I hope you had a wonderful summer and are having a great start to the school year! Our counseling staff has hit the road, and travel season is officially upon us! We visit high schools, host regional receptions, and answer all of your questions along the way. One question I’ve already encountered a few times is about our different application rounds. Tulane is offering 4 different rounds this year– Early Decision, Early Action, Early Decision II, and Regular Decision. Read on to hear about each and figure out which might be the best for you and your family!
Early Decision (11/1 deadline):
Early Decision (ED) is a binding agreement. You sign the ED Agreement form that confirms that you will attend Tulane if admitted. This round is best for students who are 1000% sure Tulane is where they want to be. Oftentimes, these students have visited campus and have determined that Tulane is the definitive #1 on their list. Aside from Tulane being their academic and social fit, families also need to determine if Tulane is a financial fit for them. While ED students are still considered for merit aid, but to be honest, that pool of money is smaller and merit scholarships are less common for these students. Families should use the Net Price Calculator to get an idea of what Tulane’s actual price may end up being for them. Need-based Aid is offered the same regardless of round, but merit aid varies more with ED. ED students will hear back by December 15th, and enrollment deposits are due January 15th. Just like the case at other schools, our ED round has the highest acceptance rate and most of our class last year came from the ED and ED2 rounds.
Early Action (11/15 deadline):
Early Action is the round that most of our applicants use, and it is what I would recommend to most of you! Early Action has the largest pool of merit money, and the most flexibility. You will hear back by January 15th, and enrollment deposits aren’t due until May 1. This gives you and your family ample time to compare offers from other schools, make spring visits, and figure out which school is the best fit. While EA has a lower acceptance rate than ED, it is still a very viable option. My advice would be to make sure that you write your Why Tulane essay and attend a few of our events so that you have shown interest and voiced it. Remember that “demonstrating interest” is more than just going through the motions!
Early Decision II (1/13 deadline):
Early Decision II (or ED2) is another opportunity for students to tell us that Tulane is their first choice. The most common applicants in this round are students who originally applied EA and were deferred. Some other students apply after getting turned down at a different school or reevaluating their college list. ED 2 applications are due January 13th, and you’ll hear back by the end of the month. Deposits are due by February 10th, so it is a quick turnaround. Similar to ED, ED2 does not have as large of a pool of merit money as EA.
Regular Decision (1/15 Deadline)
I’ll be honest, RD at Tulane is extraordinarily competitive. We got over 40,000 applications last year, so there is rarely a ton of space left by the time the new year begins. Over the past few years, RD acceptances have been quite rare. More qualified students than we have space for apply ED and EA, so waiting for RD is hard to do. Honestly, I can’t recommend that you apply RD to Tulane for now. As you may have read, we have a new Dean of Admission and VP of Enrollment Management coming in September, so the percentage of our class that comes from each round may change in the future, but for now my advice remains the same: apply EA!
So there you have it! Hopefully this will help you strategize what round is best for you. Remember that you can always email your admission counselor and ask them what they think is the best option for you and your family!