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How to Write the Tulane University Essays

Updated for 2023-2024

In 250 words, Tulane asks students to answer the simple question: "Why Tulane?" The question may seem straightforward, but crafting a specific and compelling response requires strategy and research. Discover key tips to writing a standout Tulane essay!

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.



This prompt offers you the opportunity to tell the admissions committee why you are interested in Tulane distinctly—what about Tulane is uniquely appealing to you as a prospective student? While submitting this prompt is optional, we recommend that all applicants do so.

In order to respond to this prompt, you will first need to conduct in-depth research on the university’s website, looking particularly at programs, initiatives, and opportunities that are highlighted as distinct Tulane offerings. Tulane’s admission page states: “Admission to Tulane is extremely competitive, and our admission counselors look for high levels of academic and extracurricular achievement; however, we’re building more than a class, we’re building a community. We review each applicant with an eye toward shaping Tulane and making it stronger and more vibrant each year, so it’s important that we look at each applicant as a whole.” Because of this emphasis on community and holistic consideration of prospective students, use the word count to cover multiple different aspects of Tulane’s academic and nonacademic offerings as well as how these offerings are compatible with your own multifaceted experiences and interests.

For instance, you might discuss the university’s research opportunities, the average class size of 20 students, or the public service project required as a part of Tulane’s undergraduate program. As you mention Tulane’s distinctive offerings that appeal to you, be clear about how these opportunities would uniquely advance you in the pursuit of your personal, professional, and academic goals.

Keep in mind that as you describe your particular interest in Tulane, you should also be thinking about how your answer conveys more about you—your interests, passions, and goals—and how you would be a strong fit for the university’s community as well. This will allow you to explicitly answer the second part of the prompt, which specifically asks about how you can contribute to the Tulane community. Your answer should not only be specific with regards to the university’s offerings, but it should also be specific about your intentions for your academic and professional future.



“Wait a minute, Ms. Carver. Are you telling me that none of the school’s recycling actually gets recycled?”

I was dumbfounded to learn from my high school environmental science teacher that our school had an environmentally unfriendly waste management program. We had separate bins for recycling plastic, but students used them wrong, and at the end of the day, it all went into the same landfill pile. Instead of frustration, I felt fascination. I knew from my AP Environmental class that recycling is a complex issue. I decided to try a solution: I printed bold, easy-to-read flyers explaining what goes in which bin and posted them in front of the school trash. With faculty support, I recruited a team of the students to come to school an hour early to get our hands dirty–literally–and we sorted the recycling. Through this experience, I felt the extreme pride and satisfaction that comes from combining my intellectual interest in Environmental Science with action-oriented initiatives for change.

At Tulane, I know I’ll be able to continue learning in an environment that prioritizes giving back. With incredible opportunities like the TIDES courses (this fall’s Climate Change Solutions is perfectly suited for my interests), I will be able to put my learning into making a tangible difference in the New Orleans area starting in my first semester. I’m also excited to take impactful, hands-on courses like “Urban Gardening” and “New Orleans Case Study.”

I believe with Tulane’s service-minded curriculum, I will continue using my passions to make a positive impact on my community.