Not sure how to approach the Tulane supplemental essays? CollegeAdvisor.com’s guide to the Tulane essay prompts will show you exactly how to write engaging Tulane essays and maximize your chances of admission. If you need help crafting your Tulane University supplemental essays, create your free account or schedule a free advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.


Tulane Essay Guide Quick Facts:

  • The Tulane University acceptance rate is 11% — U.S. News ranks Tulane as a highly competitive school.
  • Tulane is a small private research university located in New Orleans, Louisiana
  • The U.S. News Tulane University ranking is #42 in National Universities

What is Tulane’s acceptance rate?

So, what is the acceptance rate at Tulane University? The Tulane University acceptance rate is just 11%. The slim Tulane acceptance rate comes from the school’s widespread acclaim. The Tulane University ranking is #42 among national universities. As one of the top 50 schools in the nation, the Tulane University ranking speaks to the school’s strong academics and vast opportunities.

The Tulane University acceptance rate and the Tulane University ranking each show that the school is competitive! Don’t discount the value of your Tulane essays in overcoming the Tulane University acceptance rate. Your essays can strongly influence your admissions results.

Don’t worry about the Tulane University acceptance rate as you complete your application. Instead, put your energy toward writing the best Tulane essays possible. The Tulane University acceptance rate is out of your control, but your essays are within it.

For more information on the Tulane University acceptance rate—and acceptance rates in general—read our blog article.

Does Tulane have supplemental essays?

Yes—Tulane does require supplemental essays. One of the Tulane supplemental essays is required, and two are optional. However, we recommend that you complete each Tulane essay prompt to maximize your admissions odds, especially given the low Tulane University acceptance rate.

Remember, Tulane also receives your personal statement submitted through the Common App or Coalition App. This means that you will submit your Tulane essays as well as your Common/Coalition App essay.

Need some help writing your Common App essay? Get great tips from our Common App essay guide.

What are Tulane’s supplemental essays?

The Tulane supplemental essays for the 2021-2022 application cycle are found on the Common App site. The Tulane essay prompts ask you to discuss your experiences, background, and reasons for applying to Tulane.

Think of the Tulane supplemental essays as an opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are beyond what you already wrote in your Common App personal statement. Successful Tulane essays will present a clear and cohesive, yet dynamic picture of who you are.

How many essays are required for Tulane?

Tulane has three total essays. One is required, while two are optional. One Tulane essay prompt asks you to elaborate on an extracurricular experience, another asks you to write a “Why Tulane” essay, and the third asks you to discuss your diverse perspective.

The Tulane University acceptance rate is relatively low (just 11%), so your essays can help you stand out. To learn more about how to write the Tulane supplemental essays, keep reading!

How important are Tulane’s supplemental essays?

You should approach each of the three Tulane supplemental essays with thought and care. In your response to each Tulane essay prompt, you have an opportunity to highlight different aspects of your application. Since there are three Tulane supplemental essays, you have plenty of space to discuss your experience, perspective, and background. Given the low Tulane acceptance rate, the high Tulane University ranking, and the University’s holistic admissions approach, your Tulane essays can make a major difference.

There are several key elements of your application that you must submit in addition to your Tulane supplemental essays. Read the complete checklist to make sure you have everything you need. While many students will have impressive test scores, GPAs, etc., you should use your Tulane essays to help you stand out from the pack!

How do I write the Tulane supplemental essays?

The admissions team evaluates your Tulane supplemental essays for both content and writing ability. So, what you choose to write about for your Tulane essays matters as much as your writing skill. Proofread your Tulane essays for all grammatical and syntactical errors. Finally, remember to review your essay for the message it sends to the admissions committee.

With three Tulane supplemental essays, you have plenty of freedom to explore different parts of your identity. Consider your application as a whole package. Each of your Tulane supplemental essays should provide a new and deeper window into who you are.

It may feel overwhelming to complete three Tulane supplemental essays. However, if you give yourself adequate time to plan, draft, and revise your Tulane essays, you can eliminate much of the stress in the application process. This guide will show you how to use the Tulane University essay prompts to your advantage and maximize your odds against the Tulane University acceptance rate!

How to Write Tulane Supplemental Essays — Question 1 (required):

Please briefly elaborate on one of your extracurricular activities or work experiences. (20-250 words)

Choosing a topic for this Tulane essay prompt can feel overwhelming. Brainstorm several ideas before selecting one. Most strong Tulane applicants will have many options to choose from when responding to this Tulane essay prompt.

The most successful Tulane supplemental essays will be well-written and unique. You don’t have to write about the activity that you are most involved in, especially if you already discussed that activity in your Common App personal statement. Just make sure that the activity you choose matters to you.

Focus on impact

Effective Tulane essays will discuss why you chose to get involved in your activity or work experience, how you have dedicated yourself to it, and how this activity has impacted your community, your growth, and your character. As you address these questions, focus primarily on impact. What did you do, why did you do it, and what was the result? Choose the experience where you have made the biggest difference when writing your Tulane supplemental essays.

This Tulane essay prompt is quite straightforward but very broad. You have the freedom to tell your story to the admissions committee. The best Tulane supplemental essays will either focus on one experience—one conversation, one interaction, one day—or discuss your involvement in an activity over time. The more detail you can provide, the stronger your response to this Tulane essay prompt will be.

Tell your story

When answering this Tulane essay prompt (and all others), be vivid in your storytelling. Instead of just stating what happened in your Tulane supplemental essays, use specific examples and descriptions. Be vivid without being wordy—successful Tulane supplemental essays will be concise. You only have 250 words, so don’t be too long-winded when answering this Tulane essay prompt!

Most importantly, include the “So what?” in your Tulane supplemental essays. While you should outline what you did, you should spend most of your Tulane essay describing why your actions mattered. What skills can you highlight? How did your mindset shift occurred? What values does this activity reveal about who you are? Ultimately, why did you choose to tell this story instead of another?

Tulane Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • Is your response to this Tulane essay prompt original and personal?
  • Did you select a topic that is interesting and important to you?
  • Does your essay focus on your growth, skills, and values?
  • Do you avoid repeating content that has already been discussed in your application?

How to Write Tulane Supplemental Essays — Question 2 (optional):

Please describe why you are interested in attending Tulane University (optional) (50-800 words).

This essay is a classic “Why Tulane” essay. You may wonder whether you should write the “Why Tulane” essay since it’s listed as optional. However. if you are serious about being admitted, you should consider the “Why Tulane” essay a required part of your application. The word limit is as vague as it gets, so we recommend 300-500 words. Your “Why Tulane” essay will be more effective if it is focused and concise instead of long and rambling.

An effective “Why Tulane” essay will think beyond the Tulane University acceptance rate and Tulane University ranking. Though these factors feel important, they do not ultimately relate to your application. When answering this “Why Tulane” essay, don’t just write about why you want to attend Tulane. Think of this “Why Tulane” essay as a “why fit” essay. Your college experience is a two-way street; you will both contribute to and benefit from the Tulane community.

Successful Tulane supplemental essays will reflect the mission and key values of the University, a strong research institution with a tight-knit campus community and small class sizes. In your Tulane essays, capture the essence of Tulane’s demanding academics and community engagement.

Service oriented

If you are committed to serving others, Tulane is an excellent place for you—and this “Why Tulane” essay is a perfect opportunity to discuss your commitment. The school has many opportunities to explore service learning coursesservice research projects, and service abroad.

When writing your “Why Tulane” essay, be specific about classes you want to take, research opportunities you want to pursue, clubs you want to join, and places you want to serve. Successful Tulane supplemental essays will take these a step further, however. Don’t just name-drop. Instead, connect them to your experiences and goals.

In your “Why Tulane” essay, think of your past experience and interests as a foundation for your future at Tulane. Strong “Why Tulane” essays will incorporate some or all of the following questions: How and why will you choose to spend your time at Tulane? In what ways will your involvement help you pursue your major? How will the ways you spend your time light up your curiosity to learn? How will they spur you forward in your career? In your “Why Tulane” essay, describe specifically how Tulane’s offerings will help you succeed.

Make it personal

When writing your “Why Tulane” essay, avoid cliché phrases, generalizing, and overly emotional appeals. Don’t discuss traditions that are too well-known or frequently written about, either. Instead, make it personal. Perhaps you attended a campus tour that left an impression on you or you attended a webinar that inspired you to apply. Mention these specific and personal connections to Tulane in your “Why Tulane” essay.

This “Why Tulane” essay prompt is so broad that you have lots of freedom. Make sure to discuss both academic and non-academic reasons for applying to Tulane in your “Why Tulane” essay. No one expects you to have your future fully planned when responding to the “Why Tulane” essay prompt. However, the admissions committee does want to see that you can articulate a genuine plan based on your interests and goals.

For this “Why Tulane” essay and all of your Tulane supplemental essays, brainstorm, research, outline, draft, and proofread before submitting. Your Tulane essays should represent your best content and writing ability.

Tulane Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • Does your “Why Tulane” essay highlight why you would succeed at Tulane specifically?
  • Is your “Why Tulane” essay both specific and personal?
  • Does your “Why Tulane” essay “show” instead of “tell” through vivid details?
  • Do you clearly and concisely write your response to the “Why Tulane” essay prompt?

How to Write Tulane Supplemental Essays — Question 3 (optional):

Tulane values the lessons gained from pursuing an education alongside a student body that represents a wide range of experiences and perspectives and is reflective of our multicultural world. If you would like to share a perspective related to your family, cultural group, sexual or gender identity, religious group, or some other aspect that has shaped your identity, please do so here (optional). (50-800 words)

This Tulane essay prompt is also optional. However, we strongly recommend that you complete it to maximize your chances against the lower-than-average Tulane acceptance rate. By explaining a specific perspective that has shaped your background, your response to this Tulane essay prompt will effectively add to your application. The prompt provides several suggestions for perspectives—family, cultural group, sexual or gender identity, or religious group—but also allows for others.

Does something on this list resonate with your identity? What makes you stand out among your peers? Do you have a special hobby or interest? What else have you not shared about yourself with Tulane? Ultimately, how can your response to this Tulane essay prompt illuminate who you are?

Since there are only three Tulane supplemental essays, you’re bound to have some part of your identity you haven’t yet shared with admissions. Rather than thinking of this Tulane essay prompt as another box to check, think of it as another opportunity to show the admissions committee who you are. Successful Tulane supplemental essays will delve into diverse perspectives you haven’t discussed elsewhere in your application.

When answering this Tulane essay prompt, you may have trouble being personal and specific when others share your identity. The most effective Tulane essays will make a broader identity unique to you by telling a compelling story and detailing how your identity has impacted your own life.

Tulane Essay Draft Key Questions:

  • Does your response to the Tulane essay prompt highlight something that you have not discussed elsewhere on your application?
  • Is your essay personal and specific?
  • Do you tell a compelling story about who you are for this Tulane essay prompt?

Additional Tips for Writing your Tulane Supplemental Essays

In your writing process, leave plenty of time to brainstorm, draft, outline, and edit your Tulane supplemental essays. The Regular Decision deadline for Tulane is on January 15th.

Make it your goal to write unique and compelling Tulane essays that tell your authentic story. Before submitting, reread your application and proofread your Tulane supplemental essays.

Finally, make sure your application shows that you’re genuinely interested in attending Tulane. Even if the Tulane University ranking initially helped you learn about the school, you should focus on Tulane’s specific offerings in your Tulane supplemental essays. After all, the Tulane acceptance rate and the Tulane University ranking can only tell you so much. Your own relationship with Tulane matters far more than the Tulane University ranking, so make sure your essays show that you’ve done your research.

Don’t get hung up on factors like the Tulane University acceptance rate or the Tulane University ranking. At the end of the day, focus on why Tulane is the school for you, and use your application to show the admissions team why.

Tulane Supplemental Essays — Final Thoughts

In your Tulane supplemental essays, show the admissions committee who you are as a person, student, and community member. Don’t fixate on the Tulane University ranking or the Tulane University acceptance rate. Research Tulane so you can write the most tailored and specific Tulane supplemental essays. You can also visit resources like the Tulane University admissions blog. There, you’ll find Q&As from the Ask the Dean event and other helpful information for applicants. There is not one successful type of Tulane student, so be yourself in your Tulane supplemental essays. Good luck!


This 2021-2022 essay guide on Tulane was written by Caroline Marapese, Notre Dame ‘20. For more CollegeAdvisor.com resources, click here. Want help crafting your Tulane University supplemental essays? Create your free account or schedule a complimentary advising consultation by calling (844) 343-6272.