Well folks, today is the day. Early Action decisions are coming out at 3 PM Central Time. For many of you, that notification will let you know that you have been deferred until our Regular Decision review period in the spring. Being deferred means that we need more time before we can make a final decision on your application. We will revisit your application in the spring along with the other deferred students and the Regular Decision pool.
I first want to preface this blog with the reminder that everything is going to work out in the end! You are going to go to college. Period. Don’t let a deferral from Tulane (or another school) affect your self-worth. We aren’t worth it. There are infinite factors that go into the college admission process, and so many of them are out of your control. The fact of the matter is that we could fill multiple freshmen classes with the number of applications that we get from academically strong, involved, and interested students. We only have so many beds on campus. A deferral says way more about Tulane and our process than it does about you as a student or human being.
Now, onto the advice:
In order to make these final decisions in the spring, there are a few factors we will look at. The main one, frustratingly, is out of your control. Yield from our accepted students will impact how many more spots we will have for deferred and RD students. Yield is the percentage of accepted students that choose to enroll. If this number is higher than anticipated, it can be tougher for RD and deferred students to get in, since admission is ultimately a numbers game. Yield is tricky to predict, so you never know what could happen. This is where your agency comes in. There are a few things you can do to strengthen your application and stand out in the pool. Here are some suggestions:
1) Fill out the continued interest form. This will be emailed to deferred students as well as being available on your Green Wave Portal. This tool will let us quickly identify who remains interested in Tulane. If/when your admission counselor has the chance to bring more students to the committee, they will start with this group of students. This form is super important and carries a lot of weight. Do not feel any pressure to fly down here and take a tour to show interest. That’s what this form is for!
2) Contact your admission counselor, but take the time to regroup first. I’ll be honest: we are going to be relaxing over the break. We won’t constantly be checking our emails. You should do the same! If Tulane is at the top of your list, absolutely let your admission counselor know, but let’s have that conversation in the new year.
3) Send us important updates. Please be conservative with your estimation of what is important. We don’t necessarily need to know everything that happened this fall, but major life changes, new academic information, or serious awards are worth telling us about. Please don’t over-email your admission counselor with a weekly update.
4) Be patient. With our pool of deferred students and Regular Decision applicants, we still have a lot of work to do. We may not have a final decision for you until April 1. Hang in there. Again, DO NOT feel any pressure to fly down here for a tour or to try to have a face-to-face conversation. That will not accelerate anything.
5) Remember how competitive selective admission is. We can’t fit everyone who wants to be a part of our class, and many perfectly qualified students are turned away every eyar. We’re very privileged to have this problem, but it doesn’t make it any easier.
6) Consider switching to ED 2 if Tulane is 100% your top choice. The deadline is January 13th, so you have plenty of time to mull it over with your family. There will be a button in your Green Wave Portal if you would like to change to ED 2. Keep in mind that the pool of merit money for Early Decision students is smaller. Need-based aid remains the same for every admitted student.
Finally, try not to compare yourself to others. Every year we get phone calls from students and parents asking why the kid down the street got in and “stole my spot”. That isn’t how this works. Tulane does not put quotas on schools, towns, or states. We do not compare students directly to each other when we read applications, and we are always thinking about creating a well-rounded, diverse, and interesting freshman class. You will never know what exactly was in other students’ recommendations, essays, or what we are looking for. Trying to throw someone else under the bus will not bring you any closure or happiness. Don’t be the person who calls to tell us your neighbor only has Tulane at #4 on their list.
This blog is never very fun to write, because our team genuinely is invested in all of you. We love getting to know you, and it is unfortunate that everyone who wants to get into Tulane cannot. Just know that your admission counselor is rooting for you and will do their best. Keep your chin up, and we’ll see you in 2023!