April Maguire 4 min read Applying to College, College Lists

What Does It Take to Get Into Tulane University?

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With an acceptance rate of 26%, admission to Tulane is highly competitive. So, what does it take to get it? Read on to find out.


What could be better than attending college in New Orleans? From Mardi Gras to music festivals, Tulane University might seem like a nonstop party. However, the truth is that this southern school has more than enough to offer those who are academically minded.


In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranked Tulane No. 40 on its list of the Best National Universities and No. 45 on a list of Best Undergraduate Programs. And with more than 75 majors from which to choose, students don’t have to worry about finding a program that excites them.


While Tulane is clearly a great place to attend college, getting into this institution can be challenging. Fortunately, there are ways to increase your odds of being accepted. Here’s our advice for optimizing your admissions profile for Tulane University.


Applying to Tulane: A Quick Review


Tulane accepts both the Common Application and its own online application. To apply for Early Decision, submit your materials by November 1. The Early Action deadline is November 15, and Regular Decision applications are due by January 26. You can expect to receive an admission decision by April 1.


Tulane requires applicants to submit the following materials:


  • Tulane Application or Common App
  • High school transcript
  • Secondary school report, including GPA, class rank, and counselor recommendation
  • SAT or ACT scores
  • Optional essay question


Visual and performing arts students have the option of submitting a portfolio or audition. Non-U.S. citizens are also required to submit a Certification of Finances document with their application.


Tulane Acceptance Rate: How Difficult Is It to Get In?


One of the most respected universities in the U.S., Tulane is naturally very competitive. In 2017, Tulane accepted just 26% or 8,126 of the 32,006 students who applied, so candidates need to be at the top of their game if they hope to gain entry.


The average GPA of admitted applicants was 3.51, the average ACT score was 30, and the average SAT score was 1410. So, while most Tulane students boast high GPAs and test scores, the admissions committee considers other factors as well. Along with academic prowess, the school seeks out students who are passionate about what they do. Overall, Tulane is trying to build a robust, vibrant student body, so use your application to convey your unique talents and strengths.

So, How Does One Get Into Tulane?


Tulane University requires incoming freshmen to have strong academic credentials. Prospective students should pursue a high school curriculum that includes the following:


  • 4 years of English
  • 3 years of mathematics
  • 3 years of laboratory science
  • 3 years of social studies, with a history focus
  • 2 to 3 years of a foreign language


Additionally, Tulane takes standardized test scores into account when making admissions decisions. While the middle 50% of students earn SAT scores between 1420 and 1510, applicants may be pleased to learn that the school superscores the test, considering the highest scores across all test dates.


The middle 50% of students who take the ACT earn between 31 and 33; unfortunately, Tulane does not superscore this exam.


Some students may qualify for guaranteed admission to Tulane under the Focus Louisiana program. Here are the criteria required for guaranteed acceptance:


  • Be a Louisiana resident
  • Be a Louisiana high school student or graduate
  • Earn a minimum ACT score of 31 or SAT score of 1450
  • Earn a core GPA or 3.6
  • Complete the above high school curriculum
  • Be a first-time college student
  • Have a school record free from suspensions, expulsions, or disciplinary violations


Note that Guaranteed Admission applicants must apply to Tulane Early Decision.


How to Make Your Application Stand Out


Unless you qualify for Guaranteed Admission, there’s probably no one way to ensure you get into Tulane. However, the following steps can help your application stand out from the pack:



1. Write the Optional Statement


According to Tulane’s mission statement, the school is dedicated to helping “individuals, organizations, and communities to think, to learn, and to act and lead with integrity and wisdom.”


If you want to boost your odds of getting accepted at this southern school, use the optional statement to show the admissions committee how you fit this description. For example, you might want to describe a time when you served as a leader in your school or community. The goal is to convey why you’re a good fit for Tulane, along with why the school is ideal for you.



2. Engage With the School


Colleges aren’t naive enough to think students are only applying to one school. Still, they want to know that applicants are passionate about the possibility of matriculating. You can demonstrate your engagement by attending college fairs, meeting with admissions reps, emailing questions to the admissions counselor, and scheduling campus tours. If you do visit Tulane (or any other school on your list), don’t forget to drop by the admissions office to let them know you cared enough to make the trip.



3. Tell Them About Your Day Job


According to Tulane’s Director of Admissions, Jeff Schiffman, the university is particularly interested in students who have held down part-time jobs. Whether you worked to save money for college or prepare for a prospective career, detail your experience in your application materials.


What If You Get Rejected?


Rather than chastise yourself for failing to get into Tulane, remember that there are plenty of other great schools out there. And one of them would love to have you. Some colleges known for being similar to Tulane include Vanderbilt, NYU, USC, UCLA, and Boston University.

Determined to head down south for college? You might want to consider Duke University, Washington and Lee University, Wake Forest University, or Emory University.


For more resources on college applications, check out these CollegeVine posts:


How to Write the Tulane University Supplement Essay 2018-2019

The Top 10 Most Underrated Colleges in the U.S.


Curious about your chances of acceptance to your dream school? Our free chancing engine takes into account your GPA, test scores, extracurriculars, and other data to predict your odds of acceptance at over 500 colleges across the U.S. We’ll also let you know how you stack up against other applicants and how you can improve your profile. Sign up for your free CollegeVine account today to get started!

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April Maguire
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of the Master of Professional Writing program at USC, April Maguire taught freshman composition while earning her degree. Over the years, she has worked as a writer, editor, tutor, and content manager. Currently, she operates a freelance writing business and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their three rowdy cats.