If you're applying to Tulane University, you can choose to answer the Why Tulane optional statement as part of your application. The Why Tulane supplement essay asks you to explain why you want to attend Tulane.
In this article, we'll talk about what the Why Tulane application is, whether you should answer it, and how to write a successful essay that'll help increase your chances of admission.
The Why Tulane Essay Prompt
The Why Tulane supplement essay is straightforward:
Please describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University (optional) (50-500 words).
See? Straight to the point.
While the instructions are simple, the wide range of word count and relatively open-ended prompt make the Why Tulane essay more difficult than it initially seems. The Common App prompt states, "We strongly encourage you to focus on content and efficiency rather than word count. While submitting this prompt is optional, we recommend that all applicants do so."
In other words, you'll need to put some serious effort into your essay in order to stand out as an applicant.
Should I Write the Why Tulane Supplement Essay?
Looking at the Why Tulane application essay, you might be wondering if you even need to write the essay in the first place. After all, the prompt does say "optional".
While that's true, it would be a huge mistake to not write your Why Tulane application essay. This essay is a great opportunity to a) show off any interests and talents you have that aren't immediately apparent on the rest of your application and b) demonstrate why Tulane is a great fit for you and vice versa. The Tulane supplement essay is your chance to prove that you belong on Tulane's New Orleans campus—don't forgo it.
What Is the Purpose of the Why Tulane Essay?
Colleges like Tulane want to see that you really want to attend their school. Applicants who love their school are more likely to be active and happy students and later, active and happy alumni. Your essay should show the admissions committee that you really love Tulane, which will make them feel more confident that you'll be a great addition to the campus. Applicants that really want to attend a school are also more likely to enroll, meaning that Tulane's rate of enrollment will be higher.
Similarly, Tulane wants to make sure you know and value what they offer, and they also want to assess how you'll take advantage of the many opportunities on Tulane's campus to further your academic and professional career.
This essay is a great opportunity for the admissions committee to weed out students who haven't done their research on Tulane or really don't care about attending.
What Should I Write About in My Why Tulane Application Essay?
Your Why Tulane essay is your chance to express to the admissions committee why you want to attend Tulane. What made you apply to this school over any of the thousands of others you could have applied to?
Your Why Tulane application essay should be personal. The admissions committee doesn't want to read a cookie-cutter statement that could be written by any student about any school. Your paper should read as uniquely about you and uniquely about Tulane. With that in mind, here are three ideas for what you can write about for your Why Tulane essay.
#1: What Resonated With You When You Visited Tulane
If you made it down to New Orleans to visit Tulane, you should tell a specific story about what resonated with you on your campus trip. You could talk about a class that you sat in on or an experience you had with a tour guide. You could discuss visiting a local restaurant or engaging with New Orleans culture.
The Tulane admissions committee wants to hear about what stuck with you—and generic, bland answers will stand out as insincere. This essay isn't about why you want to attend college—it's about why you want to attend Tulane. Pick experiences that could only happen at Tulane, not anywhere else.
#2: What Makes Tulane a Great Match With Your Past and Your Future
You can use your Why Tulane essay to expand on your interests and passions as a student and person. Tie those interests back to Tulane itself to show why Tulane is the right school for you.
Tulane places a large emphasis on community service, so if you have experience doing community service in your hometown or plan to make that a large part of your life at college, this essay is a great opportunity to talk about that passion. If you want to study a specific field, like public health, that Tulane specializes in, the Why Tulane essay is the place to highlight that. Use this essay to describe how attending Tulane fits in with your plans. Doing so will help show the admissions committee that you plan to make the most out of your time on campus.
#3: Experiences You've Had With Current or Former Students
Tulane admissions officer Jeff Schiffman recommends name-dropping current or former Tulane students to explain why you're interested in attending the university. According to Schiffman, your reasons don't have to be particularly highbrow or academically-minded. You might just have noticed some awesome Instagram posts from a friend of a friend or heard great things from your second cousin. However you have the connection, use the Why Tulane essay to prove your interest in attending Tulane.
Tips for Writing an Amazing Why Tulane Essay
Writing a strong Why Tulane application essay isn't just about picking the right topic. You need to make sure your essay is the best possible example of your work in order to wow the admissions committee. Follow these three tips for writing an amazing Tulane application essay.
#1: Make Your Work Tulane-Specific
Nothing about your Why Tulane essay should be generic or impersonal. The more specific you can be when answering this prompt, the better. Don't say Tulane has great academics, caring professors, and an interesting student body. Tulane knows that already—it doesn't need you to tell its admissions officers that.
Everything you write about in your Why Tulane essay should be specific to Tulane—from the names of the professors and the courses to the feeling you had while visiting the campus. The more authentic you are, the more your passion for Tulane will stand out.
#2: Do Your Research
The best way to make your Why Tulane essay specific to Tulane is to do your research about the school. If you can, visit the campus to get a feel for its student body and on-campus life. If you can't, spend time perusing the school's website and try to speak with current or former students. The more you know about Tulane, the more convincingly you'll be able to write that Tulane is the best school for you to attend.
You should get an idea for the different clubs and activities that you'd like to participate in. You can find this information on the school's website. It can also be worthwhile to schedule a meeting with a professor, especially if you have a particular area of study that you're extremely interested in.
#3: Proofread and Polish Your Essay
Your Tulane essay should be the strongest example of your work possible. Before you turn in your application, make sure to edit and proofread your essays.
Your work should be free of spelling and grammar errors. Make sure to run your essays through a spelling and grammar check before you submit.
It's a good idea to have someone else read your "Why Tulane" essay, too. You can seek a second opinion on your work from a parent, teacher, or friend. Ask them whether your work represents you as a student and person. Have them check and make sure you haven't missed any small writing errors. Having a second opinion will help your work be the best it possibly can be.
The Why Tulane supplement essay is your opportunity to show why you want to attend Tulane University.
The Why Tulane essay is…
- An opportunity to explain what you specifically like about Tulane.
- A place to highlight your unique skills and interests.
The Why Tulane essay isn't…
- The place to share why going to college in general is important.
- An opportunity to talk about the other schools you're applying to.
Starting your essay is often the hardest part. If you're unsure where to begin, read our guide to starting your essay perfectly!
A good essay is just one part of a successful Tulane application. If you want to really wow the admissions office, be sure your grades and test scores are up to par.
Tulane University may not be an Ivy League school, but that doesn't mean your application shouldn't be Ivy League-caliber. Use these tips for getting into Harvard to shape your college application, and you'll have no problem getting into any school you choose!
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Hayley Milliman is a former teacher turned writer who blogs about education, history, and technology. When she was a teacher, Hayley's students regularly scored in the 99th percentile thanks to her passion for making topics digestible and accessible. In addition to her work for PrepScholar, Hayley is the author of Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females.