How to Write the Tulane University Essays 2023-2024
Every year, Tulane attracts tens of thousands of applicants with its world-class academics in the heart of New Orleans—did we mention the school closes to celebrate Mardi Gras?! With so many applicants vying for a spot, you’ll need more than just good grades to get into Tulane. You’ll need to have strong essays as well.
That’s where we come in. In this post, we’ll go over our tips and strategies for writing the Tulane supplemental essay to help you write an essay that will boost your chances of admission.
Read these Tulane essay examples to inspire your writing.
Tulane University Supplemental Essay Prompt
“Describe why you are interested in joining the Tulane community. Consider your experiences, talents, and values to illustrate what you would contribute to the Tulane community if admitted. This statement should be 250 words at most; however, it is neither necessary nor expected that you reach this maximum length. We strongly encourage you to focus on content and efficiency rather than word count. While submitting this prompt is optional, we recommend that all applicants do so.” (250 words)
As the prompt states, this essay is technically optional, but chances are most applicants will be submitting an essay so you should too. After all, it’s only 250 words so it’s not terribly time-consuming, and it’s the only way for admissions officers to hear directly from you about your interest in Tulane.
The essay should follow a traditional “Why This College?” structure where you talk about your interests or goals and connect them to academic and extracurricular opportunities at Tulane.
It’s common for students to get lazy with essays like this and write general statements so they can copy and paste it for other colleges, but do not fall into that trap! In order to demonstrate your genuine interest and commitment to the school, your responses need to be unique to Tulane. Let’s look at some dos and don’ts of writing this essay.
DON’T: Talk About The Location, Weather, City, or Surrounding Area
We get it, New Orleans is a fantastic place to spend four years and it might play a role in your decision to apply to Tulane. However, your essay is not the place for you to communicate that. There are hundreds of schools in the Southeastern US with warm weather and there are other schools in New Orleans that give you access to the same city.
Think of your essay a bit like dating. You want to flatter the admissions committee and make them feel wanted—don’t make them feel like you are just choosing them for their location.
DO: Include Specific Resources That Align With Your Interests
There are two parts to this. The first is that the reasons you list for wanting to attend have to be specific and unique. If you are talking about a class you are excited to take, look through the course roster and find a class that speaks to you. Don’t pick Biology 101 or Introductory Microeconomics since you can find these at any college. Diversity of Animal Behavior and PR Event Planning however, are unique classes you should mention (these are not real Tulane courses by the way; this is just to show how specific you should get).
The second aspect of this piece of advice is to make sure the resources you mention relate to your chosen major or your interdisciplinary interests. For example, a student who is passionate about psychology should discuss her excitement in participating in behavioral neuroscience research with a distinguished professor. This aligns with her interest and would give her an opportunity to expand on why she is fascinated about the particular topic within psychology.
Yes, you might want to join club soccer or a painting club for fun, but for the sake of this essay, try to keep the majority of resources you focus on closer aligned to your core academic interests. Towards the end, you can and should share some opportunities you want to take advantage of to demonstrate you will be an active campus member, but you don’t need to spend too much space on that.
DON’T: List Out A Dozen Reasons You Are Drawn to Tulane
Along similar lines to the point above, the key is quality over quantity for this essay. Especially since you have limited space, try and limit the number of resources you mention to three to five. Focus on going in depth for each one by providing a personal connection; explain why you are drawn to the particular offering or what you hope to get out of it.
The more reasons you include, the less of an impact each one will have. There might be a lot you love about Tulane, but for the sake of being concise, narrow it down to your top picks.
DO: Include an Anecdote or Personal Details
While the main focus of this essay should be on why you are interested in attending Tulane and how you will be an active member on campus, this is also an opportunity for the admissions committee to learn about you.
Your essay should be focused around a central theme—ideally related to your academic interests—so a great way to establish that theme off the bat is to open with an anecdote. Given the limited word count, your story can be short and sweet. Just by including a little imagery and some personal background about where you came from, what you are interested in, or what you value will make your essay more engaging and help the admissions committee get to know you better.
Remember, the anecdote as well as the Tulane resources you mention should be related in some way!
DON’T: Use Vague Emotional Appeals and Irrelevant Facts
As you’ve probably gathered by now, the key to a successful “Why This College?” essay is to be as specific as possible. Your essay should be composed of details about yourself and the school so it would only make sense as a brainchild of the two.
It might be tempting to include phrases like “It felt like home” or “I can see myself fitting right in” but contrary to popular belief, these add nothing to the essay. You could feel at home at a dozen other schools. The admissions committee would much rather hear about the community you will build within the National Society of Black Engineers, for example, to find your home.
Also, don’t include fun facts you learned on a campus visit or brochure in your essay. The admissions committee are familiar with the annual Crawfest and know the famous alumni who walked the halls. By including details like these over ones that relate to you more personally, it signals to the admissions committee you didn’t spend a lot of time researching, and therefore you might not care as much about the school.
DO: Describe What You Can Bring to the Campus
Many students are tempted to spend their entire essay praising the school, but don’t forget that you are a catch! Even if you feel like you don’t have much to offer to a world-renowned institution, just know there is so much you can bring to the campus.
Whether it’s your unique perspective from growing up in a different country, an instrument you love to play that you want to teach your roommates, a talent for journalism that you want to bring to the campus newspaper, or something else entirely, there are infinite ways for students to contribute to the community.
This doesn’t have to be a large part of your essay, but sneak in a sentence or two about what you will bring and how you will enrich others with your presence and perspective.
With these tips in mind, you should be able to write a strong essay that is highly unique to both you and Tulane. At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether or not you answer this prompt, however we strongly encourage you to spend a few hours scouring Tulane’s website, and once you’ve done that, you will be equipped to write a stand-out essay in no time.
Where to Get Your Tulane Essay Edited
Do you want feedback on your Tulane essay? After rereading your essays countless times, it can be difficult to evaluate your writing objectively. That’s why we created our free Peer Essay Review tool, where you can get a free review of your essay from another student. You can also improve your own writing skills by reviewing other students’ essays.
If you want a college admissions expert to review your essay, advisors on CollegeVine have helped students refine their writing and submit successful applications to top schools. Find the right advisor for you to improve your chances of getting into your dream school!