Tulane Class of 2025 different than any class before it

Hannah Mayer, News Editor

As the 2020-21 school year comes to a close, the Tulane Class of 2025 is starting to take shape. The incoming freshman class has had a series of obstacles put in front of them, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that no class before them has had to endure.

According to Eric Sherman, a college admissions counselor from IvyWise, the incoming class of 2025 has been greatly impacted in that their last year of high school has been completely virtual. They have had to navigate distance learning and lockdowns all while going through the college admissions process almost completely virtually. 

“The [Class of 2025] has the added burden of not being able to visit campuses in person for research,” Sherman said. “Perhaps, more importantly, [they have] had a significant segment of their high school experience disrupted.”

One large change the class of 2025 endured was the shift to test-optional applications for many universities, including Tulane. Satyajit Dattagupta, vice president of enrollment management and dean of admission, reports that approximately 40% of this year’s admitted population applied test optional.

“Our admission office does a holistic review of every application,” Dattagupta said. “If the applicant feels that their SAT or ACT score accurately reflects their academic aptitude, we welcome them to submit their scores. If an applicant feels that their score does not reflect their academic aptitude, there is no penalty for this.”

Dattagupta said that applicants have appreciated this flexibility with standardized test scores as many of them were unable to take the tests due to cancelations. 

Sherman said that it is best to abandon the standardized test requirement as it favors applicants who come from a more affluent background and creates inequity in the college admissions process.

“The SAT and ACT are coachable exams, so students whose families can afford (often costly) test prep historically perform better on these tests, creating substantial inequity in the process,” Sherman said. “In the absence of the SAT/ACT, colleges have enjoyed the ability to admit a more diverse class by many traditional metrics.”

According to Dattagupta, Tulane admissions received a record number of 46,000 applicants. Due to the competitive nature of this class and the new challenges brought forth by COVID-19, Dattagupta said that the Class of 2025 is the most academically strong class in the history of Tulane.

“Having had to pause their energy and creativity, the class of 2025 is ready,” Dattagupta said. “Their talents and passion will give us all the energy we need to have an exceptional year.”

The Tulane Class of 2025 will be finalized on May 1 at which time other details and statistics of the class will be available.