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A Promise to Louisiana

Thursday, November 12, 2020

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Dear Tulane Community:

Tulane has been a part of the Crescent City and the Bayou State for 186 years. We are keenly aware of the value of being located in one of the world’s most culturally rich, diverse and environmentally significant areas. There is no place like our home.

Tulane would not be the kind of university it is absent its unique location, and New Orleans and Louisiana are both stronger and more economically vibrant because of Tulane. The future of Tulane and our hometown and state are inextricably linked. As part of our continued commitment to this shared destiny, we are announcing Louisiana Promise, a new initiative that will make a Tulane undergraduate degree more accessible and affordable for Louisiana residents from low- and middle-income families.

Currently, around 11 percent of Tulane's undergraduate students come from Louisiana. We want to increase that number and become the first-choice university for the best and brightest high school graduates in our state. I believe that financial concerns should never be a barrier for any Louisiana student who wants to become a part of the Tulane family and pursue their dreams right here at home. In this spirit, Louisiana Promise Financial Awards will meet full financial need without loans for qualifying Louisiana students from families making less than $100,000.

Louisiana Promise will also increase access to higher education for students in New Orleans through a new on-campus college preparatory center that will assist aspiring first-generation college students and others who don't have access to strong college counseling/advising programs. This will include a free program to prepare students for the SAT and ACT while also teaching them about the college application process, how to choose the university that is the best fit for them, how to navigate the financial aid process to maximize scholarship assistance and what to expect once they get to college. The center will also educate parents about the college application process and connect them with other families going through the same process.

In addition, each year, Tulane will provide funding so that 50 Louisiana students, who have been nominated by their high school, can attend a two-week, residential pre-college summer program. This program will give students, who may have never considered Tulane, or a university like it, the chance to experience college life and the world of opportunity available to them through higher education.

Giving more of our state's young people the chance to pursue higher education at Tulane, or wherever their passion, interests and dreams lead them, holds great promise not only for our homegrown students, but for Tulane, as well. Louisiana Promise can help make our state an even better place to live and learn.

Signature of Mike Fitts