impression for what the school is like. The same goes for visiting during weather-appropriate times—if you’re considering a school in a cold weather climate, be sure to visit at that time of the year. Some people love the cold, others are warm weather folk (like me down here in New Orleans!). Oh, and always check when Mardi Gras is happening before visiting Tulane. Great time to visit NOLA, but, not the best time for a visit to campus (we're closed!).

2)      Pull the randoms aside. Your tour guide is going to give you some great facts and personal anecdotes, but go past that. When you're done with the tour, sit outside and see if you can chat with students. Ask them about their experiences, see how much love they have for their school. If the students who you talk to think it’s weird or are uncomfortable with you asking them questions, then maybe that is telling about the school. Tour guides are great but check with some other students to get the inside scoop. 

3)      Eat in the dining hall. There is no better spot on campus to get a true feel for the pulse of the campus than the freshman dining hall. Eavesdrop on conversations; see what students are passionate about and what the chatter is (I know, it sounds awkward, but do it!). Plus you’ll get to see how good the food is on campus, which is always an important factor!

4)      Do your research before you get there. We are excited to have prospective students tour campus every single day. But what we like even more is when we can tell those students have done some legwork before arriving on campus. If you get to campus and you are asking your admission officer questions like “how large is this school?” and “do you have a psychology major?” it becomes quickly obvious to us that you may not have put too much thought into the school. We’d much rather hear “I read that psychology is your most popular major. Do you find it to be more of a clinical-based major, or maybe more neuroscience?” Here are some great questions you should be asking during your visit. 

5)      Do some stuff on your own, but also do the formal visit. Going on a campus tour is a great way to share your excitement about the school with the team in the Office of Admission. So while you may just want to chill with your cousin who’s a sophomore at the school, take the time to register and attend a formal campus tour. See if the school offers interviews (we don't at Tulane, but many schools do.) Make the most of your visit, but also be sure to connect with the Office of Admission at some point. 

Have a great trip! If you're planning a Tulane and NOLA visit, here are some tips from us. And if you can't make it down, you can meet our tour guides to get your questions answered here

Doesn't this make you want to come visit us in New Orleans? C'mon down!

So You're Using an Independent Counselor...

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 01/08/2018 - 19:58

If you are junior right now, you might be thinking about looking into hiring an independent college counselor to assist and guide you through the college application process. And by you, I mean your parents.

Here at Tulane, we very much value the role that independent counselors can play as you generate your college list and navigate the somewhat complex application process. Independent counselors and consultants can provide valuable guidance and support as well as a wealth of knowledge of the application and financial aid process. That said, there are a few things remember for if you are thinking of working with an independent counselor.

Ensure that they are members of National Association for College Admission Counseling or a regional affiliate. Whenever you hire someone to do a service for you (like a contractor or dentist) you always want to make sure they are accredited and certified. Same goes with hiring an independent counselor. Being a part of NACAC means they'll abide by the Statement of Princples of Good Practices. I do not recommend working with a counselor who is not a NACAC member.

Ensure that they are affiliated with IECA or HECA. These are two incredible organizations comprised of all higher education consultation and independent education counselors. They share great ideas, best practices and are a great professional networking group.

Tell your school counselor you are working with an independent counselor. It will do you no good to have to competing forces. If you opt for an independent counselor, let your school counselor know. Remember, your school counselor is the person writing your recommendation letters and advocating for you in the application process. It's vital that you develop a meaningful and honest relationship with them, first and foremost.

Think you can't afford one? Think again! While many independent counselors might come with a hefty price tag, keep in mind that many of them do work for low-income students probono. Head over to those IECA and HECA pages and run a search of a counselor near you. If you know you can't afford one, you've got nothing to lose by reaching out to a few to see if they have the ability to take on a probono clients.

Consider any after-school support programs or CBOs. Working with an independent counselor isn't all that different from spending time at a Community Based Organization. I'm fully aware that in some cases, working with an independent counselor can give an already advantaged student an even greater advantage in this process. If you are the first in your family to go to college or are coming from a disadvantaged background, research local programs you can connect with to get support. NACAC has a great list.

Make sure your application remains authentically you. If you remember nothing else from this blog, remember this tip. We expect your application to sound like a high school student has written it. We want to hear your authentic voice. The voice of a 17 year old guy sounds a lot different than the voice of a 45 year old woman. Independent counselors can help formulate your college list, provide knowledge about best practices in applying and proofread your essays, but if your voice starts to fade from your application, well... we can tell.

Remember, you sign your application stating everything in there is accurate and honest. Over the last month, I have been made aware of an independent consultant group out of California that fills out student's applications for them. When we noticed some inconsistencies with an applicant, a call to the student's school ended up exposing that the independent counselor had put false information into the student's application. This resulted in the student being denied admission, something I really hated to have to do. Do not work with consultants like these. You can avoid consultants like this by following steps 1 and 2 above.

We at Tulane have great deal of respect for the work that independent counselors do. If you are considering going this route, following my tips above will ensure that you are working with the best in the business.

Community Service Fellowship

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 01/04/2018 - 17:34
Happy New Year, readers! Just over a week till our Regular Decision deadline, as well as our deadline for the Community Service Fellowship.

At the start of every New Year, we each set goals to make positive change in our lives. I actually blogged at my other place of employment about how to create three great resolutions for yourself: one small, one medium and one large. Here at Tulane, we are constantly setting goals to make positive change in the lives of others and the community around us. The new year gives us an opportunity to evaluate what we have done and what we still need to accomplish. A few years ago, through the Cowen Service Challenge, students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the Tulane community donated over 750,000 hours of service as a tribute to our former President Scott Cowen. Needless to say, we think community service is pretty amazing. That is why we offer you the opportunity to apply for the Community Service Fellowship. You can read more about current CS Fellows here on their very cool website.

The deadline for this fellowship is fast approaching – January 15th! It is $10,000 - $20,000 dollars a year, so definitely don’t wait until the last minute to submit this application. We frequently get questions about how many hours are required, what types of projects we are looking for, etc. When we review these projects with the Center for Public Service, it’s really not just about hours or the names of the organizations that you worked with during your service. It’s about the passion you have demonstrated through service for a cause or multiple causes and the depth of your involvement. For some of you, this has meant starting your own non-profits. For others, this has meant raising awareness in your communities about health issues or human rights issues. In some cases, winners of the scholarship have worked in smaller, unique ways in their communities, but have had a large impact on the lives of those they worked with. In short, there is no formula for winning this scholarship. There is not a specific hour requirement or type of organization you should mention. We are looking for change-makers and social entrepreneurs, not just through the list of things you have done, but through the passion and depth of engagement you exhibit through writing about these activities. I’ve put together some “Do’s and Don’ts” for the application.

Do put time into writing your essays. For the third prompt, let us know why you chose to dedicate yourself to that specific type of service. Why does that type of work resonate with you? Keep it short but make it informative and passionate.

Don’t hold back. For the fourth prompt, we really want you to put yourself into this piece. This is a great way for us to find out more about the way you think, what you are interested in, etc. When you tell us about the organization you would work with in NOLA, let us know why you have chosen it, how you would spend your time, and who the intended audience of your service is. Really think about this one. We want to see how you’ll engage with the campus and community while you are here as a Community Service Fellow. Be creative and be intentional about what you write.

Do tell us what you did specifically with your volunteer work. Don’t just list an organization and expect us to know.

Do scan or send in any newspaper articles, news clips or photos that show you or talk about you doing service, but don't go overboard. We don't need photocopies of each award you've gotten, but a nice visual addition to your resume can't hurt.

Don’t email in the recommendation letter on your own. We do not accept recommendation letters directly from students. You need to have the individual writing this recommendation email or mail the letter in.

Do understand that this scholarship is not just about receiving merit aid. It’s about joining a community of outstanding individuals dedicated to creating change in the world around them.

Do remember that even if you aren’t selected for this very competitive award, you will still be able to be heavily involved with community service and civic engagement at Tulane and in New Orleans.

Good luck to all!

I've Been Deferred. Now What?

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 12/19/2017 - 21:00

December 20th is upon us, so if you've applied to Tulane for our Early Action or Early Decision round, chances are you've gotten a decision from us by now or will in the next few days. For many of you, that decision may have been, "The Admission Committee has chosen to defer final action on your application until our regular review periods this spring." You're probably asking yourself. "What now?" So here we go, here are my steps for helping you through this process.

Step one: read this post that I wrote last year. Don't proceed any further until you've read that post.

Welcome back. Step two: what does that mean? In essence, being deferred means that we need a bit more time before making a final decision on whether or not to admit you. There are two major factors that will come into play from here on out; one is in your control and the other is not. Your application will come back to the admission committee in the spring and will go through the same review it went through in Early Action, this time however you will be up against the Regular Decision pool of applicants.

The first factor, the one outside of your control, is the way the rest of the applicant pool shapes up. We will do a full re-review of your application with the regular decision pool. Depending on the competitiveness of that regular decision pool, we will make a new decision on your application before April 1st. If the regular pool is much larger and stronger than we expect, then it will be more of a challenge for deferred students to be admitted. However, if it is closer to what we saw with Early Action, we will be able to offer admission to a number of deferred students. We won't know more about this until after the January 15th Regular Decision deadline.

I think it is also worth mentioning that Tulane saw a pretty substantial increase in applications this year. Bottom line, we could fill up multiple freshman classes with students who are academically qualified to attend Tulane. We could fill up multiple freshman classes just with students who would be great fits here and genuinely want to be at Tulane. The problem is we can't admit all of them, even if we wanted to.

That brings me to the second factor that comes into play now that you have been deferred, and this is the one that is within your power. This has to do with what you can do from here on out now. There are a number of things that you can do to strengthen your application to Tulane, and a few things you shouldn't do. Here are my Dos and Don'ts for deferred students:

DO: Consider switching your application to ED II. This is for deferred EA applicants only (and for first time applicants.) You can get more info here. The deadline is January 5th.

DO: Be in touch. Contact your admission counselor and let him or her know you are interested in Tulane. You can reach out to your admission counselor here. You'll want to shoot them an email in the coming weeks (not necessarily today... let the dust settle and your emotions subside) letting them know that you have been deferred and that you remain strongly interested in Tulane.  Another important way to let us know you are still interested in attending Tulane is by filling out this form, which will also show up on your Green Wave Portal.  It will be nearly impossible to be admitted to Tulane if you do not, in some form, reach out to us. We'd like to only take those students we know want to enroll here.

DON'T: Over-contact your admission counselor. One email to your counselor over the course of the spring semester will help, especially if you have some bigger news for us (you retook the SATs, a major (major) advancement in your extracurricular activity, etc) but do not send us a weekly email update. It will not help your cause. Major profile in your local paper's community section? Send it in. Promoted to secretary of the National Honor Society? No need to send; we already have a nice list of your extracurricular activities you sent us when you applied. Also, be honest. If you'll enroll at Tulane if you are admitted, tell us, but only if that is the truth.

DO: Send us an essay about why you are interested in enrolling at Tulane, if you have not already done so. See the Why Tulane? prompt on the application for admission. Tell us why you would be a great fit here, and why Tulane is a great fit for you. Do some research. Many times, we defer students who are academically qualified to be admitted, but we are unsure of their interest level. So reach out and let us know.

DON'T: Feel pressured to come down and visit. We know money is tight these days, and New Orleans is a big trip for many of our applicants. If you feel the need to come down to express your interest in Tulane in person, you are definitely welcome to do so, however if this is not possible (for financial or any other reasons) do not fret. We understand not everyone can make it down to visit, especially if you are not admitted yet. If you are interested in coming down, let your counselor know.

DO: Be patient. Understand you may not hear from us before April 1st. We are working to get a decision to you as quickly as possible, but in some cases it may not be till late March. We're sifting through thousands of applicants and are giving each one the time they deserve.

DON'T: Compare yourself to others. Calling the admission office or emailing your counselor to inquire why "Diane and Jack who have lower scores and lower grades and fewer extracurricular activities were admitted but I was not" will never, ever help your cause to be admitted at Tulane. We don't compare students to each other directly when they apply, and are always looking to build a diverse and well-rounded class of students. You may not be aware of what is in other student's recommendations, essays, etc., or what we are specifically looking for. It will not do you any good to mention other students. If there is a very specific question about this, your high school counselor can direct those questions to us. We especially do not appreciate "Tommy and Gina used Tulane as a safety school and aren't even that interested in attending but I am!"

DO: Send us some additional materials. You are welcome to send us a new resume, essay, your first semester grades, an art or music portfolio, a new SAT or ACT score, etc. While some of the smaller things may not make a big difference, an increase on your SATs, or a well-written essay about your Tulane visit can go a long way. Mid-year reports are recommended for deferred students. Again, keep in mind, unless it's a major change in extracurricular activities, it won't change too much (same goes for additional teacher recommendations). The biggest changemaker will be new test scores.

DON'T: Be rude. We know this is a stressful time and we know that you may be very excited about Tulane and disappointed to not be admitted. But keep in mind that you still want to maintain your composure and maturity while communicating with the office of admission. Dramatic emails or calls will get you nowhere.

DO: Understand how competitive this all is. As of today, Tulane has admitted fewer than 25% of the students who have applied to Tulane. Application to schools like Tulane are competitive, and we have far fewer spots in the class available than we have students who want to be a part in the class. So keep your head up and know that, in the end, whatever is meant to be will be. Defer is not a NO, it's more of a "not yet."

Hope this helps you deferred students out there. Best of luck!

Spring Scholars

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 12/18/2017 - 15:00
Your potential fall campus!  We'll be releasing all our decisions for the Early Action round this week and we're so excited to offer admission to such a diverse, driven, and service-minded group of students! For a small number of students in this group, the offer of admission is for our spring admission program: Spring Scholars.

If you were admitted as a Spring Scholar, congratulations! I thought I'd take a moment to share a few of my thoughts on this program.
The most common question I get from Spring Scholars is, "Why was I admitted for the spring?" The answer has to do with how we review applications and the increase in popularity Tulane has seen over the past few years. Our admission office is very big on the holistic review process. That means we spend a great deal of time creating a class of students based on everything you present to us in your application. Spring Scholars have excellent applications in nearly all regards. There are amazing alumni interviews, great "Why Tulane?" statements, and outstanding letters of recommendation in every application. When reading your application, we knew immediately that you want to come to Tulane and that you would be a great fit here. That said, Tulane has become an increasingly popular university and that has made it more and more competitive to gain admission here. 
I suspect that our overall admit rate this year will be lower than last year's which was around 21%. Unfortunately, that means that over 80% of the students who apply to Tulane this year will not be admitted for either the fall or spring. By the numbers, we also saw our strongest Early Action pool in history, with a middle 50% range on the ACT between 31-34 and SAT between 1440-1540. These are by no means cutoffs, but it does give you a sense of just how competitive Tulane is this year. We can't take every academically qualified student who applies, but for a small group who we believe will be fantastic fits, we admit them as a part of our Spring Scholars program. 
With those facts in mind, I have some suggestions for next steps to take if you have been admitted as a Spring Scholar. First, take some time to think about it. I know your preference would be to start class in the fall, but the Spring Scholars option is a final decision—it's non-binding and you have until May 1st to decide. There will be no Spring Scholars switched to the fall semester at any point. Before you reach out with questions, take some time to read the FAQs for the program; there's some great info in there about housing (we guarantee it!) and Greek life (you can still go through the recruitment process!)
Your other fall campus option! Next, consider your options for the fall. We're so excited about the fall abroad programming we offer Spring Scholars in both Rome and Paris. You'll have the option to spend your fall term with a cohort of Tulane students at one of two incredible universities abroad: The John Cabot University in Rome or the American University of Paris (AUP). Schools like Northeastern, Cornell, Miami, Delaware, and the University of Southern California also have freshman at these campuses during the fall. One of our current Spring Scholars in Rome just blogged yesterday about her experience there. If you'd prefer to stay stateside, you can take classes as a non-degree seeking student at a school of your choice, participate in a gap semester program, take a semester to work, or maybe participate in service. It's really up to you! We've listed all of your options here
Next, plan a visit to campus during one of our two dedicated Spring Scholar Destination Tulane dates. The dates you should plan on coming are either February 17th or April 21st. This event is tailor-made for Spring Scholars. You'll be able to meet other students admitted into the Spring Scholars program this year, hear from current Spring Scholars, and attend presentations from both John Cabot and AUP. Bonus: come for Saturday, April 21st and you'll also be able to attend Crawfest!
I've spent a lot of time blogging about the difference between reacting versus responding in this crazy world of college admissions. We try to take as much of the anxiety out of this process as we can, but there's no way to avoid the ups and downs that come each year. Nearly every student we admit as a Spring Scholar is so ecstatic to join this group. Sometimes I will get a call from a parent that is less than enthusiastic about their child being admitted as a Spring Scholar. I often tell these parents to take some time to consider the opportunity the program presents their student. If Tulane truly is where you see yourself, we'd love to have you join us in January 2019. Currently, we have 75 Spring Scholars excited to start at Tulane in just a few weeks! 

Oh, and expect a visit from me in Paris or Rome in the fall. I'm not joking! 

Jeff's Things To Do Around NOLA Part 10: Freret Street

Jeff's Blog Feed - Wed, 12/13/2017 - 23:16
Gasa Gasa (
One of the first areas to see a true post-Katrina renaissance was Freret Street. Freret is one of only two streets that actually crosses through Tulane's campus (the other is Willow) and today it's one of the most bumpin' streets in all of New Orleans. From our campus, it's just around six blocks to Jefferson and Freret where you'll start to see some excellent food and drink establishments (and a few reliable chains, like the Starbucks at Freret and Jefferson which looks to be opening soon). One of the many things I love about Freret is it has some great dining options for any budget, including student budgets. If you're walking to Freret from campus, here are my top choices of must-see/do/eat places in order of walking distance.

Mint Vietnamese: Semi-well-known-fact about New Orleans: we have one of the largest Vietnamese populations outside of Vietnam. Which means we have some pretty epic Vietnamese food all over town. Mint happens to be one of my favorite spots to grab Pho or Vermicelli. Bonus: super affordable!

Liberty Cheesesteaks: One of the best restaurants in New Orleans! And just because one of my best friends and Tulane fraternity brothers is the man behind the magic does not make me biased when I say that. I even made a video about Liberty's founder, Mike, a few years back. Since that video in 2013, Liberty has moved to a much larger space just down the block from the old location. They still churn out the best cheesesteaks south of Philly.
Brand new! Good Bird. (
Good Bird: This rotisserie chicken spot was incubated in the much-talked about St. Roch Market in the Bywater and has now opened a second location in the spot that Liberty once occupied. Good Bird serves up some of the most delicious rotisserie chicken and sandwiches I've ever tried. I highly recommend the Eagle Street!

Gasa Gasa:  An all-encompassing venue that host some of the best and most eclectic music and art in the city. A truly local music performance center, Gasa Gasa's main goal is to: "highlight the local talent that surrounds us and create a room accessible to all forms of artistic expression."

Midway Pizza: One of the best aspects of Freret is that in some ways, the street serves as a tour of America's best foods. From cheesesteaks to hot dogs to exceptional pizza, Freret has it all, in an Americana kind of way. In my opinion, the deep dish Chicago-style pizza that's served up at Midway is just as good as the original stuff you'll find in Chitown. I recommend the all-you-can-eat Freret Street Lunch Special.

Mojo Coffee: Something I love about New Orleans and New Orleanians is the fierce penchant for all things local. You're much more likely to find a local coffee shop here rather than a Starbucks (even though one ironically is about to open on the distinctly-local Freret Street soon) Mojo is everything that is right when it comes to local coffee shops and mmmmmboy is their breakfast good.

Bloomin' Deals Thrift Shop: I have been heading over to Bloomin' Deals since I was but a wee freshman walking over from Monroe Hall to do some of the best thrift shopping in town. Mardi Gras costumes, costumes for themed Greek events, old school t-shirts; all are found aplenty at Bloomin' Deals.
Company Burger is lyfe 
The Company Burger: The best burgers in New Orleans. Hands down. Period. Done. End of story. Bye.

Wayfare: I think Wayfare is one of the most underrated restaurants in NOLA. Great ambiance, excellent food, and reasonable prices. My top choice is the Waldorf Chicken Salad. This is also a great spot to head with a larger group!

High Hat Cafe (
High Hat Cafe: Anyone looking for great local and classic NOLA food near campus, High Hat should be your first stop. They have excellent takes on classical Creole dishes like po-boys, catfish, and BBQ shrimp. They do it all in a classic, yet contemporary diner setting.

This just scratches the surface of what Freret Street has to offer! I didn't even mention Tulane staples like Dat Dog (which is now opening 40 new locations!). And it's not just the food and restaurants on Freret that are great. Freret is also home to a comic book store, bakery, a bike shop, a yoga studio, a sushi joint, pet shops, art galleries, and even the monthly Freret Market. It even has a new hotel! The whole district is walkable and a fun afternoon if you're on Tulane's campus. Be sure to check it out during the annual Freret Street Festival in April.

Six Tips for a Great Dean's Honor Scholarship

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 15:15
President Fitts displays his DHS project For this blog, I went straight to the best source on all things DHS. Leila Labens, our Director of Strategic Recruitment, is taking over today to give you her best tips for a great DHS project. And she would know- she leads the committee that selects the finalists before they head to the Deans of each school. Let's do this!
*                   *                   *
Leila Labens, today's guest blogger It’s early December which means it’s almost one of my favorite part of the admission cycle – seeing the wonderful, brilliant, creative, expressive DHS projects come through the door (mostly figuratively, but sometimes literally). I’ve participated in the committee that gives the first review on all of the projects for a number of years and I wanted to share some tips on putting together a strong project.

Don’t get too caught up on “the box.” The actual box does not need to be part of the project. It can be but doesn’t have to be. So, if you can’t move past an idea that is strictly square in shape or message, I encourage you to “think outside of the box.” (Sorry, I couldn’t resist). 
Don’t completely ignore “the box.” I know- I just told you don’t get hung up on it BUT you should also have some reference to a square or box or something somewhere in your submission. Think figuratively (the box that defines you). Think big (the square façade of a building). Think tiny (pixels that make up a larger picture). Think logically (the mathematical area of the box as part of a larger equation that proves why you should get the scholarship). Think historically (an American history rap that mentions famous boxes throughout time- square stages where famous addresses were delivered, chests/boxes of tea in Boston Harbor, voting booth check boxes…) Think literally (hundreds of post-its that turn into an incredible flip storybook).
Express yourself. Take this as an opportunity to tell us about yourself. Maybe incorporate an artistic passion, or a skill for computer programming. You could use this as a chance to show off your ability to write an incredible screen play or as a vehicle to show your drive for service and your community. Help us know more about your without making the project completely about yourself. Think of this as a “humble brag,” a way to introduce yourself beyond just pictures documenting your accomplishments. 
Include some semblance of something academic. After all, this is the Dean’s Honor Scholarship- meaning some very bright members of the Tulane faculty and community (ahem, Deans) will be selecting the final recipients. This doesn’t mean you can’t be creative, humorous, or have fun while working on your project. Just remember to show off some of your impressive brain power in the process.
Put some time into it. After seeing hundreds of projects, it can become obvious which ones were thrown together in a hurry to meet our deadline. Have a plan in mind and give yourself enough time to submit a well thought out and seamlessly produced project.
Be proud of it. If you aren’t excited about your submission and didn’t enjoy working on it, the multiple reviewers may not be thrilled by it either. Do something that you would be excited to show your classmates, family, and friends.
One last technical point: if you opt to put something together online, make sure you are using a platform or host site that can be accessed by different computers across different networks.
We always get plenty of video submissions, so here are some of the best of those:
Gabreilla Runnels 
Evan Doomes from Louisiana 

Rebekah Oviatt from Washington 
Now get to boxin!

Admission Anxiety - And Twelve Steps to Reduce It

Jeff's Blog Feed - Wed, 11/15/2017 - 17:00

Alright gang, EA and ED application deadlines have passed. It's all out of your control, and now, the waiting begins. We've changed things up a bit this year, in previous years we've released our EA and ED decisions on a more rolling (and sometimes random) basis. This year, we're completely shifting to a single release date for both EA and ED. ED letters will leave the Office of Admission on November 27th. EA letters will head out on December 17th. Green Wave portals will be updated a few days after letters are mailed out. No need to keep checking the mailbox or portal until then. Hopefully, knowing exactly when you'll hear back will reduce anxiety a little bit. Speaking of anxiety...

I’ll be the first to admit it; for intermittent portions of last year, I had some serious anxiety. That's what today's blog is all about. Whether it was professional or personal, I oftentimes let my brain run wild, creating various scenarios and possibilities. For you high school students, I suspect that this feeling is not totally foreign, especially around this time of the year as you await your incoming admission decisions. The exams, the late nights, the application deadlines, the drama in school, etc. It is college application season and anxiety is, unfortunately, all too common in this process. For me, I couldn’t shake the anxiety. As soon as my alarm would sound in the morning, my brain would start racing with to-do lists, emails to send, and things not done from the day before. To be honest, it was nearly debilitating.

Then, at the end of last year, it all changed.

I know it seems somewhat dramatic to say, but there was one main thing I can credit my anxiety-reduction to: meditation. I was a naysayer forever — I thought meditation was silly, too hippy-dippy, not for me. I was also certain that I didn't have the attention span for it. And then, I tried it. And... it worked. I am not saying it wiped out my anxiety, but there is no doubt it's had a profound impact on my life.

It has worked so much for me that I want to share some of my tips for reducing anxiety in your hyperactive high school lives.  It’s my hope that by doing a few of the things below, you can start to see some positive changes and maybe manage this crazy stressful and anxiety-inducing time of the year.

1) Meditate. All I'm saying is to try it. Give it a shot. You have nothing to lose. Even just ten minutes a day. Remember, they call meditation a “practice” for a reason: you’re not going to master it the first time you try it. Or even the first ten times. But keep at it for a few weeks. I promise you, you’ll see remarkable results, just like going to the gym. I use Calm when I meditate and I can't recommend it enough. Try the 7 Days of Calm, it's a free trial. I know others love Headspace. Marines, pro athletes, CEOs, and millions of Americans have introduced meditation into their daily life. This stuff is the real deal.

2) Treat your brain like it’s your roommate. Here is something I learned from the concept of mindfulness and specifically from this great book I read called The Untethered Soul. Basically, your brain is like your roommate. It’s always going to be nagging you, talking to you, reminding you of things, giving you it's opinion in an endless narrative. The most important thing to remember is this: you can choose what you listen to. Just because your brain is always talking to you, doesn’t mean you have to listen to it. Imagine if all the negative or anxious thoughts that you have came from an actual person saying those things to you; they'd kinda be a real annoying jerk who you'd never listen to in real life. After all, if you could control your brain’s thoughts, you’d only think positive things, right? As soon as you starting thinking “I’ll never get into this school,"  "I am going to bomb the ACT," just remember — you don’t have to listen to negativity. Just like that annoying roommate, you don't have to listen to it.

3) Download the Moment app on your phone. Moment tracks the amount of time you spend on your phone and WOW is this an eye opener. The data from studies linking phone addition to anxiety and depression is eye-popping. On Sunday, I downloaded the Moment app and nearly threw up when I saw how many hours I spent on my phone in one day. So, on Monday morning when I was leaving for work and going for my standard phone check before I got into my car, I thought no Jeff don't check it, you don't need to and I drove to work. Shortly thereafter, I realized I'd actually forgotten my phone at home altogether. I spent the day worrying that my grandma was texting me "I love you" on her final death bed (she wasn't; she's not even sick) or that my boyfriend had some massive emergency (he didn't; I emailed him just to be sure). I got home Monday night to find I'd missed exactly zero important calls, texts or Insta stories. A whole day away from my phone! I'm going to stick with this Moment app to really see how I can cut down on my phone use. Give it a shot with me.

4) Try a little mindfulness. Take a few moments to listen to a podcast about mindfulness. When I did, it was the first time in my life I’ve ever been exposed to the concept, and to be honest, there is something to it. If you’d told me a year ago I would have typed that sentence, I would have laughed at you. My sister got me turned on to Tara Brach — look her up in the Podcast store and give her a listen. If you'd rather read, check out the book Dan Harris from ABC News wrote after his on-air anxiety attack called Ten Percent Happier. We've even got a Mindfulness Collaborative here at Tulane.

5) Don’t look at your phone before you go to sleep or right when wake up. See tip #3. When you are on your phone right before you go to bed, the stimulation from the phone keeps you awake and also keeps your mind racing. Instead, read a book. Meditate. Do something besides sit in bed and stare at your phone. If you have to look at your phone before bed, adjust the Night Shift on your phone before you do so. This takes out the colors that make it hard on your eyes in the evening. Right as you wake up, don't grab your phone and check Snapchat or email. Just let yourself wake up. Also, drink a full glass of water as soon as you wake up. I don't know why, it just helps somehow.

6) Add the Momentum add in for your laptop. It gives you gorgeous shots and inspirational messages to greet you every day.

7) Don’t post your college application decisions on Facebook. If you get into a school, that is great! No need to blast it all over social media, even though I know you are super pumped. Because as you get in, many of your classmates will not. Keep your results off social media and you'll be inadvertently helping those around you. Once you select a school to enroll at, by all means post about it. But in the crazy ED/EA season, it goes a long way to show some humility.

8) Take it a step further and take a little break from social media altogether. This one is tough, I know, especially in the world we live in. It's remarkable how much anxiety it can give you when you are consistently comparing your life to your classmates and experiencing FOMO. One small step I recommend is getting rid of the Facebook app on your phone and just checking it when you happen to be on your computer. Or pick one to commit to: Insta Story OR Snapchat, not both. See tip #3 again — as it turns out, you're not missing as much as you think you are. Case in point — the people who don't us social media at all are always cooler than me and never seem to have any anxiety about not being on it.

9) Learn to respond, not react. This is one that is going to take some time and won't happen overnight. But by practicing some mindfulness and maybe a little meditation, you'll get there. Simply put, reacting is the knee-jerk reaction to a situation. Responding is taking a breath, collecting your thoughts, mulling it over, and then replying. Next time someone emails you something obnoxious, instead of immediately reacting with an equally obnoxious email, sit on it, even sleep on it, and write a well-thought-out response. You'll be glad you did. Great example: if you get deferred from a school, don't react. Respond. You'd be shocked how many students send me expletive-laden emails when they are not admitted to Tulane. That is called a reaction.

10) Be patient with others. I was on the airplane last week with a mom and her baby. The baby would NOT stop crying. Everyone was glaring at the mom with a "shut that kid up" look on their face. Now, think of it this way — who is the only person on that plane who wants that baby to stop crying more than you? Right. The mom. So be patient. I bet that baby will stop crying a whole lot sooner if the other people on the flight gave the mom a few compassionate looks of patience. Patience with others (your school counselor for example) can lead to a remarkable amount of anxiety reduction of your own.

11) Let Thanksgiving be a college-free zone. Everyone is going to ask where you applied, where you got in, where you want to go. Set some ground rules with the fam.  Mom and Dad, you might have to lead this charge. Let this be a time with your family to decompress, truly enjoy each other's company, and leave all that college-talk for some other time. There's not much that can be changed now, so getting into stressful conversations over the turkey won't help anyone. Go play some football instead. Speaking of which...

12) Exercise. But like, REALLY, exercise. One of the absolute best ways to reduce your anxiety is to get a really good workout in. Not just a casual jog, but something where you really push yourself. Take a boot-camp class, maybe even a spin class, but do something that pushes you harder than usual. If you're a freshman at Tulane, your first spin class is on me! Or Joe for ABT.

If you had told me last year I'd be writing a blog encouraging you to meditate, I'd think you had lost your mind! But here I am doing exactly that. Like I've said before, everything will be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not the end. You'll get in somewhere, you'll go somewhere. You'll do fine in school and the drama with your friends will come and go. This goes back to deciding what you listen to in your brain. It's not always going to be perfect, but you can be assured, eventually things have a way of working themselves out. I am not saying all will be completely stress-free all the time, but over the course of the next few months, if you try a few of the tips above, you might just experience reduced anxiety in life, even at a time when you'd expect it to be higher than ever.

Good luck out there! And have a happy, delicious and hopefully college-talk-free Thanksgiving.

What's the Deal with ED II?

Jeff's Blog Feed - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 20:31
By now, many of you seniors have probably gotten emails from us about our Early Decision II option.  Like Early Decision, ED II is binding, meaning that you are committing to attend Tulane in the fall if you are admitted through this plan. The application is due January 5th, and you will hear a decision from us by January 19th.  How's that for a quick turnaround?

ED II is a great option if you were planning to apply Regular Decision, but have decided that Tulane is now your #1 choice. Or, if you applied Early Action and your list of schools has changed throughout the process, you can switch your application to Early Decision II. You don’t have to let us know until January 6th, so you may wait until you receive a decision from us about your Early Action application, and then be in touch. Between you and me, it's a great option if things didn't go as planned for you in EA, either at Tulane or elsewhere.

If you would to like switch your application from Early Action or Regular Decision to ED II, fill out this form by January 5th. Since it is a binding agreement, you will receive an Agreement Form to be signed by you, your parents, and your guidance counselor. If you have not applied yet, you can simply start a new application and indicate you are applying ED II. You can read a bit more about the process here, and as always, be in touch if you have any questions!

Coming Home

Jeff's Blog Feed - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 17:36
Homecoming was this past weekend and it was epic! Sure, we didn't win the game, but the energy on campus was amazing. We had thousands of alumni, parents and friends on campus for a perfect week of carnivals, concerts, tailgates and football games. You can check out a recap in photos here

Homecoming is made all the more special for the Office of Admission as it usually falls right around the very end of our fall travel season. Our team of admission counselors spent the last two months travelling around the world to recruit the class of 2022. We hit up high schools far and wide as we start to shape next year's freshman class. I thought you might want to get a little bit of info on our travels, by the numbers...

949: High Schools Visited8570: Number of students who attended a Tulane high school visit474: Total days spent on the road by admission staff members153: Number of individual flights taken by admission staff members 27: Countries Visited (Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong,  India, Jordan, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Oman, Panama, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Vietnam)17: Community Based Organizations visited. This year, we hit up places like College Track, Next Generation Scholars, and Overtown Youth Center. Out top priority right now is to have the class of 2022 be the most diverse yet, and visiting CBOs is a great way to connect with some fantastic students. CBOs provide great programming and mentorship to these students and we're excited to partner with so many of them.  
I'll leave you with some of my favorite shots of both Homecoming in NOLA and a few photos of our admission travels 'round the world. Enjoy!

Our marching band in action! 
Speaking of bands, TUMBAA put on an awesome show at halftime!
They're our alumni band, featuring one of our admission counselors, Neill! 
I love this action shot of the moment that Jessica and Patrick
found out they were named our 2017 Homecoming King and Queen! Here I am at the tailgate with some of the admission team, Jalin and Henry 
And now, some of our best shots from our travels! Here is Julie remembering Tulane at the Alamo. 
Here I am at the Punahou School in Hawaii!

Morgan with a squad of prospective students in Oakland
Our Director of International Admission, Paul, always looking dapper, this time in Beirut 
I got to meet up with some great Tulane families in Los Angeles at one of our big Tulane fundraising events out there.
Here I am with the Sheltons; their son Trejon is a first year student at Tulane.
The whole Tulane squad attended the NACAC conference in Boston this fall.
Scenes from Next Generation Scholars, one of the CBOs we visited this fall.  Nora meeting prospective students in Myanmar 

Nora in Panama with Caroline, one of our Admission Interns.
Yes, we even bring our current Tulane students to travel with us to meet you all! 

Toni with a crew of prospective students in Lafayette, LA.
And finally, here I am somewhere between high school visits in Switzerland.
I think I basically drove through a Ricola commercial. 

Two Days in NOLA

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 18:00
One of the most frequent questions I get from prospective students and their families, in addition to where should we eat in New Orleans, is: "We've never been to NOLA before... what should we do?"

New Orleans is a fabulous town in so many regards, so it never surprises me when we end up on the list for Travel + Leisure's World's Best Cities and land in the top ten. It would take well more than four years to experience everything that New Orleans has to offer. I've been here for 15 and still discover new and incredible things to check out every day. (By the way, want to see all my favorite spots in town? Follow my NOLA here, and there rest of the admission office here!)

But... what if you only have two days in town? At the risk of providing you with some of the more typical tourist options, I am going to offer you a nice itinerary for the first-time visitor to Tulane and New Orleans. Consider yourself a non-typical tourist, but someone who still wants to see the most important stuff.

So, let's get going with Two Days in NOLA for the First Timer!

Day One:


Arrive in NOLA in the early afternoon and check into your hotel. We've got a number of hotels that we recommend that offer great discounts. If you've never been to New Orleans before, I would recommend staying somewhere close to downtown. New Orleans is a very walkable city and staying downtown will give you access to all we've got to offer. I'd recommend staying in the Central Business District (CBD) or the Warehouse District over staying in the French Quarter. The Quarter is amazing and definitely a place to check out during your time in NOLA, but can get verrrrry busy and difficult to navigate, especially on the weekends. The CBD and the Warehouse District are just a few blocks from the Quarter and provide some of the best hotels in town. My top three picks would be the Ace, the Renaissance Arts Hotel or the Pontchartrain Hotel.


You're heading to the French Quarter to spend the afternoon around Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral. Jackson Square is the center of everything in New Orleans. Do a full lap around the square, peek in St. Louis Cathedral (which dates back to 1718) and check out the local artists, performers and tarot card readers that post up around the square. Then, dig in to some beignets at Cafe du Monde, because no NOLA trip is complete without them. Mosey down to the French Market (which closes at 6 pm) for a bit to grab some tchotchkes. Before it gets too late, stroll back up Royal Street (one of NOLA's 15 must see streets) to jam out to the street performers and check out the amazing stores like Cohen Antiques and MS Rau Antiques. If you must, head over a few blocks to Bourbon Street to say you saw it. And then run away from there very quickly because you are not a tourist and only tourists hang on Bourbon.


Go eat. I have a whole blog dedicated to this. I could save you some time and just say go to Domenica.
Royal Street in all her glory. Photo: Four Seasons of Food blog
Day Two:


Time for your campus tour! I recommend the 9 am tour before it gets too hot in the afternoon. Sign up here.


Now it's time to really act like a local and head over to Magazine Street. Magazine is 6 miles long and has some of the best shopping, dining and drinking in town. It's also the place you're most likely to see Tulane students hanging out during their nights and weekends. Once your campus tour is wrapped up, head back to the Office of Admission, and then right out front to St. Charles Avenue to pick up the downtown streetcar. It's $1.25 and a great way to see the city. It's also the nation's only national historic landmark that is mobile. Hop off the streetcar at Washington Street. This will put you in the heart of the Garden District, another must-see. Stroll around to see Commanders Palace and the beautiful homes that surround it, particularly on Coliseum, 2nd, 3rd and 4th streets. In just this area alone, you can find the home where Benjamin Button was filmed, Ann Rice's house, Sandra Bullock's house, Beyonce and Jay Z's house, and Archie Manning's house.

Once you've had your fill of the Garden District, keep walking away from St. Charles until you hit Magazine Street and make a right. The area of Magazine Street between Washington and Louisiana is where it's AT for lunch. Want to really get a taste of Tulane? Head straight to the Rum House for lunch. Or Ignatius. Or Basin Seafood. Or Dat Dog. Or Slim Goodies. I could go on and on.
One of the incredible houses you'll see in the Garden District. This one belongs to Sandra Bullock. Photo:

You've had some time to nap off your full day of eating and walking, and maybe you head to the gym, or even take one of my spin classes. Now, it's time to see what this music scene is all about in NOLA. After dinner, grab an Uber and head down to Frenchmen Street, considered by many to be the local's version of Bourbon Street. On Frenchmen, you'll find four blocks of some of the best live music in the world, from jazz to blues to gospel to reggae to rock n roll, Frenchmen has it all. My top choices would be the Spotted Cat, DBA, and Three Muses (which also has great food!). Spend a few hours bopping into any music venue you'd like. Most are free or relatively inexpensive.

Day Three:


Time to check out one of the best museums in the world, The National WWII Museum. There is a reason it's ranked the top attraction in NOLA and one of the top ten museums in the world. First order of business will be seeing Beyond All Boundaries, a movie which will set the stage for the rest of your visit. Know why we have the WWII Museum here in NOLA? The hundreds of Higgins boats, the ones that landed on the beaches of Normandy and that Eisenhower credited as being a major factor in winning the war, were conceived of and built right here in town.

Once you've wrapped up your visit, stick around for just long enough to grab lunch in the Warehouse District, right where the museum is. I recommend Butcher, Peche or Cochon—all on my list for the top restaurants in town.

The National WWII Museum. Trust me- it's incredible! Photo:

Now it's time to head home. Wipe away those tears; you'll be back for four years to experience all of this and much, much more as a nearly-local by way of being a Tulanian!  

Before I sign off, I also had a few of my colleagues and current students provide their takes on what to do with only two days (the length of a typical college and city visit) in this fine town of ours. So, enjoy Two Days in NOLA for:

The Typical Tulanian
The History Buff
The Frugal Foodie
The Outdoorsy Family
The Health Nut
The Literature Lover
The Sports Addict 
The Art Lover 

This could all be yours someday! 

St. Louis CathedralA little Tulane flair in the French Quarter

Shelter from the Storm

Jeff's Blog Feed - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 16:00
A few weeks ago we published a blog letting students in Puerto Rico know that Tulane and New Orleans would stand with them as they began their journey toward recovery. Today, we’re making good on our offer of help by offering a tuition-free guest semester program for students from universities and colleges in Puerto Rico. Tulane will open our doors to students whose lives have been upended by Hurricane Maria for the spring 2018 semester provided that they pay their home institution’s spring tuition. After Katrina, universities and colleges around the world took in our students with open arms; it’s now our turn to pay it forward and assist students in need. This program is also open to students in other areas affected by recent storms in the USVI and St. Maarten/St. Martin.

For any student interested in spending their spring semester here at Tulane and in New Orleans, here is what you need to know and what steps you’ll need to take:

Complete a brief application. The application can be completed here. We understand that getting copies of your grades and transcripts may be difficult at this time, but please attempt to get any form of transcripts or records of grades, unofficial or not, to add to your application. We’ll accept screenshots or photographs of documents. The application deadline is November 1st and we’ll get back to you by November 15th. You will have between then and January 10th to make the decision as to whether you will enroll here. Not all students who apply will be admitted as a limited number of spaces are available.

Pay your spring tuition to your college or institution in Puerto Rico. Tulane wants to partner with your institution during their recovery process. If you are admitted to Tulane's spring guest student program, we ask that you pay your spring bill at your current school. If your current institution is not able to accept payment or not reopening, please indicate that in the “more information” section of the application.

If you attend a school other than UPR, please have your Dean or Provost reach out to us to ensure they approve of your guest student status. They should reach out to Satyajit Dattagupta, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dean of Undergraduate Admission, to state their consent to our Spring Guest Student Program. Students from UPR have already been approved for this program.

Enrolling at Tulane: Students from Puerto Rico would be considered full-time, non-degree-seeking guest students in the Newcomb-Tulane Undergraduate College. We’ll have dedicated advisors and student support here for you to ensure your semester at Tulane is a successful one. Guest students will be required to return to their home institutions in Puerto Rico after the spring semester and are not considered transfer students at Tulane.

Housing: Tulane will make attempts to secure housing for any student who enrolls at Tulane for the spring semester. Please indicate on your application if you will be needing housing. We’ll work to partner you up with host families here in New Orleans and we also recommend you research off-campus housing options as well.

Tuition and Fees: Tulane will charge you absolutely nothing to enroll here.

Should you have any questions about the Spring Guest Student Program, please reach out to us at:
Jeff Schiffman, Director of Admission
Colette Raphel, University Registrar
Becky Ancira, Associate VP of Enrollment

If you are a resident of New Orleans and interesting in housing a guest student for the semester, please let me know.

It is our hope to be able to provide a temporary home to a group of students who have dealt with the challenges of Hurricane Maria and her aftermath. The city of New Orleans and Tulane hope to welcome you this spring to help you get your education back on track. New Orleans may not be your home, but we'll do our best to make your temporary shelter from the storm.

Hace unas semanas publicamos un blog para dejarle saber a los estudiantes en Puerto Rico que podían contar con el apoyo de Tulane y la ciudad de New Orleans en el camino a la recuperación luego del huracán. Hoy cumplimos nuestra promesa, ofreciéndole a estudiantes de universidades en Puerto Rico un programa para venir a Tulane como un estudiante invitado para el semestre de primavera 2018. Le abriremos las puertas a estudiantes que fueron afectados por el huracán Maria proveyendo que paguen la matricula a su universidad, es decir, no tendrán que pagar nuestra matrícula. Luego del paso de Katrina muchas universidades y otras instituciones recibieron a nuestros estudiantes con los brazos abiertos; ahora nos toca a nosotros pagar la deuda ayudando a estudiantes que necesiten de nuestra institución. Este programa también está disponible para estudiantes de las Islas Vírgenes de los Estados Unidos y St.Marteen/ St. Martin.
Aquí podrán encontrar las instrucciones y requisitos para los estudiantes que estén interesados en venir a Tulane y New Orleans para su semestre de primavera: 
Completar la aplicaciónPuede encontrar la aplicación aquí. Entendemos que les será muy difícil obtener transcripciones de crédito o cualquier otro documento relacionado a su institución. Pero puede someter documentos pasados, o cualquier documento sea oficial o no. Aceptáramos fotografías o imágenes capturas de pantalla. Le fecha límite para aplicar sería el 1 de noviembre, 2017 y recibirá una respuesta para el 15 de noviembre, 2017. Luego tendrá hasta el 10 de enero, 2018 para decidir si se matriculará en Tulane por ese semestre. 
Pagar la matrícula en la universidad que está matriculado en Puerto Rico. Tulane está comprometido a asegurase de que las instituciones en las que los estudiantes están matriculados tengan los fundos suficientes para seguir funcionando una vez vuelvan a abrir. Si le aceptamos al programa de estudiantes invitados en el semestre de primavera vamos a requerir prueba de que pagaron la matrícula en sus institución. 
Si está matriculado en una universidad que no sea la UPR, tendrá que pedirle al decano o rector de su institución que se comunique con nosotros, para asegurarnos de que aprueben su estatus como estudiante invitado. El decano o rector tendrá que comunicarse con Satyajit Dattagupta, el Vice Presidente de Manejo de Matrícula y Decano de Admisiones Subgraduadas, afirmando que tiene el permiso de ser parte de nuestro programa. Los estudiantes del sistema UPR ya tienen el permiso. 
Matricularse en Tulane. Estudiantes que vengan de Puerto Rico serán considerados estudiantes invitados sin planes de graduación en el Newcombe Tulane Undergraduate College. Tendremos consejeros y recursos para asegurarnos que su semestre en Tulane sea exitoso. Los estudiantes invitados deberán regresar a su institución en Puerto Rico una vez completen el semestre en Tulane y no serán considerados como estudiantes transferidos. 
Alojamiento. Tulane intentará asegurarse de que los estudiantes que sean parte de este programa tengan acomodos de alojamiento. Por favor déjenos saber si necesitará alojamiento mientras esté en nuestra institución. Vamos a intentar conectarlos con familias en la ciudad, pero también le recomendamos que comiencen a buscar apartamentos alrededor del campus. 
Costo de la matrícula y otros cargos. No tendrá que pagar nada a Tulane. 
Si tiene alguna pregunta sobre el Programa de Primavera para Estudiantes Invitados favor de contactar a: 
Jeff Schiffman, Director de Admisiones Colette Raphel, Registradora Becky Ancira, Vice Presidente Asociada de Matrícula 
Es nuestro mayor deseo ofrecerles un hogar temporero a un grupo de estudiantes que han sido afectados con los daños del huracán María y sus efectos. La ciudad de New Orleans y Tulane esperan que su tiempo en nuestra institución le ayude a continuar sus estudios. Sabemos que su hogar está en Puerto Rico, pero New Orleans será resguardo mientras sus universidades se ponen en pie.

Top Five Outdoor Spots in NOLA!

Jeff's Blog Feed - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 14:00
If you have read my blog in the past, you know I am big into health and fitness. I even teach a spin class called RIDE at a studio down the street from Tulane. With fall temperatures finally approaching, I love to take many of my workouts outside. Whether it's a bike ride around town, a sunset jog through your favorite NOLA neighborhood or just an afternoon at the park, New Orleans offers a myriad of options for enjoying a life lived outdoors. In this blog, I’ll take you on a quick tour of my five favorite outdoor workout spots around (and slightly out of!) town. So grab that bike, those running shoes or just your picnic blanket and let’s go!

Crescent Park in all her glory! 1) The Crescent Park: If you haven’t checked out this park that stretches from the very tip of the French Quarter through the Marigny and all the way down through the Bywater, make this place the first stop on your list. To me, this park is very reminiscent of the High Line Park in New York City. The Crescent Park is 1.4 miles long and over 20 acres set up in a linear fashion along the Mississippi River. The park offers some of the best skyline views of the city and makes for a perfect jog down the main running path. Access to the park is easily on Piety Street in the Bywater or the staircase/elevator right past the French Market. Trust me on this one- you’ll love this spot from the second you cross over the massive bridge at its entrance.

2) Couturie Forest: For the perfect shaded run for any nature-lover, head over to the Couturie Forest in City Park. They bill it as “a natural escape in the heart of the city,” and I think that is spot on. I love running around the wooded trails and getting lost here. Sometimes I end up at a huge lake; other times you’ll find yourself atop Laborde Mountain- the highest point in the city of New Orleans at a whopping 43 feet above sea level. The forest is over 60 acres and one of my favorite spots in town for a run.
Hiking around Jean Lafitte with Drew last month 
3) Jean Lafitte Nature Trail: I love a cypress swamp, and you’ll feel like you are miles and miles away from any city when you check out this trail. Located just 30 minutes from town, it’s a great escape for a gorgeous hike through the bayou. I love this trial because you are guaranteed to experience some serious gator sightings. I think the Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve is relatively unknown, especially being so close to town. But I don’t mind keeping it that way- the trail and preserve are peaceful and a total oasis. The boardwalk trial through the Barataira Preserve leads you to a stunning view of the bayou.

4) The Mississippi River Trail- A.k.a. the Levee Top Trail, this has been a common spot to see me when I am training for various triathlons. It starts right in Audubon Park and will take you all the way out through River Ridge, Kenner and all the way out past Destrehan for a nice 40 mile round trip ride. You can even connect and take it up through Baton Rouge. The MRT offers 3,000 miles of trails from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, and our little strip in town is a great spot for a long weekend ride. You’ll see tons of pro cyclists and triathletes out there every weekend. Be forewarned- a few spots are currently close for levee work, so plan accordingly.

Esplanade running trail 5) Esplanade Avenue: We all know the most popular spot for an outdoor run is St. Charles Avenue and the Audubon Park loop. For a change of pace, replace St. Charles with Esplanade (the streetcar drivers will thank you) and Audubon loop with the Big Lake Loop in City Park. Start your run anywhere in the Quarter or Warehouse District, head down the Moonwalk on the river and lower North Peters and hang a left on Esplanade. This shaded neutral ground will set the perfect scene for a run through the Quarter and Marigny, up through Mid-City and finally arriving at City Park. Feeling strong today? Take a few loops around the Big Lake in City Park before you make your way back down and home. It’s the same path you’ll see if you ran the Crescent City Classic. There is a reason- it’s one of the most beautiful running routes in the city.

There you have it, folks! Now get out there and enjoy the great outdoors that NOLA has to offer!

The splendor of Jean LafittesThe end of the trail in Jean Lafitte. Worlds away from NOLA in only 30 minutes!
The Couturie Forest in City Park

Campus Visit Events this Weekend

Jeff's Blog Feed - Thu, 10/05/2017 - 16:20

Tulane has been monitoring Tropical Storm Nate as it enters the Gulf of Mexico.  After meeting with our Division of Emergency Preparedness, we have made updates to our campus events this weekend:

Campus Preview Day on Sunday, October 8th has been rescheduled to October 22nd. With NOAA models projecting a potential New Orleans-area landfall right as CPD was slated to begin, we made the decision to reschedule the program. The safety of our students, visitors, staff, and faculty  is our main focus and we would like to host you on campus when inclement weather is not a concern. This Sunday's CPD visitors have been automatically re-registered for Sunday, October 22nd. If you cannot attend on the 22nd, we encourage you to reschedule your visit to one of the following Campus Preview dates:
Sunday, October 29th (*new date just added!)
Saturday, November 11th

Preview TU Multicultural Fly-In has been rescheduled for October 21st-23rd. We will reach out to students planning on attending Preview TU to reschedule your flights for the new weekend and your registration has automatically transferred over to the new date. Please direct specific questions to Toni Riley or post them on the Preview TU Facebook group.

Architecture Preview Day has been rescheduled for October 22nd. All registrations will be transferred over to this new date. If you are unable to attend the new date for this event, please contact Rebecca Greaves.

Saturday 10/7 9:00 AM Campus tour is on as scheduled. We advise anyone visiting campus on Saturday to stay tuned to local weather reports and flight information to ensure a successful visit to campus.

With nearly 2,000 people slated to visit campus this weekend, we are tremendously disappointed to have to cancel and reschedule our events but did so out of an abundance of caution. We want to ensure that every family has multiple options to return to campus for a future visit during a time with more cooperative weather. Please keep in mind we are happy to host you for a daily tour, as well.

As Tropical Storm Nate is a named storm, hotels and airlines should be able to allow for changes. If you need any assistance in re-booking your visit to Tulane and New Orleans, please reach out to your admission representative or call us directly at 800-873-WAVE.