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First-Year Students

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First-Year Applicant Checklist

The preferred method of submitting documents is by emailing Upon applying, you'll receive an invitation to the MyTCU Portal and may upload your essay, freedom of expression and resume online.

Pay Application Fee

TCU requires a nonrefundable $50 application fee. (Waived for First-Generation applicants, students with an ACT/College Board waiver, students enrolled in the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program at their high school, or applicants who have been affected by a recent natural disaster)

 It must be sent from the high school electronically or in a sealed and signed envelope. Transcripts sent from applicants will not be accepted.

Choose one from any of the prompts provided by the TCU application, the Common Application, the Coalition Application or ApplyTexas. Only one essay submission is required.

Essay Information

TCU is a selective university, and our Admission and Scholarship Committees review thousands of applications each year. The essay tells us a great deal about our candidates and allows for expression of writing skills, organizational skills, creativity and imagination. The essay should be 300-500 words in length and legible. Feel free to be serious, humorous or somewhere in between. Compose your essay on one of the following topics.

  1. At TCU, our mission statement is very important to us. “To educate individuals to think and act as ethical leaders and responsible citizens in the global community.” This is integrated into all aspects of the TCU experience. If you were to write a mission statement about your life, what would it be and how does this mission direct your life and goals?
  2. Tell us about the most significant person, experience, or circumstance which has shaped your life thus far. How has he, she, or it influenced your character? How might you use what you have learned to achieve your goals?
  3. Those we call great will usually point to some failure in their lives as a pivotal moment leading them to their successful path. Tell us about a time in your life in which failure propelled you toward success.
  4. In her best-selling novel The Secret Life of Bees, TCU alumna Sue Monk Kidd wrote, “The hardest thing on earth is choosing what matters.” What matters to you?

Counselor evaluation/recommendation (or secondary school report)

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Teacher evaluation/recommendation

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TCU is test-optional through 2023. Learn more on the Frog Blog.

TCU College Board code is 6820 and ACT code is 4206, but we welcome self-reported scores e-mailed to Be sure to provide your score on each section or a screen shot of your score report.

 Non-native English speakers must demonstrate English proficiency in one of the following ways:
  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 80
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6.5
  • Duolingo English Test score of 110
  • Completion of at least three years at a high school or college where English is the language of instruction
  • Completion of at least 24 hours of transferable academic credit (including English composition) from a college in the U.S.
  • English testing may be waived for applicants with strong SAT or ACT scores
 Please include college transcripts from each institution attended.
This contract is required of all Early Decision applicants

Download PDF 

Freedom of Expression Page 
TCU values individuality and believes that students are more than just a GPA and test score. To help us get to know you even better, consider this opportunity to further express yourself. The only limitations are the boundaries of your imagination. Please submit an essay, poem, work of art or a URL that showcases another side of you.

Apply to the John V. Roach Honors College


Dates & Deadlines

If you wish to be reviewed early based on transcripts through your junior year, you must have your application postmarked by November 1. You must take the SAT or ACT no later than November. Nonbinding notification by January 1.

If you are a candidate for the Chancellor’s Scholarship, it is highly recommended that you apply by the November 1 deadline, or shortly thereafter.

If you wish to be reviewed early for a binding decision based on transcripts through your junior year, you must have your application postmarked by November 1. You must take the SAT or ACT no later than November. You, your counselor, and your parent must sign this document demonstrating an understanding that an admission decision to TCU is contractually binding. Binding notification by January 1. Admitted students must pay their deposit by January 15.

Students applying Early Decision who intend to apply for Financial Aid must also submit the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE in order to complete their application. Students who enroll at TCU will have the cost of filing the CSS Profile credited to their student account.

Students who complete by November 1 and select a spring semester as their entry term will be considered for spring admission.
The Enrollment Deposit is due for students who were admitted under the Early Decision Deadline.

If you wish to include your fall semester/trimester grades, you must have your application postmarked by February 1. You must take the SAT or ACT no later than February. Notification by April 1. All students who apply by the Regular Decision will be considered for scholarship.

Applications received after February 1 will be considered on a space-available basis.

Enrollment deposit is due.


AP/College Credits

Through several methods, above-average students may earn academic credit for college-level learning. College credits can be helpful if you're pursuing:

  • A dual concentration
  • Double majors or double degrees
  • A combined undergraduate and master's program
  • An early graduation

You can qualify for advanced credit with: