10 yrs WE mostly in sales (retail first, then medical), then as a high school science teacher
All dates below are correspondence receipt dates; all dates above are actual decision dates.
1/12/06 rec'd email acceptance from Tulane
1/24/06 snail mail package (large white envelope) from Tulane with official acceptance letter and $10K/yr (renewable) Dean's Scholarship
2/10/06 UF snail mail (large manilla envelope) acceptance -very excited to have an in-state tuition option
03/05/06 GMU snail mail wait list (not ranked)
03/06/06 Emory rejection by snail mail
03/18/06 WUSTL waitlist after EA deferred; nice letter but I'm not waiting around for waitlists anymore. Tulane and Florida are both great schools, and I'm happy to choose between my two acceptances. I'm visiting Tulane on 03/29/06, and my decision will be made after that visit.
03/24/06 received waitlist letter from American. Whoop-dee-do. Withdrew app without regrets.
03/30/06 Visited New Orleans and Tulane on 3/27-3/29. NO was a shock. When I drove into town on I-10 from the East, all I saw for miles and miles were car hulks in creek ditches and uninhabitable buildings. EVERYTHING east of downtown is only fit for demolition. The French Quarter looked fairly normal. The bars were all open, but only about every third shop was open, and they kept irregular hours (like only open during daytime for 3 days a week). The Garden District looked beautiful; the only problem apart from massive renovations of homes on side streets off St. Charles was the fact that garbage was piling up everywhere. Orleans Parrish doesn't have enough workers to meet demand (and not enough housing for these low income workers), so garbage collection is sporadic, averaging every 10 days or so (versus twice a week pre-Katrina). Once you get to Jefferson Parrish and Metarie, everything appears almost completely normal. Oh, one other issue: it's darn near impossible to find a fast food restaurant that's open. Only a sporadic number of local restaurants are maintaining somewhat limited hours.
OVERALL IMPRESSION OF NEW ORLEANS: LIVABLE BUT NOT ENJOYABLE. Conditions should improve by the fall though.
As for Tulane, on the positive side, I think you'd be hard pressed to find Professors elsewhere that take a greater interest in you as a person than Tulane. Fantastic interaction with students. The students themselves are incredibly laid back and helpful, and I think any student who chooses to go there will have an incredible support structure within the student body and Administration.
On the negative side, I only have negatives from MY personal perspective. I was choosing between Florida and Tulane, and Florida's brand-new facilities were nicer; Florida's campus is more beautiful; and I like suburban living with every convenvience right near by. I get that in Gainesville, but not in New Orleans (at least presently). Additionally, I will have $60,000 less in debt as a graduate of UF. So all in all, my decision was an easy one, and I'm looking forward to attending UF this fall.
I decided to leave the above info in place for future users who want details regarding the process I went through. For all you future lawyers out there, good luck with your applications!