So, what's up with Tulane's early decision/action admit rate?

Really? So the way to shake a party/safety school reputation and get to be a top school and save financial aid budgets is by admitting the vast majority of those who apply early decision and early action and having a regular admission rate of 3 pct for an avg rate of 11 pct? I guess this is the Tulane early acceptance syndrome replacing the Tufts deferred decision syndrome… just wow. Apparently last year early applications went up 27 pct… insane.

Agree. And now College Confidential has added Tulane to its “top universities” list. Tufts is not even considered a “top university” by College confidential.

Take a look at the stats in this link. Pay attention to the Early Decision acceptance rate and particular attention to the percent of class filled via ED. Compare Tulane’s rates to other schools with competitive admissions, and I think you’ll find that a Tulane does not admit the vast majority of those who apply ED (32.2% for the class of 2022 cycle in the exhibit) and neither does it fill the majority of its class that way (28%). Since you mentions Tufts, compare those Tulane rates to those of Tufts (42.3% and 64.5%, respectively). Tulane has a ED to RD acceptance ratio of 1.9, while Tufts is 3.7.±+Class+of+2022+%28August+2019%29+v3.pdf

ED only works if applicants actually want to go to your school. The last few admissions cycles, Tulane has been “hot” and growing hotter. Overall applications and ED rates have been climbing. But so have the stats of the enrolled classes. It’s not as though they are admitting a bunch of low stats kids ED just to fill the class and their coffers…scores are the highest they have ever been. On top of that, their students are consistently ranked among the happiest and most engaged at their school. So whatever formula is driving all of these positive results at the same time is working and should be lauded rather than criticized.


@brantly CC didn’t just add Tulane to the “Top” category. It’s been there since the list was created not because it is a “better” school than Tufts or any number of other schools. It was added to the list because it had some of the highest traffic on the site at the time that the list was created.

@pishicaca I am talking about ED and EA together. EA does not require attending and they are admitting tons of folks EA; very high rate. Google search early acceptance rates and you will see what I mean. I have no issue with Tulane, just bizarre and an outlier.

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Tulane admitted 3700+ early action applicants in addition to 670+ early decision applicants!!!

@gablesdad Not sure what your point regarding EA is? It’s not binding, just an earlier deadline than RD and gives interested and prepared students a chance at a better place in line. At a selective school if you wait until RD to apply when EA is an option, you are significantly reducing your chance of admission. There are only so many spots available.

@pishicaca seems like front-running by accepting a disproportionate number EA while there is less competition among schools and making RD hopeless at 3 pct or so; not judging it as a recruiting strategy, but definitely seems like a strategic choice; the number of early applications has skyrocketed as there is essentially almost no room left in class for RD

It’s done by traffic? That was never my impression.

Are you not aware of how common EA is? Again, not sure what point you are making. This is not something specific to Tulane. Look at the data in the link I provided earlier in the thread and note how often EA appears in the table.

Would you prefer that schools that offer non-binding EA eliminate it and only offer a binding ED option and then RD? Or would you prefer that they eliminated any early options and only had one non-binding admissions option when all applicants applied to all schools at the same time? Because what you are singling Tulane out for is the same strategic choice that all schools offering ED and EA are making. And even if there was one RD round for all schools, if you don’t think those who happened to submit their application earlier in the process would have an advantage over those who waited until the deadline, you are fooling yourself.

From your screen name, I’m going to make an assumptive leap that you are in Coral Gables. So let’s compare the rates you are complaining about for Tulane with the rates for the University of Miami. Again, from the table I provided earlier, Tulane’s ED acceptance rate was 32.2%. Miami’s was 55.6%. Tulane filled 28% of its class through ED, Miami 29.2%. Both have EA as well. So which school is providing more non-binding admissions opportunities?
Tulane is not “bizarre” or an “outlier“ and the data show that.

Unless you have applied somewhere else that has restrictive EA or if your application may be be stronger by waiting for RD (awaiting test scores or another semester of an upward GPA trend) there is no real reason not to apply EA as opposed to RD. You have to be prepared and complete the application earlier but you also have the advantage of getting a decision back more quickly so you can adjust and focus on other schools if necessary or accept your spot and be done with the process.

@phisicaca Thanks for your impassionate response. I am only trying to assess Tulane in the context of a potential college list for D and to understand its dramatically reduced acceptance rate overall, which seems driven by a super outlier low RD acceptance rate. This arose from review of results posted on the College Transitions website which state that Tulane’s acceptance rate for RD is 1.4 percent, which is 3-5x lower than much more elite insitutions. I am not judging Tulane for doing it, but since D will apply RSEA or ED to another school, it probably means there is little point in applying to Tulane RD. Does that make more sense to you? We can leave Tulane’s intent for another day.

@gablesdad - I don’t really understand your complaint either. Tulane doesn’t hide the fact that they encourage all applicants to apply early. They don’t hide it. If they get qualified applicants EA - why should deny or defer those applicants in favor of RD?

Our HS encourages kids to apply to every school EA if available.

Their low acceptance rate is driven by the $0 application fee. More applications for a medium sized school = lower acceptance rate

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Not complaining. Just pointing out something rather unusual.

This. Turbo-charge the denominator.

I’d be shocked if Tulane actually has a 1% RD acceptance rate, even if some website I’ve never heard of lists that value.

The CT website says their source is the 2018-19 CDS, yet the CDS does not list EA acceptance rates – only ED and total. I suspect that they are instead using the USNWR reported combined overall early rate (ED + EA) and listing that combined rate as EA. At all colleges I checked the combined USNWR (ED+EA) rate matches the listed EA rate. This methodology leads to overestimating the EA admit rate and underestimating the RD admit rate at colleges that offer EA + ED + RD.

It’s also unclear how they are estimating yield of EA admits since I haven’t seen this figure published. If they are assuming overall yield = EA yield, then the estimated RD admit rate is near useless for EA colleges.

The information that is listed in the 2019-2020 CDS states:

Tulane admitted 720 / 2,163 ED applicants for a 33% acceptance rate
Tulane admitted 4,711 / 40,022 EA+RD applicants for 12% acceptance rate

I don’t know the relative breakdown between EA and RD. With the 12% EA+RD admit rate in 2019-20 and lower in 2020-21, I think it is very likely that RD has a low single digit acceptance rate, but I also think it is safe to assume that single digit acceptance rate is far above the 1.4% listed on the CT website.

@data10 thanks for that. I wonder if their EA data has been disclosed anywhere other than what CT provides. says Tulane admitted 3725 students in early action for class of 2024… that would be about 2 pct for RD. Still a major outlier if so.

I assume you are calculating as:

RD admits = (4,711 RD + EA admits) - 3,725 EA admits = 986 RD admits
RD applicants = (40,022 RD + EA applicants) - 0 EA applicants = 40,022 RD applicants

986 / 40,022 = 2.5%

This calculation is clearly incorrect because the 0 EA applicants assumption is incorrect. If we instead assume

24.9% (EA + ED) admit rate as stated on USNWR
720 / 2,163 admitted ED as stated on CDS
3,725 EA applicants as stated on admissions blog*

Then (720 + 3725) / (2163 + x) = 24.9%
Solving for x, the number of EA applicants ~= 15,700.

This makes the RD admit rate calculation

RD admits = (4,711 RD + EA admits) - 3,725 EA admits) = 986 RD admits
RD applicants = (40,022 RD + EA applicants) - 15,700 EA applicants ~24,300 RD applicants

RD admit rate ~= 986 / 24,300 = 4.1%
EA admit rate ~= 3,725 / 15,700 = 23.4%
ED admit rate = 720 / 2,163 = 31.6%

*It’s also important to note that the 3,725 figure from admissions blog is for a different year than the other figures. I also don’t know whether admission blog is a reliable source or how they obtained the 3,725 figure. Without a reliable source and numbers from the same year, the outputs are not reliable. My point is regardless of how you play with the numbers, you will not get a 1.4% RD admit rate.

@Data10 thanks for the correction; my mistake was different; I used the wrong denominator (total applicants instead of RD applicants). So 4.1 pct, how does that compare with the RD acceptance rate at other colleges in the bottom half of T50 rankings? Unusually low for that cohort?