Tulane University Reaches Record Early Decision Applications

Tulane University has become the preferred university for a rising number of the United State’s top students. Since the program was launched in 2016, Early Decision admissions applications have risen 35% of the last year and have doubled since the program launch according to undergraduate admissions data.

Tulane President Mike Fitts said. “Tulane’s growing academic reputation, its innovative, interdisciplinary curriculum, its world-class faculty, its unique academic structure and its location in one of the nation’s most culturally rich cities are some of the many reasons that Tulane is becoming the first-choice, dream school for so many students. We’re also ‘right-sized.’ We’re large enough to support a major research mission, yet small enough to foster one-on-one mentor relationships between students and faculty.”

Tulane’s vice president of enrollment management and dean of undergraduate admission, Satyajit Dattagupta, projects that in 2024, about half the class of the first-year students this fall, will be Early Decision applicants. If a student is accepted as an Early Decision applicant, they agree to enroll in the school they were accepted, which means turning down any offers from other universities.

“Tulane is a brand that is recognized nationally and worldwide. It’s one of the best investments students can make, because the return is exponentially higher than the investment.” said Satyajit Dattagupta.

He also stated that today’s students require a higher level of standard from their preferred colleges and universities. Students who excelled in school have more options for their higher education, and want to be sure that universities live up to their projected standard. Of the accepted Early Decision applicants, about 10% will be international students, which demonstrates another area of growth for the university.

“It’s not surprising, but very reassuring to see that students consider Tulane as their first preference,” he added.

Overall, Tulane has seen a rise in undergraduate applications, with more than 43,000 applications for the incoming fall semester. This is up from 41,365 from last year. Dattagupta projects that the number of students accepted into Tulane compared to the number of who applied to the university will be around 12 percent.

Last year, Tulane was ranked in number 40 in the country’s top national universities in the most recent edition of the U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings, which was released in September of 2019. U.S. News and World Report also ranked the university’s undergraduate business program 43rd in the nation, and ranked Tulane in 3rd place in Service Learning, number 18 for best college for veterans, and number 42 for most innovative schools.

“There’s no ‘perfect’ university, but there are certain institutions that can be a ‘perfect’ fit for some students. The transformational journey that Tulane provides is unparalleled: academic flexibility, excellence [and] access — combined with our commitment to community service, in the most interesting city in the whole world — I think that message has resonated with our students.”” Dattagupta added.

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Eight Cheap and Easy Dinner Recipes

Sometimes it can be hard to find recipes for delicious meals that won’t break the bank. A simple trick to reduce the price at the end of your receipt is to choose cheaper protein options like ground beef, chicken, or using beans in place of meat.  Regardless of your diet, check out these great-tasting, cheap and easy dinner recipes from Delish that will make you want to never eat out again (or for a while, at least)!

Tex-Mex Balls

Delicious on a sub, over spaghetti, or by themselves!

“It was perfect on hero bread and the sauce was AMAZING. I’m sure it would taste delish over spaghetti as well. This is a keeper in my house.”

Classic Calzones

This recipe is perfect for getting the whole family involved in making dinner. Just set out the ingredients, then pop in the oven when everyone is done. Easy, fun, and yummy!

“My daughter and I made the pepperoni calzones and I must say it was very easy and very tasty.”

Cilantro Lime Chicken

Cilantro and lime are the perfect pair, especially in this easy chicken dish. Pair with a side of roasted veggies or mashed potatoes for a well-rounded meal!

“One of our favorite recipes. Easy to double but I do have to cook it in two batches, so takes a bit longer. I do sometimes add more lime and cilantro than the recipe calls for because we love the combo.”

Better-Than-Takeout Beef and Broccoli

Once you try this dish, you’ll never crave take-out again!

“Very tasty and easy to make.  It was a hit in my house and the leftovers heated up quite well.”

Air Fryer Coconut Shrimp

Get ready to pull out your air fryer for this perfectly crispy shrimp that pairs well with spicy mayo. Best. Shrimp. Ever.

“This was so delicious! I did have to adjust the time to about 7 minutes as the first batch was just a little over done. Thanks for the recipe.”

Sheet Pan Honey Mustard Pretzel Chicken

This pretzel coated chicken recipe leaves you with perfectly crunchy chicken that only gets better when dipped in honey mustard. It’s the best of both worlds!

“Truly delish!”

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup

Who wants an easy and cheap alternative to taco Tuesdays? For this recipe, all you have to do is combine everything in one pot and set it to cook for the day. Easiest dinner ever!

“This is by far the best chicken tortilla soup I have ever had! My husband and I both absolutely loved it and I am going shopping today for ingredients to make it again. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!”

Easy Cajun Jambalaya

Get ready to be transported to Louisiana because this Jambalaya has all the key elements of true Creole cuisine!

“This turned out great! Followed the recipe and it came out perfect. Super easy to make and full of flavor. Will definitely make this again.”

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Things to do in Ascension Parish

It seems like everyone knows about Baton Rouge and New Orleans, but what about what is in between them? Ascension Parish is the perfect melting pot of Native American, Spanish, French, German, Italian, English, African, and Acadian cultures. You’ll find a place where 500 years of history, culture, and tradition have mingled and thrived, leaving unbelievable sights, traditions, and experiences.

Louisiana Travel created a list of the best things to do in Ascension Parish that let every visitor get a taste of its unique culture and culinary traditions.

The Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road

Experience life on a sugarcane plantation in the 1800s at the Houmas House and Gardens. You’ll find a mansion that’s been restored to the antebellum era, which reflects the wealth of the sugarcane farm in its youth. Take a guided mansion tour to explore its 250-year history and learn about the evolution of the structures and style of the mansion, as well as how it became a grand estate. Artwork around the house reflects the plantation life.

Aside from being the oldest and most beautiful estate in the South, Houmas House and Gardens is home to Latil’s Landing Restaurant, The Carriage House Restaurant, and Cafe Burnside. The chef, Jeremy Langlois, has mastered the art of creating delicious recipes utilizing the freshest local ingredients and giving his guests an unforgettable culinary experience.

Donaldsonville’s Historic Portal to the Past

Prefer to explore on your own terms? No problem at all. Experience a blast to the past in Donaldsonville at your own pace by visiting this portal map where you can find seven self-guided portals in the Historic District. You can start anywhere you like, and the route is about 2.5 miles. You can walk, bike, or explore by car! Learn more about Donaldsonville!

Louisiana’s First State Capitol

Donaldsonville, which served as Louisiana’s first state capital from 1829-1831, is located on the west bank of the Mississippi River. Head to the Historic District to learn about the diverse histories of past Donaldsonville occupants that deserve to be heard. The River Road African American Museum, located on Railroad Avenue, is the perfect place to start. This museum preserves, collects, and exhibits all types of art, artifacts, and buildings as they relate to the history and culture of the African American communities along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.

Head to Farmer Dave’s Frame Shop to see and purchase the art of a local Donaldsonville artist, Alvin Batiste, who focuses his art on life along the Mississippi.

Find the Jambalaya Capital of the World

Jambalaya is a Cajun or Creole dish (depending on the ingredients you use) that is a combination of various meat, rice, vegetables, and seasonings all combined into one pot to make a delicious meal.

Sound yummy? You can head to Gonzalez, Louisiana and eat your way through the annual Jambalaya Festival and World Champion Jambalaya Cooking Contest. Louisianan’s pride themselves on their culinary skills that pay tribute to their culture and heritage, so be prepared for Jambalaya cooked to perfection.

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A Guide to the Perfect Weekend Getaway in San Diego

Also known as “America’s Finest City”, San Diego is the perfect place to head to if you’re looking for perfect year-round weather, beaches, and plenty of outdoor activities. If you’re looking to plan a quick weekend getaway, San Diego is the perfect place where you can pack a lot into a few days.

If you end up flying into the San Diego International Airport, there are tons of handy ways to get to wherever you’re staying (we recommend staying downtown!). Grab a taxi, hop on the City Bus, or rideshare and head downtown. Within ten minutes, you’ll find yourself surrounded by restaurants, beautiful hotels, boutique shops, plenty of people, and a salty sea breeze. If you want a view of the sea from your hotel room, theManchester Grand Hyatt is the hotel for you. Plus, you’ll still be close to downtown!

Once you’ve checked in and gotten ready, head to Seaport Village in San Diego. Here you can get a great view of The Big Bay and stop by Margarita’s Kitchen or Marion’s Fish Marketfor a delicious lunch. Not that hungry? Grab a snack from Wetzel’s Pretzels, Ben & Jerry’s, or Frost Me Gourmet Cupcakes.

Then wander down to the U.S.S. Midway, an old United States Navy aircraft carrier that you can explore, either by yourself or on a tour. Next, check out Tuna Harbor Park, where you’ll see statues like Bob Hope entertaining the military or the infamous celebratory kiss of a sailor and nurse at the end of World War II.

Before dinner, head back to your hotel for a nap and to freshen up. Head to Rustic Rootand choose from an array of seafood, pasta, meat, or a vegan entree with a salad, side, or appetizer. After dinner, take in the crisp ocean air and downtown hustle before heading to your hotel for the night.

Start out your second day in San Diego with a delicious breakfast from Richard Walker’s Pancake House. Make sure to fill up because the day ahead includes a visit to Balboa Park, a 1,200 acre paradise, and urban park with 17 museums, and the zoo.

Balboa Parkis only about a mile downtown, which you can walk or bike. Make sure to stop at the Visitor’s Center and grab a map to plan out your day, then stop in at Prado Perk or Daniel’s Coffeefor some much-needed energy. Choose to stroll through the Japanese Friendship Garden or ride the vintage Balboa Park Carousel, or pick a couple of museums to wander through (perfect for those rare rainy days or hot summer ones). Overwhelmed with options? Download the Balboa Park app to help guide you.

After lunch at The Prado, it’s time to head to the San Diego Zoo(which is conveniently located in Balboa Park)! Here you’ll find 3,700 animals in their natural habits and climates. You can take a 35 minute guided bus tour for an overview if you’re interested!

After the Zoo, head back to your hotel for a little downtime before heading to Little Italy for dinner. For authentic Italian cuisine, head to Barbusa or Herb and Wood and eat your weight in pasta. After dinner, head back to your hotel, rest your legs and get ready for a final day on the beach.

End your weekend getaway with a short trip to La Jolla, about a 20-minute drive north. Relax at the “Children’s Pool” and watch the seals and sea lions as they sleep on the beach and swim. Next, find your way to La Jolla Shores and stroll along the mile-long beach and take a dip or two!

The next beach you’re going to head to in San Diego is Mission Beach. There, you’ll find a boardwalk, bike path, jump into the ocean, or opt for the calmer waters of Mission Bay. Play some carnival games at Belmont Park or play more traditional games like mini golf, bumper cars, or take a ride on the vintage (but totally safe!) 1925 Giant Dipper Roller Coaster.

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Nicholls’ Teacher Prep Program Recognized Amongst Top Programs

According to a report, Nicholls State University’s Department of Education’s Teacher Prep program was recognized by the National Council on Teacher Quality as one of the top programs in the country for its strong dedication to evidence-based reading instruction.

The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) released its 2020 Teacher Prep Review: Program Performance in Early Reading Instruction on January 27, 2020. On the science of reading instruction in teacher preparation, their report found significant progress.

Nicholls State University was one of 15 undergraduate programs and the only college in Louisiana state to earn an A plus for exemplary coursework.

Dr.Alyson Theriot, teacher education department head, stated “We are proud to earn an A+ rating on our early reading instruction in our elementary education program. I feel that we are able to prepare our teacher candidates to teach reading by providing high-quality instruction here on our campus and allowing them to practice what they learn in mentor teachers’ classrooms in our partner school districts. It is a joint effort between our department and the P-12 schools.”

According to the National Council on Teacher Quality, Nicholls covers five essential components of reading-phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. These are covered with explicit and repeated instruction on each component, support for instruction with high-quality textbooks that accurately detail established principles of scientifically based reading practices, and opportunities for teacher candidates to demonstrate mastery through in-class assignments, tests, and other instructional practice.

These findings point towards a positive note when it comes to the national movement to bring down high rates of illiteracy. Of the 1000 evaluated traditional elementary teacher preparation programs, over 51 percent of the programs earned an A or B grade for their coverage of the key components, for the first time since the ratings began in 2013. This increase is up from 35 percent from seven years ago.

Successful reading instruction is directly essential to achieving educational equity. If a child lacks reading ability, it impacts their future educational advances and quality of life. What’s more, each year more than one million public school students beginning the fourth grade are unable to read.

“If a child is not reading at grade level, that child will struggle in every subject,” said Dr. Sue Westbrook, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. “This honor showcases the positive impact our teachers are having on the Bayou Region. I would like to thank the Department of Teacher Education for all they do for the children and citizens in our community.”

“The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit research and policy organization that is committed to modernizing the teaching profession. We conduct research to assist states, districts, and teacher prep programs with teacher quality issues. We don’t just call attention to what’s wrong, but offer concrete solutions to help solve teacher quality challenges.”

Nicholls State University is a student-centered regional institution located in Thibodaux, Louisiana. They offer accredited degree programs and unique learning experiences with a goal to prepare their students for life beyond the classroom and to have a successful career. They are dedicated to the education of their diverse student body while also providing a rich cultural and educational environment.

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Cooking Tips from the World’s Best Chefs

Cooking comes easily to some people, and not so easily to others. Luckily, these professional chefs are dishing their biggest cooking hacks to make a not so easy task a little bit easier! Here are a few general cooking tips to help you manage your time better and be a little more organized in the chaos that can be a kitchen!

 Sharpen your knife skills

“Always keep your fingers tucked in on your non-dominant hand, using your upper knuckles to guide your knife as you slice. If your fingertips are tucked in, you can’t ever cut them! And for the highest degree of control over your knife. hold the knife by the blade, pinching the bottom of the blade between your thumb and the side of your forefinger. Grip your middle, ring, and pinky fingers around the handle for support, and avoid laying your forefinger over the spine of the knife.” –Sydney Willcox, The Brooklyn Kitchen

Get smarter with how you cut veggies

“Use a mandoline to cut down on prep time and ensure consistent slice sizes for your veggies.” –Willcox

Get innovative

“Try a seasonal ingredient in an unexpected way! If you have never tried juicing a sweet potato you will be pleasantly surprised. The starch in potato makes your drinks lightly creamy, and the flavor combination is perfectly sweet. This is a dessert vegetable juice, packed full of vitamins A and B complex and beta-carotene.” –Matthew Kenney Plant Food + Wine Miami

Cooking Tip-And to top it all off

“To make an impression on your guests, throw a simple garnish on your finished platter: mMicrogreens are easy and beautiful, or take an element from the dish, such as whole herb sprigs or extra spice, and add just a small amount to create a pop for the eye.” –Willcox


“Always put your liquids in your blender first—water, juice, broths—and then load your more solid ingredients—veggies, leafy greens, fruits. This takes stress off your blender motor, and as the blade spins your ingredients are more easily pulled down into the blender vessel and your blends are more consistent, smooth, and creamy. Adding your liquids first will lengthen the life of your blender and your ‘blends’ will come out perfect.” –Nina Curtis, The Ranch Malibu

Is it getting hot in here?

“Don’t be scared of the heat! If you are looking for a sear, you need to bring on high levels of heat. Without a smoking-hot pan, it will be close to impossible to achieve a crispy, caramelized browning on your steak, pork, chicken or fish. Also be sure not to overcrowd a pan when searing, otherwise the pan will cool down too much, and there will not be enough heat from the bottom of the pan or circulating around the meat in the pan.” –Willcox

Cooking Tip-Be a little salty

“Be sure to use a high-quality coarse salt for finishing your dishes: This is an easy way to really transcend your home cooking to restaurant-level quality. You can also use flavored salts, such as smoked salt, to add depth.” –Willcox

Olive oil makes everything better

“Take a note from Mediterranean dwellers and finish your dishes with a little drizzle of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil; it will make for a silky finish!” –Willcox

Let’s get juicy

“Never stab the meat with a fork or knife to flip it over. These punctures allow juices to escape and can lead to drying of the meat and less-flavorful protein.  Always use a spatula and/or tongs when you need to turn your meats.” –Aaron Taylor, STK

For more delicious recipes and a few cooking tips, click here.