Happy Friday! It has been a wild few weeks as much of our office has begun our travel season. I am coming to you live from a parking lot at a Georgia high school!

In addition to traveling and meeting all of you, something that all of us Directors enjoy about our jobs is that we get to legitimately help people. We were once all lost high schoolers applying to college. I know I personally was miserable while applying to school, and often felt lost. We know many of you are experiencing some anxiety now as application season has begun, so we banded together to provide some of our top tips for applying to Tulane. Let’s get to it!

Our first tip is a short and sweet one from Director of Midwest Recruitment Keith Stanford: Beat deadlines rather than meet deadlines!

Make an effort to make sure that you are taking the time to put your best effort into your application, scholarship applications, and financial aid documents. Applying to college is stressful enough on its own, and you don’t need to add procrastination to the mix! Sending things off earlier than the last minute can be a huge relief, and can even provide you with a sense of accomplishment and confidence. Don’t undervalue the satisfaction of crossing something off your to do list!

Our next tip is from Director of International Recruitment Paul Burgess. He says:

My top app tip is for students to stay organized. Microsoft Excel/Google Sheets are a great way to keep track of all the universities you’re considering, along with details on deadlines, financial aid, and tidbits/anecdotes from visits or programs you do with the university. Organizing everything in this way will make it far easier to keep track, and to have easy access to details for supplemental essays, scholarship apps, or any quirks that a particular school has.

The third tip is from me. Engage with us!

I wouldn’t be much of a Director of Engagement if I didn’t mention its importance to our applicants. My whole title and main job is about connecting with students and coming up with creative ways that you can connect with Tulane. That is something we value a lot here at Tulane. We want to admit students who want to be here. You can show us that you want to be here by investing some time into Tulane by attending our virtual events, seeing us while we travel, or coming here to New Orleans. Remember that physically coming her for a tour is not required- there are infinite ways that you can demonstrate your interest. That engagement becomes the trail of breadcrumbs us counselors need while we try to advocate on your behalf. It makes all of our jobs more fun when we can root for students who are not only a good fit for Tulane, but are excited about our school too! Don’t forget to write your Why Tulane essay!

Another tip comes from our Executive Director of Communications Leila Labens. She reminds y’all to be yourselves!

Don’t try to say and do what you think we want to hear. Be genuine! Tell us about yourself, write the essay you want to write, and don’t join activities you don’t care about just to “look good for college”. When it comes to essays, we’d rather hear things in your own words. A slice of life is much more interesting than a forced story where you try to embellish or try to change the world. It is totally fine to just be you!

Our final tip comes from our Director of Technology, Neill Aguiluz, where he reminds you that having a family talk about finances is better to do sooner rather than later.

Have a serious family conversation about how much your family can reasonably contribute to your college expenses each year, and have it as early as possible! This can be a difficult conversation to have, but if everyone commits to transparency, it can help you understand what level of merit scholarships and need-based financial aid you’ll need to receive at each school you’re applying to in order to attend. You should also recognize that this discussion is going to be a heavy lift for your parents or guardians, so try not to be too hard on them! It’ll take time and mental effort on their part even to prepare for such a conversation, but once it’s done, you’ll have a clear picture from the get-go of which schools are most reasonable and which are more of a reach financially for you and your family. It’s never fun to get an admission letter and what looks like a generous financial aid offer, only to find that it’s not generous enough to make it work for you. Allow yourselves the space to discuss this early so that you can set concrete goals for yourself!

We hope these tips help you feel a little more at ease as you begin your applications! Remember that we accept both the Common App and the Tulane application, and neither one is preferred over the other. We look forward to reading them!