Tulane providing unique ways to connect with prospective students during COVID-19

Tulane’s Office of Undergraduate Admission has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic through innovative and creative approaches, both virtual and in-person, that provide prospective students numerous opportunities to engage and connect with the university. 

Each week, the office hosts virtual events including tours, information sessions, workshops and interviews.

Over the past few months, Tulane admission counselors have conducted more than 3,000 virtual interviews and appointments with students who plan to apply, which allows the university to engage with students where they are, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Dean of Admission Satyajit Dattagupta, said.

“For a lot of the students, their senior year or their junior year in high school has been completely disrupted and we’re finding a way to bring college to them,” Dattagupta said.

The virtual information sessions and workshops range in topics but are largely focused on supporting students as they navigate the admissions process. A workshop previously held asked students to follow along with mock applications while staff members reviewed them as a committee for a fictional university.

“While obviously the number of students visiting campuses is down because of where the world is, we’ve successfully reached thousands of students. It’s opened doors to students,” Dattagupta said.

Virtual tours as well as on-campus tours are also available to students. For on-campus tours, which started again in late May, tour guides wear a clip-on microphone and speaker so visitors can hear them while social distancing. All visitors are required to wear masks, and tours are limited to 12 people with the recommendation of each student only having one parent or guardian accompanying them.

Leila Labens, director of strategic recruitment, said the office relied on the city’s guidance and protocols of when and how to start giving tours again, and families are appreciative of the opportunity to visit campus in-person.

“Although there is so much in flux, being a senior in high school is still an important milestone, and families are grateful to engage with Tulane and focus on their child’s future as they would any other year,” Labens said.

Prospective students can also get an interactive glimpse of Tulane through the office’s new augmented reality brochure. Augmented reality (AR) allows users to see a real-life environment via a printed brochure that has been enhanced with computer-generated information. Users can view the printed brochure’s AR by downloading the InsideTulane app on their smartphones and scanning sections of the brochure. The AR items then appear on the user’s smartphone screen.

This year’s newly developed brochure includes AR elements highlighting the benefits of applying Early Decision, the university’s dedication to public service, students discussing their university experience and even a day in the life of Director of Admission Jeff Schiffman.

"Augmented reality allows us to bring Tulane to students by combining our creative resources with a new technology that is still in the early stages of use. More than 3,000 students have requested this brochure which is a very encouraging sign," Dattagupta said. 

The ability to adapt in unprecedented times is vital, and the Office of Undergraduate Admission has been able to do so while remaining steadfast in its commitment to students.

For more about the Office of Undergraduate Admission, click here.