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Tulane University Application Essays

Tulane University 2017-18 Application Essay Question Explanations

The Requirements: 1 essay of 50-800 words; 1 essay of 250 words.

Supplemental Essay Type(s): Why, Activity.

Tulane has kept it simple with its classic supplemental questions, so we’ll make this introduction brief. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: a straightforward supplement is a demand for perfection. So don’t overlook these quickie questions: read our guide instead!

Please describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University (optional) (50-800 words).

Okay, can we talk about this word limit? And don’t even get us started on the parenthetical “optional.” In a nutshell, Tulane is saying, “Do what you want.” But we’ve got some suggestions of our own. First and foremost, this essay is not optional (despite what it may say). A classic why essay like this one is a time-honored supplement tradition, and your answer can reveal a lot to admissions about your potential fit and overall commitment to the school. Not writing it implies that you might not have a reason to apply; in which case, why are you wasting everyone’s time? Spend some time on the Tulane website and get to know the school. Explore all areas of social and academic life to build your list of reasons. And while you could technically write 800 words, keep in mind that admissions’ time is limited. The more you write, the less time they have to spend reading each word. Strike a happy medium and aim for 300 words or so.

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (250 words)  

In short, this classic activity essay gives you an opportunity to expand beyond the mini description for one activity listed on your Common App. Ideally, you should choose one that you haven’t already discussed: If you already wrote your Common App personal statement on the transformative power of dance, you’ll have to seek inspiration elsewhere for this essay! As you weigh your options, consider highlighting a long-term activity. Tracing your four-year involvement with meditation club will allow you to showcase your personal growth or maybe underscore your leadership qualities. If your resume is light on extracurriculars, don’t forget that you can also discuss a professional experience. From flipping burgers to interning at a museum, what have your work experiences taught you about the value of your time and your potential career aspirations? For more inspiration, check out our video on writing about an internship or work experience!

Tulane University is a private research university with an instituted culture of civic engagement located in the urban city of New Orleans, Louisiana. Ranked at #39 in U.S. News and World Report’s Best National Universities, and #69 in Best Value Schools, competition for admission at Tulane has increased drastically over the years: In 2015, the acceptance rate was 31%, but by 2015, it had dropped to 26%. In 2017, Tulane recorded a historic low at 21%.


Students admitted in recent years have generally scored around 1410 on the new SAT, and have maintained at least a 3.51 GPA throughout their high school careers. The middle 50% of admitted students scored between 29 and 32 on the ACT.


All first-year applicants apply to the Newcomb-Tulane Undergraduate College, which comprises of 5 schools: the Tulane School of Architecture, the A.B. Freeman School of Business, the School of Liberal Arts, the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and the School of Science and Engineering.


Upon deciding on a major, Tulane students become affiliated with the school corresponding to their chosen major but are also free to devise their own unique course of study by double-majoring across different undergraduate schools. Courses of study include: Homeland Security Studies, Legal Studies in Business, Preservation Studies, Musical Cultures of the Gulf South, Applied Computing & Systems Technology, Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, and Teacher Certification Program.


All students are required to complete the Core Curriculum, which includes the Writing, Foreign Language, Scientific Inquiry, Cultural Knowledge, and Public Service components. The last element is the most unique of the five, fulfillment of which consists of completing a service learning course geared toward applying theoretical knowledge in the classroom to a community service project in the area.


The Tulane “Green Waves” represent the university in NCAA Division I, enjoying particular success in men’s tennis and achieving moderate recognition in baseball and women’s basketball. If varsity athletics are not your cup of tea, there are also over 200 student organizations to join (including Aikido, Quidditch, Fencing, Cat Mafia Comedy and Hallyu Youth Practicing Emotional Dance), and 20 fraternities and sororities for which to rush.


Has the allure of Tulane’s academic excellence convinced you to apply? Are you on the edge of your seat because of the ever-dropping acceptance rate? Never fear, our essay specialist team at CollegeVine is here to breakdown the tips and tricks to writing the Tulane University supplemental essay.