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All admission events between Sunday, March 15 and Wednesday, April 30 have been moved to a virtual platform. View our visitor plans for Admitted Students and Prospective Students and/or visit our VirTUal Visiting experience (which includes live chatting w/ Tulane University representatives).

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Director of Admission
Updated: 6 min 3 sec ago

Waitlist... Now what?

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 09:00
Well it is official; our decisions for the Class of 2024 have all gone out. For those of you who are placed on the waitlist, here's a blog to answer all of the questions you may have.

What is the waitlist, anyway? Every year, colleges and universities have a group of students who are qualified to gain admission yet these institutions are unsure yet if they have space available in their class to enroll these students. Colleges monitor the number of students who accept their offer of admission and will pull from their waitlist in order to create the size and desired makeup of their incoming class. Its a necessary part of the enrollment management process at many schools yet we also understand the frustration and anticipation it can cause for our applicants.

So, who is on the waitlist? While Tulane does not release the exact number of students who have been waitlisted, I will tell you that the group is not huge, but there are a sizable number of students who make up this group. The number will get smaller as we ask students if they would like to remain on the waitlist over the course of the coming month or two.

Is the waitlist larger because of COVID-19? It sure is. There are many uncertainties right now, so you are going to see a lot of colleges and universities with large waitlists. The number of enrolling students in our freshman class is uncertain- with the added complexity of international students and when they will be able to attain Visas to enroll here.

Is the waitlist ranked? No, it is not. All students on the list are in the same boat, none are necessarily stronger than others.

So, will you go to the waitlist this year? That all depends on one main factor: space in the freshman class. We have a finite number of spaces in the class, and thus cannot admit every single student who is both qualified and interested in Tulane. As we get closer to May 1st, we compare our numbers to previous years and predict how large the class is going to end up. If we are seeing that our numbers are a bit lower than we would like, at that point we can admit a few students off the waitlist. If the numbers are up, it is less likely that we will be able to admit anyone from the list.

What has happened in previous years? Some years, we admit a group of students off the waitlist, some years it is zero. This year we admitted a smaller group of students so as to not over-enroll the class. This might mean some movement from the waitlist this year, but time will tell. We'll let you know as soon as we can. COVID-19 has made these numbers completely unpredictable this year.

If I am admitted from the waitlist, will there be financial aid available? Yes, there will be, for students who qualify based on their application. You can also apply for need based aid through the Office of Financial Aid.

What can I do to strengthen my case? For the most part, the ball is in our court. It will come down to numbers; this is why we need to wait a few weeks to see how many students have replied that they will indeed enroll. There is no need to send in additional documentation at this point. Be sure to reply to every one of those emails we send out asking if you would like to remain on the list. My personal tip? Only request to stay on the waitlist if you are pretty sure you'll enroll here if you are offered a spot.

When will I know? We now plan to make final decisions for students who opted to accept a place on our waitlist by June 30, but it will likely be sooner than that.

So... doesn't that mean I need to have a backup plan, in case I am not admitted from the waitlist? Yes.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions. Feel free to email your admission counselor with any questions at all you may have. Best of luck!

Coping in the Time of Corona

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 11:43
Sigh... I miss this place! (source)Whew man, where to even begin? These are trying times, to say the least. You’ll be telling your grandkids about it. Today’s blog is going to address as many things as I can in one post. I’ll be splicing tidbits of how to cope in this time of crisis with a few pieces of advice, particularly for high school juniors and seniors. I am no mental health expert but I did a great deal of research and advice-seeking from friends and colleagues to provide as much support as I can in all this. A long blog, but bolded sections are here for you TLDR’ers to scroll to the stuff that might apply to you.

Don’t underestimate human resilience. This one comes from a blog I read about ways to cope with COVID-19 anxiety. I am sitting here in my living room as I write this blog and I look outside my window to the glory that is all things New Orleans. Fifteen years ago, many thought New Orleans would never recover from Katrina. Many thought that we would never be back. But here we are, stronger and smarter and better than ever before. We humans are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for sometimes. The human spirit is a remarkable thing.

Check on your friends. And your parents. And your grandparents. As much as possible. Also remember that everyone responds differently to this. Sometimes it might be tempting to think “come on, every single high school senior in the world is going through this, lock it up/get it together!” but remember, every person is dealing with it differently and every person has their own set of anxieties to work through. Maybe people haven’t dealt with so many people in their world experiencing these feelings before. The best way to respond to people is to validate their feelings. Their feelings could be anxiety, fear, boredom, and more. In these unprecedented times remember to be supportive of everyone. Empathy goes a long way and all it takes is to say “This is all really hard. I am here for you and to listen when you need it.”

Become acclimated with the uncertainty. I told many Tulane students this: You cannot control what is happening right now (except by social distancing and washing your hands). So, if you cannot control it, can you control your response to it? This is the same message I've shared in this blog about reacting to college denials. You can’t control them, but you can control how you respond to them. Your friends and family will feed off of your energy and your vibe. A student who is enrolling at Tulane this year told me “your vibe attracts your tribe.” If you can respond to everything that is being thrown your way right now with care, compassion and strength, those around you might just feel that, too. You’re going to be cooped up for a while now, and those in close quarters with you will feed off of your energy. It’s also okay if your response right now has you feeling low energy or defeated. Those are valid feelings in a time like this. Lean on your people for support and experiment with different hobbies or activities that may bring back that energy.

Don't feed into any false narratives. You’ve probably seen this one a lot. The news ain’t good, but it's even worse if you spread anything false. Usually it starts with “I heard that…” or “I saw on Facebook that…”   Do your best to only rely on the facts that you see from credible and respected sources.
Isn't she lovely? We'll be back here soon! (source
I'm a junior in high school and all of my spring extracurricular activities have been canceled. We totally get it. There are no sports. There is no spring musical. There is no dance recital. Listen, if you include on your Common Application activities section a list of all the books you read for pleasure during your social distancing, I’ll love it. Get creative. Maybe you love to paint and you go Instagram Live a few times and teach people to paint? You could be the next Bob Ross. Or maybe you’re a soccer player and you do a live video teaching people how to dribble a soccer ball on your own? We will love seeing anything you did during this whacky time.

That brings me to some tips on how to stay busy right now: 

  • Get some exercise as much as you can. Check out all these free workouts
  • Walk a lot. And when you do, leave your phone at home. The bad news and Instagram Memes will be waiting for you when you get back. Take a break from it for a bit. 
  • Medidtate. I blog about this all the time. Calm has free stuff right now. 
  • Learn a new language. Duolingo is a great place to start. 
  • Learn Excel like a pro.
  • Learn to code with these free coding sites
  • Tour some museums! So many are offering free tours right now. 
  • Pick up a totally new skill: car maintenance, gardening, cooking, baking, etc.
  • Learn to cook from NOLA’s best chefs! The New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute goes live with online cooking classes
  • Go for a cleanup. Grab a trash bag and walk around a neighborhood and pick up litter. Why not?
  • Volunteer to get groceries or run errands for elderly family or neighbors. It’s a great way to contribute right now.

What about the SAT? AP and IB testing? A lot of this is TBD, but rest assured we are going to support you as much as we can. We understand that the decisions College Board and ACT are making are completely out of your control. Tulane evaluates applications holistically and test scores are just a part of the application. We completely understand that you may only be able to take one test before you submit your application. We also will not ding anyone who does not take the AP test for their class.

Take a news break. It’s so tempting to refresh the news sites every hour to hear the latest. This is only going to get you trapped far down that rabbit hole. Stay tuned to the big stores but you have to give you head and your heart a break from time to time. Big tip: do not charge your phone next to your bed at night. Charge it somewhere where you cannot reach it. If the last thing you do before sleeping is reading the news, you’re gonna dream about it. If the first thing you do when you wake up is read the news, that will be a really tough way to start the day. Stay in the know, but don’t go overboard.

I am starting to notice a theme to these photos! (source)
I am a senior and thinking about taking a gap year. Tulane, and most schools, are still fully supportive of a gap year if you feel it's in your best interest to do so. We approve each one on a case-by-case basis. We generally have around 35 students per year take a gap year.

What about Demonstrated Interest? Tulane is very candid about our use of Demonstrated Interest as one part of the holistic admission process here. You’ll notice that on my previous blog about the topic, I mention that visiting is just one factor among dozens of ways that students can engage with us. My recommendation for juniors is to join as many virtual sessions as you are able to. Join the mailing lists of all schools that are on your radar and aim to tune into a few virtual sessions a week. I know it can seem overwhelming, but colleges and universities are going to great lengths to get as much virtual content up as possible. Chime in for a bit, ask a few questions and attempt to pick up on the values of each school. We’ll never ding you for not visiting Tulane (not now, not before coronavirus) but I can guess that some schools who use demonstrated interest might check if you tuned into any of our virtual sessions. In some ways, this levels the playing field- no matter what your socioeconomic status is, we’re all in the same virtual boat right now. 

Should I write my college essay about coronavirus? Too soon to tell, but I am going to guess maybe not. Come November, if we get 15,000 essays about it, it will be super tough to stand out. It also might give application readers some serious fatigue. A lot of us, at that point, will be ready to put this all behind us. Instead, now is a great time to do some journaling. Write about your thoughts, feelings, emotions right now. Maybe this moment of pause has given you a different worldview? A different academic passion? Some of those journal entries you are writing might turn into a fabulous essay. It’s not about the destination, it's about the journey, and you are on a major life journey right now.

I’ve been admitted to college but now my college savings have been depleted. Will I get or need more financial aid? It doesn’t hurt to ask, but I suspect that most colleges and universities will be just as limited as you are and have lost just as much of their financial resources. Next year, when you apply for need based aid, these losses will be taken into account on your FAFSA. For now, you have nothing to lose by reaching out to your admission or financial aid counselor, but I don't envision a lot of schools will be able to make any drastic financial aid changes to your package at this moment.

Create Boundaries and Routines. You are probably spending a lot of time in the house, maybe with the same people who may or may not be reading the news and it could add to collective anxiety. Try to stick to a routine as best as possible. It is helpful to even write this out hour by hour so that you have something you can control. Boundaries are also incredibly important for maintaining your mental health. Boundaries do not have to be physical walls put up or holing yourself in your room alone, but maybe you have a friend or a parent that won’t stop regurgitating the news and it is causing you to have anxiety. It is okay to express to them “hey, I understand you are trying to gather and disseminate information, but right now I don’t have the capacity to talk about this and it’s causing me some stress. Do you mind if I excuse myself? Do you mind if we talk about something different? Would it be okay to watch a comedy special together right now instead.” It’s sort of like how we recommend families have “college free nights” where parents and students don’t talk about the college process together one night a week. These do not have to lead to fights, but rather just a genuine expression of your needs rights now while respecting their needs to communicate. Whatever it is that can make you feel better, while still collectively maintaining relationships.

My high school is going pass/fail. Is that OK? Whatever your school does, we’ll support it. If you have only P/F in the second semester, we’ll totally understand. It might mean we put a bit more emphasis on your first semester, but we’ll also completely understand your circumstances. If you’re currently on an upward trend, we’ll make the assumption that that trend would have continued in the second semester. We’ll give you the benefit of the doubt in every single way we can. Tulane just announced that students can opt to take their classes Pass, Minimal Pass, Or Fail, so we get it. Go to your online classes, do the best you can, make your presence felt, try your hardest. We’ll notice, trust me.
Back. Here. Soon. (source)
What about teacher recs? Later this year, I'll be doing a virtual session on how to write great teacher letters of recommendation, especially in the time of coronavirus. We’ll completely understand the absence of time that they would have spent with you and we’ll give them the tips they need to still write great letters for you. We got you covered on this one.

I am a senior and wondering, what about the waitlist? I am going to be honest: they are likely going to be very big at a lot of schools this year. There are so many uncertainties right now and most schools are going to need to keep that big waitlist as a safety net. I know it’s not ideal, but it’s a consequence of all this. I’ve got a great blog for what to do next if you land on a school’s waitlist. We’ll release all admission decisions for deferred students and Regular Decision applicants on Tuesday, March 31st.

And lastly, remember how much we still have to be grateful for. I know it's so challenging to be away from your friends, and for my Tulane students, to have to pack up and leave this place. But, how lucky are we to get to have places we miss so much? How lucky are we to have things in our lives that we adore so much that it makes it hard to be away from? Remember that. I am about to pull the trigger on postponing my wedding in May. But hey, how grateful am I to even get to plan a wedding in the first place? I have been waiting my whole life to meet my fiance. What’s having to wait a few extra months to get to marry him? There are some folks out there, even some who are reading this blog, who have had to plan some unexpected funerals right now. Everyone is struggling with something right now, but everyone also has many things in their life that we should be grateful for. Never forget this.

Stay strong. Stay safe. Reach out to us if you need anything- Tulane is here for you. And one day, as hard as it can be to remember right now, this too... shall pass.

Here's an engagement photo of Drew and me. We might not be getting married when we planned, but when we finally do, it will be the happiest day ever! And also, very Tulane-y. Stay tuned :) 

Huge thank you to everyone who helped with this blog: Allie Blum, Jill DeRosas, Owen Knight, Angie Cooksy / Bradley University, Bart Gummere / Eastside Prep, Marcia Hunt / Pine Crest. Mercersburg Academy, Brian Leipheimer/ Collegiate School, Lauren Avalos / Gann Academy, Amy Baumgartel Singer / The Wheeler School, Andrea Satariano / Sewickley Academy, Ari Worthman / Lakeside School, Lee Nuckolls / FVS, Margot Dorion / Cate, Isidore Newman School, Matthew DeGreeff / Middlesex School, Quenby Mott / The Kinkaid School, Lew Stival / Blair Academy, 
Amy Rogers / Miss Porter's, Kate Ramsdell / Noble and Greenough School, Scott Chrysler / Episcopal School of Acadiana, Moira McKinnon / Berwick Academy, Sarah Miller / Marymount High School. 

Everything to Know About Tulane Admission Events and COVID-19

Wed, 03/11/2020 - 15:39
Please use this blog as a resource for updates regarding Tulane Admission and COVID-19. As with many universities and colleges right now, the situation is fluid and ever-changing. We'll keep this blog updated with as much info as possible over the coming few weeks. For university-wide updates, please visit Tulane will switch to an online model for the remainder of the semester. As far as admission events, here are the things you need to know:

Whats the latest with your admitted student events?
Honors Weekend: Both Honors Weekends will be cancelled in their current format and will shift to a completely virtual model and some options for small groups. Please stay tuned to your email for updates regarding this virtual event and class registration.
Destination Tulane: All Destination Tulane events beginning Saturday, March 14th are cancelled, and will move to a virtual online model. Students can sign up on behalf of themselves and their family members through the Green Wave Portal. 

Campus Tours: All current campus tours are cancelled, see below for your new options. 
Can I still visit campus?
If you are an admitted student, Tulane will still be offering the ability for visitors to tour campus, however we are limiting our visits to 50 visitors twice a week. We will offer two information sessions a week, one on Saturdays at 9 AM and one on Monday at 9 AM. You will sign up for this on your Green Wave Portal. As we must be vigilant about the size of these events, please do not sign up unless you are 100% certain you will attend. 

If you are a sophomore or junior, we will offer 2 tours per week, one on Saturdays at 11 AM, one on Fridays at 9 AM. These will also be limited to only 50 visitors. You can sign up here. Again, as we must be vigilant about the size of these events, please do not sign up unless you are 100% certain you will attend. 

The images below will help as you navigate these various options (keep scrolling after the images for more Q&A): 

How can we learn more about Tulane if we are no longer visiting?
You are in luck! We are filming all of our campus events, programs and tours to make sure we have everything you could need, in a virtual format. Check out this link, and we will be adding any additional information and updates to this page over the coming week.

Live Chatting: We will have a live on-line chat with admission staff from 12:00 PM - 2 PM central time on Tuesday March 17th to answer any all all questions you may have about Tulane, life on campus and COVID-19. You can sign up here

Virtual Info Sessions: We'll also soon launch virtual info sessions and Q&As on M/W/F at 6 PM. You can sign up for a virtual info session here

What about Tulane events around the country?
We are postponing most travel until after April 15th.

Junior Nights: Our College 101 Junior Nights will be cancelled until further notice. If you have signed up for one, stay tuned to your email for any updates regarding these events as we convert them to virtual nights. 
Admitted Student Nights: Our Admitted Student Nights will be cancelled until further notice. If you have signed up for one, stay tuned to your email for any updates regarding these events as we convert them to virtual nights. 
College Fairs: All NACAC college fairs have been cancelled. Many other fairs throughout the country are cancelled as well - if you've signed up for a local/regional fair, check with the organizers directly to see if it is cancelled. 
How long will these restrictions be in place?
We will consistently reassess the situation and provide updates as we go. Stay tuned to this blog and to your email as we'll keep you updated as fully as we are able to. 

If you still have further questions, log on to our chat on Tuesday, March 17th from 12-2 PM central time, or email your admission counselor directly.

Junior Tips Part 2: 5 Tips for a Great Campus Visit

Thu, 03/05/2020 - 09:30

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 and junior year is a great time to start that process. 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 vacation is a great time to visit college campuses. You can usually find some solid travel deals, including on hotels. The only thing to keep in mind when making a summer visit is the campus is likely to be quieter than it normally would be during the school year. There are definitely students on Tulane's campus during the summer, but it is not as active compared to the fall or spring when school is in session. If you really enjoyed your campus visit during the summer, consider making another visit when classes are in session, so you can see the campus when it is bursting with activity. Likewise, consider timing your visit 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. It was just last week, so you're in the clear for now! 

2)      Pull some students 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. Find a spot in the quad or the dining hall to just watch the world go by. Observe the vibe of campus, note how the students interact with each other (and with others- campus security guards, dining hall staff, etc) and in general, just get a feel for the "warmth" of the campus.

YES this is our new dining hall. YES it is awesome and YES you should eat here! 
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! Our new dining hall, the Commons, is a can't miss on your visit to Tulane. Pro tip: when you are in the dining hall or another public space on campus, check out the stickers that students have on their laptops or water bottles. This is another clue for you to see if some of your interests and passions match up with the vibe on campus. 

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. 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

Myths of the Gras

Fri, 02/21/2020 - 09:30
Mardi Gras is so much more than you think it is. (source)Happy Mardi Gras, world! Another carnival season is upon us and the city is bursting with excitement. I sometimes forget that the rest of the world doesn't have Mardi Gras like we do. In terms of importance for us, it's like Christmas, New Years and 4th of July all wrapped up into one. Not in town for the big day? Listen to our Spotify playlist with all the best tunes of carnival while you read this blog or give a listen to our ASMRdi Gras vid here.

If you have never been to Mardi Gras here in New Orleans, there are a few myths that I think would be useful to dispel, because there are a lot of common misconceptions out there. This year, we've even made a great video so you can learn the truth about the Greatest Free Show on Earth!

1) Mardi Gras takes place on Bourbon Street: FALSE. Mardi Gras takes place everywhere. I LOLed on an airplane this week when a woman asked me when the Mardi Gras parade was. As if there was, like, only one of them. We also have a little joke when you ask "can you give me directions to the Mardi Gras?" Mardi Gras is everywhere. It is a state of mind, a place here, there and everywhere. In the most literal terms, Mardi Gras can be located along the parade route. There are over 80 different parades, or krewes, as we call them, during Mardi Gras. The main parade route runs from Napoleon Avenue (just a mile from Tulane) and goes all the way down St. Charles Avenue into the Central Business District, down Canal Street on the edge of the French Quarter and then to the final stop wherever the krewe's ball may be. Some parades take different routes (Mid City for Endymion, Treme for Zulu, not to mention all the parades in the suburbs). One parade, Thoth, even takes its route all the way Uptown to Children's Hospital so the young patients can experience Mardi Gras even though they are hospitalized.
2) Mardi Gras is raunchy: again, FALSE. Admittedly, there are certainly parts of the Gras that get wild. But that is not the case for a lot of it. In fact, the culmination of many of the Mardi Gras parades is their famous balls. Nearly every parade will have a ball at the end of the parade route. Men dress in tuxedos, ladies in formal gowns and the party will start a few hours before the parade literally rolls into the ball. Balls are held all over town, many at the convention center and some at the Super Dome. You've never seen a party like this before either- some are attended by over 10,000 people and are headlined by big-name acts like Carrie Underwood and Maroon Five, both of whom have played at balls recently. Mardi Gras is about costumes, parades, balls, floats, food, music and culture. It is so much more than just a party. 
Few things are more incredible than Mardi Gras day in the Quarter and Marigny (source)
3) Mardi Gras costumes are rare: FALSE. Just ask any Tulane kid what they wore during Mardi Gras. Wild haircuts, fun jerseys, colorful leggings and outlandish costumes are commonplace among our student population. Mardi Gras day (Tuesday) sees the Quarter filled to the brim with costumes galore. People spend all year working on their costumes for the day. Every year at noon on Fat Tuesday are the Bourbon Street Awards, which name the best costumes of the day. If you want to truly be dazzled, head down to the Marigny on Tuesday morning for the St. Anne's Parade and then spend the rest of the day meandering the French Quarter.

4) Mardi Gras is not for families: this is the most common misconception of all, and certainly the most FALSE.  Mardi Gras is, above anything else, a family holiday. The streets of Uptown are lined with children of all ages, and it is a huge part of coming of age in the city of New Orleans. You'll see kids on floats, on ladders, catching beads, and running through the streets donned in all green, gold and purple. Mardi Gras is more of a family holiday than people outside of New Orleans realize.

Here is Kristin, one of our admission reps, dispelling one of the biggest myths of the Gras. Mardi Gras is for every age; especially kids! "This year will be even sweeter because my daughter will be riding on the queen's float as a 'Lady in Waiting' in the Krewe of Thoth that parades on Sunday."
Mardi Gras is my most favorite time of the year. The food, the parades, the music, the people and the culture that make this city so unique really come out to shine in this month-long celebration  It's always a favorite of our students, too. If you have never been, add it to your lifetime bucket list. Every American should see the REAL New Orleans Mardi Gras at least once!
All of us in the Office of Admission wish you a safe and Happy Mardi Gras! 
Hail Bacchus! The Baccagator float parades through the Warehouse District.The Tulane Marching Band marches in many Mardi Gras parades every year.

Endymion! Here is the inside of the ball. (from Pinterest
My Fat Tuesday homemade glitter shoes. Don't be jealous.
Also doubles as Saints shoes.

TBH, the Friday before Mardi Gras is usually the longest work day of my life. Get me to those parades!

Ten Great Dates in NOLA

Tue, 02/11/2020 - 15:46
One of the many sculptures at the Besthoff Sculpture Garden! Perfect for V-Day. (SourceIt's Valentine's Day which either means you are looking forward to spending this weekend looking longingly into the eyes of your significant other or you are not in a relationship and instead dreading this couples-centric Hallmark holiday. Either way, this blog is for you. I've got a list of great date night spots as well as places to spend some time with a group of friends or fellow single people. New Orleans is an exceptionally romantic city so whether you'll be spending time in a quiet, dimly lit Uptown New Orleans restaurant or heading out to celebrate Singles Awareness Day in the loudest way possible, here are Ten great Dates in NOLA for every price range, size of group and romance level:

How cute is the Elysian Bar? (source)
Elysian Bar and the Hotel Peter and Paul
Best for: Couples ready for a high-end night on the town
Romance Level: 9/10
Price Range: $$$
Why Here? The Elysian Bar is my favorite new bar here in New Orleans. The place has a distinctly French vibe making it the perfect spot for you and your partner on Valentine's Day. It's gorgeous, classy and the vibe can't be beat. Once you've had you're fill of class, take it down (or up) a notch by walking around the corner for some good old fashioned karaoke at Kajun's Pub on St. Claude Ave.

City Putt and Cafe du Monde
Best for: Newer couples looking for a great second or third date place
Romance Level: 7/10
Price Range: $
Why Here? What could be more romantic than a warm New Orleans winter night spent at a mini golf course? City Putt is a great spot to get to know each other over a round of golf; dates that have an activity are perfect for conversation and learning more about each other. Once you've wrapped up your match, walk over for a night cap of beignets at the newly opened Cafe du Monde in City Park.

What could be prettier than NOLA at dusk? Aside from your date, of course! (source
Sunset at Crescent Park and Pizza Delicious 
Best for: Couples, Friends, groups large and small
Romance Level: 9/10
Price Range: $
Why Here? Watching the sun set over the city's skyline from Crescent Park has got to be one of the most romantic ways to spend Valentine's Day. Situated right on the banks of the Mississippi River, Crescent Park is the perfect place for a date any time of the day or night. It's actually where I proposed to my fiancee! Once the sun has set, head over for some cheap eats at Pizza Delicious, my favorite pizza join in town. A perfect low-budget, high-romance night.

Beer tasting at Urban South Brewery 
Best for: Big groups looking for local beer and a place to escape lovey-dovey couples
Romance Level: 0/10
Price Range: $
Why Here? Urban South is one of the many breweries that have popped up all over New Orleans in the last few years. The space is huge and a great venue for a large group of friends to come, hang out, and celebrate your singledom. They've got a great collection of craft beers- my personal favorite being the Lime Cucumber Gose and the Paradise Park.

Stroll the Sculpture Garden at NOMA
Best for: Couples looking for a free, romantic walk around some of the best art in town
Romance Level: 8/10
Price Range: free!
Why Here? The Besthoff Sculpture Garden in City Park is so cool! It's a nice stroll through all kinds of great art. City Park, with its hundreds of majestic live oaks dripping with Spanish moss, makes the perfect spot for a great daytime date with your significant other. Rent a blue bike to ride around the park and Esplanade Blvd to soak in some of the most romantic neighborhoods in town.

Could La Crepe Nanou be any more romantic? (sourceDinner at La Crepe Nanou
Best for: Couples ready to splurge on a great meal at the most romantic restaurant Uptown.
Romance Level: 10/10
Price Range: $$$
Why Here? Maybe you're a Senior at Tulane and you've been together with your significant other for a... significant amount of time. I am sure they would appreciate a splurge once in a while, and if this Valentine's Day is the day to do it, then La Crepe Nanou is your spot. I remember taking a date here in college and it was a hit and definitely scored me some brownie points with her. (It didn't work out, but it was more me than her anyways...) You can top off the evening with dessert at the date night spot below...

Creole Creamery
Best for: Date night or singles night out
Romance Level: 5/10
Price Range: $
Why Here? It's just the quintessential date night idea to get ice cream at a classic NOLA establishment. Whether it's your first date or your 50th, there is something nostalgic and romantic about the Creole Creamery. Should you be coming with a group, try the Tchoupitoulas Challenge!

Ride the Streetcar to the Front Porch at the Columns Hotel 
Best for: Couples looking for a classic NOLA date night spot or group ready to relax and people watch
Romance Level: 8/10
Price Range: $$
Why Here? The New Orleans streetcar line is one of the most romantic methods of transportation in the world- probably because the seats are just perfectly made for two. Hop on board the streetcar at Tulane and jump off at the Columns Hotel- one of NOLA's most iconic St. Charles mansions. If you're with a group, opt for a large table on the veranda. If your on a date, one of the cozy booths inside is the perfect spot to be mushy.

Royal Street- the most romantic free date you can imagine! (source
Take a Royal Street stroll
Best for: Couples who want a romantic walk down one of the most spectacular streets in the USA.
Romance Level: 9/10
Price Range: free
Why Here? It might only be one block from Bourbon Street, but Royal Street feels like a world away. It's one of my favorite streets in NOLA. Walk hand-in-hand with your partner and take in the sights and sounds of this iconic street. Amazing music can be heard on nearly every corner and it's got some of the best widow shopping in town. If you and your partner are feeling extra adventurous, sit down with one of the tarot card readers who line Royal Street. Not ready to hear your future? Opt for one of the poetry writers instead.

Dian Xin
Best for: A small group of friends looking for a late night spicy food experience in the heart of the Quarter
Romance Level: 2/10
Price Range: $$
Why Here? Dian Xin is one of the best new restaurants to open in the French Quarter recently. It's got a laid back vibe perfect for small groups and also some of the best dim sum in town. Perhaps you'll check out the Krewe of Barkus and then end the evening with dinner at Dian Xin.

There you have it! Whether you are ready to hit the town with your single krewe or looking for the perfect spot to say those three little words, NOLA's got it all this Valentine's Day. Enjoy!

12 Black-Owned NOLA Businesses to Check Out

Wed, 02/05/2020 - 10:54

Brandan "Bmike" Odums of Studio Be (source)In honor of Black History Month, this week's blog features some of the many incredible black-owned businesses here in NOLA. Whether you are a current student here or visiting in the future, New Orleans has many black-owned restaurants, shops, companies, and community-based organizations that you should definitely add to your NOLA bucket list. By doing so, you are helping to support local vendors and adding invaluable support to our economy, culture and spirit here in town.

Antonio being all lawyer-yIn today's blog, I've also teamed up with Antonio Milton to get his perspective. Antonio was one of our all-star student admission interns here in the Office of Admission but left us to start his journey at Tulane School of Law. He got an early start by taking advantage of our 3 + 3 Joint Degree Program. When he's not learning about torts and contracts, these are some of his favorite spots to check out. I've added a bunch of mine as well! You can also check out the hundreds of other minority-owned business at Soul of New Orleans as well as this comprehensive guide for black tourism in New Orleans over at Welcome New Orleans.

Without further ado here are...

12 Black-Owned NOLA Businesses
Let's start with Antonio's favorite restaurants:

Made from shipping containers! How cool. (source
J's Creole Wingery:  J's Creole Wings is located within one of two brightly colored, repurposed shipping containers on N Claiborne Ave. They take "thinking outside of the box" to a whole new level with creative flavors like sriracha lemon pepper! While the shop is small, they have a nicely lit outside patio with additional seating. Fun Fact: the owner of this spot was on a season of Big Brother a few years ago!

Neyow's Creole Cafe: The best creole food in a good location, right by Bayou St. John, a couple blocks away from Parkway Bakery and Tavern. Neyow's serves up a variety of creole classics, and offer great chargrilled oysters. My usual order from here is the red beans plate with fried chicken, and it never fails to disappoint as it's my favorite fried chicken in NOLA.

Morrow'sAn infusion of New Orleans cuisine and Korean food is hard to beat when done as well as it is at Morrow's!

I mean, if it's on Bey's list, it should be on yours too! (source)The Munch Factory: I first tried out the Munch Factory last fall after Jay-Z and Beyonce raved about the food on Instagram and Twitter. Being from Louisiana, I take gumbo very seriously, and the Munch Factory's gumbo just might be my favorite I've tasted in the city. The founders are natives of the Gentilly neighborhood, and they have opened a second location at the Joseph M. Bartholomew Municipal Golf Course.

Deja Vieux Food Truck Park: A food truck park only a few blocks from some of the breweries and other restaurants on Tchoupitoulas Street that has live music, public events, and a variety of food trucks on weekends. I recommend Johnny's Jamaican Grill food truck which is a regular there. Their jerk chicken is currently my favorite in the city.

Bennachin- This French Quarter area West-African cuisine spot offers some of the African food I've ever had. My favorite dish here is the bennachin, which is an African jambalaya served with jollof rice and spinach. This place also has numerous vegan and vegetarian dishes, as well as many dishes for patrons super into meaty dishes.

Thank you, Antonio! Here are a few of my personal favorites:

Chef Nina Compton brings her St. Lucian flavors to NOLA (source)Bywater American Bistro: Last year, Chef Nina Compton was adorned with the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the South and boy, oh, boy is it well deserved. Chef Nina opened her new spot, Bywater American Bistro, last year. I went on a Thursday and it was so good that, I kid you not, I made another reservation for two days later. Quite frankly, they were the two best meals I have had in NOLA in many years. If you can, grab a spot at the bar and watch your entire meal be prepared in the fully open kitchen. My personal favorite is the fried gulf oysters, the blue crab dip and, for your entree, the duck. Prepare to be amazed!

Backatown Coffee Parlour: If you are looking for a very cool place to get a cup of coffee and get some studying done, this place could be your jam. It's located just off the French Quarter on Basin Street in the Treme, one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in the USA. It's the perfect spot to post up all day doing work or just swing in for a quick coffee as you explore one of the most historic parts of New Orleans. 
Leah's Kitchen: You can support a black-owned restaurant as soon as you step off the airplane at the airport! Leah Chase was one of the most iconic New Orleans chefs and was known around the world as the Queen of Creole Cuisine. She passed away last year and her legacy lives on in her restaurants here in New Orleans. Stop in Leah's Kitchen at the new MSY to get a true taste for the best Creole cooking your mouth will ever taste. 
Once you've gotten your fill of amazing cuisine, it's time to move on to a sampling of black-owned shops and galleries.
So much great stuff to buy at Commandment! (sourceThe Commandment Concept Shop: One goal I made for myself this holiday season was to do all my shopping locally. If you are into local, then anything on Magazine Street is right up your alley. I stumbled upon the Commandment Concept Shop and loved everything I saw inside. Great clothing, pottery and general gift-giving perfection. 
Bmike's show at Tulane is his first solo show in a museum. (source)
Studio Be: If you have not checked out this incredible space in the Bywater, add it to the top of your weekend plans list. Studio Be is the brainchild of Brandan 'Bmike' Odums and is 35,000 square feet of art centralized around the stories of everyday New Orleanians. If you can't make the trip downtown, you're in luck. Bmike's brand new exhibition is on display right here on Tulane's campus at the Newcomb Art Museum
Ashe Cultural Arts Center: The center is a 18,200-square-foot, multi-use facility located on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard in the heart of the historic Central City neighborhood of New Orleans. It truly is multi-use space as it creates and supports programs, activities and creative works emphasizing the contributions of people of African descent. The center provides opportunities for art presentations, community development, artist support and the creation of partnerships and collaborations that amplify outreach and support efforts.

There you have it—12 great places to eat, shop and take in some art and culture. Make it a goal this Black History Month to try one of these places and then make time every month to visit the minority-owned businesses that make New Orleans such a diverse and culturally rich place to call home.

Junior Tips Part I: Start Here

Tue, 01/28/2020 - 09:00
For most high school juniors across the country and around the world, January signifies two things: the beginning of the second semester and the unofficial start of "The Process." Don't let that stress you out too much, though. Now's a good time to just reserve a little bit of mental space for getting acclimated with this crazy process of college admission. This spring, Tulane staff will taking this blog on the road to cities across the country to share our candid tips for applying to college. We'll be having honest discussions about the application process in over 20 different cites this spring; you can RSVP to attend an event here.

I've posted in the past about ten tips for juniors and so today, your goal is to spend a little bit of time thinking about what matters most to you and how you envision your experience looking once you arrive at college. Does that sound a little too theoretical? Don't worry, I've got you covered. Here are five big-picture questions to start asking yourself.

Which schools am I already interested in? You probably have a few schools that are somewhere on your radar, even if it's way out on the edge. Maybe these are places your older friends attend, or a school your favorite teacher went to, or just somewhere you've kinda daydreamed about. Now is a good time to find out more about these schools. Start receiving information from these schools by finding their mailing list pages and signing up. Schools put a lot of time and thought into how they brand themselves and by joining some mailing lists, you can start to get a sense of what type of student best fits in at each school. I humbly suggest you join our mailing list here. Once you're on it, it gives us the green light to share Tulane's story with you. Plus, it lets the Office of Admission know that we're potentially on your radar. It also takes around four seconds. 
What size school is right for me? For some students, the idea of being at a giant school with 35,000 undergrads seems ideal. For others, a campus that is smaller than their own high school is a better fit. Getting a sense of how big of a campus you are looking for will allow you to develop a list of schools that are in that range. Looking for a school that will give you the best of the big and small? I think I know a great spot that falls right around 8,000 undergrads. 
Where do I want to go to school? Big city? Small town? Rural? A few miles from home or a few hundred miles from home? A school's location is going to play a pretty big role in the four years you spend there. Some students picture that quintessential college town: Ann Arbor, Davis or Chapel Hill. Some want small-town liberal arts school vibes. And others crave that big city vibe: New York City, Boston, Miami, or New Orleans. Where do you see yourself continuing your formative years? 
What type of school is the best fit for me? The way to parse this out is to do some research on liberal arts colleges versus research universities. Keep in mind, plenty of research goes down at liberal arts colleges and that the liberal arts are an imperative part of any major research university, so those names can kind of be a bit of a misnomer. That said, the vibe you'll get at a small liberal arts college is quite different from that of a large-scale research university. The main difference between the two is that liberal arts colleges tend to be smaller and more undergraduate-focused while universities tend to have the gamut of graduate and professional schools: law, medicine, etc. Kahn Academy has a great video detailing the differences between the two. Some other things to consider: are you thinking about one of the service academies or a music conservatory? Don't narrow it down too much at this point, but keep the type of school in your mind. Some students might be best served at a local community college for two years before transferring to a four-year institution. Some may know that a big state school is right where they belong. 
How much can my family afford? Take this one lightly, for now. For starters, never rule out a school because of its sticker price. With schools like Tulane, you're often going to see total cost of attendance numbers starting with 7s. Don't let that scare you off. Take some time to explore each school's Net Price Calculator to get a better sense of what your family might actually be paying. For example, if you come from a low-income family and are admitted to an Ivy League school, the vast majority of them are going to cover all of your financial need in order for you to enroll. This is also a good time to consider the benefits of public schools versus private schools versus community colleges. 
And here are some things that I'd recommend you NOT consider at this point in the process.  Put down the US News rankings and worry not about brand name reputation. There are roughly 2,600 universities and colleges around the USA. The best advice I can give you? None of them are bad schools, some of them just might be bad fits for you. Cast a wide net at this point in the process.  Also, don't stress too much about majors at this point. The reality is that around 70% of college students change their major at least once. And, get this, every school in America is going to claim that they have "one of the best programs" for X major (as in... Tulane has one of the best Psychology programs in the country! One of the 2,000 best!) Now, if you are certain that aerospace engineering or music therapy is in your future, by all means research schools based on those hyper-specific majors. But for the other 99% of you, don't put a tremendous amount of emphasis on your academic programming quite yet.

Don't worry about what you think will look great on your college application. I mean it. I even wrote a whole blog about this. 
And there you have it—a few questions to ask yourself at this point in the process. There are a billion search engines that can help you answer these questions and narrow down your list. I like the Princeton Review's but that is just one among many. Now might also be a good time to make an appointment with your school counselor who likely has a wealth of information about this process. 
As you head into second semester and into the summer, I'll post a few more updates for how you can take this process one step at a time. You're going to be great! 

How to Stay Admitted

Tue, 01/14/2020 - 11:24
If you have recently been admitted to a school under their Early Action or Early Decision plan... congrats! Now, prepare yourself for the most dad blog I've written: How to stay admitted to that college or university.

Let me start off by saying that colleges are never looking for reasons to rescind your admission. Literally the last thing we want to do is have to tell you that you are no longer a welcome part of the class of 2024. It wreaks havoc on you and throws our numbers and projections off. Plus, it just sucks to have to do. As such, today's blog is going to offer you the six most common reasons why colleges have to pull the plug on your admission, and how to avoid having that happen to you. Yes, my Dad Hat is on while I write this, but I am genuinely offering you this blog to help prevent any of these things from even happening in the first place. I know, I know, you're dragging your feet to even read this blog, but do it anyways.

I present you, six ways to have your admission rescinded:

6: You make major changes to your class schedule. The schedule you applied and were admitted with is the one we expect you to carry through with. Yes, we understand changes need to be made and if you have to make a change in your schedule for one reason or another, we can oftentimes accommodate it. Before you make a major schedule change, reach out to your admission rep to get their approval. We know each situation is unique and want to be as accommodating as possible. But, if we get a copy of your final transcript and the AP Calc and AP Physics classes you took in first semester have been replaced with free period and extended lunch, we're going to have questions for you.

5: You let loose, socially, in your second semester. There are a lot of fun things that happen in second semester. Sporting events, prom, senior trips, graduation, etc. I am not in any place to tell you to how to make good choices at these events, but... I'll just say to be careful. Some colleges can be pretty strict if you get suspended for showing up five White Claws deep to graduation. By now, you know the difference between a good decision and a bad one, but sometimes the bad decisions get made without you putting the thought into it that you should have, and we can understand that. Just be smart and know you'll have plenty of time to be social in college. Don't miss your opportunity to make it there in the first place.

4: You take a nosedive in grades. The grades we admitted you with are the grades we expect you to finish senior year with. I'll be the first to admit that I got a healthy case of senioritis when I was a senior. I also understand that at some point, especially after all of this college admission mania, you are going to feel burnt out. That said, if any rational person can look at your second semester senior year grades and say "these look remarkably different from your previous semesters," you might be in danger. I get a lot of emails from students saying "how bad can my grades dip? Asking for a friend," or "hypothetically, if someone gets X grade, what would the repercussions be?" etc. There is no magic number and every single case is different. But when all is said and done, we're looking for consistency into the end of the year. In the words of my buddy and college counselor Brennan Barnard, "enjoy the final weeks of high school, take a breather, lighten up—but don’t give up." Also, consider this: you want to be respectful of your teachers who spent countless hours writing you letters of recommendation that helped you gain admission in the first place. If you're skipping class or falling behind with these teachers that are putting a lot of work in to planning your curriculum, well, it's just not a good look.

3: You do some jackassery at our orientation. One of the more frequent reasons we'll rescind your admission is if you do #5 above, but on our campus before classes start. Keep in mind that you aren't technically an enrolled student until the first day of class. So if you are heading to a one-night summer orientation program at your college, or are coming for an admitted student fly-in, or are a Spring Scholar at Tulane and spending your fall abroad or elsewhere, keep in mind any majorly bad decisions you make during those events could be a big time cause for concern for colleges. I know it's temping to want to go wild with a group of your future classmates, but trust me, one decision on one night of orientation can have way bigger ramifications than if you just take things easy and ease into things, socially speaking. I've blogged about this before. It's also bad for your personal reputation; it is super easy to become "that guy" during your summer orientation.

2: We discover any dishonesty on your application. For the first time this year, Tulane allowed applicants to self-report scores on their application. We are trusting that you will quadruple check those scores before submitting them to us, as we will be making an admission decision based on the scores that you report. If there is any discrepancy between your self-reported scores and the actual official scores we'll request from the ACT or College Board, we'd likely rescind your admission. Same goes for any other form of academic dishonesty or discrepancies. Of all the part of your application that you check and re-check, the self-reported score should be the most important part.

1: You act like an @$$hole on social media. So you might think the most frequent reason we rescind admission here at Tulane would be getting a D in APUSH or getting caught drunk at Prom. Well, you'd be wrong. The thing that we have the most zero tolerance for is when you act like a real jerk to someone on social media. Any form of cyber-bullying, making fun of classmates or teachers on your Finsta or any kind of cruelty in the virtual world is a surefire way to have your admission rescinded. How you behave when you think no one else is watching tells a lot about your character, and if we get word that you've been cruel to someone else, expect to make alternative future plans. Those Harvard kids had to. We're never going to troll your social media or find things to get you in trouble for. 100% of the time, we'll get screenshots of hurtful things that have been said on social media sent to us. The good news is, this one is really easy to avoid: just be a nice person in life, and also online.

Here'e the deal—you're 18. You're going to make some mistakes along the way, and that is OK. My advice to you is that if any of the above happen to you, get ahead of the problem and be proactive with your school counselor for advice on what your next steps should be. College admission offices tend to be thoughtful and compassionate places and we also know each student's experience is a unique and different. 99% of the time, if any of the above happen to you, what we'll do first is reach out to your school counselor to get their take and see if they maintain their support for your admission. We'll also ask you for your take on it as well. Then we'll make a thoughtful decision moving forward.

So, now you know. Most of this stuff is easy: don't let your grades take a huge hit, ask yourself if a bad decision you are about to make is worth it, and then... just be nice. Trust me, you're going to do great.

Resolve to Go Green

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 15:17
Many of Tulane's buildings are Green, both in color and in LEED status, like Greenbaum House seen here. (source)It's New Year's Resolution season and I have one for you: Go Green! And I don't just mean root on the Green Wave football team as we head to a Bowl Game tomorrow. I mean in 2020, do your part to be less wasteful and make a positive environmental impact on your school, city, and world. This is actually a thing nowadays- every small step that you take can add up to a positive change and we can't assume doing nothing is okay anymore.

Before I provide some tips for how to go green in 2020, I want to make two quick suggestions for New Years Resolutions. First, consider your goals for 2020 as intentions, not resolutions. This is something I learned from Calm the other day. A resolution focuses on the past and a change that needs to be made. An intention, rather, focuses on becoming a better version of you in the future. Example: Resolution- "I want to lose ten pounds." Intention- "I aim to eat healthier meals." Instead of focusing on what needs to change from last year, instead decide what intention you can focus on to lead a happier, heather life. Second, consider making three intentions/resolutions. A small, a medium, and a hard. Write them down somewhere and hold yourself accountable.

Your "medium" resolution has been chosen for you and that is to go green. Now let's find out how:

Reuse solo cups: Most college kids just throw these away when they're done drinking all the, um, water, from them. Red solo cups can very easily be run through the dishwasher and be reused for your next next group study meeting. Don't throw them away, reuse them!

Ask for no silverware: College kids these days love Uber Eats, Waitr, Postmates. etc. Next time you order, make sure to ask for no silverware or napkins or plastic bag. You'll end up opening that bag with the fork, knife, spoon and little salt and pepper and end up throwing most of it away. Just have regular, reusable silverware in your residence hall room or house.

Use reusable bags: I will shun you if I see you using a plastic bag to carry that one small Tylenol bottle you just purchased. Have a reusable bag in your car or backpack (or... just use your backpack!)

Ozzi at Tulane! Get an Ozzi and a waterbottle and reuse them over and over: You can get these in the LBC or many other spots on campus. There really is no such thing as recycling anymore; instead get in the habit of reusing stuff as much as you can.

Unplug Stuff: What? You mean you went home for winter recess and left everything in your dorm plugged in? For shame! Get in the habit of switching off your power strip when you leave for a while. It's remarkable how much energy we waste by leaving everything constantly plugged in and charging.

Buy stuff here instead of shipping stuff from Amazon. I know, Amazon makes things so easy. But the energy and packaging consumed by ordering everything online is astounding. I am not saying you should abandon online shopping, but if you're just getting toothpaste and pens, walk to the bookstore or the Walgreen's on Broadway.

Go wild at Trash to Treasure: Donate! Buy! According to their website, Tulane Trash to Treasure redirects these otherwise-destined for the dumpster dorm supplies, stores them over the summer, and sells them back to students and community members during the August move-in period at heavily discounted prices. All proceeds then go to local New Orleans-area nonprofits combating some of our city’s most pressing environmental and social problems. Literally everyone wins.

Get Bike Easy to come here: Wouldn't it be so rad if those blue bikes made it all the way Uptown?

Look how much cool stuff you can get
at thrift stores here in NOLA. (source)Take advantage of our thrift stores: Buying used clothing and furniture helps your bank account and also the planet a lot. A few of the best ones are listed here. Before you order a million things for Mardi Gras costuming, head to the thrift stores first for some truly magical finds.

Use the Law School compost: If you really want to lean in to this resolution, start composting. Our Law School Compost Drop Off makes it easy and sets up every Monday at 9 AM. It takes up to 18 years for a corn cob to decompose in a landfill, but only a couple of months in a compost pile.

Eat chicken instead: Did you know Tulane was behind the major study that showed "if Americans changed their diets by swapping out just one item each day, they could greatly reduce their carbon footprint from food." Read about it here. Just swapping chicken in for beef a few times a week can make a global impact.

Clean your car's trunk: When your trunk is packed with junk (like my fiancee's is) it weighs down your car and consumes way more gas. This is another tip that will help the planet but also your wallet.

Always run a full dishwasher or load of clothes. I don't know why I am even mentioning this to any male student living in Sharp or Monroe, but I digress. Combine a load with your roommate if things are smaller.

Consume less with gifts: Come graduation season, consume fewer gifts. Instead of asking for material stuff, why not ask for a gift card to a great NOLA restaurant? Or a massage gift card for some post-finals relief? We already give and receive so much stuff, and replacing objects with experiences is a great way to be less wasteful and more thankful.

RideShare with other Tulane students: Every Tulane student probably already knows this, but sharing Ubers and Lyfts from the airport after winter break can save a ton of cash and a lot of gas. Everything you'd need to know is here.

There you have it! If going green wasn't already one of your resolutions or intentions in 2020, now it is. You can read more about sustainability at Tulane here.

Don't forget to tune in tomorrow morning for the other Go Green. Roll Wave!

I've Been Deferred. Now What?

Wed, 12/18/2019 - 11:00

December 19th is almost upon us, so if you've applied to Tulane for our Early Action round, you'll be getting a decision from us in the next few days. For many of you, that decision may be: "The Admission Committee has chosen to defer final action on your application until our regular review period this spring." You're probably asking yourself: "What now?" So, 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 being deferred 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 within 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, but this time you will be up against other deferred applicants as well as the Regular Decision pool.

The first factor, the one outside of your control, is the way the rest of the applicant pool shapes up. If the regular pool is much larger and stronger than we expect, it will be more of a challenge for deferred students to be admitted. Adding to that complexity is how our yield looks for students admitted EA. If our deposits come in stronger than in the past, it will be more challenging for deferred students to be admitted. As you can see, some of this comes down to numbers. It's out of your control, so try not to let this part stress you out.

I think it is also worth mentioning that Tulane saw an 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. We've admitted almost 4,500 fewer students than at this point three years ago. This is not something that we are celebrating, it's simply the reality of how competitive Tulane has become.

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. 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: Complete the continued interest form on your Green Wave Portal. This is the most important way to let us know you are still interested in attending Tulane.  It will be nearly impossible to be admitted to Tulane if you do not complete this form. We know your plans sometimes change, your list might shift going into the spring semester of senior year, etc. We'd like to only take those students we know want to enroll here. Don't feel pressured to, but you are also welcome to contact your admission counselor and let them know you are still interested in Tulane. Take winter break to think about it and formulate a plan going forward. Then, in the New Year, let them know that you have been deferred and that you remain strongly interested in Tulane.

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 6th which gives you all winter break to decide with your family if ED II is right for you. Keep in mind that if you are relying on a merit scholarship to enroll at Tulane, ED II might not be the best option as the merit aid pool is limited in this round (but need-based aid remains the same for every admitted student.) One other point that I think is worth mentioning is that this year, the majority of ED II applicants will only be getting the following decisions: admit, admitted as a spring scholar, or denied admission. We felt it was not in our applicant's best interest to put an ED II student on our waitlist, thereby drawing out this process. If you are denied admission ED II, you can move along to other schools and put the focus on other regular decision applications.

DON'T: Over-contact your admission counselor. One email to your counselor over the course of the spring semester can 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 check out campus, 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 until late March. We're sifting through thousands of applicants and are giving each one the time it deserves.

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 students' 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 transcripts 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). Anything you want added to your application, send it directly to or use your Green Wave Portal to self-report new testing.

DON'T: Lose your cool. 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. Last year, Tulane admitted fewer than 14% of the students who 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!